Jack Dorsey Seems Like Another Rich Asshat  

Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey said he is rethinking core parts of the social media platform so it doesn’t enable the spread of hate speech, harassment and false news, including conspiracy theories shared by prominent users like Alex Jones and Infowars.

Wow, only 4 or 5 years too late.

Dorsey said he was experimenting with features that would promote alternative viewpoints in Twitter’s timeline to address misinformation and reduce “echo chambers.” He also expressed openness to labeling bots — automated accounts that sometimes pose as human users

Ok. Labeling bots is, and has been, a ridiculously obvious solution. Sure, there are byproducts (when a bot slips through, the fact that it’s not labeled as a bot may provide it some validity), but surely the AI/ML solution to identifying bots and labeling them is much easier than doing so and trying to decide who is a bad actor.

Twitter some day could also label automated accounts, which businesses also use to send out information such as weather or stock prices, Dorsey said … Dorsey said the company had not done so yet “because we’ve prioritized other work that we believe will have greater impact,” including shutting down fake accounts.

How’s that working out for you?

Twitter remains a cesspool, run by someone who either is naive to the impact his platform has, or is perfectly willing to profit off of the massively negative impact his platform has. Maybe it’s both.

But, like Facebook, Twitter continues to do far too little to combat this massive problem. Twitter, unlike Facebook (and Google and Apple and pretty much everyone else), doesn’t seem to care about even appearing to want to solve the problem.

Visual Studio Code vs. Atom  

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been toying with Visual Studio Code as my primary editor, seeing how it does replacing Atom. Most of my work, at the moment, is either looking at (or poorly) writing Node, or working in Terraform. Atom has some packages that offer really nice Terraform support. VS Code has a couple that offer as good (or better). And VS Code seems much better—in my limited experience—with Node than Atom does.

The one place I’ve not found the support as good is for Jekyll. I really like the Atom package that let’s me create a quick post, simply for the ability for it to automatically name the file. I haven’t found something similar in VS Code yet.

I guess maybe it’s time for me to build an extension ….

Yeah, Zuckerberg is an Idiot or Super Villain  

Okay. “Sandy Hook didn’t happen” is not a debate. It is false. You can’t just take that down?

I agree that it is false.

I also think that going to someone who is a victim of Sandy Hook and telling them, “Hey, no, you’re a liar” — that is harassment, and we actually will take that down. But overall, let’s take this whole closer to home…

I’m Jewish, and there’s a set of people who deny that the Holocaust happened.

I find that deeply offensive. But at the end of the day, I don’t believe that our platform should take that down because I think there are things that different people get wrong. I don’t think that they’re intentionally getting it wrong, …

This is the most idiotic thing someone has ever said. This is an abdication of responsibility. There was a point in time that he could be proud of his legacy. Now he’s going to go down in history as a villain or an idiot. Or both.

But he’ll be rich and powerful and that’s all he probably cares about.

Haven't Reached the Threshold  

Facebook’s global head of policy management, Monika Bickert, said that while Facebook had removed some of Infowars’ posts, Infowars itself did not deserve to be banned. “If they posted sufficient content that it violated our threshold, the page would come down,” she told Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), who asked a similar question. “That threshold varies depending on the severity of different types of violations.”

But when it came to Infowars, she told Raskin, “they have not reached the threshold.”

What the fuck do you have to do to get banned from Facebook if accusing the families of the children killed at Sandy Hook as actors isn’t enough?

There’s a better than 80% chance I’m off of Facebook before the end of the year. I only use it to share photos of my kids with family, and there are other ways to do that.

Between Zuckerberg and Elon Musk, we seem to have very much entered the realm of the billionaire super villain.

They Must Have Been Taking a Knee in the Pit  

As per Adam Stern of Sports Business Journal, the 14 regular races on Fox and FS1 (excluding rain-delayed races at Martinsville and Bristol) averaged 3,983,000 viewers this year, down 19 percent (and almost a million viewers) from last year’s 4,898,000 average for Fox/FS1 races and down 29 percent from the high-water mark of 5,578,000 they averaged in 2016.

I bet that’s because all those viewers are turning out when the NASCAR drivers started taking a knee.

End Family Separation  

It’s hard to have the energy to react to every single thing the Trump administration does. Cut taxes on the top 1%; offer to recognize Crimea as part of Russia; invent a city where ICE liberated them from MS-13; criticize the press as an enemy of the state and then don’t respond when someone goes and actually shoots them.

My wife has been much more responsive to this ongoing attack on human decency (not American values, but simply). I have fallen into the trap of just mentally tallying the people in and around my life for whom I have lost respect.

But, now having kids of my own, I simply don’t know how it’s conscionable to separate young children from their parents.

Say what you want about (illegal) immigration. It’s just not as big an issue as people want to believe it is, but, whatever, I’ll concede it’s illegal. But taking babies away from their parents, isolating them, and having no plan on how to reunite them?

That’s fucking evil. That’s “go down in history” evil.

The people who work for the administration, from the top down to the officers enforcing this policy, are complicit. The fact that there is still no plan how to bring these families back together is heartbreaking. I get weepy when I think about someone taking my kids away from me and putting them somewhere that they might not get back to me.

This is the line that I don’t think you can come back from. You’re either a human being with feelings and empathy, or you’re not.

We all know Stephen Miller and Donald Trump fall in the latter category. I’d hope everyone else isn’t quite so evil.

And, remember, this is a President who’s expressed a belief in authoritarian rule, the end of due process, and maybe that being President for life isn’t such a bad idea. Today, it’s somebody else’s kid. Who is to say that it’s not your kid tomorrow?

Watch These and Make the World Better  

My wife and I watched a couple of Netflix comedy specials. In today’s environment, I think understanding (or at least being able to have empathy for) people who aren’t like you is super important. Both of these specials bring a different perspective that I think everyone can benefit from.

Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette is funny, but it’s far more than that. It’s a straight up gut punch. More than anything right now, more people need to watch this.

Tig Notaro’s Happy to Be Here is also very funny, with a very dry, understated view of her life, celebrity, parenting, and a whole host of other topics. And it ends with one of the funniest, joyful fifteen minutes of comedy you’ll see. Sort of.

10 Months  

I tend to be a digital completionist. I keep a set of shows, movies, podcasts, books, video games that I’m working through, and I tend not to move on until I finish the ones I have. I’m one of those people who gets DVR anxiety when too many shows have backed up. I get stressed when I have too many unlisted podcasts.

Or I used to.

It was, coincidentally, on my boys’ 10 month birthday that I caught up on my podcasts for the first time in, well, 10 months.

Top 10 of 2017: #1 Fast Romantics - Why We Fight  

#1 Fast Romantics - Why We Fight

Sure, it’s a little derivative of Springsteen, or maybe The National, or even some Neon Bible era Arcade Fire. But, in a shitty year where bad things keep happening, you need something to keep your head up and keep you going.

Whether it was written intentionally as a response to the election of President Trump or not, it’s a great song to keep your energy (and anger) pointed in the right direction.1And sometimes that matters the most.

  1. Taking back Congress in 2018, and the Presidency in 2020. 

Top 10 of 2017: #2 Benjamin Booker - Witness  

#2 Benjamin Booker - Witness

On it’s face, it’s a good song. A little gospel, some R&B, a little nod to hip-hop. Without even diving into the lyrics, it’s catchy, with that little lilting piano riff repeating over and over through the intro.

Then you dive into the lyrics, and think about where we were in 2017, and where we are in 2018, and where we will continue to be for the foreseeable future, and the song takes on a whole lot more weight.

(Also, hand claps.)