FB wants to be a news product that takes editorial actions without being accountable for editorial decisions. Third-party fact-checking was never going to fix things. For journalistic judgment to be credible, it requires writers and editors who are directly answerable for it.
I say this with great respect for fact-checking as part of the editorial process and for many of the fact-check sites. But it's nuts that anyone thought " *shrug*, the Pinocchio ratings told us to" was ever going to work as an answer to the epistemic collapse FB helped create.
It's such a strange dance, watching Facebook repeatedly apologize for News editorial decisions it bends over backward to be able to say weren't its own. What insulation from controversy does the view-from-Snopes buy them at this point?
The wretched pending obliteration of the Outer Banks oddly brings to mind that the government in 1948 considered it as a nuclear test site before settling on Nevada. (And the Times in 1991 implied this was a mistake!) nytimes.com/1991/05/17/us/…
It's amazing how persistent a theme it is in the history of science and technology for proponents of nutty views to describe their proponents as "hysterical" and suggest sensible psychological measures to ameliorate it.
They were also considering nuclear testing on the coasts of Delaware, Maryland, or Virginia! Like 50 miles from D.C.!
Not sure I've had a higher professional honor than when an author tonight told me (surely not by way of compliment), "You are a grammarian-philosopher," after my two-paragraph explanation on why I objected to adding commas to a sentence.
My argument was that what may appear to be restrictive appositives in fact should be treated grammatically as nonrestrictive appositives when their restrictiveness depends on a posteriori knowledge.
This is a nice illustration of why, even though low Earth orbit is only 1/1000 the distance to the Moon, in terms of energy expenditure it's already more than halfway there. It's a shame we've spent decades going that far but no further.
Here's the WaPo piece, which isn't helping the paranoia surrounding this question by only citing the concerns of POTUS, Diamond & Silk, etc. washingtonpost.com/news/morning-m…
Here are some of the examples. While Google had for several years targeted payday lenders for spamming practices, in 2016 they banned payday-loan ads outright -- not for abusing search policies but based on their political reasoning about socially beneficial policy.
The slow, slow, slow churn of the relationships between Jimmy McGill, Chuck, Kim, and Nacho is so much more tense and memorable than any of the great Breaking Bad heists or the grand unfolding of super baddie Walter White.
As testified by the cartel plotlines and the return of other BB characters to Better Call Saul feeling so throwaway.
Gilligan is a master of the anti-sublime, horizontal-axis drama of the mundane. Who else would make a show about the huckster lawyer on the billboard you hurry past? Which makes his occasional self-indulgence (737 down over ABQ) the more baffling.
Reader, let us forebear to note the year and simply observe how remarkable it is that Microsoft Word is still reduced to a babbling, incoherent puddle by a user's attempt to click a hyperlink.
This is of a piece but much worse than those website that come up and place a very concerned hand on your forearm to notify you that -- listen, please be careful about this, are you really sure this is a good idea? -- this link is going to take you an external website.
Perish when the link you click is to (shudder) a PDF, thus freezing Word in a two-minute bout of crippling existential dread. I read somewhere that what's going on is that Word actually *internally loads and processes links* before disgustedly handing the URL off to a browser.
"We're not censoring -- just downranking and redirecting you to Snopes" is rapidly becoming Silicon Valley's go-to answer to charges of censorship or playing arbiter of truth. newsroom.fb.com/news/2018/08/h…
The basic problem is that the strongest cases for making FB/Tw/G arbiters of truth is that they're now serving the role of editors, but they're doing everything possible to deny that their own judgment is part of their content decisions, which is definitive of the editorial role.
Editors are great. We need more of them. But real editors claim decisions as theirs; they voice reasons for which they're accountable. Farming this work out to Snopes or Politifact, downranking, invoking neutral principles arbitrarily, is SV's way of avoiding that responsibility.
