I'm a citizen of Lexington, Kentucky, the United States, the world, and the digital sphere. Politically, I care about equality (and changing structures to support it), elections (that is, making them more fair and representative), and electronics (or, rather, their impact on society).

I am a believing agnostic in Community of Christ with a (mostly) cherished past as a (mostly) literalist Mormon.

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🔗 linkblog: just read 'We Used to Write. How to keep writing human in a world of… | by Colin Horgan | Aug, 2021 | OneZero'

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Very interesting piece on the relationship between technology and writing. link to ‘We Used to Write. How to keep writing human in a world of… | by Colin Horgan | Aug, 2021 | OneZero’

🔗 linkblog: just read 'My Neighbor’s Door Camera Faces My Apartment. Is That Legal? - The New York Times'

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A great example of Ring cameras being gross. link to ‘My Neighbor’s Door Camera Faces My Apartment. Is That Legal? - The New York Times’

🔗 linkblog: just read 'The most popular posts on Facebook are plagiarized - The Verge'

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Interesting take on inauthentic content on Facebook. link to ‘The most popular posts on Facebook are plagiarized - The Verge’

🔗 linkblog: just read 'Surveillance Startup Brings Police Tech to Neighborhoods - Bloomberg'

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Nope nope nope nope. If plate readers are going to become more common, I’ve got to start biking more places. Not that that will protect against Ring. 🤮🤮🤮 link to ‘Surveillance Startup Brings Police Tech to Neighborhoods - Bloomberg’

🔗 linkblog: just read 'Vaccine Skeptic Does Own Research By Enrolling 45,000 Friends In Double-Blind Clinical Trial'

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The Onion wins again. link to ‘Vaccine Skeptic Does Own Research By Enrolling 45,000 Friends In Double-Blind Clinical Trial’

🔗 linkblog: just read 'Joe Rogan, confined to Spotify, is losing influence - The Verge'

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I am only peripherally aware of Joe Rogan and don’t get great vibes from what I see, so I don’t really have any investment in how his podcast is doing. That said, this does speak to my concerns that Spotify’s attempts to land exclusive podcasts are threatening one of the last (and best) parts of the open web we’ve managed to hold onto. Also, very interesting use of digital methods here!

🔗 linkblog: just read 'Samsung says it can remotely disable stolen TVs - The Verge'

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This is one of those features that sounds great but that I find absolutely terrifying. I hate smart TVs so much. link to ‘Samsung says it can remotely disable stolen TVs - The Verge’

🔗 linkblog: just read 'The Giftschrank offers a path for social media companies on content moderation transparency.'

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Interesting proposal for a difficult issue. link to ‘The Giftschrank offers a path for social media companies on content moderation transparency.’

🔗 linkblog: just read 'A Thumbs Down for Streaming Privacy - The New York Times'

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I have been thinking recently about streaming as a compromise in internet-era IP disputes, but this shows one reason that it’s not good enough a compromise. link to ‘A Thumbs Down for Streaming Privacy - The New York Times’

🔗 linkblog: just read 'As demand for bikes surged, Amazon got in the way - The Verge'

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Since the beginning of the pandemic, I’ve spent a lot of money at my local bookstore and bikeshop, and it kills me that Amazon is threatening both. Granted, I haven’t been able to completely cut the Amazon cord (and I have friends who have only survived the past 18 months because of the company), but there has to be a better way. link to ‘As demand for bikes surged, Amazon got in the way - The Verge’

🔗 linkblog: just read 'Facebook's Most Viewed Article In Early 2021 Raised Doubt About COVID Vaccine : NPR'

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I agree that it’s difficult to define misinformation in cases like this, but “cleaning house before inviting company” is absolutely a problem if the mess is what we’re coming to evaluate. Even a fact-based article can be used to misinformative ends, and it’s important that we know things like that are happening. link to ‘Facebook’s Most Viewed Article In Early 2021 Raised Doubt About COVID Vaccine : NPR’

🔗 linkblog: just read 'In Iowa, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz Take Trump's Baton - The New York Times'

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Every time I read a story like this, I think of how much we need ranked-choice voting in the US. I’m not inclined to vote for any Republican right now, but there are plenty I’d rank above these two if given the chance. I also wish I could have ranked Charles Booker AND Amy McGrath above Mitch McConnell back in November. link to ‘In Iowa, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz Take Trump’s Baton - The New York Times’

🔗 linkblog: just read 'Now that machines can learn, can they unlearn? | Ars Technica'

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Gotta admit that I’d never thought about what we should do about algorithms trained on data that’s subject to a deletion request. Interesting article. link to ‘Now that machines can learn, can they unlearn? | Ars Technica’

🔗 linkblog: just read 'Facebook, Fearing Public Outcry, Shelved Earlier Report on Popular Posts - The New York Times'

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This is quite the read. link to ‘Facebook, Fearing Public Outcry, Shelved Earlier Report on Popular Posts - The New York Times’

