Rainy Streets


Mike Caulfield's wikified notes and bookmarks.

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Facebook Censored Death Threats [...]

Automating community policing leads to horrible community policing decisions. > On Sunday morning, I awoke to an email from a Donald Trump supporter that contained a threat to my life. I have received such threats before and will surely continue to get them. But this one was especially graphic and specific and has required me to consult with law enforcement—a nightm...

 

Scale of Misinformation on Facebook [...]

> Last week Buzzfeed reported on an entire cottage industry of web users in Macedonia generating fake news stories related to Trump vs Clinton in order to inject them into Facebook’s Newsfeed as a way to drive viral views and generate ad revenue from lucrative US eyeballs. > > This enterprise has apparently been wildly successful for the teens involved, with some a...

 

Popped [...]

> The Facebook bubble just popped. Half the country today is still in shock. Reality crashed down and many were presented with a world that didn’t match up with the one they’ve inhabited in the months leading up to the U.S. election.As it turns out, that was Facebook’s world....

 

The Missing White Voters [...]

> After the 2012 election, the conservative-leaning analyst Sean Trende raised one potent counterargument. Obama won, he claimed, in large part because a lot of white voters simply didn’t show up. If a Republican nominee could mobilize them and get them to turn out, the party could wage a comeback without fixing its problems with black and Latino voters.Trende did n...

 

What Exit Polls Are [...]

> One thing that’s important to know is that exit polls are primarily conducted to learn how different demographic groups actually voted. The press needs content to fill the airwaves after the voting is done, and political organizations need to know who to p̶a̶n̶d̶e̶r̶ reach out to in the next election. And political organizations in particular want that infor...

 

The Cure for Fake News [...]

> It does not augur well for the future. Martin Baron, the Washington Post executive editor, said when we spoke last week, “If you have a society where people can’t agree on basic facts, how do you have a functioning democracy?”The cure for fake journalism is an overwhelming dose of good journalism. And how well the news media gets through its postelection hango...

 

The Fake News and The Real News Bust [...]

> In the last couple of weeks, Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets have exposed millions of Americans to false stories asserting that: the Clinton campaign’s pollster, Joel Benenson, wrote a secret memo detailing plans to “salvage” Hillary Clinton’s candidacy by launching a radiological attack to halt voting (merrily shared on Twitter by Roger Sto...

 

Beck’s Sham [...]

> Beck went on, “What’s most tragic about this is us. We have, as a culture, embraced the bad guys. I love Tony Soprano. But, when a Tony Soprano shows up in your life, you don’t love him so much. > > “We’ve made everything into a game show,” he said, “and now we’re reaping the consequences of it.” Some of this may be Beck’s own doing. Trump’s c...

 

Writing a Book Proposal [...]

...

 

Baltimore Gazette [...]

> The Baltimore Gazette, a newspaper that existed very briefly just after the Civil War, has returned online as a site to spread fake news stories and other nonsense. > > One article in particular, "ATLANTA OFFICER KILLS BLACK WOMAN, INJURES CHILD, FOLLOWING BREASTFEEDING ARGUMENT," caught the attention of the online sleuths at Snopes.com after it apparently went vi...

 

Denver Guardian [...]

> This false story is one of thousands of fake news stories being circulated around Facebook by fly-by-night “hyperpartisan” sites this election cycle, according an investigation by Buzzfeed News. > > A second investigation showed that many of the sites spreading the fake news have been created by teens in Macedonia looking to profit off of supporters (and detrac...

 

Reagan Fact Checks [...]

> In the 1980s, journalists fact-checked Ronald Reagan, “who came to the White House with a well-established reputation for error and exaggeration,” in Graves’s words. Newspapers, particularly The Washington Post, truth-squadded every one of Reagan’s news conferences until readers demonstrated so little concern that the paper backed off, according to former Po...

 

Balkan Trump Factory [...]

> “This is the news of the millennium!” said the story on WorldPoliticus.com. Citing unnamed FBI sources, it claimed Hillary Clinton will be indicted in 2017 for crimes related to her email scandal. > “Your Prayers Have Been Answered,” declared the headline. > For Trump supporters, that certainly seemed to be the case. They helped the baseless story generate o...

