New thread with latest info.
1-Triangle folks: you can drop supplies at RDU General Aviation until 6p Sunday (9/22). No more online options!
2-One place to donate online: needslist.co/group/174
3-I'll go to RDU today, taking whatever my Civic can carry 😬. DM me to connect.
Lots of roads remain flooded and this stuff is being flown in as it gets donated. It's an appropriate and necessary method for immediate needs. I just saw that they took in all the non-perishable food already, and also learned that all hygiene products remain in need.
Also, Triangle people have largely emptied nearby stores of some of the most needed items, but I'm in Greensboro at the moment, so will raid the Dollar General stores on the way back especially for hygiene products—I'm told all categories are needed baby, adult, elderly. 😀🛩️
So volunteer pilots at RDU are flying supplies to coastal NC where many roads remain blocked. Folks can "Amazon Prime Now" (not Prime but *PRIME NOW*) directly. Send non-perishable food, diapers or formula etc. to 1725 E International, Morrisvile, NC 27560 amazon.com/registry/wishl…
Also local folks can drop off their unused or new hurricane supplies directly at RDU or at the Dean Smith Center at UNC—the truck is supposed to be leaving or Lumberton, NC around noon today (Friday, 21st).
You don't have to stick to the wish list. Non-perishable food, health/care related staples, baby formula/diapers—they can always be used and are needed in the short-term. Zip code is 27560, there is two hour delivery on primenow.amazon.com (note, this isn't regular prime).
Inadvartent experiment! My tweet on phone size and security got gobbled by the content machine. People Mag, NY Post, etc. featured it. 🙄 Result: a barrage of out-of-context harrasment. Just to see, I reported them. For example, this one is apparently okay by Twitter TOS.🤷♀️
After all the outcry, there is still no mechanism on Twitter to deal with a barrage of harrasment. You have to report each tweet individually with many many clicks, and at best that tweet alone is locked—long after you saw it anyway. No benefit to you, no deterrence to harraser.
There could be so many options but they don't exist. Could designate tweets as "can't embed" or "can't quote" or "can't quote unless following". You could mass report the barrage (which is the real issue, not individual tweets). You could mute "fruits-of-quote tweet".🤷♀️
Measurement choice is destiny, case zillion. The popular hurricane scale, Saffir-Simpson, is based on highest sustained wind-speed—only one kind of risk, and often not the most important one. Florence is now larger, but with slightly slower winds at the center. So "weakened".😱
Chapel Hill/Carrboro is juuuuust on the border of Florence bands—don't even have rain where I am. Maybe later. All thoughts with coastal NC/SC communities who are experiencing brutal flooding and the first responders.
Also, we really should stop using the Saffir-Simpson scale.
In SE North Carolina, there is massive rain, occasionally record-breaking storm-surge, ongoing river flooding in river basins dramatically worsened due to massive rain more upstream. "Maximum wind at center" is not a good indicator. Choice of indicators always have big effects.
"We want to reach as many customers as we can with this incredible technology," Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller said, without irony, while Apple phased out the *only* phone I can hold without risking dropping. Stuck with Apple for security reasons. 🤬 latimes.com/business/techn…
"Welcome to the big screens" says Apple and women like me with small hands who need the most secure phone for safety reasons are stuck with something they can't hold and constantly risk dropping. Company that designs $5 billion headquarters without a childcare center for the win.
Especially noteworthy that they now have these screens without edges. They could even —gasp— introduce a newer small phone. Take away whatever bells and whistles you want. Androids aren't safe or secure, and the only maybe feasible alternative, Google Pixel, is also too big.🤬
Weather geek twitter is great fun, and who knows what the actual track will be with all this model uncertainty, but the strength is assured and the coastal areas are looking to take a brutal wind+flood beating. I hope everyone who needs to evacuate has evacuated—or is about to.
Yeay, a small, useful list! Some "to-do" lists floating around are not doable! It all reminds me infosec discussions. You don't have to prepare for a Hobbesian aftermath—not what's gonna happen. You want water, food and batteries—and a few precautions. fayobserver.com/news/20180912/…
Another striking example. It's true that people seeking such content are flocking to YouTube, but YouTube is also *feeding* this to large numbers of people. It's helping normalize these ideologies and expand their base. Culture is formed by exposure, repetition and acceptance.
