Becoming an Estonian e-Resident

Almost six years ago, I became one of the first people in the world to be an Estonian e-Resident 🙂 I had to physically go there to get finger-printed and prove that I was biologically alive, and after that I got an e-identity tied to it which allowed me to transact within Estonia’s (and partially EU’s) trust system remotely.

The very next day I had to rush myself to ER with an extremely painful case of kidney stones. I got to use my freshly acquired e-Resident card to navigate the medical system 😂. No one spoke much English and at that time I knew no Estonian or Russian. When I was eventually discharged and I went to the pharmacy, I just had to show them my card and they already knew my prescription.

So the system worked quite flawlessly. But there was human error in the prescription and I had to rush myself back into the ER after 3 days of writhing in intense pain. That was a great way to officially start my e-Residency 😜

Tim Cook: Statement at International Data Privacy Day

Tim Cook, Apple CEO, made a very interesting statement at Brussels’ International Data Privacy Day.

Technology does not need vast troves of personal data stitched together across dozens of websites and apps in order to succeed. Advertising existed and thrived for decades without it, and we’re here today because the path of least resistance is rarely the path of wisdom.

If a business is built on misleading users on data exploitation, on choices that are no choices at all, then it does not deserve our praise. It deserves reform.

We should not look away from the bigger picture and a moment of rampant disinformation and conspiracy theory is juiced by algorithms. We can no longer turn a blind eye to a theory of technology that says all engagement is good engagement, the longer the better, and all with the goal of collecting as much data as possible.

Too many are still asking the question, ‘How much can we get away with?’ When they need to be asking, ‘What are the consequences?’

What are the consequences of prioritizing conspiracy theories and violent incitement simply because of the high rates of engagement?

What are the consequences of not just tolerating but rewarding content that undermines public trust in life-saving vaccinations?

What are the consequences of seeing thousands of users joining extremist groups and then perpetuating an algorithm that recommends even more?

It is long past time to stop pretending that this approach doesn’t come with a cause. A polarization of lost trust, and yes, of violence.

A social dilemma cannot be allowed to become a social catastrophe.”


Disinformation via Anachronistic Juxtaposition

Usually when someone asks for their own tweet to be prevented from being reshared it’s a sign of Streisand Effect.

The Streisand effect is a phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide, remove, or censor a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely, usually facilitated by the Internet.

I think Twitter has enabled a new phenomenon where an old tweet, retweeted after a period of time where the larger context and headspace is no longer the same, it takes away the original meaning of the tweet. This is the same as when we sometimes see people share links from 5 yrs ago and the headline somehow seems relevant to what’s happening now but it ends effectively being disinformation.

Let’s name this phenomenon: Disinformation via Anachronistic Juxtaposition

What do you think?

Snowshoeing with Dad

We went snowshoeing and it took us longer than we thought and it got really dark. It also got quite cold – but that helped keep us moving 😛 That’s my dad in the pics, the lighting made for some interesting photos.

We weren’t sure what activity to pick on the Apple Watch. Went with “Cross Country Skiing”, not sure if that’s right!

A Game Designer’s Analysis Of QAnon

A very fascinating read!

QAnon has much in common with alternate reality games (ARG), LARPs, and interactive theater, but these gaming mechanisms are used in a slightly different manner to create something very different from an actual game.
— Read on

High Heeled Shoes Were Originally Created For Men

History is fascinating. I had no idea!

The origin of high-heels can be traced back to 15th century Persia when soldiers wore them to help secure their feet in stirrups. Persian migrants brought the shoe trend to Europe, where male aristocrats wore them to appear taller and more formidable.
A 17th century Persian riding boot. Image © 2017, Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto, Canada.

“The heel was an additional tool allowing the rider to steady himself, thus using weaponry better and transforming warfare”. But soon after, women embraced the look — just like boyfriend jeans and button-up shirts, right? — and by the 18th century, high-heeled shoes were largely considered women’s footwear. They slowly began to take the shape we know now, with a thinner heel and pointed toe.
A pair of antique chopines. Image courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
Clint Eastwood cowboy
Clint Eastwood playing a gunslinging cowboy in the ’50s.Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

Focus on Quality + Entertainment: what makes US successful

Very interesting insights in this thread about the US from an immigrant entrepreneur perspective:

Many cultures focus on costs. But cutting costs translates quickly into a culture of “good enough” work, where feedback is met with excuses, not iterations. But the iterations make the difference. You can always do better if u put quality first. Never be satisfied. /10

The fact that entertainment is a shared value is simple, but it matters. You do not need to argue for it in meetings. People get it. Everyone agrees that the content you produce, or the product that you make, has to be entertaining. It is a key value. /16

What do you think? Here’s the full Twitter thread.

How Republicans and Democrats view themselves

The above is just one of the charts that I found very interesting. It gives very good insight into how people with different affiliations view themselves

  • 42% Republicans say members of their own party are more open minded compared to other Americans
  • 70% Democrats say members of their own party are more open minded compared to other Americans
  • 71% Republicans say members of their own party are more patriotic compared to other Americans
  • 29% Democrats say members of their own party are more patriotic compared to other Americans

Republicans say they are more patriotic than others, Democrats say they are more open-minded