Have you heard about Silicon Valley’s unpaid research and development department? It’s called the EU. by Aral Balkan (ar.al)

You… yes you.
Who should you thank for Facebook’s Libra?
“One of the UK’s leading privacy researchers” University College London The DECODE project And, if you’re an EU citizen who pays their taxes,
You. Surprised? Don’t be.
None of this was unforeseen Today, the EU acts like an unpaid research and development department for Silicon Valley. We fund startups, which, if they’re successful, get sold to companies in Silicon Valley.

via Tom Zylstra

I have used the phare, "I'm busy", in the past. It's not part of West Indian culture so I must have learned this way of signalling one's worth from living in the USA. I'm not sure when I stopped trying to be busy.

Imagine if we were to temporarily step outside of our busyness and examine it from the outside. Why are we so damn obsessed with doing stuff all the time? Busy — is this the way we want to live and define our lives? Given the objectively absolute fact that we are only here for a limited time, is busyness even a rational benchmark for quantifying the value of our existence? To what extent do we ‘choose’ to be busy — or to what extent are we caught up in a toxic cultural motif or script?Why are we busy? by James Shelly

The Internet Judgment Machine is a forever machine, not unlike, the Terminator. Mistakes are forever punishable. Forgiveness is becoming a word with no meaning. The Intenet never forgets is a problem.

Kashuv had planned to attend Harvard in fall 2020 after completing a gap year, but shortly after his past racist comments became public, administrators advised him that his acceptance could be withdrawn "if you engage or have engaged in behavior that brings into question your honesty, maturity, or moral character." He was asked to provide a full explanation for his behavior, which he did. He also emailed Harvard's Office of Diversity Education and Support, vowing to make amends. This office told him "we appreciate your thoughtful reflections and look forward to connecting with you upon your matriculation in the fall of 2020."

Alas, it was not to be: The dean of admissions decided to rescind Kashuv's admissionHarvard University Cancels Kyle Kashuv by Robby Soave on Reason

These are the same cohort who routinely fall off cliffs and building and get mauled by wild animals while attempting to capture the best selfie.

In a post written last year, I explained why it's a mistake to give special credence to the policy views of victims of horrible tragedies. Surviving a school shooting, or some other awful event, doesn't give you any special insight into the moral and policy questions at stake. Survivors deserve empathy and respect—but not deference to their policy views, except in rare instances where they have genuine expertise on the subject. Why We Shouldn't Treat Survivors and Victims as Authorities on Policy Issues by Ilya Somin on Reason

Western society is headed toward a place where we are trading real freedoms in exchange for perceived freedoms.

The ban was implemented following an ASA review which concluded that stereotypical depictions pave the way for "real-world psychological, physical, economic, social and political harm for individuals and groups."
...
Gender stereotypes "constrict people's choices," says the ASA review. Yet the ban itself does precisely that, as it limits companies from advertising their products as they see fit and shields consumers from ideas associated with wrongthink.The U.K. Has Banned 'Harmful Gender Stereotypes' in Advertisements by Billy Binnion on Reason

I'm starting to see a pattern to these articles. The theme seems to be "judgment"; judging others against one's moral standard and trying to "force" them to live by that standard. It's a dangerous trend.

In addition to bans, fees, and moral preening, anti-plastic bag advocates have a new trick up their sleeve for inspiring you to bring a reusable tote on your next trip to the grocery store: shame.

Two weeks ago, East West Market, a grocery store in Vancouver, Canada, rolled out a new line of single-use plastic bags for customers who don't bring bags to the store. The bags feature less than flattering business names, including "The Colon Care Co-Op," "Into the Weird Adult Video Emporium," and "Dr. Toew's Wart Ointment Wholesale."Anti-Plastic Bag Activists Have a New Weapon: Shame by Christian Britschgi.

Unexceptional Racism by Drew Downs (Drew Downs)

At the root of American identity is an impossible paradox. A truth we wish could coexist so much, we would take up arms to defend it.

We want to be exceptional and equal at the same time. But we can’t. It’s impossible.

Sunday Paper is my personal collage of long-form articles, between 1,000 and 20,000 words, that I have saved during the weekend, that I found interesting and which I think require deep slow thinking. I think they are best read on a Sunday morning as a sort of personal Sunday newspaper.

The pastor's writing is a reflection on Kelly Brown Douglas’s book, Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God.

