We’re inundated with spammy sensationalist click-bait. You know what I mean–the little boxes containing eye-candy photos and headlines such as “you won’t believe how badly these stars have aged,” “7 tricks to losing weight during Thanksgiving,” “These children of celebs are so good looking your jaw will drop,” “9 surprising signs of dementia” and outre classics such as “Hitler’s shocking final words.”
The “news” is “shocking,” “secrets are revealed,” and “surprising facts” are promised. Authorities are always cited as unimpeachable sources, and the headlines are quasi-plausible. (Why wouldn’t good-looking celebs have good-looking offspring?)
But the “authorities,” “facts” and “secrets” are all dubious. The spammy click-bait is self-serving to those promoting the sensationalist content, and to the media sites that promote the spammy content.
“Oh yeah, I’ve been meaning to ask you why you’re getting off Facebook,” is the guilty and reluctant question I’m hearing a lot these days. Like we kinda know Facebook is bad, but don’t really want to know.
I’ve been a big Facebook supporter – one of the first users in my social group who championed what a great way it was to stay in touch, way back in 2006. I got my mum and brothers on it, and around 20 other people. I’ve even taught Facebook marketing in one of the UK’s biggest tech education projects, Digital Business Academy. I’m a techie and a marketer — so I can see the implications — and until now, they hadn’t worried me. I’ve been pretty dismissive towards people who hesitate with privacy concerns.
With this latest privacy change on January 30th, I’m scared.
Read more here.
He’s a thug, and a crook, and a liar, and a pseudo-intellectual and a murderer. Ok? Those things are factually verifiable.
– From the late Christopher Hitchens’ outstanding interview: Christopher Hitchens’ Polemic Against Henry Kissinger
Crazy John McCain is at it again. Nothing gets this guy more riled up than American plebs questioning status quo war criminals. I suspect much of this anger is rooted in his own legitimate fear about how history will remember his own legacy of remarkable stupidity.
Watch the video here.
I want to know what’s to stop this revolution from turning into a violent, destructive mess. Steele is characteristically optimistic. “I have struggled with this question. What I see happening is an end to national dictat and the emergence of bottom-up clarity, diversity, integrity, and sustainability. Individual towns across the USA are now nullifying federal and state regulations – for example gag laws on animal cruelty, blanket permissions for fracking. Those such as my colleague Parag Khanna that speak to a new era of city-states are correct in my view. Top down power has failed in a most spectacular manner, and bottom-up consensus power is emergent. ‘Not in my neighborhood’ is beginning to trump ‘Because I say so.’ The one unlimited resource we have on the planet is the human brain – the current strategy of 1% capitalism is failing because it is killing the Golden Goose at multiple levels. Unfortunately, the gap between those with money and power and those who actually know what they are talking about has grown catastrophic. The rich are surrounded by sycophants and pretenders whose continued employment demands that they not question the premises. As Larry Summers lectured Elizabeth Warren, ‘insiders do not criticize insiders.’”
– From the recent incredible Guardian article: The Open Source Revolution is Coming and it Will Conquer the 1% – ex CIA spy
This article that I am highlighting today is the most powerful and optimistic piece I have read in all of 2014. It also follows on perfectly from my post this past weekend, which I strongly suggest reading before continuing titled: Networks vs. Hierarchies: Which Will Win? Niall Furguson Weighs In.
Read more here.
So what’s a Peeping Tom, anti-democratic, Constitution-trampling intelligence crony to do after leaving decades of “public service?” Move into the private sector and collect a fat paycheck from Wall Street naturally. Following in the footsteps of some of the other top tier public sector cronies looking to cash out after doing their best to destroy the Republic, such as Banana Ben Bernanke collecting $250,000 per speech and Turbo Tax Timmy Geithner hopping over to private equity giant Warburg Pincus, Mr. Alexander is in good crooked company.
Read more here.
As someone who spends the vast majority of his time trying to keep up with what is happening in the world, I am always embarrassed when confronted by an extraordinarily important story that I somehow completely missed. The story I am referring to in this case is the fact that the CIA organized a fake vaccination program in Pakistan several years ago in order to get Osama bin Laden’s family DNA. The Guardian reported this back in 2011…
Read more here.