We Are All Research Subjects Now - The Chronicle of Higher Education
political terrain can shift beneath researchers’ feet. They are not the only arbiters of what the public, or their own research subjects, will accept. A bold research agenda, even a celebrated one, can swiftly be derailed by ethical missteps. The SSRC-Facebook collaboration might draw that lesson from the 1960s, too.
facebook  ethics  academia  consent  methodology 
Opinion | As the Internet Splinters, the World Suffers - The New York Times
There’s a world of difference between the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, known commonly as G.D.P.R., and China’s technologically enforced censorship regime, often dubbed “the Great Firewall.” But all three spheres — Europe, America and China — are generating sets of rules, regulations and norms that are beginning to rub up against one another. What’s more, the actual physical location of data has increasingly become separated by region, with data confined to data centers inside the borders of countries with data localization laws... If the future of the internet is a tripartite cold war, Silicon Valley wants to be making money in all three of those worlds.
data  global  gdpr  china 
Opinion | When Your Boss Is an Algorithm - The New York Times
When something does go wrong, Uber drivers can’t tell the boss or a co-worker. They can call or write to “community support,” but the results can be enraging. Cecily McCall, an African-American driver from Pompano Beach, Fla., told me that a passenger once called her “dumb” and “stupid,” using a racial epithet, so she ended the trip early. She wrote to a support rep to explain why and got what seemed like a robotic response: “We’re sorry to hear about this. We appreciate you taking the time to contact us and share details.”
uber  gig-economy  labor 
Gig Workers Rising on Twitter: "As a group of Uber drivers attempted to enter @Uber HQ to deliver 3k petition signatures calling on the company to change its unfair deactivation policies, security grabbed one of the drivers and threw him to the ground.…
As a group of Uber drivers attempted to enter @Uber HQ to deliver 3k petition signatures calling on the company to change its unfair deactivation policies, security grabbed one of the drivers and threw him to the ground.
uber  gig-economy  labor 
residency re-imagined | sara hendren
It’s also worth reminding residency organizers of what may seem counterintuitive: that people like me can get a lot of work done in two weeks’ time. I think the inherited idea of a residency is that protracted, uninterrupted time is key for quality creative work—like, who can really get stuff done in two weeks?
4 days ago
The Magic Leap Con
Augmented and virtual reality stories are catnip for tech journalists; they set an easy scene with a gripping lede: I’m staring up at a massive blue whale, and I swear it could swallow me whole—but it’s all in my goggles, etc.
media  vr 
4 days ago
Free Speech in the Age of Algorithmic Megaphones | WIRED
These small, coordinated groups have deliberately gamed algorithms so that a handful of voices can mimic a broad consensus. We’ve seen online harassment used to scare people into self-censorship, chilling their speech and eliminating those perspectives from the debate. Fake likes, shares, comments, and retweets trigger algorithms into thinking that a piece of content is worthwhile or interesting, leading to that content appearing in the feeds of millions.
virality  algorithms 
4 days ago
Guest Blogger: Amanda Levendowski - "How can we learn about the AI systems that might be used to surveil us? The federal trademark register has answers" — AI Initiative
It’s impossible for the public to engage in discourse about whether an AI system is fair, accountable, transparent or ethical if we don’t know that an AI system is being used to watch us—or if we don’t know the technology exists at all.
ai  policy  ethics  transparency  accountability 
5 days ago
Kurt Vonnegut on the Role of Artists in Society
Writers are specialized cells doing whatever we do, and we’re expressions of the entire society — just as the sensory cells on the surface of your body are in the service of your body as a whole. And when a society is in great danger, we’re likely to sound the alarms. I have the canary-bird-in-the-coal-mine theory of the arts. You know, coal miners used to take birds down into the mines with them to detect gas before men got sick. The artists certainly did that in the case of Vietnam. They chirped and keeled over. But it made no difference whatsoever. Nobody important cared. But I continue to think that artists — all artists — should be treasured as alarm systems.
quotes  inspiration 
5 days ago
Universal Basic Income Is Silicon Valley’s Latest Scam
To my surprise, the audience seemed to share my concerns. They’re not idiots, and the negative effects of their operations were visible everywhere they looked. Then an employee piped up with a surprising question: “What about UBI?”

