TWiT 738: The Twerklight Sonata

New TWiT today at 2:30p Pacific.

Daniel Rubino from Windows Central
Caroline Haskins from Motherboard/VICE
and TWiT’s own Mikah Sargent

  • Daniel will preview this week’s Microsoft Surface event (will we see a dual-screen device?)
  • Mikah should have an announcement today about his new show. I think we’re rolling the preview episode 0, too!
  • We’ll talk about two Google decisions in the EU and Facebook’s new VR social network, Horizon.
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  • At about 3:40 CST, or probably about 1 hour into the show, there was some discussion about digital assistants being able to point you to which aisle the milk is on, and how we’re moving to a future where service businesses need fewer and fewer employees.

Us in technology circles often talk about the potential economic consequences of this future (cf. Mr. Yang and the UBI), but just as much as the economics, I wonder about the cultural and societal consequences that might result from less and less actual face time and fewer human interactions.

Some say that we’re becoming more social in a different way, and that’s certainly true, but what are the psychological implications of moving more and more of our interactions to the same screens where we deal with the false reality of television and video games? Does this tempt the brain into dehumanizing actual reality?

Mental health experts say that we need physical contact, or hugs, for our well being. I wonder what they would say about a world where we walk into Burger King, press a button on a screen, tap our phone, and a meatless Whopper is delivered to the counter without any human interaction.

This kinda feels a thread that would belong more on some TWIG show, but I wonder what others think.


Tech, or more properly communications tools for the internet like FB and Twitter have hastened the regrouping of people into tribes spanning geographic/national boundaries.

So we may be more isolated from local human interaction, such as automated restaurants, driver-less Uber/Lyft transport, Amazon deliveries vs. physical stores.

Yet we are interacting more with shared value folks all over the world thanks to technology.

It will be an interesting time. (Old Chinese curse)


I bet biology will win in the end. I notice, in myself, an increasing need for human contact, even as I spend more and more time with screens. I think biology can be modified by environment, of course, but in the end our human needs will always win out.


I’d love to to be able to say this tactfully. I’m trying. I get that privacy is critical to some but not to all. Not to me at all. I would love to see/hear people talk about new tech without the constant paranoia. I totally understand that Google and Amazon and even Facebook (although I don’t have an account there) track my every move. And, in return, I get a lot of really cool neat stuff. To me, it is a very fair trade.

Leo often expresses my side of the coin but I wish this show and others on the network would invite other guests who are more like me and who spend way less time whining about their privacy. (and yeah, i know … party of 1 and no success at the tactful)

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I appreciate the comment @susandennis - and I understand how you feel.

I also feel some responsibility to do more than just cover the tech “toy store.” Even if it’s annoying to some of our listeners (and you’re definitely not alone) I just wouldn’t feel right being a cheerleader for tech without exploring its dark side, too.

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I feel like a lot of tech is the result of new found abilities (as computers get faster and more powerful, we have them able to do more and more.) It’s like we’re just a baby learning to walk… we don’t know the extent of our abilities yet. I probably fall more on that paranoid side myself, but I don’t consider myself paranoid, just very cautious. I don’t mind some tradeoffs between privacy and “features” but I would prefer to know up front precisely what I give up to get what I get. Secret back room deals (like what Amazon is doing with the police and Ring doorbells or the whole Cambridge Analytica thing) are not doing the right thing to instill trust. For this reason, I think you need both sorts of people… those who are paranoid and those who are really open to new experiences.

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yes but… it seems we do NOT get both sides. the only side we get is the OMG they are stealing our very souls side.

i’m just asking for once in a while - have a guest who represents my side. just once in a while.

i get it. i do. i’m only asking for the very occasional voice of someone who’s happy to pay the privacy price for the goodies! just once in a while. i’ve grown used to the hearing about the dark side so i sure wouldn’t want it to change completely! :slight_smile:

Just FYI: do you listen to “This Week In Google”? I think the host Jeff Jarvis is closer to that perspective than to the paranoid side.


I do listen to TWIG and you are right. I just had not thought of Jeff that way. Excellent point. Thanks!

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