Real Life: Audio Edition
109 - Take Me Away by Callie Hitchcock

109 - Take Me Away by Callie Hitchcock

November 22, 2021

Compared to earlier technologies of escape, parasociality offers something closer to direct interaction — a more powerful illusion of connection. Parasocial escapism is not so much a retreat from intimacy into consumerism, but a way of consuming intimacy as a product. 
Read more essays on living with technology at https://reallifemag.com and follow us on Twitter @_reallifemag.

108 - I‘m Not There by R.E. Hawley

108 - I‘m Not There by R.E. Hawley

November 19, 2021

For those who came of age with the social internet, a long digital trail lingers behind one's every move. Memes that riff on the idea of "not being perceived" get at something deeper than they seem to: namely, a vision of the internet free from compulsory body awareness. 
Read more essays on living with technology at https://reallifemag.com and follow us on Twitter @_reallifemag.

107 - Bad Metaphors: Conspiracy Wall by Colin Dickey

107 - Bad Metaphors: Conspiracy Wall by Colin Dickey

November 17, 2021

The "conspiracy wall" meme offers a cinematic interpretation of how conspiracies spread. However, it is ultimately misleading: those who subscribe to the kinds of theories peddled by Alex Jones and the like are not looking for logical explanations, but rather for permission to feel how they want to feel. 
Read more essays on living with technology at https://reallifemag.com and follow us on Twitter @_reallifemag.

106 - Standard Evasions by Os Keyes

106 - Standard Evasions by Os Keyes

November 16, 2021

The U.S. Department of Commerce is developing an approach to defining people's trust in AI. But rather than define trustworthy systems with respect to their consequences or differential impacts, it focuses on how they are perceived by “users” (not whom they are used on) and does not bother to ask if the systems themselves are worth trusting. 
Read more essays on living with technology at https://reallifemag.com and follow us on Twitter @_reallifemag.

105 - Ted Talks by Evan Malmgren

105 - Ted Talks by Evan Malmgren

November 11, 2021

Ted Kaczynski’s most significant contribution to the work of 20th century anti-industrial thinkers is the fact of the bombings. In refusing to grapple with that, contemporary apologists fail to capture a difficult truth: that the decision to uplift his message roughly vindicates his conviction that violence was an ugly but effective medium. 
Read more essays on living with technology at https://reallifemag.com and follow us on Twitter @_reallifemag.

104 - Trust Me, You Want This by Camilla Cannon

104 - Trust Me, You Want This by Camilla Cannon

October 27, 2021

Host-read ads on podcasts — when the hosts ad-lib and joke around with the copy provided by sponsors — are a kind of "parasocial" advertising, in that they use the sense of intimacy and pseudo-friendship podcasts produce to overcome the listener's defense mechanisms against marketing. Joking around with the ads makes those ads integral to the sense of community that listeners derive from podcasts and the sense of belonging they generate. 
Read more essays on living with technology at https://reallifemag.com and follow us on Twitter @_reallifemag.

103 - Home Spun by Tamara Kneese

103 - Home Spun by Tamara Kneese

October 22, 2021

Women’s home-based work is often invisible and undervalued. This has been the case for much of its history, and today it includes platform labor. Reconsidering more feminized, pink-collar forms of online work helps broaden the definition of "tech worker," which is still often perceived in narrow, masculinist terms. 
Read more essays on living with technology at https://reallifemag.com and follow us on Twitter @_reallifemag.

102 - Worn Out by Drew Austin

102 - Worn Out by Drew Austin

October 20, 2021

The stereotype of tech people is that they are indifferent to fashion, dressing in austere uniforms to signal how they don't have time for it. But what they don't have time for is the idea of a commons that fashion, as a collective investment in public display, can stand for. When public space is privatized and digitized, tech companies are eager to sell fashion as customization. 
Read more essays on living with technology at https://reallifemag.com and follow us on Twitter @_reallifemag.

101 - Speaking for the Past by Ben Lee

101 - Speaking for the Past by Ben Lee

October 15, 2021

To make engaging with the stories of Holocaust survivors more "interactive," a new project uses machine learning analysis to process an audience's questions to synthesize answers out of a survivor's pre-recorded testimony. But this "solution," in blurring the lines between simulation and reality, disrupts our understanding of the past and undermines how we perceive the survivors themselves. 
Read more essays on living with technology at https://reallifemag.com and follow us on Twitter @_reallifemag.

100 - Moving in Stereo by Robin James

100 - Moving in Stereo by Robin James

October 14, 2021

It's obvious that Peloton sells a kind of self-optimization — exercise as time discipline. But Spotify (a streaming service like Peloton) also trains listeners in how to attune emotionally to states (or vibes) that employers have deemed productive or speculatively valuable. 
Read more essays on living with technology at https://reallifemag.com and follow us on Twitter @_reallifemag.

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