Wait a minute, I thought. That’s my line
silicon-valley  ubi 
7 days ago
Hellfire: this is what our future looks like under climate change | World news | The Guardian
When you compare photos of the hypocenter of that nuclear blast with the excoriated ground just south of the Hartmans’ property, they are hard to tell apart.
wildfires  california  environment 
7 days ago
Orthodoxxed! | Online Only | n+1
My initial reaction, triggered by long-dormant Sokal Hoax antibodies, was to become outraged at the political motivations and damaging anti-academic effects of the project. But of course this only plays into the hands of the hoaxers, to whom indignation and charges of unethical conduct from the targets only reveal how effective the hoax actually was. In an article published two years before the Sokal Hoax, the decidedly unpostmodern science writer Jim Schnabel surveyed a range of historical scientific hoaxes (that is, those specifically intended to expose putatively fraudulent methodology) and concluded that they all unfold in roughly the same order. The hoax is perpetrated; the target replies that the hoax did not in fact challenge their competence and, besides, was ethically dubious; the hoaxer ridicules the target for their defensiveness; and the educated public makes a decision based not on the scientific merits of the hoax but on the relative orthodoxy of the hoaxer and hoaxee
academia  trolls 
7 days ago
A posthumous honor for the man who saved the world - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Stanislav Petrov chose to ignore the Soviet early-warning detection system, which had erroneously indicated five incoming American nuclear missiles. With his decision to ignore algorithms and instead follow his gut instinct, Petrov helped prevent an all-out US-Russia nuclear war,
war  nuclear  soviet  ai  broken 
11 days ago
Frank talk with Lady Gaga - Page 2 - latimes
Gaga has done something more specific: She's tapped into one of the primary obsessions of our age -- the changing nature of the self in relation to technology, the ever-expanding media sphere, and that sense of always being in character and publicly visible that Gaga calls "the fame" -- and made it her own obsession, the subject of her songs and the basis of her persona.
lady-gaga  aughts  social-media 
14 days ago
Lady Gaga Isn’t Done Shape-Shifting Yet - The New York Times
She read Andy Warhol’s books and realized that what most people want, when they dream of fame, is not necessarily wealth or power but limitlessness: the ability to change. So many artists start out gritty and homegrown but calcify into hardened personae over time; when Lady Gaga adopted her new name (sometime around 2006, most likely from a Queen song), she decided to flip the formula. What if she began with the character, and the character was the physical embodiment of flux? What if she never wore the same outfit twice, or gave an interview out of costume, or claimed to be a paragon of creative authenticity?
fame  lady-gaga  aughts 
14 days ago
Unfree Agents | Liz Pelly
Spotify forces independent musicians to work more like Uber drivers—beholden to the whim of a platform they can’t control, one whose “innovations” have undercut an industry that once provided some semblance of an organic support system. What’s more, at least one Spotify employee has referred to the company’s aspirations with the Uberish term “self-driving music,” language which points to a strategy that would see music creation and discovery become more automated and data-driven, and, as much as possible, human-free.
spotify  recommendation  music  gig-economy 
14 days ago
Deborah Eisenberg, Chronicler of American Insanity - The New York Times
“I’m hurtling through time, strapped to an explosive device, my life. Plus, it’s beginning to look like a photo finish — me first, or the world. It’s not so hard to figure out why I’m not sleeping. What I can’t figure out is why everybody else is sleeping.” (“Everybody else is sleeping because everybody else is taking pills,” the doctor says.)
books  quotes  insomnia 
16 days ago
Why Data Privacy Based on Consent Is Impossible
Take the Cambridge Analytica case. Very enlightened people complained, “Facebook shared the information without consent.” But was it really about consent? Based on all our behaviors, all the time, I promise you, if they had sought consent, they’d have gotten it. That’s not what outraged us. What outraged us was what Cambridge Analytica was doing, and has done, to democratic institutions and the fact that Facebook was so craven they didn’t care.
facebook  consent  privacy  Cambridge-Analytica  data 
18 days ago
How You Can Track Every Spy Satellite In Orbit
The operators of spy satellites try to keep those orbital parameters hidden, but in practice this just means hobbyist observers compete to track new satellites and orbital changes in existing satellites as a nightly challenge. As for governments, they have serious resources to devote to tracking spy satellites from competing agencies, which makes trying to hide anything even more futile.
