Michigan Daily: The Summer of Farming Simulations

Michigan Daily: The Summer of Farming Simulations. “Farming sims are games in which the player typically grows and harvests crops, raises animals, and decorates their farm. There is also a large social component to most games in the genre, often involving both friendship and romance through a system of talking with the various townsfolk, giving them gifts and leveling up your relationship. These bonds and activities are not just vital to the experience of each game but have also helped me grow in unexpected ways in real life.” Sometimes you just want to fire up Stardew Valley and go fishing for a few hours.

Ayala: Mexican American Civil Rights Institute deserves continued local government support (San Antonio Express-News)

San Antonio Express-News: Ayala: Mexican American Civil Rights Institute deserves continued local government support. “The Mexican American Civil Rights Institute has driven home one idea in its short history: San Antonio is to Mexican American civil rights history what Atlanta is to Black civil rights history. While the latter is roundly recognized, San Antonio’s role as an activism mecca has not.”

Daily Beast: How I Know Facebook Can’t Fix the Problems It Profits From

Daily Beast: How I Know Facebook Can’t Fix the Problems It Profits From. “One would think this urgent global crisis would inspire Facebook, which now has over 2 billion users, global influence, and ownership of Instagram and Whatsapp, to use its immense financial and human resources to proactively and aggressively remove anti-vaccination disinformation and bad faith actors. If you believe this, you also probably think billionaires might spend their obscene wealth during these calamitous times on raising workers’ wages, fighting hunger and investing in infrastructure. Instead, they are locked in a race to escape Earth altogether. And, based on my own experience working with Facebook, I would bet heavily against them ever doing the right thing.”

Mashable: Book clubs should always meet on Zoom

Mashable: Book clubs should always meet on Zoom. “I read a lot, and I love the low pressure engagement of a virtual book club. I was bad at attending book clubs in real life before the pandemic, because my book club friends and I all have very busy schedules, so finding a time for us all to meet up was difficult. Scheduling online hangouts is easier because you can do them from anywhere — at your family’s house, with your partner, or even from your own bed. Now that the meetups are returning to apartments and bars, scheduling is once again more difficult and, honestly, I don’t want to participate in them anymore.”

New York Times: ‘They’re Killing People’? Biden Isn’t Quite Right, but He’s Not Wrong.

New York Times: ‘They’re Killing People’? Biden Isn’t Quite Right, but He’s Not Wrong.. “You could also blame individuals themselves for believing in lies and not doing due diligence and checking their facts. After all, deciding to forgo a vaccine is a personal choice, even if it is an unfortunate one. But the ability to resist social media juggernauts pales in comparison to the tremendous power of these platforms to amplify bad information. Attempting to stop falsehoods by claiming to offer good information is like using a single sandbag to hold back an impossibly fetid ocean.”

Archival Futures: The Archive as a Place and the Place of the Archive (Los Angeles Review of Books)

Los Angeles Review of Books: Archival Futures: The Archive as a Place and the Place of the Archive. “ONE CERTAINTY THAT has always guided historians is the possibility of traveling to work in an archive. The time and costs involved in such research trips set the timelines of their research projects. But, confronted with an unprecedented pandemic, can we still stick to the old certainties that such research trips are central to what we write and teach? In an increasingly uncertain and digitizing world, where the relationship between past, present, and future thins out, it is time to rethink the relationship between historical writing and the archive. Specifically, the notion of the archive as a place requires revision.”

Brookings Institution: Facebook’s FTC court win is a much-needed wake-up call for Congress

Brookings Institution: Facebook’s FTC court win is a much-needed wake-up call for Congress. “Three elements in the court decision bolster the case for change by revealing how US antitrust law as conceived and practiced today is unable to cope with the growing challenges of Big Tech. The many references in the opinion to ‘lawful monopolies’ underscore that current antitrust doctrine, a durable monopoly is not illegal. Indeed, current doctrine also encourages companies to treat the goal of a permanent lawful monopoly as an incentive to develop an attractive new technology or service.”

Brookings Institution: The court’s Facebook decision shows why we need a digital regulatory agency

Brookings Institution: The court’s Facebook decision shows why we need a digital regulatory agency. “A federal district court judge’s dismissal of the Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust lawsuit brought against Facebook is graphic evidence that antitrust laws are not sufficient to protect consumers and competition in the digital age. We need a regulatory plan that is more agile and timely than relying on antitrust enforcement as the principal solution.”

EFF: The New ACCESS Act Is a Good Start. Here’s How to Make Sure It Delivers.

EFF: The New ACCESS Act Is a Good Start. Here’s How to Make Sure It Delivers.. “The ACCESS Act is one of the most exciting pieces of federal tech legislation this session. Today’s tech giants grew by taking advantage of the openness of the early Internet, but have designed their own platforms to be increasingly inhospitable for both user freedom and competition. The ACCESS Act would force these platforms to start to open up, breaking down the high walls they use to lock users in and keep competitors down. It would advance the goals of competition and interoperability, which will make the internet a more diverse, more user-friendly place to be.”

Wired: NFTs and AI Are Unsettling the Very Concept of History

Wired: NFTs and AI Are Unsettling the Very Concept of History. “The archival world is a world of inadequate budgets and financial constraint, filled with underpaid workers and massive, poorly resourced projects like digital preservation, and the challenging task of digitizing analog materials. Will archives be tempted by the potential upside of NFTs and tokenize digital representations of their crown jewels (or the rights to these assets)? This would worsen an already bad situation, where institutions like our Library of Congress hold physical copies of millions of films, TV programs, and recordings that can’t be touched because someone else holds the copyright.”

CNN: The hard lesson of Dr. Deborah Birx

CNN: The hard lesson of Dr. Deborah Birx. “She, like many of us, had no idea how badly his administration would distort, ignore and deny science and the truth during the pandemic. Although she said she took the job out of a sense of obligation (‘That’s what a civil servant is supposed to do,’ she said a year later), Birx became inextricably tied to the harmful decisions of her negligent, disastrously ignorant boss.”

The Daily: Social media and the pandemic have re-envisioned my 20s

The Daily: Social media and the pandemic have re-envisioned my 20s. “I think our 20s will be like waking up from a very long nap. I imagine that turning 20 will be like turning 16 or 21, but instead of a driver’s license or a bottle of vodka, I’ll be re-handed a semblance of social life as I once knew it. I imagine that the years following will be super quirky, but gradual and cautious. I’ll want to step back into familiarity, but it won’t be the same. I’ll still need to be thoughtful about where I travel and which populations I might put at risk, because many people will still be immunocompromised or unvaccinated in this time of transition.”

SUPERJUMP: An Appeal Through the Nostalgia Glasses

SUPERJUMP: An Appeal Through the Nostalgia Glasses. “Any perusal through social media will show you that gaming’s appreciation goes far beyond whatever the most recent release is. Gamers love to talk about old games, and not through a fond ‘do you remember when’ anecdotal sense, but through a ‘I just played this very real game on my very real PlayStation 2 last week’ sense. It can be expensive for companies to leave their servers live and allow gamers to buy games that are ten, fifteen, twenty years old, but maybe this finally needs to be accepted as a sacrifice for the historical curation of the medium — or, maybe, we need to figure out a better way to make virtual consoles and re-releases viable that go beyond a complete obliteration every couple of console cycles. “