 

The 9/11 Deniers [...]

> According to Dylan Avery, a 22-year-old filmmaker in upstate New York, no terrorists hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, and no passengers heroically revolted. The plane didn’t even crash in that Shanksville, Penn., field, he says, but instead landed safely in Cleveland. And not only that. As Avery sees it, the true 9/11 attackers ...

 

New World Order Trump Ad [...]

> This is more than just the typical anti-establishment message of a “Washington outsider.” It’s a direct reference to a virulent conspiracy theory at the core of the far-right, anti-government “Patriot” militia movement. > > Adherents of the conspiracy theory believe that the US government is secretly in cahoots with a shady global cabal known as the New W...

 

Digital Camera Decline [...]

Digital cameras lived as a complement to cameraphones for a couple years, then not so much. They are an example of how technology moves from "used-with" to "used-instead-of". Digital camera growth exploded as the first smartphones wave hit (2007-2010), but declined under broader adoption (2011-present). From Digital Camera Decline is an example of [[Gradually, the...

 

Satanist Dinner [...]

> A WikiLeaks-released email in which Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s brother invites him to dinner at the house of a well-known performance artist has prompted more than 400,000 tweets of a trending Twitter hashtag, a huge Drudge Report headline and a ton of right-wing news items, all claiming that the email proves a secret link between the Clinton camp...

 

Pockets of Polarization [...]

> On Twitter, for instance, people who tweet about politics tend to tweet primarily at and with people who belong to the same party, creating what one team of researchers called “pockets of political polarization.” (A 2014 study suggested such pockets could become less polarized as they tweeted with other groups, but the jury’s still out on that one.) On Faceboo...

 

How Facebook Conspiracy Spreads [...]

> he paper, titled “The spreading of misinformation online,” comes from researchers at Boston University and several prominent Italian institutions. It draws on five years of posts from 67 public Facebook pages, roughly half devoted to conspiracy theories and half about science news, plus two unrelated pages that served as a control group. After analyzing that cor...

 

Conspiracy Theory on Facebook [...]

> In a 2013 report summarizing global challenges, the World Economic Forum singled out "massive digital misinformation" as "one of the main risks for the modern society." Social networks may be structurally optimized for sharing; their structures, however, don't tend to distinguish between good information and bad. Which means that sites like Facebook aren't just a g...

 

It’s Why You Put Saline Solution in an IV [...]

When people get dehydrated, or when they need an intravenous drug they are given an IV with a saline solution. Why is this? Well, consider that your blood is pretty salty, and the blood cells in the solution that is your blood are used to that salinity. Think a minute what would happen to the blood cells if suddenly they were surrounded by a hypotonic solution (disti...

 

The Negative Impact of Solutes on Water Potential [...]

Chorus Title: What is solute potential? Response Title: It's the Negative Impact of Solutes on Water Potential I know, fascinating right? But there are a couple of things to note here. Other explanations of solute potential often mention that "osmosis wants to equalize the saltiness" on two sides of a membrane. But when we say "want" in terms of physical processes, we...

 

It’s Why Slugs Melt [...]

Chorus Title: What is solute potential? Response Title: It's Why Slugs Melt Maybe as a kid you were horrible (many kids are) and you tortured slugs in the back yard by putting salt on them and watching them shrivel up. Or maybe as a kid at the lake you were latched onto by leeches that were horrible (most leeches are) and you watched with amazement as you mom slayed t...

 

DigiLit and Adobe [...]

> So whilst the overall conclusions and  recommendations are actually pretty sensible. The undertone of “smart “ collaborations, technology companies leading the way, buying a suite of “creative” products to allow students to be “makers” troubles me greatly. Buying into a system doesn’t automagically make you, or a University digitally literate or cre...

 

Bird-Dogging [...]

Bird-dogging is a technique whereby activists get political candidates on the record about their position on an issue or call attention to an issue through questions asked at public campaign events. The term comes from the analogy of a bird-dog, which tracks down birds by scent. In the metaphor, candidates for office often want to conceal their positions on controvers...

 

The Reason Retweets Kill Truth [...]

