- New York Magazine: How Much of the Internet Is Fake? Turns Out, a Lot of It, Actually. – So many bots, generating so much traffic, all for ad clicks and views, scams, propaganda, and more.
- ProPublica: How a Dubious Forensic Science Spread Like a Virus – So it turns out blood spatter analysis is kind of bullshit.
- LA Times: Malware attack disrupts delivery of L.A. Times and Tribune papers across the U.S. – ICYMI, there was a huge foreign malware attack just after Christmas, attacking newspapers around the country.
- HuffPost: I Was A Cable Guy. I Saw The Worst Of America. – This was a fantastic read. Be nice to your cable guys. Their job sucks.
- Motherboard: I Gave a Bounty Hunter $300. Then He Located Our Phone – Your cell providers are selling your location data to databases that serve private individuals and businesses.
I’m on vacation for two weeks, and I’m having a nice, quiet day after Christmas. We’re gonna go see the new Spider-Man movie this afternoon and then I’m gonna spend the rest of the day being lazy and not looking at the trashfire of news. I may just go ahead and play Minecraft all day. If I get motivated, I might clean a thing, but I wouldn’t get your hopes up if I were you.
Here’s some stuff to read.
5 Things to Read Today
- Bloomberg: Democratic Left Playing a Long Game to Get ‘Medicare for All’ – Play faster, Democratic Left.
- BuzzFeed News: Literally Just A Big List Of Facebook’s 2018 Scandals – As someone who works in social media, yes, please, everyone ignore this and stay on Facebook. As a normal human person, everyone needs to GTFO of Facebook.
- FiveThirtyEight: How We View Our Reality Shapes Our Politics. But Facts Still Matter. – “Perception is reality”? I mean, yes, sort of, but also no, because facts can be known and your perception can be wrong.
- Wired: Dr. Elon & Mr. Musk: Life Inside Tesla’s Production Hell – Well, Tesla sounds like a horrifying place to work.
- Vox: Advertisers can easily track you, your kid, your doctor, and the president – Seriously, people, we need some regulation, here.
Good reading here today. In particular, “Blood Cries Out” was a fascinating and well-reported story, but it’s pretty long, just so you’re forewarned. The BuzzFeed article is pretty interesting, too.
- BuzzFeed News: The “Yellow Jackets” Riots In France Are What Happens When Facebook Gets Involved With Local News
- Atavist: Blood Cries Out: On a Missouri farm, two families worked the land side by side, until a murder shattered their American Dream.
- NiemanLab: Americans still prefer watching over reading news (but that’s only because of people 50 and up)
- Lawfare: Avoiding A World War Web: The Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace
- Ars Technica: Study: It only takes a few seconds for bots to spread misinformation
I have three days to do a week’s worth of work and I already used up one of those days, so this’ll have to be quick.
🚀 First up, a new Oatmeal comic: On November 26th, a Mole Will Land on Mars. This is super neat and I just found out about it.
📚 Here’s a brand new free short story from John Scalzi: Automated Customer Service.
🍔 From Thrillist, “I Found the Best Burger Place in America. And Then I Killed It.,” the story of how a restaurant review killed an awesome burger place in Portland, Oregon.
📰 NiemanLab has an article on how journalists are being trained to detect “deepfakes,” or fake videos.
🤬 So, nationwide, cops are marking rape cases solved without actually arresting the perpetrator. Like, the rapist walks free, and the cops mark the case solved. Read it and get your rage on.
🚓 The New York Times has a longread about how cops failed to see the threat of white nationalism and now aren’t prepared to deal with it: “U.S. Law Enforcement Failed to See the Threat of White Nationalism. Now They Don’t Know How to Stop It.“
💩 Bad news, guys. A significant percentage of the conversations you’re having online about current events are BS driven by bot accounts and bad actors. Read it in Wired.
⚠️ The Southern Poverty Law Center says “The Alt-Right is Killing People.” And yes. Yes they are.
🚨 Speaking of the “alt-right” and all that fascist, nazi bullshit, here’s a great article from Robert Evans at Bellingcat about how people get sucked into extremism.
📓 An oldie-but-goodie: Here’s an article in Strange Horizons, from 2005, about the Lovecraft influence in Stephen King’s writing.
To wrap things up, the Arrowverse crossover is coming up Dec. 9, and we’re up to four 30-second teaser trailers. Here they are:
Holy crap, I cannot wait for a full trailer to drop. These crossovers are the highlight of my TV year.