It is only in the event of a disaster, the wreck of the 8:15 train, that one is enabled to discover his fellow commuter as a comrade; thus, the favorite scene of novels of good will in the city: the folks who discover each other and help each other when disaster strikes.
One of the key features of opponents of human judgment is that their ostensibly neutral invocations of principles are always actually ways to avoid accountability for their *own* judgments: Sorry, I was just following the algorithm's orders.
It's as true whether deferring to an algorithm or invoking a principle. It's one of the things I find most troubling about Big Tech's crackdown on speech: Not that they're exercising judgment (which is good!) but that they're so strenuously attempting to deny they're doing so.
Journalism without judgment, the discretion of accountable human editors replaced by automated, faceless "conversational health metrics," is the magic fix Twitter, Facebook News, and Google are rapidly converging upon for the crisis they've helped create.
Google too is laying intellectual groundwork for censorship-in-all-but-name. Schmidt: "I am strongly not in favor of censorship. I am very strongly in favor of ranking… de-rank — that is, lower-rank — information that was repetitive, exploitive, false..." thenewatlantis.com/publications/g…
or "...likely to have been weaponized." Just this April, Google announced, "We’ve adjusted our signals to help surface [rank higher] more authoritative pages and demote low-quality content." You really must read @adamjwhitedc on this: thenewatlantis.com/publications/g…
That Google's top brass — however pure they believe their intentions; however salutary the effect of removing Infowars nonsense — doesn't understand that this will *increase* rather than decrease paranoia is almost more troubling than the censorship itself.
Hot diggity. Some smart political theory person, please write me a retrospective on what Deadwood had to say about technology, commerce, and the manufacturing of civilization. variety.com/2018/tv/news/d…
Or even on Commissioner Jarre's futurism...
Will now clarify the reference for After Dark Twitter.
Facts don't care about your feelings.
Facts feel no shame or remorse.
Facts don't need to eat or sleep.
Facts cannot be stopped. They are coming for you and your family. Long after your miserable species has been wiped from the face of the planet, facts will remain.
Facts don't care about your feelings.
Facts are ruthless and determined.
Facts want to know, if the rule you followed brought you to this, of what use was the rule?
Facts got here the same way the coin did.
Fake facts are sensitive and attentive. Great listeners.... always reply to my texts quickly... I mean like *right away*... honestly sometimes I wish they had friends of their own, you know what I mean?
The replace-libraries-with-Amazon thing is such a fascinating microcosm of the wretchedness of our current take culture.
First some hapless, unheard-of practitioner of the dismal science has, as is his discipline's wont, a very rational and logical epiphany about the market inefficiency of an institution whose very purpose is to provide a service outside the market.
In times of yore the take would have been read by a few other academics, or perhaps raised some eyebrows in a regional paper, and in either case been promptly forgotten.
Effective altruism is the curious mix of the propositions that (a) charity ought to be guided by the measurable extent to which it actually helps others and (b) people who are moved to charity by photos of dying children are irrational rubes being manipulated by evolution.
(a) seems quite reasonable and good, while (b) seems to be a kind of "help humans by shaming the more admirable parts of human nature", and many effective altruists seem interested in (a) mainly as a means to (b), which leaves one in something of a quandary re effective altruism.
Here's how I've put this re Peter Singer: "What Singer asks is that we expand our circle of moral concern by first hollowing out the center." thenewatlantis.com/publications/i…
It's remarkable that the emerging consensus is that Google, FB, and Twitter already have such excessive power over the public discourse that we must ... urgently give them even more power to decide of their own discretion who and what gets to be excluded from that discourse.
What's remarkable is not that the idea is out there, but how it's so widely taken as astonishing that private companies -- who have no obligation to provide recourse of appeal for their decisions -- haven't already taken it upon themselves to serve as arbiters of public speech.
Re which you really must read @adamjwhitedc on why "the pressure for Google to adopt ever more expansive interpretations of “exploitative,” “authoritative,” and “what people are looking for” will doubtless rise": thenewatlantis.com/publications/g…