> Once we know about the effect we can guard against it. Part of this is double-checking why we believe what we do – if something sounds plausible is it because it really is true, or have we just been told that repeatedly? This is why scholars are so mad about providing references - so we can track the origin on any claim, rather than having to take it on faith. > ...

 

Relying on How Often You’ve Heard Something [...]

> The next question has to be, why might that be? The answer is to do with the effort it takes to being rigidly logical about every piece of information you hear. If every time you heard something you assessed it against everything you already knew, you'd still be thinking about breakfast at supper-time. Because we need to make quick judgements, we adopt shortcuts –...

 

Fazio Experiment [...]

> Recently, a team led by Lisa Fazio of Vanderbilt University set out to test how the illusion of truth effect interacts with our prior knowledge. Would it affect our existing knowledge? They used paired true and un-true statements, but also split their items according to how likely participants were to know the truth (so "The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean on Ear...

 

Familiarity Creates Feeling of Truth [...]

> “Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth”, is a law of propaganda often attributed to the Nazi Joseph Goebbels. Among psychologists something like this known as the "illusion of truth" effect. Here's how a typical experiment on the effect works: participants rate how true trivia items are, things like "A prune is a dried plum". Sometimes these items a...

 

A Reality TV of Criminal Investigation [...]

> "We now have real-time, raw-take transparency taken to its illogical limit, a kind of reality TV of federal criminal investigation. Perhaps worst of all, it is happening on the eve of a presidential election. It is antithetical to the interests of justice, putting a thumb on the scale of this election and damaging our democracy," Gorelick and Johnson wrote in The Wa...

 

Franklin Dissection [...]

A method for becoming a better writer. > Here it is again: > > Take good writing and jot short notes for each sentence. > Put the notes aside and come back in a few days. > Try to “rewrite” the piece using only the notes (and in your own words). > Compare with the original and correct your faults. >...

 

Making Snapchat More Addictive [...]

> You can still save snaps and Stories to your camera roll, but the tools inside Memories will give you a chance to edit your old stuff and push it out again. You’ll even be able to combine that stuff with photos and videos from your camera roll. (Think of the #TBT options!) This update will make Snapchat feel a little less raw and in-the-moment, and a little more p...

 

Snapchat Worse Than Facebook [...]

Snapchat is more reckless with addictive features than Facebook. > Currently, though, the trend is toward deeper manipulation in ever more sophisticated forms. Harris fears that Snapchat’s tactics for hooking users make Facebook’s look quaint. Facebook automatically tells a message’s sender when the recipient reads the note—a design choice that, per Fogg’s ...

 

Alt-Right Red Pill [...]

Red Pill politics posits not just that liberalism is wrong, but that it is a closed system that once debunked falls away completely as a worldview. > Years later, Spencer would through his Radix Journal help spread a metaphor used to explain the jarring experience of waking up to a different worldview. In the 1999 movie The Matrix, the character Morpheus (who is black...

 

Spiral of Facebook Silence [...]

Facebook interactions, like face-to-face interactions, are highly influenced by by expectations of agreement. What gets shared is what people think others will agree with. >Previous ‘spiral of silence’ findings as to people’s willingness to speak up in various settings also apply to social media users. Those who use Facebook were more willing to share their vie...

 

Bodies Go Meh [...]

We become bored when presented by urban design that doesn't change as we walk down the street. > In 2011, Ellard led small groups on carefully planned Lower East Side walks to measure the effect of the urban environment on their bodies and minds. Participants recorded their response to questions at each stopping point and wore sensors that measured skin conductance, a...

 

Liberty Alliance [...]

> Many of these political news pages will likely find their cachet begin to evaporate after Nov. 8. But one company, the Liberty Alliance, may have found a way to create something sustainable and even potentially transformational, almost entirely within the ecosystem of Facebook. The Georgia-based firm was founded by Brandon Vallorani, formerly of Answers in Genesis, ...

 

The Hidden Public Square [...]

> For now, the network hums along, mostly beneath the surface. A post from a Liberty Alliance page might find its way in front of a left-leaning user who might disagree with it or find it offensive, and who might choose to engage with the friend who posted it directly. But otherwise, such news exists primarily within the feeds of the already converted, its authorship ...

 

Page Operators and Their Mobs [...]