satellite  space  surveillance 
21 days ago
The Wall Street Journal on Twitter: "More companies are using tools that deploy artificial intelligence to weed out job applicants based on data like facial micro expressions, or what they share on social media. But is this practice fair? https://t.co/Fdn
More companies are using tools that deploy artificial intelligence to weed out job applicants based on data like facial micro expressions, or what they share on social media. But is this practice fair?
ai  ae 
22 days ago
Common Cyborg | Jillian Weise | Granta
To Haraway, the cyborg is a matter of fiction, a struggle over life and death, a modern war orgy, a map, a condensed image, a creature without gender. The manifesto coopts cyborg identity while eliminating reference to disabled people on which the notion of the cyborg is premised. Disabled people who use tech to live are cyborgs. Our lives are not metaphors.
cyborg  disabled 
24 days ago
Just Don’t Call It Privacy - The New York Times
In a surveillance economy where companies track, analyze and capitalize on our clicks, the issue at hand isn’t privacy. The problem is unfettered data exploitation and its potential deleterious consequences — among them, unequal consumer treatment, financial fraud, identity theft, manipulative marketing and discrimination..In other words, asking companies whose business models revolve around exploiting data-based consumer-influence techniques to explain their privacy policies seems about as useful as asking sharks to hold forth on veganism
privacy  surveillance  workingon 
24 days ago
reCAPTCHA: The amazing truth behind this Google project
The reason the words are blurry or warped isn’t to test your patience; these are taken from scanned texts, which are often mistranslated by auto-digitising programs — or optical character recognition (OCR) software if you wish to get technical. That’s where we step in.

Through the use of CAPTCHAs, humans around the world digitised 20 years worth of New York Times back issues in mere months. Within the first year, 440 million words had been deciphered: the equivalent of 17,600 books.
google  captcha  machine-learning 
29 days ago
Jian Ghomeshi, John Hockenberry, and the Laws of Patriarchal Physics | The New Yorker
The worst thing about this accursed genre of personal essay—“My Year of Being Held Responsible for My Own Behavior”—may be that it consists, almost necessarily, of terrible writing.
4 weeks ago
Self-driving cars will cost more than $250,000 with today's available equipment — Quartz
That extra cost, according to one of the few experts prepared to discuss the subject openly: about $250,000 per vehicle.
4 weeks ago
Inside the remedial customer service class for deactivated Uber drivers | The Outline
Uber sends drivers like this directly to the guild’s remedial driving course — which costs $70 — to get back on the road. But Rana was making sure they also got a lesson in organized labor.
uber  gig-economy 
4 weeks ago
Linux 4.19-rc4 released, an apology, and a maintainership note - Linus Torvalds
, I need to change some of my
behavior, and I want to apologize to the people that my personal
behavior hurt and possibly drove away from kernel development

I am going to take time off and get some assistance on how to
understand people’s emotions and respond appropriately.
community  linux 
4 weeks ago
Massachusetts police tweet lets slip scale of leftwing surveillance | US news | The Guardian
Tom Arabia, a co-founder of Combat, said: “No one can deny the Massachusetts state police are surveilling leftwing organizations.”

He added that the image on the state police tweet “was both unsurprising and also a bit scary, because of how intimate it is in a sense to see your own organization listed in a police browser’s bookmarks”.
boston  police  surveillance  infiltration  activism 
4 weeks ago
Spotify to Use Playlists to Gauge Moods for Ad Targeting | Digital - Ad Age
"We've been able to aggregate this idea of launching playlists as a proxy for the activity or mood you're in," said Spotify's VP-North America advertising and partnerships Brian Benedik, who noted that the streaming music service has roughly 400,000 playlists related to barbecues.
affective-computing  spotify  music 
4 weeks ago
Gillian Flynn: A Howl
They don’t care about us enough to hate us. We are simply a form of livestock.
metoo  abuse  sexism 
4 weeks ago
Opinion | The Hacking of America - The New York Times
Democrats abandoned the working class for the microchip. Known in the 1980s as Atari Democrats, they were soon reinvented as the New Democrats. “Thanks to the near-miraculous capabilities of microelectronics, we are vanquishing scarcity,” a New Democrat manifesto announced in 1995, damning “those who cannot and will not participate in the knowledge economy” as “losers.”
history  technology  america 
4 weeks ago
Are duck-and-cover school drills from the nuclear era a useful parallel to active shooter drills?