Brazilian Farmers won't sell their coffee crops until prices rebound from record lows.

The current price of coffee futures on the commodities market has, as of writing this, dipped just below the $.91 mark, bottoming out thus far today at 90.88 cents. It is sadly no longer news when the C price hits a new low; the only number that seems to be increasing is just exactly how long it is has been since the price of coffee was this low. Currently, that number sits at 13 years.

In response to this, some Brazilian farmers are refusing to sell their harvest until there is what Bloomberg calls a “price miracle.” Sprudge

Ireland shits on the GDPR.

Years before the social-media giant unwittingly released the personal data of 87 million users that made its way to Cambridge Analytica and the 2016 Trump campaign, Ireland’s data-privacy regulator found that it was failing to screen applications in a way that could have prevented the breach.

The then-head of Ireland’s Data Protection Commission recorded his complaint in a 2011 audit report that zeroed in on how Facebook was allowing outside app developers to gain access to oceans of “friend” data. Facebook pushed back on the finding, according to the agency, and the Irish regulator backed off, issuing an almost perfect score for Facebook’s privacy practices in a follow-up report a year later. The rampant exposure of data wasn’t corrected until years later — too late to prevent the Cambridge Analytica breach.How one country blocks the world on data privacy by NICHOLAS VINOCUR

I perused Dooce. I wonder what it feels like for her kids to go out into a world where people know everything about them. What does it feel like to live without anonymity, because your parent has shared photos and details of your life since before you were born? How did her co-workers feel when they found out they were the subject of her blog posts?

Armstrong lives on a quiet, leafy street in Salt Lake City, at the bottom of the snow-capped Wasatch mountain. She shares a home with her boyfriend Pete Ashdown, an early internet mogul and fellow ex-Mormon, and her two daughters, 15-year-old Leta and 9-year-old Marlo.

Armstrong is tall, thin, and blonde — precisely the stereotype of a successful blogger. Except, she notes with a sly grin while petting her Australian shepherd, Coco, “I’m also an irreverent ex-Mormon who is willing to speak her mind.” She admits she has a tendency for melodrama. She curses often and exaggerates frequently.

While she still chronicles her life — her family’s lives — on Dooce, her focus right now is on mental health. This is why she recently published her third book, The Valedictorian of Being Dead, a raw account of her experience with depression and how the trial at the University of Utah helped her recover. “I want people with depression to feel like they are seen,” she says, “especially here in Utah, where teen suicide is an epidemic.”

Armstrong has struggled with depression since college. But she also believes the major depressive episode she experienced two years ago was likely a consequence of sharing her life online so publicly, and for so long.

“The hate was very, very scary and very, very hard to live through,” she says. “It gets inside your head and eats away at your brain. It became untenable.” She was the “queen of the mommy bloggers.” Then her life fell apart. By Chavie Lieber for Vox

The tunnels carrying commuter trains from New Jersey into New York City need repair. New York and New Jersey state government don't have the budget to pay for repairs. The cheap way forward - shutting down the tunnels -would affect the regional economy. New York City wants to charge a commuter tax, in addition to the $35 round-trip cost of a ticket.

According to a study conducted by the Regional Plan Association, a partial shutdown of the Hudson River tunnel to repair damage without having a new tunnel already built would cost the economy an estimated $16 billion over four years, and would reduce home values by an estimated $22 billion, Wright said. A shutdown would also mean a dramatic increase in commuter travel times, increased congestion on public transit and roadways, decreased economic productivity, and job losses, he said.

Train travel below the Hudson River between New Jersey and New York is already unreliable due to the tunnel’s advanced age and the extensive damage the tunnels sustained during Superstorm Sandy. “The frog is already boiling,” Wright said. The tunnel is deteriorating and will soon reach the end of its useful life. In order to repair the existing tunnel, the two tubes would need to be closed one by one, reducing the number of trains going in and out of Penn Station by as much as 75 percent. Wright said an estimated 38,000 commuters would need to find another way in and out of New York if one of the two tubes is shut down for repairs before a new tunnel is built.

And public transportation ridership is down.Why Princeton area residents should care about the Gateway Tunnel project by Krystal Knapp (Planet Princeton)

The New York Congestion Commuter Tax will be an additional cost for drivers enters Manhattan from toll bridge and tunnels. I don't drive into Manhattan. I prefer driving to Jersey City, parking and taking the PATH or water ferry to lower Manhattan. A congestion tax would certainly encourage more people to take that route, making that a less desirable option for me. It would most likely also raise the price of the PATH and ferry as demand increases.

