Her Left Hand, The Darkness | Alison Smith | Granta Magazine
. I had been assigned an artist. ‘Who?’ I asked, gripping the receiver. There was a pause. I heard papers shuffling, and then: ‘Ursula K. Le Guin.’ ‘Thank you,’ I murmured. ‘Thank you for choosing me.’ There was another pause. The secretary cleared her throat. ‘You were the only one who applied.’
literature  ursula-leguin  sf  scifi 
22 hours ago
Facebook and Google Are the New Data Brokers
They claim not to sell data, but Facebook and Google have paid developers with
data. This selling of your personal data is central to platform economics. Could
quality signals change the terms of the bargain?
facebook  data  google 
23 hours ago
Facebook's internal documents about how it made money off children to be releasedReveal
two Facebook employees deny a refund request from a child whom they refer to as a “whale”
facebook  zynga  gaming  addiction 
23 hours ago
Nonfiction Book Review: NAME ALL THE ANIMALS: A Memoir by Alison Smith, Author . Scribner $24 (319p) ISBN 978-0-7432-5522-6
"If I lived past the summer of my eighteenth year," Smith resolves, "I would have to face that Roy died and that I—the little sister, the tagalong... would surpass him."
grief  death 
23 hours ago
Opinion | The Malign Incompetence of the British Ruling Class - The New York Times
Even a columnist for The Economist, an organ of the British elite, now professes dismay over “Oxford chums” who coast through life on “bluff rather than expertise.” “Britain,” the magazine belatedly lamented last month, “is governed by a self-involved clique that rewards group membership above competence and self-confidence above expertise.”
brexit  uk  india 
3 days ago
The ‘Age of Tech’ Is Over - The Atlantic
Look closer at one big sector where tech companies have already started chewing: E-commerce. Online shopping is a $500 billion industry in the U.S., which sounds like quite a lot. But really, it’s no more than Americans spend each year at gas stations. Yep, gas stations.
tech  business  silicon-valley  economics 
3 days ago
“I Drank the Apocalyptic Kool-Aid”: Art Historian Hal Foster on Why He Has Developed an Unromantic View of the Avant-Garde
this riddle that I get from Walter Benjamin, that “modernism teaches us how to survive civilization.” He also has this extraordinary idea of a “positive barbarism,” which is similarly enigmatic. He never really explains what he means, but he locates the idea in the aftermath of World War I, when he said that artists and architects and writers had to “start from scratch, to make a new start, make a little go a long way.
quotes  art  architecture 
5 days ago
How Facebook Borrows From the NSA Playbook – Oversight – Medium
Pretend There Was No “Abuse” When the Entire System Is the Abuse
facebook  nsa  surveillance 
9 days ago
Paul Schrader, In Conversation
there was a little soft-core theater nearby, a Russ Meyer kind of theater. They weren’t making any money, so the owner had this brilliant idea to program a month of Ingmar Bergman. That was just like three blocks away from college. Everybody from Calvin started going to see these Bergman films
film  criticism 
9 days ago
It's Time to Talk About Ecological Grief
Ecological grief is the grief that’s felt in response to experienced or anticipated ecological loss. It may arise due to acute environmental disasters. For example, one in six survivors of Hurricane Katrina met the criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder, and crop-damaging heat waves have been shown to lead to increased suicide rates in India. But grief can also stem from stress and anxiety associated with slow, creeping changes in one’s environment — feelings that many of us are experiencing as the winters become uncannily warmer and extreme weather events become more frequent..., “Lament for the Land,” an existential question is posed: “Inuit are people of the sea ice. If there is no more sea ice, how can we be people of the sea ice?”
ecology  climate-change  environment 
9 days ago
What It Felt Like When “Cat Person” Went Viral | The New Yorker
wrap my brain around what had happened and what it would mean and thinking, This is it. This is the happiest I will ever be.
viral  publishing 
9 days ago
‘Cat Person’ and Other Tales of Discomfort in a Debut Collection - The New York Times
I was shaken out of my numb disdain into a kind of anger. No, it’s what the author has done, and why? I wanted better for these characters — lives with real emotional stakes, actual personalities and not just kinks.
writing  fiction  criticism 
10 days ago
Mainframe, Interrupted
The Panther 21 was a group of Black Panthers arrested in New York in 1969. ..

