I just wanna make you smile. Cause I fell just like all the rest. I was too broke down to fly. Take a chance on me Daddy, this may be all we got. The night be black and the road may be long. Your voice may crack and it all sounds wrong. Now taste those tears. It seems your luck has all been shot. No use asking why. But sooner or later we all have to try. All You Ever.
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Everything you ever tried to be was just a fantasy. All you ever needed was someone to tell you you were right. And all you ever wanted was to put off some of your own light. There you are, singing Desperado in the car at night. There you are, with everybody looking up at you. Me Oh My. I had a baby but the good lord took her.
She was an angel but her wings were crooked. I guess he figured he could love her better than me. Some girls marry and some girls wait. Some do better without that ball and chain…singing… Oh me, Oh my tell me it gets easier with time. With the way you drink and the brows you raise. You can bet they wonder how the bills get paid, when you dance all night and you sleep all day. Girl when you gonna settle down, and make your mama proud?
Oh no, not now. They say the good times go too fast. Edge of the Frame. And you make a scene, you get your picture in a magazine. Why you make a beggar out of your best friend. Oh heaven knows, you love to dress me up in ribbons and bows. I go to get myself a coffee and everybody stares at me.
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They know you treat me awful mean. When the mailman brings the letters he tries to talk some sense to me. I tell myself over and over I should be getting out of here. So listen Honey and believe me, cause this is all I got to say… Anyone would have to be a fool to love you like I do. Hearts of Men. He was forty-six with the wife and the kids and the job with the suit and the tie. Oh but I, I wanna be your child again. I wanna remember when everything was new. And damn this pride that lives inside the hearts of men. I wanna be whole again. Oh and I. I passed a truck filled with old street signs, it seemed like one of them was mine, a long long time ago, before I knew you Caroline.
Now the bus is leaving, wish I could stay. Oh Carolina, oh Carolina. You know I love you in my way. We sat out on the front steps and shared a cigarette. We watched the neighbors go to bed. They fed the dog and shut the lights, and we were on our own again. But as the sun began to rise. We were running out of shadows to hide ourselves behind. Would you love me one more time, before we raise the blinds and make the bed? My little train wreck.
Your eyes are smiling but your cheeks are wet. We fell asleep just like we used to, legs all tangled in the sheets. I know you dreamed that bus to Houston, heard you talking in your sleep. I would have held you all day long. But when I opened up my eyes you were already gone. Little Bird. The time has come to bring it home.
Little bird with a broken wing. So what do you say? I watch the dust dance across the floor. It used to be so easy to ignore the sun has set, but the sun will rise. What can I do? It was all for you, it was all for you. Not That Simple. Another one has already wrung all of the tear drops from your eyes. Still every time you smile I think that everything is gonna be just fine. I know, I got no fight. Never gonna be simple. Wedding Song. When you found me I was broken clear in two.
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My heart was split wide open, tired of hoping, tired of playing the fool. But you did what I thought nobody could do. Now you ask for nothing more than to be by my side. And when you say it like you say it, Love, your smile makes it easy to oblige. All the hurting and the flirting that I thought would never end. If you were holding my hand. Oh Brother can we please go back? I miss the river and the railroad track. I gotta know if it all still means what I thought it did when I was seventeen.
Was born a winner now I live to lose. And every day is up and down, like the price of gasoline. And go limping home to Caroline, where the rain will fall and the sun will shine. Nobody else can tell you what it takes. You put your heart on a shelf or you let it break. The rain came down with the thunder and the lightning. I do believe that we will pay for our mistakes. But the songs we sing together are the ones that bring me home.
Google, Apple, and Facebook provide my rolling Rolodex. So in preparation for the week, I export all my contacts from Google, which amounts to a shocking 8, people.
Step Into My World: The Hell No One Knows
The silence causes my mind to wander more than usual. Sometimes this leads to ideas for my half-finished zombie novel or inspires a new question for investigation. But more often than not, I dwell on things I need to do. Many of these things are a lot more challenging as a result of the experiment, such as when I record an interview with Alex Goldman of the podcast Reply All about Facebook and its privacy problems.