🔗 linkblog: just read 'Don’t overthink it: Elon Musk’s Tesla Bot is a joke - The Verge'

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Good read. link to ‘Don’t overthink it: Elon Musk’s Tesla Bot is a joke - The Verge’

🔗 linkblog: just read 'OnlyFans Says It Is Banning Sexually Explicit Content - The New York Times'

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This is the sort of thing that Gab will decry if they’re serious and consistent about their supposed pro-free speech, anti-deplatformization stand. My bet, though, is that Torba writes a blog post in the next week arguing that porn isn’t free speech and good on banks for cracking down on OnlyFans. link to ‘OnlyFans Says It Is Banning Sexually Explicit Content - The New York Times’

🔗 linkblog: just read 'Pluralistic: 19 Aug 2021 – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow'

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Cory Doctorow has THOUGHTS about data. I may use this in my data science class this semester. [link to ‘Pluralistic: 19 Aug 2021 – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow](https://pluralistic.net/2021/08/19/failure-cascades/

🔗 linkblog: just read 'Amazon reportedly plans to open its own department stores - The Verge'

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Amazon is just too big. This line stood out: “Amazon is now in the odd position of replacing stores that it helped kill off.” link to Amazon reportedly plans to open its own department stores - The Verge

🔗 linkblog: just read 'Opinion | The Illusion of Privacy Is Getting Harder to Sell - The New York Times'

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This blurb stood out to me: “Apple says, relentlessly, that privacy is the central feature of its iPhones. But as the photo scanning demonstrates, that’s true only until Apple changes its mind about its policies.” Seems to me we shouldn’t be dependent on tech companies’ decisions to ensure privacy. link to Opinion | The Illusion of Privacy Is Getting Harder to Sell - The New York Times

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Please also give me the confidence of an Apple exec explaining how scanning all your photos is “an advancement of the state of the art in privacy.”

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Give me the confidence of a FB employee wringing hands about researchers’ allegedly “put[ting] people’s data or privacy at risk.”

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Looking forward to the “speed limits are government overreach, we need to rely on drivers’ personal responsibility” phase of the culture wars.

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Spent my morning commute today thinking about how U.S. Christian nationalism and French laïcité (secularism) sometimes end up serving similar functions.

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Reading or listening to other countries’ coverage of U.S. news has long been helpful for me. For example, I like using what the Swiss deem important enough to report on in American politics to gauge what I should pay extra attention to.

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Despite the underlying problems with the Barabbas story, this seems like a good Friday to remember that we shouldn’t prefer violent insurrectionists over those wrongfully killed by the state.

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You cannot understand online Mormonism without understanding Mormon feminism. The more I read, the clearer that becomes.

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First time I’ve read this much into Inauguration Day happening around the same time as my birthday.

Thinking about the Dreyfus Affair

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This passage about the anti-Semitic Dreyfus Affair (from a book I’m reading on the French Third Republic) is coming to mind today: Long before the end of the Affaire, as the French called it, the question of the guilt of Dreyfus became almost lost in the melee, giving way to a fundamental conflict over the very moral concepts of French society which cast its shadow over the Third Republic from then on to the end.

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I do not have any data to back this up, but it sure seems like Francophone news outlets have transitioned over the past two years from translating “impeachment” to just using it as a loanword.

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Remembering Governor Andy Beshear’s comments from last May: “You cannot fan the flames and then condemn the fire.” I can think of lots of people who need to hear that this morning.

first thoughts about Capitol riot

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I had a friend in Michigan with whom I disagreed on a great deal but who was still an important and supportive mentor for me. On November 9, 2016, we had a very tense conversation where he told me that I would see: The candidate’s bluster might be worrying, but he wouldn’t actually act on any of it. I haven’t talked to him in a few years, but I’m wondering what’s going through his head today.

une Épiphanie de 2021 très particulière

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Pour le 6 janvier, Urban Federer, l’abbé d’Ensiedeln (Suisse), écrit au sujet de « la peur d’être perdant » de Hérode et Saül, qui a inspiré « une jalousie, laquelle les a poussés a la haine meurtrière ». C’est un message pour l’Épiphanie pour tous les temps et tous les lieux, mais ça fait bizarre de le lire en particulier aux États-Unis ce 6 janvier 2021.

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First line of this morning’s France Inter news broadcast: “A phone call worthy of an American crime novel.”

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The Georgia transcript reads like a student calling after I’ve submitted grades but before the registrar’s deadline has passed, arguing that he’s earned a perfect score but is willing to settle for my bumping him up a couple points to get an A.

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I am not sure what I was expecting when I started looking for Mormon* content on Gab, but “we should get the missionaries on this platform” wasn’t it.

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It amazes me that we all agree autocorrect spectacularly and regularly fails and yet believe that we can trust fundamentally the same tech to do harder work like grade homework, flag content, and suggest prison sentences.