One of our members said: “Look, Clark Squire is a programmer. If we raise bail, it will raise consciousness among programmers not just about the war but about what’s happening to black people in America today.”
labor  organizing  tech  tech-workers  racial-justice  prisons 
12 days ago
Love Canada Geese
They're not remaining because someone is feeding them. They're remaining because they or their mates or children are unable to fly south. It's not necessarily a broken wing that can cause them to be grounded
14 days ago
Japan's hidden caste of untouchables - BBC News
As recently as 2009, there was public outcry when Google Earth incorporated publicly available historical maps of Tokyo and Osaka that pinpointed the location of Buraku villages in feudal times, dragging up the contentious issues of prejudice and profiling.
japan  google  maps 
15 days ago
anne boyer on Twitter: "and as a lover of the lyric I am sorry to say lyric writing seems particularly vulnerable to fascist modes: imprecision, self-aggrandizement, mystification through aestheticization, certain kinds of (often sentimental) claims to na
and as a lover of the lyric I am sorry to say lyric writing seems particularly vulnerable to fascist modes: imprecision, self-aggrandizement, mystification through aestheticization, certain kinds of (often sentimental) claims to nature
17 days ago
The Birth of the New American Aristocracy - The Atlantic
In her incisive portrait of my people, Uneasy Street, the sociologist Rachel Sherman documents the syndrome. A number among us, when reminded of our privilege, respond with a counternarrative that generally goes like this: I was born in the street. I earned everything all by myself. I barely get by on my $250,000 salary. You should see the other parents at our kids’ private school.
class  inequality 
20 days ago
stewart brand's space colonies book
23 days ago
Dirty dealing in the $175 billion Amazon Marketplace - The Verge
For sellers, Amazon is a quasi-state. They rely on its infrastructure — its warehouses, shipping network, financial systems, and portal to millions of customers — and pay taxes in the form of fees. They also live in terror of its rules, which often change and are harshly enforced. A cryptic email like the one Plansky received can send a seller’s business into bankruptcy, with few avenues for appeal.
amazon  business  infrastructure 
23 days ago
Google is delaying a change that will break old web games — again - The Verge
For new projects, this is just another feature to work around. But the way it’s coded means that games and web art built for the old standard can be permanently muted, with no way to turn the audio on. Developers can modify their work for the new standard, but many web games aren’t constantly maintained, and many developers didn’t even know the change was coming. They felt blindsided by the sudden update and ignored by Google.
google  digital-art 
4 weeks ago
The Amazon Alexa Eavesdropping Nightmare Came True
An Amazon user in Germany recently requested data about his personal activities and inadvertently gained access to 1,700 audio recordings of someone he didn’t know.
amazon  alexa  surveillance  echo  gdpr 
4 weeks ago
As Facebook Raised a Privacy Wall, It Carved an Opening for Tech Giants - The New York Times
Facebook has never sold its user data, fearful of user backlash and wary of handing would-be competitors a way to duplicate its most prized asset. Instead, internal documents show, it did the next best thing: granting other companies access to parts of the social network in ways that advanced its own interests.
facebook  data  privacy  users 
4 weeks ago
'Artifact' Isn't a Game on Steam, It's Steam in a Game - Waypoint
. This is what platforms—from Uber to Facebook to Airbnb to Etsy—do, and Artifact is a game for the age of platforms. In their classic sense, platforms are infrastructures that connect two or more users for social economic exchange, and the ability for algorithms to manage this “labor” at scale with have made them the dominant economic form of our era. This, in essence, is Artifact, and to endorse it is, implicitly, to endorse the entire system it reflects.
platforms  workingon  gaming 
5 weeks ago
Steve King is Right- Google Should Be More Transparent - Cyborgology
If, say, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was grilling Pichai about their racist search results while waving a copy of Safiya Umoja Noble’s Algorithms of Oppression I would be dancing in my chair. If any congressperson would hold Zuckerberg’s feet to the fire over a 2015 patent for letting banks consider your Facebook friends when applying for a loan I’d grab the pop corn. King is right that it is the government’s job to demand companies be transparent about the products that influence our lives.
5 weeks ago
When the Internet Archive Forgets
the site itself was no longer in the Internet Archive, replaced by the error message: “This URL has been excluded from the Wayback Machine.”..if you deal in a certain bottom-dwelling brand of controversial content and want to avoid accountability, there are at least two different, standardized ways of erasing it from the most reliable third-party web archive on the public internet.
archives  censorship  internet-archive 
5 weeks ago
Leah Miller on Twitter: "If you must have a system that automatically removes some posts/bans some users, have it only trigger on reports from people who have built up good "rep." If a user regularly flags inappropriately to harass, have a setting that de
If you must have a system that automatically removes some posts/bans some users, have it only trigger on reports from people who have built up good "rep." If a user regularly flags inappropriately to harass, have a setting that deprioritizes their reports.
