The Download: Opting out of the crypto hype, and the gig workers resisting oppressive algorithms


That is immediately’s version of The Obtain, our weekday e-newsletter that gives a day by day dose of what’s occurring on this planet of know-how.

It’s okay to decide out of the crypto revolution. 

Crypto promoting is in all places. Billboards encompass the Bay Space and line LA highways, and you’ll’t catch a practice in NYC with out operating into an advert for a coin or trade. A-listers like Gwyneth Paltrow are pushing crypto platforms, and this yr’s Tremendous Bowl broadcast was studded with big-budget crypto spots, every trumpeting the chance to strike it wealthy.

However regardless of their ubiquity and lavish expense, these advertisements routinely omit any description of what crypto is, or what any of the crypto firms which have paid to plaster our panorama are literally promoting. There’s purpose for that. Whereas the business has been good to fortunate speculators with the disposable money to danger and the time to determine how to take action, it has little to supply the common individual immediately. 

Crypto fans declare that the business will revolutionize monetary programs by decentralizing commerce, grabbing the reins from the banks which have betrayed us up to now and the Massive Tech gatekeepers. However to this point, the crypto business has not made good on that democratizing promise. Learn the total story.

—Rebecca Ackermann

The gig staff combating again towards the algorithms

Within the Bendungan Hilir neighborhood, only a stone’s throw from Jakarta’s glitzy central enterprise district, motorbike drivers collect in a casual “base camp.” They’re drivers with Gojek, Indonesia’s largest ride-hailing agency. They’re additionally a part of the spine of a rising motion of resistance towards the dispatch algorithms that dominate their lives.

Base camps grew out of a practice that existed earlier than algorithmic ride-hailing companies got here to Indonesia. They’re the community via which drivers across the metropolis keep in tight communication. This sense of group is now on the coronary heart of what distinguishes Jakarta’s drivers from different gig staff around the globe, and will reveal a brand new playbook for resistance: a approach for staff to construct collective energy, obtain a measure of safety, and handle each other when seemingly nobody else will. Learn the total story.

—Karen Hao and Nadine Freischlad

That is the third a part of our sequence investigating AI colonialism, shining a light-weight on how the know-how is impoverishing the communities and nations that don’t have a say in its improvement. The ultimate half is coming tomorrow, however you possibly can learn half one right here, half two right here, and Karen Hao’s introductory essay right here.

Quote of the day

“Individuals are my air.”

— Robin Solod, a lady who lives alone on Manhattan’s Higher East Aspect, speaks for many people when she tells the New York Occasions how a lot she’s come to understand the necessity to socialize.

The must-reads

I’ve combed the web to search out you immediately’s most enjoyable/vital/scary/fascinating tales about know-how.

1 China is claiming that solely 17 individuals have died from covid in Shanghai
Which raises questions on the way it defines a covid demise. (NYT $)
Town is forcing susceptible and aged residents into makeshift quarantine camps. (CNN)
Unsurprisingly, the strict lockdown has sparked a significant psychological well being disaster. (The Guardian)
China is resorting to censoring its personal nationwide anthem. (Newsweek
A Spanish lady contracted covid twice in simply 20 days. (BBC)
Figuring out when to obtain your subsequent booster is hard. (WP $)
It’s completely high-quality should you nonetheless really feel cautious about catching covid as restrictions elevate. (Slate $)

2 On-line disinformation is wreaking havoc in Sri Lanka
And, naturally, Fb is taking part in a central function. (Remainder of World)
+ Barack Obama is frightened about disinformation. (NYT $)
Russia’s “pretend information” regulation is getting used to persecute investigative journalists. (The Guardian)

3 A social media marketing campaign introduced a homicide suspect to trial
After the police stepped again, a group of beginner sleuths got here to the rescue. (The Reduce $)

4 Meet the pandemic’s PPE scammers 
A lot of individuals noticed a disaster. Others noticed a chance to make some huge cash. (The Verge)

5 Who’re digital capsules containing trackers that alert docs in the event that they’re not taken actually for?
They’re unlikely to assist the individuals who might have treatment essentially the most. (Slate $)

6 Gen Z is embracing “genuine” social platform BeReal
It’s received no advertisements, no seen follower rely, and, crucially, no filters. (WSJ $)
+ Instagram actually needs you to cease reposting TikToks to Reels. (The Verge)

7 Solar energy remains to be a wealthy man’s recreation 
And that’s a large barrier for wider adoption. (Wired $)
Local weather change is ravaging lives throughout the globe. (WP $)
An Ecuadorian flower was named after its personal extinction, earlier than being rediscovered. (WP $) 

8 How a stealth digital camera reveals hidden creatures within the sea’s depths 🦑
We’re nonetheless discovering freaky new underwater species. (Vox)

9 Corporations are so determined for chips, they’re tearing aside washing machines
The semiconductor scarcity is biting, and firms are panicking. (Bloomberg $)

10 Intestine Well being is taking up TikTok
However it’s fast fixes and never long-term wholesome way of life adjustments that are likely to go viral. (NYT $)
A research says time-restricted consuming doesn’t work as a weight reduction technique. (NYT $)
Fashionable TikTok recipes sound scrumptious and disgusting in equal measure. (The Guardian)
Deep dive evaluation of all kinds of matters is taking up TikTok. (Vox)

We will nonetheless have good issues

A spot for consolation, enjoyable and distraction in these bizarre instances. (Acquired any concepts? Drop me a line or tweet ’em at me.)

+ A timeless joke for a timeless tune.
+ Do you know soccer managers used to should ship VHS tapes to the South Pacific with the intention to have their matches analyzed? Fascinating stuff.
+ Why are dolls so pervasive in in style tradition proper now? 
+ Take pleasure in this mesmerizing clip of a Feather Star marine creature bobbing alongside.
+ Seems a Clueless-style closet isn’t all it’s cracked as much as be—it sounds exhausting.
+ These old-skool particular movie results are enchanting.
+ When you’ve ever wanted to know why Oreo cream solely ever sticks to at least one wafer, right here’s your reply.





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