"That recommender algorithm boosted our profits, but it also helped burn the world to the ground" won't go down very well in history. There's no free speech right to have racism or misyogny dramatically amplified by Google. It's Google's choice to do this.
Phone call from unrecognized number:
X: "Hi, we are CREDIT CARD COMPANY X FRAUD DEPARTMENT. We'd like you to verify some information."
ME: "Are you kidding me? You're training your customers to fall for scams?!? Nobody should give out info in response to random call."
Also, there was a very similar multi-year incident in Turkey—"anonymous resistor/enemy within the palace": a Twitter account of someone allegedly close to the President, allegedly tweeting stuff from within while hating him. It went nowhere; if anything it backfired.
Anyway, whoever comes to him with the meeting, he's the traitor.
Sheryl Sandberg is asked about selling/sharing data. She says "we sell ads", implying they don't sell data. That's true, but no defense. Facebook sells users' attention to advertisers by profiling them based on extensive surveillance. That's the root problem. #techhearings
Sandberg/Facebook is asked what they don't allow. She says "hate speech/bullying, etc."—as per TOS. Fine, but the real action is the process that FB (and the industry) uses to police content. That's where it all goes down, as shaped by business model—how the cost center operates.
Marco Rubio asked a very good question. It's one thing for Sandberg/Dorsey to come wrapped in "our values" to the US Congressional hearings. But they operate worldwide—billions of people use these sites as public/social sphere. This is a crucial, thorny issue. #techhearings
I wrote a piece for Politico's "Big Ideas" section. With all due respect to Orwell, or current problem isn't that truth isn't out there, somehow, but rather that it's buried or distracted from. Attention, not information, is the corrupted resource. politico.com/magazine/story…
By the way, this is just a short piece in print. I have many pieces in the @nytopinion on this over the years. I have longer 2018 pieces in MIT @techreview and @WIRED, and a whole book 2016 which deals will all this at length—on how new censorship works. twitterandteargas.org
Look at all the things going on in the "news cycle." Meanwhile, there is a hugely consequential election in... just 60 days. On the one hand, it is hard to stop looking at the circus. On the other hand...
Besides the factual inaccuracy, this is a *great* example of what works for good writing (post-hoc creation and exaggration of a faux "turning point" that fits well with three-act story-telling but isn't warranted by actual events) doesn't work that well for good analysis.
Here's the factual inaccuracy part: (Also, even if McCarthy had been done in by one grand TV moment, that would be largely irrelevant today since the public sphere gatekeeping mechanisms have long changed drastically...)
In fairness, it's hard to write absorbing narrative without imposing some kind of structure on the messy, multi-causal reality of life. Best of times, unwarranted turning points are minimized, and they don't become later metaphors to be imposed here and there in lieu of analysis.
Either way, huge win for Bannon. Once invited, he’d get either attention and legitimization OR attention and claim to victimization. I’d guess he’d prefer the latter, which is what he now has been gifted.
Here! *This* is all the theory you need instead of hollow debates and misleading jokes about “economic anxiety”. It is, of course, about the economy because race is also about the economy—and vice versa. So is culture. It’s all about defining the deserving and who “das volk” are.
Yep. The superrich who allege that they want to do good would—if they meant it!—pay fair taxes, pay (preferrably unionized) workers well, stop starving schools of funds. A solid @josephestiglitz review of new book by @anandwrites on the "elite charade". nytimes.com/2018/08/20/boo…
Philantrophy is fine and great, but not if all the money is accumulated because taxes are skillfully avoided, workers paid a pittance and politics thwarted by throwing around money. Otherwise, it's a bit like arsonists showing up with a bottle of water to the five-alarm fire.
Everything else is a symptom to the structural crisis: and the particular way that technological developmets are playing out is a consequence of the structural crisis. There are fixes necessary at every level, but nothing will really take without solving the structural crisis.
