From Pine View Farm

Mammon category archive

The Privatization Scam, Maskless Marauders Dept. 0

A maskless marauder drops the (figurative) mask. (Warning: short ad at the end.)

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Fly the Fiendly Skies 0

The Register investigates a plane truth.

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It’s All about the Algorithm 0

Bryan Greenspun, publisher of the Las Vegas Sun, remembers a chance encounter:

I remember almost 20 years ago, I was in Israel for Shimon Peres’ 80th birthday. Myra and I wound up in a car with Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. I took the opportunity to ask them to explain to me why social media platforms were not held to the same standards regarding the publishing of false, libelous and misleading news and information the same way newspapers, television, radio and magazines were.

They happily explained that the law did not find them to be publishers in the traditional sense. Since they did not ”curate” the information — meaning no humans made decisions about what to publish on their sites — they could not be held responsible for truth, falsity, defamation, lying, incitement and a whole host of other proscriptions that applied to traditional publishers.

I told them I didn’t agree; the way they disseminated information and news to their users was no different that what we did for our readers. And, I asked them, if you are not responsible, who is? They laughed as in they didn’t care.

More memories at the link.

Plus, here’s some more thoughts about the algorithm.

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All the News That Fits 0

John Oliver reacts to the news that AT&T is the primary funder for the far right One America Network.

Video via C&L, which has commentary.

Aside:

The company that now calls itself “At&T” can change it name as often as it wants to (remember Cingular?), but it’s still Southwestern Bell, arguably one of the worst of the “Baby Bells.”

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Facebook Frolics 0

Writing for the EFF, Katherine Trendacosta argues that Facebook, like Crabby Appleton, is rotten to the core. A nugget:

For Facebook, the heat never dies down. The company is always in the middle of one spectacular scandal or another. Haugen’s testimony confirms what we long suspected – Facebook’s neverending crises are the result of a rotten corporate culture and awful priorities.

Ms. Haugen told Congress that she thinks Facebook should be reformed, not broken up. But Facebook’s broken system is fueled by a growth-at-any-cost model. The number of Facebook users and the increasing depth of the data it gathers about them is its biggest selling point. In other words, Facebook’s badness is inextricably tied to its bigness.

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Facebook Frolics 0

Pogo looking at smart phone and reading a post from Facebook reading,

Click to view the original image.

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Facebook Frolics 0

Leonard Pitts, Jr., offers a solution to the toxicity of Facebook (and of “social” media in general).

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Zuckerborg, the Assimilator 0

Two children are walking home from school.  From a dark alley, Mark Zuckerberg holds his overcoat open and says,

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It’s All about the Algorithm 0

Drew Sheneman cuts through the–er–marlarky. A nugget:

Mark Zuckerberg stands next to a monster with an

Click for the original image.

Zuckerberg throws up his hands, mumbles something vague about the first amendment and proclaims for the millionth time that they’re not a publisher — because that would make them liable for what they publish — but merely a platform for others to express themselves. What a crock. Once you start tweaking the algorithm to decide what users see and when they see it, you’re a publisher. Congress should act and redraft the laws to make sure they can be held accountable as one.

Methinks he may have a point worthy of consideration.

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A Picture Is Worth 0

Web browser window pointing to URL reading

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Facebook Frolics 0

Kevin Roose is an optimist.

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Facebook Frolics 0

Through the glasses, darkly . . . .

Afterthought:

The surveillance state is real, fueled, not by the government, but by private greed shilling for sales and by pathetic individuals shouting into their “smart” phones, “Look at me, me, me, me! I’m an influencer!”

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How Far Will Wells Fargo? 0

Pretty damned far.

I was banking at Wells Fargo because Wells gobbled up the bank that gobbled up the bank that I was banking at.

Moving a bank account is a hassle, especially if you have set up automatic payments, but I left Wells when the “creating fake accounts” scandal broke five years ago and am glad I did.

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Facebook Frolics 0

Fraudulent frolics.

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The Privatization Scam, the Bill Comes Due Dept. 0

Governor McDonnell outsourced management of public roads to a private company.

The con is now taking its toll.

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A Notion of Immigrants 0

Immigrants welcomed to the land of opportunity.

H/T to my brother in Virginia’s Northern Neck for linking me to this story.

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Facebook Frolics, Defending the Indefensible Dept. 0

The Zuckerborg is implementing a new Ministry of Truth.

Once again, we are reminded that “social” media isn’t.

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Decoding De Dress Code 0

AOC wearing a dress that reads,

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It’s the Happiest Place on Earth . . . 0

. . . unless you happen to work there.

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Amendment, Amended 0

At Above the Law, Joe Patrice discusses the reasoning of a “Constitutional originalist” judge who has forcefully argued that the 2nd Amendment did not “originally” mean what the gun manufacturers and their dupes, symps, and fellow travelers claim it does. A snippet:

A lot of people forget that the “original” sources conservative jurists have relied upon for the current gun regime were written over four score and seven years after the Founding. If you’re wondering why they settled on a body of not-so-original testimony, it’s because they really did look into the original public meaning of the Second Amendment and learned that the reality of that legitimate originalist inquiry offended GOP lobbyists.

Follow the link for his full explication.

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