Robert K. Musil, an anti-nuclear activist, wrote in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists in 1982 that a childhood filled with media coverage of atomic tests and duck-and-cover drills left him numb and preoccupied. “I particularly recall the early atomic tests on television, that showed a model house erected by the Army crumbling and disintegrating in the blast,” he wrote (he’s probably talking about this).

As Alex Wellerstein wrote to me in an email: “The argument I would make is that hiding under your desks from the nuclear threat makes it real and ‘embodied’ in a way that pretty much no other approach can do
nuclear  duck-and-cover  apocalypse 
4 weeks ago
Quit Using ‘Lolita’ To Absolve Your Guilt, John Hockenberry
Sixty years later, more people are noticing what Véra hoped for. But the flip side is that more people, particularly men, are clinging to Lolita to absolve their own terrible behavior. Dolores Haze is not a therapy animal. Feeling guilty about the trauma of girls and women doesn’t absolve you of your own bad deeds and thoughts.
4 weeks ago
On Amazon’s Time
“Every retail distribution center operator would love to be able to just have workers when they need them and not have them when they don’t,” Mark Meinster, the executive director of Warehouse Workers for Justice, told me. “There are various schemes to try to do that.” For that purpose, the best arrow in Amazon’s quiver is VTO... “an AM [Area Manager] actually told one of my former associates ‘Do you want to go home? Because the picks are about to get really bad,’” meaning the items on their “pick path” would be spread farther apart in the warehouse, and therefore more difficult to grab in the designated time.
amazon  labor 
4 weeks ago
Timed toilet breaks, impossible targets and workers falling asleep on feet: Brutal life working in Amazon warehouse - Mirror Online
Alone in a locked metal cage, 10 feet from my nearest colleague, a robot approaches from the shadows and thrusts a tower of shelves towards me.

I have nine seconds to grab and process an item to be sent for packing – a target of 300 items an hour, for hour after relentless hour.
4 weeks ago
Amazon’s ‘worker cage’ has been dropped, but its staff are not free | André Spicer | Opinion | The Guardian
. A wristband patented by the company (but which is not yet in use) can direct the movement of workers’ hands using “haptic feedback”
amazon  factory  labor 
4 weeks ago
FBI Locks Down, Evacuates AURA Solar Observatory in New Mexico
All that has happened over the last week at the National Solar Observatory in Sunspot, New Mexico, 130 miles southwest of Roswell—and the situation is still a mystery.
4 weeks ago
Leon Rocha グラフィックの男 on Twitter: "🛒🛍️ SUPERMARKETS, ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, AND ICE CREAM ✊🍨 *EXTREMELY ADAM CURTIS VOICE* 1/ This is a story about a supermarket chain that uses artificial intelligence, and h
The "artificial intelligence and machine learning" platform has historical stock and sales figures, and also has weather forecast built in. So when the system predicts hot weather coming, it automatically orders vast amounts of ice cream and soft drinks. Sounds fair enough?
ai  retail  automation 
4 weeks ago
Scientist Publishes A List Of Known Harassers in Academia | WCAI
“I'm also surprised at how institutions... were unable to act to protect students or junior faculty,” she said. “There are multiple cases of people who murdered the people that they were harassing.”
metoo  academia 
4 weeks ago
Last defendant in murder-for-hire case sentenced | News | pilotonline.com
Jay Glosser, of Queenswood Terrace in Chesapeake, was accused of conspiring to kill another TCC professor, Kimberly Perez, who had filed a sexual harassment complaint against him. Worried that the complaint could cost him his job, Glosser turned to his neighbor, Chesapeake trucking company owner Raymond Groves Sr., prosecutors said.
harassment  crime  academia 
4 weeks ago
Driverless Hype Collides With Merciless Reality - WSJ
“We don’t yet know how to pull off a computer driver that can perform as well or better than a human under all conditions”
driverless  av 
4 weeks ago
Gael García Bernal: "The cinema is very good for making deep friendships" - The San Diego Union-Tribune
"I think the Indio Fernández said that 'I make movies to travel and make friends.' Making friends makes me think it's something I understand quite well, and obviously traveling," he said...
