Thursday, November 11, 2021

Is talking to strangers on the Internet making us crazy?

 Is talking to strangers on the Internet making us crazy? - Adjacent Possible – Steven Johnson: “…The first is that the follow/fan dynamic is not the only kind of stranger interaction that the social media age has greatly amplified. There has also been a staggering increase in casual, drive-by encounters with random people online—and most importantly, with the ideas and opinions of other people. Every single day on Twitter I stumble across probably at least a dozen clever or funny or provocative things that total strangers have shared, many with links leading off to longer articles or podcasts or videos.

 These are not op-ed columnists or television anchors; they’re folks who I would have had no way of eavesdropping on thirty years ago. And now they just drift into my consciousness, day after day, a constant source of discovery and serendipity. But they’re not stars or celebrities in my world; they’re peers. And this is the key point: these people are strangers, but I don’t enter into anything resembling what Hayes calls a “Star and Fan” relationship with them. We pass each other in our shared virtual space, and some little gift of new information or perspective shuttles between us. What Hayes is talking about is the part of the Internet where everyone is the star of their own reality TV series. But the other part of the Internet—which was really what got me excited about it so many years ago—is more like the kind of stranger interaction that has always been celebrated in dense cities. (Contact between strangers has long been a key experience that urbanists cite as one of the virtues of cities as opposed to suburbs.) Except the Internet version is often better than the folkloric pedestrian interactions of urban life, because most of the time the only strangers whose opinions you hear when walking down an actual sidewalk are crazy people shouting “What’s the frequency, Kenneth?”

Robinhood Markets Inc. announced on Monday an embarrassing security breach that exposed the personal information of millions of its users, which will be of particular concern to the 300 or so customers who suffered the worst privacy compromise.

Why Exactly 310 of Robinhood's 7 Million Cyber-Attack Victims Should Be Worried

At tens of thousands of pages, Claude Fredericks's diary is engrossing, tedious, and quite possibly a masterpiece 

Wealthy Countries Are Spending More on Border Security Than Climate Aid Gizmodo

Woolly soldier memorial unveiled as Armistice Day tribute by ‘Knitting Banksy’ Largs & Millpor

Here’s why on Remembrance Day politicians should be kept away from the commemorationsGuardian

“Courage beyond doubt.” John Pilger, The Scrum

How to keep your intimate, embarrassing or damaging text messages as private as possible - Washington Post: “…Secure messaging is essential for people like political dissidents, whistleblowers and journalists talking to sources. But a conversation doesn’t need to fall into the hands of a government to be damaging, and you don’t need to be sharing anything high-profile to be at risk. In addition to being subpoenaed by law enforcement, private chats can be shared without consent in social groups, on social media, with reporters or end up in civil trials…Everyone can have a text message they’re not proud of, a conversation that’s too personal for the general public, or be targeted for attending a protest. While these precautions can help, they won’t make you 100 percent safe. “Nothing makes you a ghost,” says Alexis Hancock, director of engineering at the nonprofit digital rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation…”

  1. “Nationalists think they must be anti-multiculturalism, and multiculturalists think they must be anti-nationalist. Yet in practice, in at least some times and places, citizens are able to reconcile the two” — Will Kymlicka (Queens) on confronting political theory with empirical evidence
  2. The pandemic ethics conversation with Peter Singer at Rhodes College that some faculty urged be canceled — it happened, and it is now online, hosted on YouTube by Brain In a Vat
  3. “Intuitive theories of minds and brains are more complex than has commonly been acknowledged” — recent work in x-phi on how people think the mind and the brain interact
  4. “Public intellectuals… need to engage deeply with the cultures they address, the academic standards of the fields from which they borrow, and the rhetorical moves of their own narratives” — a look at two scientists’ contrasting approaches to taking up humanistic questions
  5. “A species of morally insane beings boasting enormous cerebrums and minuscule bodies” — how late-Victorian era articles from the journal Mind contributed to the archetype of the mad scientist (via Sebastian Lutz)
  6. “It is her dignity that for so long caused me to presume that my friend must have been born into the class in which she now seems so at home—and to know, as dull functionaries do not, when it is undignified to speak of certain things” — “Second-generation GI Bill philosopher” Justin E. H. Smith on class, paradoxical individualism, Proust, and identity
  7. “Knowing who your genetic progenitors are can be a genuine source of self-knowledge… But it is important to see that it is just one possible source among many” — Daniel Groll (Carleton) on the ethics of sperm and egg donation