Starting in early 2021, vehicles entering Manhattan below 60th Street will pay a toll to raise money to fix New York City’s beleaguered subway. While the fees have not been set, some experts believe it could cost about $14, igniting a fight among interest groups to win exemptions or discounts.

About 115,000 people drive from New Jersey into Manhattan below 60th Street every weekday — about 13 percent of the 880,000 people who drive into the congestion zone, according to a 2017 count by the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council, a prominent planning agency. That does not include an additional 150,000 people who cross the George Washington Bridge each day, from New Jersey to New York, many of whom are also destined for the congestion zone.
...
Furious drivers and elected officials might have few options aside from lobbying Mr. Cuomo and transit leaders. Other groups have started jockeying for favors. Leaders on Staten Island want a discount for drivers using the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge so they are not tolled twice. Police officers are calling for an exemption when they drive to work.

But the outcry is perhaps loudest in New Jersey, a place that some say has a chip on its shoulder when it comes to New York. “I’m waiting for the Oxygen tax,” one man vented on Facebook. “That’s fine,” another man wrote. “I’ll never drive there again.”

Drivers already pay as much as $15 to use the Lincoln and Holland tunnels or the George Washington Bridge to enter Manhattan. Some might switch to New Jersey Transit, the state’s commuter railroad and bus network. But the system is often no more reliable than the subway and also suffers from years of neglect. New York Is Adopting Congestion Pricing. New Jersey Wants Revenge. By Emma G. Fitzsimmons for the New York Times

Currently, a one-way commute from my home to New York City, using public transportation, takes over two hours. Shutting down the tunnel would likely cause some people to reevaluate where they work. I’d be extremely reluctant to commute three or more hours. Will upgrading the tunnels do anything to stem the reduction in the use of public transit?

In cities across the country, 2018 transit ridership numbers continued to slip as would-be riders turned to other modes of transportation — namely private vehicles.

Public transit ridership declined to a level not seen since 2006, according to statistics compiled by the American Public Transportation Association, falling 2 per cent compared to 2017 levels.

The drop marks a trend that started in 2015, following a banner year in 2014, when ridership reached 10.8 billion trips, a level not seen since the middle of the last century.

And the declines seem to affect transit agencies at all levels. In fact, the largest public transit systems — New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area and Washington, D.C. — all posted declines in 2018 ridership.2018 Was the Year of the Car, and Transit Ridership Felt It

Kara Swisher think that Web 3.0 is dead and is being replaced by whatever comes next. She thinks AI is going to crush the world.

Computing as we know it is being changed by AI and machine learning. It is already everywhere — from when you talk to Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa or see your list of movies on Netflix or interact with a chatbot. Its use, both generally and for highly specific things, has and will continue to impact innumerable fields, resulting in massive job disruption.

Economists and consulting firms have long predicted that AI will change workplaces and the workforce, but I think they’ve been underselling it. For example, when a Google deep learning program can quickly study a super-complex multiplayer strategy game and then kick the crap out of the best human players on the planet, perhaps we should think hard about where it will go next.Can anyone tame the next internet?

Article 13 makes it official. It's time to embrace decentralization by Ben WerdmüllerBen Werdmüller (Ben Werdmüller)

European directives leave it up to the member states to implement. The resulting legislation in the Netherlands will necessarily look different to Germany, and so on. While each of these nations could expand upon the directive and make it even more far-reaching, it's fair to assume that it will probably be retained.

 

All of which means that peer-to-peer decentralized social networks are exempt, if you're hosting your profile yourself. Nobody on the indie web is going to need to implement upload filters. Similarly, nobody on the federated social web, or using decentralized apps, will either. In these architectures, there are no service providers that store or provide access to large amounts of work. It's in the ether, being hosted from individual servers, which could sit in datacenters or could sit in your living room.

 

While the internet economy has been dominated by services that leverage network effects to date, this directive is one way that monolithic networks have changed from an asset into a liability. Because the cumulative value in a network is owned by a single party, that party becomes subject to enormous rules and regulations over time. The network effects are enjoyed by everyone, but owned by one company. Instead, it's better to create a system where the network effects are both enjoyed and owned by everyone.

I stopped directly uploading my content to Facebook and Google some time ago. I have never uploaded original content to YouTube.