"Because in the end, the film, what does it matter if it exists or not?" It does not have any empirical importance, it's the importance that one gives, I think that in a group we all act in that ritual, we all work on that mystery and it's there where we got together, "he continues explaining.
film  art 
5 weeks ago
Lots of car noises are fake — let’s make them more fun | The Outline
Weird thing is, in many newer cars, these noises are mostly fake.
cars  Skeuomorph 
5 weeks ago
Kameron Hurley: Hard Publishing Truths: Relationships Matter – Locus Online
9) Entire process from first editor’s desk to publication: four years.
That book that was almost not published was nominated for and won several awards.
writing  publishing 
5 weeks ago
Product placement may help power NASA’s next big space mission - The Verge
In August, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine told advisers that he is forming a new committee focused on figuring out how NASA can go commercial. The committee, headed by Maxar Technologies’ Mike Gold, will pursue ways NASA could work with advertisers to brand its spacecraft and rockets as well as investigate how astronauts might engage in endorsements and media opportunities — both on and off Earth.
nasa  space  capitalism  advertising 
5 weeks ago
Harvard Is Vaulting Workers Into the Middle Class With High Pay. Can Anyone Else Follow Its Lead? - The New York Times
April 2001, several dozen students from the Harvard Living Wage Campaign took over Massachusetts Hall, which housed the offices of the university’s top administrators, demanding a better deal for campus workers. How could one of the richest educational institutions in the country, they asked, with an endowment worth billions, pay so many people so badly?
activism  labor 
5 weeks ago
Can Mark Zuckerberg Fix Facebook Before It Breaks Democracy? | The New Yorker
Zuckerberg was convinced that he was ahead of his users, not at odds with them. In 2010, he said that privacy was no longer a “social norm.” That year, the company found itself in trouble again after it revised its privacy controls to make most information public by default
facebook  zuckerberg 
5 weeks ago
Facebook's Numbers and Polls of Its Users Tell Different Stories - Bloomberg
even if significant numbers of users are tempted to say they use Facebook less than they actually do, that’s significant information for advertisers. If users feel guilty about logging on to Facebook and don't have a positive experience, they might be less likely to buy things advertised on it.
5 weeks ago
Many Facebook users don't understand its news feed | Pew Research Center
When asked whether they understand why certain posts but not others are included in their news feed, around half of U.S. adults who use Facebook (53%) say they do not – with 20% saying they do not understand the feed at all well. Older users are especially likely to say they do not understand the workings of the news feed: Just 38% of Facebook users ages 50 and older say they have a good understanding of why certain posts are included in it, compared with 59% of users ages 18 to 29.
5 weeks ago
Revisiting the Downtown Scene Through Alien Eyes in ‘Liquid Sky’ - The New York Times
It was also the most eccentric example of those Reagan-era movies — “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” “Splash,” “Moscow on the Hudson,” to name three — in which America is shown through foreign eyes.
80s  cold-war  new-wave 
5 weeks ago
Replace ‘Tech’ With ‘Banks,’ and We’ve Seen a Big Comeuppance Before - The New York Times
It often feels as though these companies took on their pivotal positions so quickly that no one — not even their employees — had a chance to understand how they really worked or how much influence they had....But the regulations also appear to have cemented the status of the biggest banks in our economy. The largest financial institutions now control a bigger proportion of the industry’s assets than they did before the crisis.
silicon-valley  regulation 
5 weeks ago
Amazon workers in Australia describe warehouse 'hellscape'
"associates", as Amazon calls them - have described a cult-like corporate culture at the warehouse, where each day begins with group stretching exercises and workers having to share an "Amazon success story".

Managers then lead a team chant, such as "Quality!", "Success!", "Amazon!", or "Prime!", sometimes while jumping in the air.
amazon  factory 
5 weeks ago
Amazon’s Antitrust Antagonist Has a Breakthrough Idea - The New York Times
Ms. Khan was not the first to criticize Amazon, and she said the company was not really her target anyway. “Amazon is not the problem — the state of the law is the problem, and Amazon depicts that in an elegant way,” she said.
amazon  antitrust  law 
5 weeks ago
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