❝ Documents obtained by the New York Times show how the social giant’s international content moderation strategy is dictated by thousands of pages of PowerPoint presentations and spreadsheets that “sometimes clumsily” tell thousands of moderators what to allow and what to delete. The revelation raises deep questions about the future of Facebook’s role in international discourse — especially in the wake of damaging revelations about how the platform allowed propaganda during the 2016 U.S. presidential elections…
❝ Facebook moderators who spoke to the Times under condition of anonymity said they felt hamstrung by the extraordinarily complex rule set, which forces them to make rapid decisions, sometimes using Google Translate, about fraught topics including terrorism and sectarian violence…
❝ The result, according to the Times, is that Facebook has become a “far more powerful arbiter of global speech than has been publicly recognized or acknowledged by the company itself.”
RTFA. Ain’t about to make you assured the Honchos are working for the common good or trying to match historical standards. But, then, 19th Century minds rely on 17th Century guidebooks written by a handful of English pimps to a colonial King. Or The Players Edition of the Rules of Golf.
❝ If you were a Roman citizen around, say, 200 BC, you probably would have assumed Rome was going to last forever.
At the time, Rome was the greatest republic in human history, and its institutions had proven resilient through invasions and all kinds of disasters. But the foundations of Rome started to weaken less than a century later, and by 27 BC the republic had collapsed entirely.
❝ The story of Rome’s fall is both complicated and relatively straightforward: The state became too big and chaotic; the influence of money and private interests corrupted public institutions; and social and economic inequalities became so large that citizens lost faith in the system altogether and gradually fell into the arms of tyrants and demagogues.
This is more than a deja vu moment. The article confronts American greed, corruption, ignorance, bigotry and – did I mention – greed. Read it, please. If your favorite Congress-critter or President is a Trumpublican, you know that they won’t.
Quite a lot!
How much of the internet is fake? ❝ Studies generally suggest that, year after year, less than 60 percent of web traffic is human; some years, according to some researchers, a healthy majority of it is bot. For a period of time in 2013, the Times reported this year, a full half of YouTube traffic was “bots masquerading as people,” a portion so high that employees feared an inflection point after which YouTube’s systems for detecting fraudulent traffic would begin to regard bot traffic as real and human traffic as fake. They called this hypothetical event “the Inversion.”
Fits well into my personal lifestyle. You can be both a cynic and an optimist.
❝ Humanity has wiped out 60% of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970, leading the world’s foremost experts to warn that the annihilation of wildlife is now an emergency that threatens civilisation.
The new estimate of the massacre of wildlife is made in a major report produced by WWF and involving 59 scientists from across the globe. It finds that the vast and growing consumption of food and resources by the global population is destroying the web of life, billions of years in the making, upon which human society ultimately depends for clean air, water and everything else.
❝ “We are sleepwalking towards the edge of a cliff” said Mike Barrett, executive director of science and conservation at WWF. “If there was a 60% decline in the human population, that would be equivalent to emptying North America, South America, Africa, Europe, China and Oceania. That is the scale of what we have done.”
❝ “This is far more than just being about losing the wonders of nature, desperately sad though that is,” he said. “This is actually now jeopardising the future of people. Nature is not a ‘nice to have’ – it is our life-support system.”
This may surprise our misleaders; but, all Earth’s species are the product of an evolution millions of years in process. Interdependence is a normal part of such processes. Survival really does concern more than greed and war. It requires perception, understanding, education and management. Management – most often – of the humans at the top of the food chain.
Rockcastle Creek, Kentucky – contaminated by coal sludge
❝ Aleigha Sloan can’t remember ever drinking a glass of water from the tap at her home…
“You just don’t touch that tap water unless absolutely necessary. I mean, like showers and things — you have to do what you have to do. But other than that, no,” she says. “I don’t know anybody that does…”
“You take it for granted until you don’t have it,” BarbiAnn Maynard says about a clean water supply. “I think that’s the attitude of a lot people right now, but I don’t think they understand how close they are to it happening to them.”
❝ Americans across the country, from Maynard’s home in rural Appalachia to urban areas like Flint, Mich., or Compton, Calif., are facing a lack of clean, reliable drinking water. At the heart of the problem is a water system in crisis: aging, crumbling infrastructure and a lack of funds to pay for upgrading it.
Americans think they “rose up” against a corrupt political system by installing someone for whom corruption, profiteering and greed are his religion. Who is dumb and who is dumber?
❝ ’Tis the quarter before holiday shopping season, and the president just announced tariffs on another $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, in addition to the $50 billion in products he imposed duties on over the summer.
The new tariffs could jack up prices on all sorts of standard Christmas purchases, including televisions, computers, mittens and knit hats…
More to the point, Trump’s tariffs could make Black Friday truly bleak.
❝ That’s true for the consumers whose wages are barely keeping up with inflation, and who don’t have the spare change lying around to cover a 10- or 25 percent price hike if Trump’s tariffs get tacked on to the cost of presents they plan to stash under the tree.
But it’s also true for U.S. companies, including major American success stories such as Apple. The consumer products giant counts on holiday retail sales for about a third of its annual revenue. It has already warned investors that its watch, wireless headphones and Mac mini computer, among other products, might take a hit.
Unless you are the sort of Republican Party donor who loves truly grotesque indulgences like, say, ostrich jackets or Gucci golf bags, the average wealthy American doesn’t spend a whole helluva lot more geedus on family presents than an upper middle class family. There are limits to consumerism before you reach neurosis.
The Fake President and his Congressional flunkies consider saddling future generations with a quick Trillion$ addition to the national debt just part of the election game. The part of this nation defined by the words “working families” has to guide their economic lives with some form of budget. And, now, the Washington Clown Show is making it even harder.
“Genie Energy Ltd. is an American energy company headquartered in Newark, New Jersey. It is a holding company comprising Genie Retail Energy, a retail energy provider in the United States, and Genie Oil and Gas, which is pursuing a conventional oil project in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.”
Republican or Democrat, Conservative or Liberal members of America’s political Establishment, these misleaders of the wonderful 2-Party System of electoral politics all wave the same flag, owe their allegiance to profits before people.