Give Me More Compasses [WaDI - 14.08.2019]

Forcing the limits of the algorithms with weird might be the only option.

Hello everyone, especially the newcomers! Last week quite a lot of you decided to subscribe thanks to Corey J. White and Nothing.Here newsletter (you should subscribe if you haven’t already). Hope you’ll enjoy the ride!

(Image Source)


Who Writes This?      

Ahmet A. Sabancı (that's me), writer, journalist and researcher. Writing about many things including technology, surveillance, censorship, philosophy, science fiction and futures and occasionally about politics and Turkey. There’s a good chance you found me through my blog or Twitter. You can find more about me here and small selection of my writings here.   

“Welcome to JG Ballard’s future, fast becoming a consensus of its own, wherein the future is intrinsically banal.” —Warren Ellis

Above image and Jay’s Twitter thread got me thinking about how we’re thinking about the future itself and how most of the mainstream conversation is stuck. Compasses over there names many different possibilities we might face or some of us even facing —maybe not as extreme as a sci-fi novel. I think one powerful side of compasses is the fact that it gives all options/possibilities at once, overloading the mind and forcing you to think about it.

I think that’s something we need more. Not always compasses but ways to push people to think about the futures we might face and start working on it. Although it might seem that all of those futures are far away but when you start thinking about it, you also understand that most of those possibilities are already here and rest is just 5 minutes bus ride away.

Compasses —especially the ones like the one here— with their design and the information density is something perfect for our current social media madness. It interrupts the clickbait and will-be-forgotten-tomorrow news and never-ending outrages with its weirdness and pulls people out of it. Of course one needs to take another step after seeing this but if we’re stuck with the current situation for now, I think best we can do is to make it as weird as possible. So that we can lure people to blogs, newsletters and other dark sides of the internet where real conversation happens. To at least try to break that banality of the future.


💬 From the Blog

Revisiting “Manfred Macx Media Diet”

This week I only put out one blog post but it was a 2000 words giant. Since most of the work I do somehow turned into thinking about media and internet, I also started writing more about it. But since the issues I talked and thought about was same for a while, I felt like I needed something refreshing to do.

“Manfred Macx Media Diet” is one of the blog posts which I reread a lot, especially when I think about my relationship with internet and my media diet, so I decided to reread and dissect it on my blog. It was a good experience and there’s a good chance I’ll be trying this method with some other writings I consider important.


💭 WaDI Filter

  • “Seeing Through the Debris” — Jay Springett. This is a good read on conspiracy theories for anyone who’s interested. I think the interest might be peaked after the recent developments in the US but conspiracies are living their best times for a while.

  • Adversarial Fashion. If you want to mess with the license plate cameras, check this website out. They also have DIY guides but I don’t have time to create patterns with the license plates used here. Saved for later.

  • Climate update: Water stress levels shows a scary future and IPCC report on land basically tells us we should be doing something already.

  • No Logo at 20. Naomi Klein’s classic is 20 years old and Dan Hancox did a great interview with her on the book. This was also a good reminder to re-read the book.


This week’s song is Tool’s Fear Inoculum, because it’s good to hear a new Tool song after a long time.

That’s all for this week. It’s a bit short then the usual but also I’m already 10 minutes in Thursday and not much energy left. Stay safe and see you all next week!