That works fine, but when it comes time to send the MB audio file to Alex, I realize I have no idea how to send a huge file over the internet. Other file-sharing sites also rely on the tech giants for web hosting services. He also does marketing work for Purism, the company that makes my laptop. I know this one actually. My friend Micah Lee, a technologist for the Intercept, made it. Unfortunately, when I go to Onionshare.
Countless apps and websites rely on the digital infrastructure provided by AWS, and none of them are working for me this week. He has to walk me through it step-by-step, but it works. There are workarounds for services offered by the tech giants, but they take extra research to find and are often more difficult to use. I wind up in strange parts of the internet, using Ask.
But Ask. Some strange things are delightful: I discover that my Nokia phone can play the radio, so when I go running, I listen to NPR instead of my usual go-tos: Spotify, a podcast, or an audiobook. Something not delightful is my Nokia 's camera; it takes terrible, dark photos. I start using a physical calendar to keep track of my schedule. I had assumed that the phones were for parents who wanted their kids to have phones sans a pipeline to social media and apps. Many people I talk to about this experiment liken it to digital veganism. Digital vegans reject certain technology services as unethical; they discriminate about the products they use and the data they consume and share, because information is power, and increasingly a handful of companies seem to have it all.
Step Into My World: The Hell No One Knows by G. Mousel Jones (Paperback, 2012)
And there are definitely costs to the choice. Gillmor teaches digital hygiene classes where he tries to get people to think about their privacy and security. He usually starts the class by asking people if they know when their phones are communicating with cell towers. He wants people to think about their own data trails but also when they are creating data trails for other people, such as when a person uploads their contacts to a technology service —sharing information with the service that those contacts might not want shared.
If you have to fill out your timesheet with an app only available on iPhone or Android, you better have one of those to get paid.
Gillmor wants lawmakers to step in, but he also thinks it can be addressed technologically, by pushing for interoperable systems like we have for phone numbers and email. And you can take your phone number to a different carrier if you want thanks to lawmaker intervention. And Apple would need to let you Facetime an Android user. No one wants to give the keys out when they have customer lock-in. My friend Katie is in town from New York; we have plans to meet for dinner one night at a restaurant near my house, an event marked on my physical calendar. An Ivy League professor tells me he regularly employs a Google blocker.
People under 35 are intrigued and sometimes jealous of life without a smartphone; people over 35 just seem nostalgic. One night, I run into Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle, who is delighted to hear about the block. It was impossible. He wound up getting a inch [computer] monitor. If you want one, you need to be technically savvy and install a custom operating system on special phone models.
That will hopefully change soon, with commercial offerings on the horizon from Eelo and Purism. In the past, I would have assumed that idealistic projects like these were doomed, but there seems to be a heightened awareness these days of the dystopia created by the tech giants. Everywhere I look, I see criticism of the Frightful Five. Try living without it. A Vice writer gives all the giants up for a month but not as rigorously as I did.
The tech giants laid down all the basic infrastructure for our data to be trafficked. They got us to put our information into public profiles, to carry tracking devices in our pockets, and to download apps to those tracking devices that secretly siphon data from them. The tech giants were long revered for making the world more connected, making information more accessible, and making commerce easier and cheaper.
Now, suddenly, they are the targets of anger for assisting the spread of propaganda and misinformation, making us dangerously dependent on their services, and turning our personal information into the currency of a surveillance economy. It too is full of calls to re-immerse ourselves in the natural world and not get too caught up in the distractions of modern life.
But, because it was published in , it warns people to get away from work and newspapers rather than smart devices and screens. Khan is in New York doing an academic fellowship at Columbia University where she is working on more papers. Right before I call her, I see a tweet from a video producer at the Washington Post who got bombarded with baby ads after she had a stillborn delivery. I recount the story to Khan at the beginning of our call and say that this type of anger seems to be on the rise.
If users had been told that the price for access would be near-total surveillance, would they have agreed?