ethics

Medium
"So the bottom line is this: if we want to bring about real change, then the choice isn’t between protest and politics. We have to do both. We have to mobilize to raise awareness, and we have to organize and cast our ballots to make sure that we elect candidates who will act on reform."
President Obama on finding meaningful reform.
pri.org
"The compromise that was reached was to leave that option open for using tear gas or riot control agents in law enforcement and only in law enforcement."
Why we allow tear gas against our own people in peacetime. See also: TED Talk: Non-lethal weapons, a moral hazard?
tbray.org
"Firing whistleblowers isn’t just a side-effect of macroeconomic forces, nor is it intrinsic to the function of free markets. It’s evidence of a vein of toxicity running through the company culture. I choose neither to serve nor drink that poison."
Tech pioneer Tim Bray leaves Amazon over warehouse worker firings.
The Verge The Verge
image from The Verge
Casey Newton is back with another look at the human cost of social media.
I asked Harrison, a licensed clinical psychologist, whether Facebook would ever seek to place a limit on the amount of disturbing content a moderator is given in a day. How much is safe?

“I think that’s an open question,” he said.
Important reporting here that I hope will help people that these powerful corporations are forgetting.
The Verge The Verge
cover image from The Verge
I have to link to this excellent reporting by Casey Newton. This is an important article that shows the human cost of maintaining large centralized social networks. I think it also reveals a sick society where people are constantly uploading psychologically scarring material that other people then have to sift through. I felt like Facebook's response was weak—at some point the we're growing too fast to keep up and we're so new at this doesn't work. As Bloomberg points out, companies have always said artificial intelligence is just around the corner to save the day. I think that's why companies view human moderators as a failure of technology rather than a key piece of their success. Matt Haughey ran an indie corner of the open internet for years and knows Content moderation has no easy answers. Just because it's hard doesn't mean we shouldn't hold Facebook accountable. They made decisions that created this problem and it's a shameful aspect of the internet we need to fix.
Motherboard Motherboard
image from Motherboard
10. We need strong regulation to protect our privacy
20. Goto 10


I think every large company has violated our privacy now—selling user data is the culture! So we need to change that culture via regulation. Congressional investigations with no follow-up are not scaring companies; so promises like this ring hollow: AT&T says it'll stop selling your location data. The week before it was IBM selling Weather Channel app location data: Los Angeles Accuses Weather Channel App of Covertly Mining User Data. With no repercussions we'll see these headlines over and over.
washingtonpost.com washingtonpost.com
We have recently had regular E. coli outbreaks while the FDA was fully staffed. It seems like a bad idea to understaff them right now.

Update (1/11): Oh good.

This.

If I was still on Twitter I'd link to this article by Joel Spolsky with the text, "This." Instead, I'll say that Joel describes the Twitter and Facebook addiction problem better than I've been able to: Birdcage liners.

For a look at the mechanics behind intermittent reinforcement that Joel describes there's a book called Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products. It's as gross as it sounds. However, it does help you look at the products you use in a new, harsher light. I'd use the book as a digital literacy exercise rather than a how-to manual as it's intended.
  • In this Long Now talk Kevin Kelly wonders if the networked machines are working for us or if we're working for the networked machines.
  • Tim O'Reilly reflects on his successes and failures in building a sustainable business. "While our ideals are what define us, combining those ideals with a results-oriented business culture is how we have continued to thrive." [via anil]
  • lia put together this record of a Twitter conversation about the current state of Flickr and photo-sharing in general. Depressing: "...nobody cares about lasting value anymore. it's all about what's going on right this second."
  • Sharing music one track at a time. This is a fun site.
  • This app is a good replacement for the cumbersome iTunes podcast manager. It downloads podcasts directly, no syncing required.
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