Page operators of political clickbait sites look down on their mobs: > Terry Littlepage, an internet marketer based in Las Cruces, N.M., has taken this model even further. He runs a collection of about 50 politically themed Facebook pages with names like The American Patriot and My Favorite Gun, which push visitors to a half-dozen external websites, stocked with conte...

 

Phillipine Chop-shop [...]

Make America Great, a Trump-supporting clickbait shop, outsources content to a Phillipines-based team: > Then, of course, there’s the content, which, at a few dozen posts a day, Nicoloff is far too busy to produce himself. “I have two people in the Philippines who post for me,” Nicoloff said, “a husband-and-wife combo.” From 9 a.m. Eastern time to midnight, ...

 

Not Activists, Businesspeople [...]

Hyperpartisan Clickbait sites are often run by businesspeople not activists. > Each day, according to Facebook’s analytics, posts from the Make America Great page are seen by 600,000 to 1.7 million people. In July, articles posted to the page, which has about 450,000 followers, were shared, commented on or liked more than four million times, edging out, for example,...

 

Clicking on Web of Khan Lies [...]

> Readers who clicked through to the story were led to an external website, called Make America Great Today, where they were presented with a brief write-up blended almost seamlessly into a solid wall of fleshy ads. Khan, the story said — between ads for “(1) Odd Trick to ‘Kill’ Herpes Virus for Good” and “22 Tank Tops That Aren’t Covering Anything” ...

 

Less a Partner Than a Context [...]

> From the start, some publishers cautiously regarded Facebook as a resource to be used only to the extent that it supported their existing businesses, wary of giving away more than they might get back. Others embraced it more fully, entering into formal partnerships for revenue sharing and video production, as The New York Times has done. Some new-media start-ups, mo...

 

Facebook’s Rise as a News Broker [...]

> In retrospect, Facebook’s takeover of online media looks rather like a slow-motion coup. Before social media, web publishers could draw an audience one of two ways: through a dedicated readership visiting its home page or through search engines. By 2009, this had started to change. Facebook had more than 300 million users, primarily accessing the service through d...

 

Occupy Democrats and the Meme War [...]

> Now that the nomination contest is over, Rivero has turned to making anti-Trump content. A post from earlier this month got straight to the point: “Donald Trump is unqualified, unstable and unfit to lead. Share if you agree!” More than 40,000 people did. > “It’s like a meme war,” Rivero says, “and politics is being won and lost on social media.”...

 

Sanders Was the Facebook Candidate [...]

Donald Trump was the Twitter candidate, but Bernie Sanders may have been the Facebook candidate. >Rafael Rivero is an acquaintance of Provost’s who, with his twin brother, Omar, runs a page called Occupy Democrats, which passed three million followers in June. This accelerating growth is attributed by Rivero, and by nearly every left-leaning page operator I spoke wi...

 

Facebook Native Political Pages [...]

> This year, political content has become more popular all across the platform: on homegrown Facebook pages, through media companies with a growing Facebook presence and through the sharing habits of users in general. But truly Facebook-native political pages have begun to create and refine a new approach to political news: cherry-picking and reconstituting the most e...

 

Provost / US UnCut [...]

> In 2006, when Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of college to run his rapidly expanding start-up, Mark Provost was a student at Rogers State University in Claremore, Okla., and going through a rough patch. He had transferred restlessly between schools, and he was taking his time to graduate; a stock-picking hobby that grew into a promising source of income had fallen apar...

 

Facebook Website Ecosystem [...]

> But there’s also a new and distinctive sort of operation that has become hard to miss: political news and advocacy pages made specifically for Facebook, uniquely positioned and cleverly engineered to reach audiences exclusively in the context of the news feed. These are news sources that essentially do not exist outside of Facebook, and you’ve probably never hea...

 

Malware Business Models for Fake Sites [...]

> The vast majority of fake news sites exist in order to earn money from display ads placed on article pages. If the hoaxes drive traffic to the site, they make money. But I’ve recently seen two other ways scammers are using fake news articles to generate revenue. > > The sites hosting the fake terrorist attack hoaxes detailed above weren’t trying to make money...

 

Real News As Camoflauge [...]