Good parsing of headlines/stats. I'm the child of an alcoholic, so all the feels about how this drug gets to be legal while millions do time for small amounts of pot but... despite the recent headlines, little evidence that occasional drinkers are at some worrisome health risk.
Common pattern. There is an X which has catastrophic outcomes for some segment. But the harms from X don't nicely fit into a linear dose-response narrative. So you are left with the trade-off discussion: freedom/benefit of majority/most vs those at risk. But that's uncomfortable.
So the narrative oscillates between panics/prohibition and hands off my X. You see this in opioid discussions too: it is of obvious huge benefit to chronic pain patients who would be gravely harmed by denial and it also facilitates catastrophic harm to those who abuse/misuse it.
It's usually also false, just a way to pretend one's smarter than others, a way of affecting "savvy"—as @jayrosen_nyu puts it. If you dig into to the "this isn't surprising" crowd you often find weak analytic ability and no prescient work that shows they really weren't surprised.
It happens everytime there is detailed reporting on something people closest to the story kinda knew, but the story gives us framework, facts, details—some new ones, some from pulling it all together. The "savvy" crowd jumps up to say "I knew this".
Anyway, my view is that the savvy crowd—besides recognizing the damage they do to critical understanding—should not be indulged. Nothing will convince them; it's about their own affect. Their key use for me is to see who takes that affect seriously. Good litmus test. 🤷♀️
So, Russian trolls amplified divisive content and helped spread vaccine misinformation. 😱 Look, the challenge before us is to redefine *critical thinking* to include figuring out what to believe, not just how to be skeptical. Personal and institutional. ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/pdf/10.210…
Nobody has adapted to this yet. A lot of old elites/gatekeepers have not demonstrated more than nostalgia for their eroded power, and the emergent elites/gatekeepers are, well, mostly incoherent. Individuals are mostly lost and confused. It's a process. We gotta tackle this.
Here's the upside, and why I'm still an out-and-out optimist that it's possible to tackle this. Whatever worked of 20th century institutions didn't just emerge fully-formed a la Athena from Zeus' head. It was a lengthy, messy and incomplete process; this will be a process, too.
Hey, there's lots of news but this is a great piece on the gig-economy. Social media platforms accelarated/poured gasoline on existing fires; digital gig-economy grew on top of decades of casualization of labor. Existing social paths shape/shaped by tech! nytimes.com/2018/08/18/opi…
There is nothing about "the technical ability to call a cab from your phone" that necessitates destroying labor protections except ongoing/preceding decades of labor casualization. Also, nothing automatically middle-class about factory jobs except decades of social protections.
Technology facilitates and accelarates whatever is already going on, is developed in response to needs from the political/social milieu, and certainly creates new abilities, and in my view, it is certainly *a* causal vector—but not by itself, and not ahistorically.
Oh, wow. Wow especially since in Germany, Facebook has been forced, through fines, to hire many moderators to respond to hate speech. If this finding holds, imagine the effect around in places Facebook has been terribly understaffed and unresponsive for years—Burma, Sri Lanka...
I'm reading.😱 IMO, Germany is a best-case scenario for Facebook. A government they could not ignore forced them to staff up and respond at a scale that, as far as I know, they've not done anywhere else. (Someone correct me if there is another country).
And folks, these are just the kind of challenges I'll be working on next year, and am hiring one computer science/technical and one social science post-doc to work on an interdisciplinary research project to tackle these issues. Apply here:
Thanks to Facebook, Russia could non-publicly microtarget black voters first with a pic of Beyoncé dancers—captioned “Black girl magic!”—and then with ads urging them to not vote in 2016. Trump campaign also said they used FB to discourage minority voters. nytimes.com/2018/08/16/tec…
By the way. There is a lot to say about all this, except "we were blindsided." The dangers of micro-targeting were evident, and many academics and others tried to warn Facebook for years. And years. But the whole business model depends on it... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Yes. The ads are mere hooks to find audiences to spread “organically” from. That’s why the terribly belated ad-reform won’t fix it all. Still, should have had it all along.