CNET: Facebook doesn’t waste time, it wastes attention spans. That’s worse. “It’s a chilly winter night in Munich, Germany. I’m alone in an empty hostel dorm, basking in the warmth of the heater and the hostel’s surprising hygiene, trying to watch Mad Men on my MacBook. I say ‘trying’ because this is proving to be a peculiarly difficult task. “
Washington Post: When bad actors twist history, historians take to Twitter. That’s a good thing.. “Online media sites like Twitter allow scholars to reach thousands of people they may never have reached in an accessible way. Academic engagement on Twitter has been called ‘shallow scholarship,’ but precisely the opposite is true; the very medium requires concision, structure and clarity. We are forced to address historical abuses directly, simply and publicly — not always our strong suit — but the form does not simplify the content or the message, only its delivery. Our history threads are time-consuming to write and research, but they string together multiple tweets in a narrative form that includes references and is easily digestible.”
Politico: The Federal Courts Are Running An Online Scam. “…I’m here to tell you that PACER—Public Access to Court Electronic Records—is a judicially approved scam. The very name is misleading: Limiting the public’s access by charging hefty fees, it has been a scam since it was launched and, barring significant structural changes, will be a scam forever.”
Nature: The rise and fall of scientific authority — and how to bring it back. “It is tempting to think that scientific authority is natural and will soon reassert itself like a sturdy self-righting boat knocked over by a rogue wave. The ugly truth is that science is more like Facebook, whose positive features are also vulnerabilities. Precisely because it allows us to connect and share, Facebook creates opportunities for misuse. Similarly, science is an exemplary form of enquiry because it is technical, fallible, done in communities and able to reshape our values. But these very features allow detractors to reject the authority even of eminent experts.”
TechCrunch: Fifty years of the internet . “When my team of graduate students and I sent the first message over the internet on a warm Los Angeles evening in October, 1969, little did we suspect that we were at the start of a worldwide revolution. After we typed the first two letters from our computer room at UCLA, namely, ‘Lo’ for ‘Login,’ the network crashed. Hence, the first Internet message was ‘Lo’ as in ‘Lo and behold’ – inadvertently, we had delivered a message that was succinct, powerful, and prophetic.
Al Jazeera: The path to colonial reckoning is through archives, not museums. “As the French President Emmanuel Macron tours East Africa, he is certain to get a cordial welcome. If everything goes to plan, it will be all smiles and few uncomfortable questions. However, this should not be the case. Macron has called for an international conference on the return of African art and artefacts looted during colonialism. But art and artefacts are not the only things that should be returned.”
The Polytechnic: Sending the right Snapchat is a science. “Though it seemed meticulous, maybe even a little insane, every detail mattered. The setting, timing, stickers, filters—they all carry their own weight, and we’ve learned to recognize the message each detail sends. We’ve created our own science: ‘Snapchat psychology.’ Practiced by millennials across the nation, ‘Snapchat psychology’ is our form of poetry.” Great writing here.