5 weeks ago
Uber, Lyft ... And Now Waymo: The Self-Driving Car Service Hits The Road | On Point
I said in the story that I wrote last week that it can, at times, feel as if you're riding in the back seat with a very cautious student driver, because there are moments when the car will certainly hesitate to make certain decisions, especially in more sort of complex driving scenarios, like, for instance, an unprotected left-hand turn where there's no traffic signals, or lights, or anything like that to help guide the car sensors.
driverless  cars 
5 weeks ago
Sarah Jamie Lewis on Twitter: "Can I just say, again, that archiving personal content, especially personal nsfw content, without an opt-in (or at the very least an opt-out) is completely unethical?… https://t.co/JbuGjO4fkY"
Can I just say, again, that archiving personal content, especially personal nsfw content, without an opt-in (or at the very least an opt-out) is completely unethical?...Taking possession of content that was never yours and deciding that it should be forever publicly accessible is bullshit.
tumblr  archives 
5 weeks ago
More than HumanCentered Design — Ding Magazine
“user-centred design” narrative so loved by technology companies and design schools alike, I considered a “more-than-human” centred approach. Where humans beings are not at the centre of the universe and the centre of everything. Where we consider ourselves as deeply entangled in relationships with other species and non-human entities.
users  future  ecology  environment 
6 weeks ago
Steven W. Thrasher on Twitter: "A term I tried to coin in this—reflecting on work @melissagira, @juliacraven, @jennydeluxe & I have been writing—is what happens when sexually marginalized communities become digitally homeless. Some are homeless IRL, t
A term I tried to coin in this—reflecting on work @melissagira, @juliacraven, @jennydeluxe & I have been writing—is what happens when sexually marginalized communities become digitally homeless. Some are homeless IRL, too & digital homelessness makes their lives even harder.
tumblr  moderation 
6 weeks ago
[1811.10154] Please Stop Explaining Black Box Models for High Stakes Decisions
s, but trying to explain black box models, rather than creating models that are interpretable in the first place, is likely to perpetuate bad practices and can potentially cause catastrophic harm to society
6 weeks ago
15 Worrying Things About the CRISPR Babies Scandal - The Atlantic
He relied on an aids association to reach out to the patients and falsely described his work as an “aids-vaccine development project.” He told delegates at the Hong Kong summit that he personally took the volunteers through the informed-consent process, along with another professor....a vulnerability at the heart of modern science. That is: Small groups of researchers can make virtually unilateral decisions about experiments that have potentially global consequences, and that everyone else only learns about after the fact.
biotech  ethics  crispr  aids  health  classism  science 
6 weeks ago
I warned you about Sheryl Sandberg - SFChronicle.com
I was running Valleywag, a Silicon Valley gossip publication, which uncovered all kinds of mischief at her employer. Her reaction, according to sources who spoke to us: She promised to “shoot the guy who writes Valleywag.”
facebook  google  sheryl-sandberg 
6 weeks ago
Google Shut Out Privacy and Security Teams From Secret China Project
executives then shut out members of the company’s security and privacy team from key meetings about the search engine, the four people said, and tried to sideline a privacy review of the plan that sought to address potential human rights abuses.
google  china 
7 weeks ago
The Insect Apocalypse Is Here - The New York Times
“Nature’s resilient, but we’re pushing her to such extremes that eventually it will cause a collapse of the system.”
nature  environment 
7 weeks ago
The Crispr baby news was carefully orchestrated PR—until it all went wrong — Quartz
“The penalty to [He] as an academic, scientist, and entrepreneur in bioscience of doing something that’s made up is very high,” says Regalado. If He has committed fraud, he could be outcast from the scientific community from just like Hwang Woo-suk, the Korean scientist who was widely considered an innovator in his field of stem-cell research until other scientists exposed him for fabricating experiments
crispr  gene-editing  china  biotech 
7 weeks ago
Thanks by W. S. Merwin - Poems | Academy of American Poets
over telephones we are saying thank you
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
remembering wars and the police at the door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
poems  poetry 
7 weeks ago
Fake books sold on Amazon could be used for money laundering | Books | The Guardian
Books of gibberish are listed on Amazon.com for thousands of dollars, with one author claiming his name was used to send almost $24,000 to a fraudulent seller
amazon  money-laundering  fake 
7 weeks ago
Prime Now tips. : AmazonFlexDrivers
Amazon does not technically steal tips, but the end result is the same as if they did. They call it variable base pay.
amazon  gig-economy 
7 weeks ago
Are.na / Blog – The Global Village Coffeehouse Aesthetic
network of related aesthetics that emerged in the late 1980s and peaked in the mid 1990s, fading out of the collective consciousness sometime in the early 2000s.
7 weeks ago
What Amazon’s Black Friday shift is like for workers - Vox
It’s easy for Amazon to hire us because they know vets are willing to shut up and cooperate. In my opinion, Amazon is preying on the work-life balance issue that the military has, and feeds off the rigid order the Army teaches.
amazon  military  silicon-valley 
8 weeks ago
[Essay] The Gatekeepers by Mychal Denzel Smith | Harper's Magazine
“Black intellectuals,” Reed wrote, “need to address both black and white audiences, and those different acts of communication proceed from objectives that are distinct and often incompatible.”
gatekeeping  race  media 
8 weeks ago
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