> One of the most alarming trends with fake news sites over the last year is that some of them have started mixing in articles about actual events with their hoaxes. I first saw this on long-time hoaxer Paul Horner’s site, News Examiner. As the above image shows, he’ll publish a fake story about Obama banning the Pledge of Allegiance right next to a real story abo...

 

Domain Dopplegangers [...]

> More and more fake news sites are popping up which use domain names similar to actual news sites: CNNInternationalNews.com, World-BBC-News.com, BBC-Breaking-News.gq, CBCNews.gq, and many more. Because they infringe on the trademark, and often the copyright, of real news brands these sites don’t stay online for long. But all they need is a few days and a really bi...

 

Celebrity Move as Hoax Recipe [...]

> Another variation on the local viral hoax are the websites that publish fake stories about celebrities moving to a specific place in the US or Canada, or about a celebrity saying nice things about a city or town. > > This hoax about Leonardo DiCaprio moving to Hempstead, New York has racked up over 16,000 likes, shares and comments on Facebook. And this one about J...

 

Local Hoaxing [...]

> One approach, which I recently detailed in this story, involves scammers creating multiple copies of the same hoax article about a terrorist attack killing multiple people in a city. Each article is then edited to cite a different city, with the rest of the text and headline left exactly the same. > > The hoaxers publish the articles on one or several websites and ...

 

The God Complex [...]

> Economics writer Tim Harford studies complex systems — and finds a surprising link among the successful ones: they were built through trial and error. In this sparkling talk from TEDGlobal 2011, he asks us to embrace our randomness and start making better mistakes....

 

True Rumors Resolved Faster [...]

Part of the problem is that true rumors can be corroborated quickly, but false rumors take time to debunk. The delay between introduction and debunking allows the false rumor to spread. >True rumours tend to be resolved faster than false rumours. Our study shows a significant difference in terms of the time it takes before true and false rumours are resolved respect...

 

Unverified Rumor on Twitter [...]

>In these figures, we can observe that tweets reporting unverified rumours are more widely spread; the percentages of unverified tweets range from 30.73% of the retweets in Ebola/Essien, to 100% of the retweets in the Putin missing story. >Retweets of inaccurate reports are especially remarkable in the Ferguson unrest (26.78%) and the Ebola/Essien hoax (69.27%). Retwe...

 

Pearl Harbor Rumors [...]

Allport undertook early investigations [Allport and Postman, 1946, Allport and Postman, 1947] in the context of wartime rumours. He posited the importance of studying rumours, emphasising that “newsworthy events are likely to breed rumors” and that “the amount of rumor in circulation will vary with the importance of the subject to the individuals involved times ...

 

Alarming Rate of Facebook Page Disinformation [...]

> Hyperpartisan political Facebook pages and websites are consistently feeding their millions of followers false or misleading information, according to an analysis by BuzzFeed News. The review of more than 1,000 posts from six large hyperpartisan Facebook pages selected from the right and from the left also found that the least accurate pages generated some of the hi...

 

Elimination of Trending Stories Team [...]

> Quartz confirmed from multiple sources that Facebook has laid off the entire editorial staff on the Trending team—15-18 workers contracted through a third party. The Trending team will now be staffed entirely by engineers, who will work to check that topics and articles surfaced by the algorithms are newsworthy. > Facebook maintains that trending items have always...

 

Safe but Incremental [...]

> This challenge is not new. Physicist-turned-structural biologist Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, who is president of the Royal Society, worked for several years in a job with funding that was contingent on a steady stream of publications. This forced him to ask safe but incremental questions. To pursue what became his Nobel-prizewinning work (on the structure of the ribos...

 

Eve and Embedded Code [...]

> The first difference you'll notice is that programs look more like word documents than code files. Eve is designed for "literate programming" - instead of comments embedded in code, code is embedded in a document. > > This gives us the freedom to organize our programs based on how we actually think, not how the code will be compiled. We can group blocks based on fu...

 

Xiaoice vs. Tay [...]

> Your rudeness invites their underperformance. Abuse bespeaks a hostile work environment that undermines how bots learn. Microsoft’s Tay offers a painfully superb — and superbly painful — real-world case study of how networked abuse shapes UX. Less than a day after Microsoft research released its unsupervised machine learning twitterbot, Tay became a “chatbot...

