Weekly Web Harvest for 2021-12-26

  • SurveillanceU – When Virtual Proctoring Goes Wrong
    After petitions against virtual proctoring launched across the U.S. and YR’s own coverage of this trend, we built a simulator to show how virtual proctoring can flag normal behavior as suspicious. This isn’t an exact replica of the software, but it’s real close. No worries, this interactive does NOT collect your data, or video; the experience runs solely on your browser.
  • The Future Is Not Only Useless, It’s Expensive
    This is how NFTs make me feel: like the future is useless but expensive, and world-altering technology is now in the hands of a culture so aesthetically and spiritually impoverished that it should maybe go back to telling stories around the cooking fire for a while, just to remember how to mean something.


    It is also obviously a pyramid scheme, in which the need for a salable commodity is imperative and endlessly renewed, but the commodity itself does not matter because it is useless — not even useless the way all art is useless, because you can get the images and whatever grains of nourishment your hungry little soul might find in them for free, but useless the way a canceled stamp is useless, useless like a receipt or an envelope that has been torn open. NFTs are an occasion for commerce masquerading as art, just as so many ostensibly meaningful experiences of the 21st century turn out to be occasions to spend money masquerading as life.

  • Brian Eno on NFTs & Automaticism
    I see a set of solutions but I don’t know what problems they exist to solve other than ‘How can we use these to absorb all this spare money that’s washing around?’. Most of the conversation I hear is asking the question ‘What could we do with these technologies?’: which doesn’t mean ‘how could we change the world into a better place?’ but ‘How could we turn them into money?’.