Batteries to Bluffs

Another Butterfly at the California Academy of Sciences

Another Butterfly at the California Academy of Sciences

A butterfly feasts on an orange slice at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.

(Related: Butterfly at California Academy of Sciences; Butterfly; Unidentified Butterfly)

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Painted Lady Butterflies Eclosing

Updated on Saturday, February 19, 2022

Butterfly ecloses from chrysalis

Four Painted Lady butterflies eclose (emerge) from their chrysalises. The video has a timelapse and then realtime video of each butterfly in turn.

(Related: Butterfly; Pipevine Swallowtail Caterpillar; Unidentified Butterfly)

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The Trust Project, Fake News and a Partial Facebook Uninstall

Updated on Saturday, August 14, 2021

No Facebook app to be found here

The Trust Project is a well meaning but doomed attempt to deal with fake news.

Facebook, Google, Bing and Twitter are all on board because it's important to be seen to be doing something about the problem. Sarah Perez at TechCrunch writes:

"Here’s how this will work in practice: starting today on Facebook, an icon will appear next to articles in the News Feed. When you click on this icon, you can read information the publisher has shared related to their organization’s “ethics and other standards, the journalists’ backgrounds, and how they do their work,” according to an announcement from The Trust Project."

Please take a minute to scroll through the Trust Protocol Phase I MVP. Yes, this is a minimal viable product where your most recent Diversity Staffing Report is required. I don't think they understand what an MVP is. Which would be fine if they understood how to fix the problem. They don't.

Back in January I wrote this about fake news on Facebook:

"The horrible danger is that if you don't fact check every stupid quote on image meme the power of repetition lodges them somewhere in your subconscious where they become that thing that you read somewhere. Which is OK if you only read quality news but deadly if you want to catch up on old friends quickly."

And back in 2010 on cable news and the Fairness Doctrine:

"24-hour news stations are especially bad because most days there just isn’t that much news. This leaves a choice between repeating the news that exists which is boring, or making stuff up which is a lot more fun. Unfortunately It’s also corrosive."

Yes, it would be nice to have a set of standards around more easily vetting the provenance of "news" that you find on the internet. But the problem is with people taking bullshit at face value (myself sometimes included). When you scroll by something that meets the loose standards of your confirmation bias the damage is done. You're not clicking any Trust Project icon and you're sure as fuck not upgrading Acrobat just to read the Breitbart Diversity Staffing Report.

The Trust Project isn't the answer. Facebook just pulled their disputed flag. The Fairness Doctrine isn't coming back. Is there a technology based fix that might work?

"That’s not going to happen, argues Data & Society founder and Microsoft researcher danah boyd. Google, Facebook, Twitter—none of these companies is sitting on a silver-bullet solution. As boyd wrote for us earlier this year, we have more than a technology problem: “[W]e have a cultural problem, one that is shaped by disconnects in values, relationships, and social fabric."

From The Fake News Culprit No One Wants to Identify: You on Backchannel recently. I see. It's up to me. I have to fix it.

I uninstalled Facebook and Twitter from my phone just over a week ago. I'm not abandoning social media entirely (although I toy with this regularly). Just pulling back a bit.

For the first few days I'd regularly find my finger headed to launch Facebook. Every time I had a minute to kill. Facebook has no end (usually) so it works even when my RSS feed is empty. I stocked Feedly up with more wholesome content (Trust Project approved no doubt). By the end of the first week I was sometimes even leaving my phone in my pocket.

Now I catch up on Facebook on my laptop every day or two. It's a much better experience - when you check 200 times a day the feed algorithm gets increasingly desperate to please you. It panics and serves up lame memes from someone who you think must have been a coworker at some point but don't really remember. I get through a few updates from friends that I'm actually interested in and bail before hitting the questionable stuff.

It's up to you too.

(Related: I didn't think I'd ever fall for fake news on Facebook; Doing news right with Feedly and Google News; 1,000th Post!)

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Winter Solstice 2017

Winter Solstice 2017

It's the start of Winter in the Northern Hemisphere. Rendered in Catfood Earth (Windows, Android).

(Previously, Previously, Previously, Previously)

(Related: Winter Solstice 2015; Winter Solstice 2013; Winter Solstice 2018)

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Subscribe via Messenger

Updated on Sunday, November 6, 2022

Thanks to revoice.me you can now subscribe to I Thought He Came With You on Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Slack and/or Chrome Notifications. To sign up visit ITHCWY on revoice.me.

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Die PDF Die

Nonfiction

Book reviews for November 2017

The Midnight Line (Jack Reacher, #22) by Lee Child

The Midnight Line (Jack Reacher, #22) by Lee Child

4/5

 

The Startup Way: How Entrepreneurial Management Transforms Culture and Drives Growth by Eric Ries

The Startup Way: How Entrepreneurial Management Transforms Culture and Drives Growth by Eric Ries

4/5

Normally I like to wait a few years before reading business books as the companies held up as shining examples of the one true way will have invariably foundered. No need to wait long in this case as Immelt is already out at GE and while it might be unfair to pin that on the lean startup movement it certainly gives you reason to pause while reading this book. Do I really want to fly on a plane with a Minimum Viable Jet Engine? Having said all that I actually liked the book. It's a recap of lean startup and broadens that thesis to cover strategy and innovation accounting for larger enterprises and (of course) humanity as a whole. Grandiose, but not totally crazy as the core of the movement is to use the scientific method in more places. You don't know, so test and learn.

 

Authority (Southern Reach, #2) by Jeff VanderMeer

Authority (Southern Reach, #2) by Jeff VanderMeer

3/5

 

(Related: More on breaking the Internet; Circles; How to fix software patents)

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Fungus

Updated on Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Fungus on a tree at Glen Canyon Park in San Francisco

Photo of some fungus on a tree in Glen Canyon Park, San Francisco.

(Related: Bees; Barn Owl; Coyote)

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