 

Abusing Bots [...]

> But because humans don’t (yet) attach agency or intelligence to their devices, they’re remarkably uninhibited about abusing them. Both academic research and anecdotal observation on man/machine interfaces suggest raised voices and vulgar comments are more common than not. It’s estimated that about 10% to 50% of interactions are abusive, according to Dr. Sheryl...

 

Gmail Alarm Fatigue [...]

> Google acquired Harris’s company in 2011, and he ended up working on Gmail’s Inbox app. (He’s quick to note that while he was there, it was never an explicit goal to increase time spent on Gmail.) A year into his tenure, Harris grew concerned about the failure to consider how seemingly minor design choices, such as having phones buzz with each new email, would...

 

Behaviorism and Devices [...]

> ll this talk of hacking human psychology could sound paranoid, if Harris had not witnessed the manipulation firsthand. Raised in the Bay Area by a single mother employed as an advocate for injured workers, Harris spent his childhood creating simple software for Macintosh computers and writing fan mail to Steve Wozniak, a co-founder of Apple. He studied computer scie...

 

Roots of Smartphone Addiction [...]

> While some blame our collective tech addiction on personal failings, like weak willpower, Harris points a finger at the software itself. That itch to glance at our phone is a natural reaction to apps and websites engineered to get us scrolling as frequently as possible. The attention economy, which showers profits on companies that seize our focus, has kicked off wh...

 

False Beliefs on Voter Fraud [...]

> We also found that 43 percent of Republicans believe people vote under the names of registered voters who have died, and that 36 percent believe that election officials are manipulating vote totals. We did not find very many people who believe double-voting — or someone voting twice — is common. On the other hand, rhetoric about voter suppression is not resonati...

 

Patient Zero Was Really Patient “O” [...]

> For decades, Gaétan Dugas, a Canadian flight attendant who was gay and HIV-positive, was vilified as “patient zero” in the arrival of HIV in the United States. This week, that 1980s legacy is being revised — Dugas never deserved the label at all. Scientists have pushed back against this idea for years, and researchers published a paper Wednesday in the journa...

 

Alt-Right’s Overton Window [...]

> "I still feel like we are faking it until we make it," he confesses. "I mean, in some ways, you've got to fucking fake it. You have to project success and project power and kind of make it a self-fulfilling prophecy, but I do have this fear that it's not going to ultimately get to that. We've gotten over the first hurdle, which is ignorance [of the alt-right], and n...

 

The American Conservative Magazine and Spencer [...]

> After dropping out of Duke, Spencer remained preoccupied with race while at The American Conservative, where he became an editor in 2007. Since its founding in 2002 by the paleoconservative and erstwhile presidential candidate Pat Buchanan and others, TAC had given voice to a ragtag group of Iraq War opponents, protectionists, anti-immigration activists, and Ron Pau...

 

The Alt-Right Rises [...]

> For years, Spencer's "identitarian" movement barely flickered in the dark corners of the internet on sites such as Reddit and 4chan. But Trump's ascendancy was like kerosene dumped on a brushfire. From day one, the Republican insurgent sounded themes dear to the alt-right—his official campaign launch in the lobby of Trump Tower in June 2015, when he vowed to crack...

 

Introduction of the Facebook News Feed [...]

> There has been an overwhelmingly negative public response to Facebook’s launch of two new products yesterday. The products, called News Feed and Mini Feed, allow users to get a quick view of what their friends are up to, including relationship changes, groups joined, pictures uploaded, etc., in a streaming news format. > Many tens of thousands of Facebook users ar...

 

The Cyber-Sickness of Chain Email [...]

> Let me put the matter bluntly: an awful lot of the e-mailed messages zipping around the Internet are lies and too many are being sent on by gullible, lazy friends who ought to know better. > > These falsehoods are multiplying like viruses as recipients forward them to their entire list of friends without making the slightest effort to verify what's being claim...

 

Popular = False in Chain Emails [...]

> We’ve noticed that the more times something is forwarded, the more likely it is to be false. We suggested this perverse theory when we threw cold water on the claim that the United Kingdom, or the University of Kentucky, had stopped teaching about the Holocaust. E-mails about Obama, for instance, have been particularly popular – they now rank as No. 3 on Snopes....

