John Siracusa and Merlin Mann try to figure out exactly how they got this way.



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#141: The Panopticon of Frasier

October 15th, 2020 · 83 minutes

John has questions about the bizarre surveillance state Merlin has installed in his garage..

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Links and Show Notes

Things kick off with a post-mortem on the recent song challenge as well as an extension of that challenge that requires input from you, the listener. Hit us up at @RecDiffs with #listen.

John goes a little meta to interrogate how Merlin's brain functions and wonders where a catch phrase actually started. Maybe you know? You do that. Considering phrases we picked up from relatives and/or TV.

John has questions about Merlin's experimental garage panopticon. After providing some context on how and why one might have a box full of disused security cameras, Merlin lays out the details of the bizarre surveillance state he's created to track and analyze the movements of a recent visitor. Things get more than a little Dale Gribble.

The rest of the show concerns news of a popular social media platform announcing their intention to minimize the reach of fringe conspiracy groups and content. No spoilers, but if you're a big fan of Facebook, you might want to skip this one. Because, oh boy, do your hosts ever go off.

(Recorded on Tuesday, October 6, 2020)


Ethics Explainer: The Panopticon - What is the panopticon effect?
6 Best Mouse Traps of 2020 - Most Effective Traps for Mice
Facebook Amps Up Its Crackdown on QAnon - The New York Times

The company said an earlier effort to curb the conspiracy movement’s growth didn’t properly address its increasing popularity.

House investigation faults Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google for engaging in anti-competitive monopoly tactics - The Washington Post

The approximately 450-page document, capping a roughly 16-month investigation by the House’s top antitrust panel, found that the four tech giants relied on dubious, harmful means to solidify their dominance in Web search, smartphones, social networking and shopping — and in the process evaded the very federal regulators whose primary task is to ensure that companies do not grow into such unmatched corporate titans.