The Opt Out Weblog

The Blog for Garrick van Buren's 'Opt-Out: The Survival Guide for This Modern Age' Book

Month: May, 2012


“I see Google as solving legitimately difficult technological problems, not doing stupid things like cloning Facebook. Google, in my opinion, lost sight of what was important when they went down this rabbit hole.” – Spencer Tipping

EFF’s Computer Owner’s Bill of Rights

Installation of arbitrary applications on the device.If the user wishes to, they should not be limited to what is included in one particular proprietary “app store.” Access to the phone OS at the root/superuser/hypervisor/administrator level.If consumers wish to examine the low-level code that is running in their pockets, to check for invasions of privacy, run […]


Facebook currently derives 82 percent of its revenue from advertising. Most of that is the desultory ticky-tacky kind that litters the right side of people’s Facebook profiles. Some is the kind of sponsorship that promises users further social relationships with companies: a kind of marketing that General Motors just announced it would no longer buy. […]

John Cleese on Creativity

“…You have to create some space for yourself away from [your usual] demands. That means sealing yourself off…” – John Cleese


“Perhaps one of the biggest advancements technology can make in our lives comes when we realize the power of simply turning it off for a while.” – James Shelley (ht patrickrhone) Personally, I keep my phone not in my pocket, but in my bag with the rest of my connectivity gadgets. When it’s charging on […]

Everything Was Breakin’

Neal Conan: “You had solar panels (on your sailboat) for electricy.” Matt Rutherford: “I did, but they broke.” Neal: “They broke?” Matt: “One by one.” Neal: “I think you had a Kindle for reading books.” Matt: “I did. It broke in a storm.” If there’s a better betrayal of the weakness of our modern, connected, […]

CD-ROMs Part 2

“And Technology Review? We sold 353 subscriptions through the iPad. We never discovered how to avoid the necessity of designing both landscape and portrait versions of the magazine for the app. We wasted $124,000 on outsourced software development. We fought amongst ourselves, and people left the company. There was untold expense of spirit. I hated […]

Really Simple Sensationalism

“I strongly believe the contemporary fetish of liking and sharing cheapens the way we consume our information. Don’t get me wrong, I do see value in community driven content, but there’s also a lot of dirt and sensationalism. Some days it feels like I’m reading the front page of a cheap tabloid.” – Jef Claes


“We found that when you remove email from workers’ lives, they multitask less and experience less stress” – Gloria Marks

The Greatest Minds of My Generation

“I found it most interesting that people stopped complaining because the engineers found a good way for people to waste their time.” – John Bernier “The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads…That sucks.” – Jeff Hammerbacher