LRB: Cambridge Analytica.

Interviewed for one of the Channel 4 reports, she speaks of Cambridge Analytica’s ‘massive propaganda effort [which] affected the thought processes of voters’. And yet data analysis is at the heart of modern political campaigning. Clinton, after all, preferred to study data on Michigan from the comfort of her Brooklyn campaign office than actually to visit the state, even as panicking Michigan Democrats pleaded with her to spend time there in the final weeks.

Great analysis within, with a clear historical viewpoint. But I very much enjoyed this particular observation. Go ahead, continue to lionize your fallen heroine. But if you do so, you're setting aside vital critical thinking you'll need for '20. As this undeserved worship continues, I have less and less optimism for the Democratic Party as a whole. "But she's a woman!" So was Geraldine Ferraro. Go read about Gerry sometime. She was the harbinger.

Ideological lockstep is ridiculous. I support people who deserve my support. Those numbers are thinning.

But what's really good is this quote: "For that matter, to say that a Guardian reader consents to all the ways the Guardian uses their data (which they deposit every time they visit the website) is to misunderstand the essentially malleable nature of data itself. Its potential value and use emerges after one has collected it, not before."

We lapse into allowing our data on these services, but they can become weaponized against us after the fact. 

Makes you rethink all those lovely little smartphone-pingers you signed up for, no?

Jalopnik: Smokey And The Bandit Will Change Your Life.

Writer's too young to know the synchronicity with the election of Jimmy Carter, and the enshrining of all things 'country' for a few years. Remember "Carter Country"? A little while later, the US grew disillusioned with their hayseed populist. I think it was the bare feet on the White House conference table. Carter straightened up and became more formal. There was even a feint at an FDR 'fireside chat', complete with cardigan, if my memory serves.

Apollo Magazine: Are undergraduate degrees in curating useful?

Curating is contextual. It is about grasping and interpreting a set of knowledge that needs to be understood before thinking about curating: art practice and history. An undergraduate degree in curating offers plenty of context but little content to contextualise.

You have to do the thing you're curating, before you curate. Apply to weblogging, you'll understand why I lament the sabbaticals and disappearances of the great voices of the past. For instance, during election season, I felt the loss of John, "The Curmudgeon Who Teaches Statistics" blog. How valuable a voice to 'curate' his way through the methane of the time, and help us make sense of all the numbers being thrown at us?

From the dangerousmeta! archives, 2002: Kenosis — On the Subject of Politikblogging and "Empty Protest."

[I wrote this as the 'warbloggers' gradually overtook our original weblog network and turned the tech we built to their own narrow, tight focus on hawkish, conservative foreign policy goals (building their own A-lists, their own ratings systems, to support these goals), with the assistance of new-to-blogs journalists seeking newsworthy content. The drumbeats for war in Iraq were already underway. I think this post still holds water today, and serves as a reminder to not take political blogging to heart.]

I’ve been thinking about the concept of kenosis, as interpreted by James Hillman. Comparing it to political weblogging styles. He concieves there are three political states: passive on the sidelines, toeing the party line ... and kenosis, what Hillman defines as “empty protest.” Having no answers, not knowing the correct course to follow, but knowing there’s something rotten in the state of Denmark.

Politikblogs are as ineffective as Hamlet, worrying his desire for public justice like a dog with his favorite toothsome discard. They rage on impotently, endlessly, simply for the sake of releasing emotions. No utopia at the end of the journey; just neverending protests. Today, now, this link is the alpha and omega. When the issue drops from the public eye, the politikblog drops it as well. There are no threads to follow, no connection to a past or a future, no resolution, no responsibility.

Hillman calls empty protest ‘via negativa’, the negative way. I see no politikblogger achieving public justice for any major issue; what I keep coming across is simply a string of petty private revenges.

At the present time, politikbloggers devour each other over the actions of politicians who don’t even know they exist, by reinterpreting carefully selected articles and opinion pieces generated by one of a double-handful of monopolistic media machines, as seen through the rose-colored glasses of their particular political caste.

Truly, “empty protest” ... as is this entire paragraph. Politikbloggers are not alone; you see, I do Hamlet well too.


[Why did I repost this? I don't need to shout at the landscape; I have no control over its contours. I needed this reminder to watch the stars.]

From the DM! archives ... 2000.

A history of medicine.

2000 b.c. - "Here, eat this root."

1000 a.d. - "That root is heathen. Here, say this prayer."

1850 a.d. - "That prayer is superstition. Here, drink this potion."

1920 a.d. - "That potion is snake oil. Here, swallow this pill."

1945 a.d. - "That pill is ineffective. Here, take this penicillin."

1955 a.d. - "Oops ... mutation. Here, take this tetracycline."

1960 to 1999 a.d. - Thirty-nine more mutations. "Here, take this more powerful antibiotic."

2000 a.d. - The bugs have won. "Here, eat this root."

Anonymous, quoted in "Overcoming Antimicrobial Resistance", World Health Report on Infectious Disease, 2000.

Slate: John McWhorter on the Founding Fathers.

A great question. Podcast blather; too long to make their points. Read Quora on this.

Later: This is my problem with podcasts. I've just never been a podcast person; more a video person. When people start digressing (interestingly or not), I'm thinking "WHAT WAS YOUR POINT?" I don't do this for video, for some strange reason. More willing to be patient there. On a podcast, there's nothing else to do but wait for the person to get back on track. More often than not, I just turn it off and Google it.