 

Dark Facebook [...]

> “I AM not a number. I am a free man!” was the famous cry of prisoner Number Six, who could never escape his Kafkaesque village on the 1960s television show “The Prisoner.” This is a prescient cry for an era when numbers follow us everywhere. Jim Messina, the victorious Obama campaign manager, probably agrees that you are not a number. That’s because you ar...

 

Vandalism is Rare on Wikipedia [...]

> But most edits are constructive, and vandalism occurs in only 7 percent of them, according to a group of researchers from the University of California at Santa Cruz, Polytechnic University of Valencia and the University of Pennsylvania. > > Among their findings: Most vandalism happens during school and office hours....

 

Distrust of Data [...]

> Like Claudia Sahm, I was struck by polling results indicating that around half of Trump supporters completely distrust official data — although maybe a bit less surprised, since I’ve been living in that world for years. In particular, the failure of high inflation to materialize led quite a few people on the right side of the political spectrum — including the...

 

Shame Scams [...]

> A half hour later I get a message on Facebook. "Listen," it says, "I'm a man, and I recorded a video of you masturbating. Do you want to see it?" He sends me the video. It's about five minutes of me masturbating. > > "I have a list of your friends and family from Facebook - your mum, your sister, your cousins," he says. "You have one week to send me to send me 5,00...

 

Amazon’s OER Project Ran Afoul of Copyright [...]

> Amazon, currently testing its new education platform, Amazon Inspire, is another company poised to step into this role. The company’s resource-sharing resembles Teachers Pay Teachers and is comprised only of free and openly licensed materials. Rohit Agarwal, Amazon’s director of education, estimates that teachers spend an average of 12 hours a week searching for...

 

Lesson Plans vs. Materials [...]

> Tracee Orman, an Erie, Illinois, high-school English teacher who creates materials about contemporary books like The Hunger Games, is concerned that the GoOpen campaign’s call for teachers to share resources freely reflects a general misunderstanding among policymakers of the difference between lesson plans and the materials the teacher uses as part of the lesson ...

 

Hospitable OER [...]

> But then I sat at my desk, trying to open up shop, flipping through countless resources that I was truly proud to teach, and realized that not one of them could be shared without some serious editing. What I hadn’t understood before this tentative jump into the broader sharing economy was that making assignments is so much about personalization. Much of my work al...

 

Oversampled Nonsense [...]

> A while back, hackers linked to the Russian government stole a cache of emails from Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta and furnished them to WikiLeaks. One of those emails has generated a lot of interest in conservative circles because — conservatives say — it shows that polls are being systematically biased in Clinton’s favor. > > In the email, Thom...

 

Vetocracy [...]

> Francis Fukuyama > I coined a phrase in the book — “vetocracy,” meaning “rule by veto.” And the broader argument is that the American political system has always made it very hard for the government to actually do things because it gives a lot of parts of the political system veto rights over what the system does....

 

Facebook Denial [...]

> Facebook executives once again Tuesday rejected the notion that the social media giant is a de facto media company. > “Facebook is a platform,” COO Sheryl Sandberg said on stage at the WSJ.D Live conference. The website has come under increased scrutiny of late following controversial decisions to censor or allow content that some users deemed offensive. The iss...

 

Lügenpresse [...]

> BERLIN — When a video of two Donald Trump supporters shouting “Lügenpresse” (lying press) started to circulate Sunday, viewers from Germany soon noted its explosive nature. The defamatory word was most frequently used in Nazi Germany. Today, it is a common slogan among those branded as representing the “ugly Germany”: members of xenophobic, right-wing gro...

 

Open Textbook Data [...]

> The second-best source available on actual student expenditures on textbooks and course materials is the bi-annual survey from the Florida Virtual Campus (FLVC), which serves Florida’s state colleges, universities, and K-12 districts. Two weeks ago they released the third survey “2016 Student Textbook and Course Materials Survey”, a study of more than 22,000 s...

 

GAB.ai [...]

> Twitter has cracked down on the racist alt-right movement in the past year and banished many white supremacist leaders from the site. This has left the internet’s top trolls in search of a new way to connect with their followers. They may have found it at GAB.ai, a new social network platform with zero restrictions on free speech. Elle Reeve reports....

 

Stresses of Online Political Discourse [...]

> A majority of Republicans and Democrats say the 2016 election is a significant source of stress for them right now, according to a recent American Psychological Association poll. They should probably log off Facebook and Twitter. A new survey from the Pew Research Center suggests — in a result that will surprise precisely zero political reporters who tweet — tha...

 

Fastest Growing Counties Turn Out To Be Small [...]

> Republicans often push a contrary argument: that the fastest growing counties in the country, for instance, went overwhelmingly for Bush in 2000. But Judis and Teixeira show why this argument is based on a crude error of statistical analysis. (That, or a tendentious interpretation.) The fastest growing counties in percentage terms turn out - not surprisingly - to be...

 

Rats and Tools [...]

> Rats have been filmed for the first time using hooked tools to get chocolate cereal – a manifestation of their critter intelligence. > > Akane Nagano and Kenjiro Aoyama, of Doshisha University in Kyotanabe, Japan, placed eight brown rats in a transparent box and trained them to pull small hooked tools to obtain the cereal that was otherwise beyond their reach. > ...

 

Wikipedia Can Save the Internet [...]

> Thanks to the Web, we are able to cocoon ourselves among like-minded people and like-minded facts. Instead of finding common ground, we shout across the ideological divide — and in nastiest ways possible, because the distance of online discourse dissociates us from the consequences of our own speech. > > It’s downright startling, then, to observe what happens b...

 

Wikileaks Useful Idiot [...]

> Assange would not, in my view, ever knowingly be a willing tool of the Russian state: If Putin came and gave him a set of orders, they’d be ignored. But if an anonymous or pseudonymous group came offering anti-Clinton leaks, they’d have found a host happy not to ask too many awkward questions: He’s set up almost perfectly to post them and to push for them to h...

 

Assange Rape Charges [...]

> Those who have faced the greatest torments are, of course, the two women who accused Assange of sexual offences in Sweden in the summer of 2010. The details of what happened over those few days remain a matter for the Swedish justice system, not speculation, but having seen and heard Assange and those around him discuss the case, having read out the court documents,...

 

WIkileaks NDA [...]

> There are few limits to how far Assange will go to try to control those around him. Those working at WikiLeaks – a radical transparency organisation based on the idea that all power must be accountable – were asked to sign a sweeping nondisclosure agreement covering all conversations, conduct, and material, with Assange having sole power over disclosure. The pen...

 

Assange and Women [...]

> Conversely, Assange often trusts strangers more than those he knows well: He dislikes taking advice, he dislikes anyone else having a power base, and he dislikes being challenged – especially by women. He runs his own show his own way, and won’t delegate. He’s happy to play on the conspiratorial urges of others, with little sign as to whether or not he believe...

 

Lies of Wikileaks [...]

> What’s often underestimated is his gift for bullshit. Assange can, and does, routinely tell obvious lies: WikiLeaks has deep and involved procedures; WikiLeaks was founded by a group of 12 activists, primarily from China; Israel Shamir never had cables; we have received information that [insert name of WikiLeaks critic] has ties to US intelligence. > At times, the...

 

Wikileaks and Russia [...]

> Anti-Semitism never seemed a major part of Assange’s agenda – I never heard him say a remark I caught as problematic in this way – but it was something he was happy to conveniently ignore in others. Support for Russia or its strongmen eastern European allies was much the same: tolerable for those who otherwise are allies of WikiLeaks and do as Assange says. > ...

 

Wikileaks and Israel Shamir [...]

> This shows in some of his supporters. A few days after Assange arrived with me and a few others at Ellingham Hall, an older man, introduced to us as “Adam”, turned up. Assange had invited independent freelance journalists from around the world to the country house to see cables relating to their country – usually no more than a few thousand at a time. > “Ada...

 

Hostile and Benevolent Sexism [...]

> Hostile sexism is basically what it sounds like — aggressive, explicit, sometimes violent misogyny couched in the belief that men and women are locked in some sort of perpetual, zero-sum conflict. In this view, women are always trying to get one over on men, trying to snake their way into special treatment and advantages. Glick and Fiske have developed survey ques...