Sandy Parakilas worked as an operations manager on the platform team at Sandy Parakilas, operations manager on the platform team at Facebook in 2011 and 2012, writes:
‘I led Facebook’s efforts to fix privacy problems on its developer platform in advance of its 2012 initial public offering. What I saw from the inside was a company that prioritized data collection from its users over protecting them from abuse. As the world contemplates what to do about Facebook in the wake of its role in Russia’s election meddling, it must consider this history. Lawmakers shouldn’t allow Facebook to regulate itself. Because it won’t.
Facebook knows what you look like, your location, who your friends are, your interests, if you’re in a relationship or not, and what other pages you look at on the web. This data allows advertisers to target the more than one billion Facebook visitors a day. It’s no wonder the company has ballooned in size to a $500 billion behemoth in the five years since its I.P.O…’
via New York Times
Thanks for all your support through the years. We began eighteen years ago, in a galaxy far away. “I am the world crier, & this is my dangerous career… I am the one to call your bluff, & this is my climate.” —Kenneth Patchen (1911-1972)
Please write to offer suggestions or criticisms. What would you like to see more of, less of in the coming eighteen years here?
(Please do not write to inquire about advertising on this weblog or to offer to submit thinly-disguised advertisements as if they were weblog posts. Also, please do not write to let me know you wish I go easier on the Boy King in the White House.)
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“This may be the least transparent war in recent American history,” the reporters write.
Listen to the heartbreaking portrait of one Iraqi man who lost his wife and daughter, his brother and nephew in one such ‘precision’ strike on the New York Times‘ Daily podcast from 11-16 and 11-17.
Cosmologist Brian Keating:
‘You can’t prove a theory, but you can falsify alternatives to it. What’s raging right now in cosmology is the question of whether inflation is a theory. Is it science? Is it falsifiable? There are many eminent cosmologists and theoreticians, from Roger Penrose, Paul Steinhardt, and many others who are just as eminent as a physicist working on inflationary cosmology, who claim that not only is it not provable, it’s not even science because it cannot in principal be falsified.’
I love this. It will keep the scammer busy writing back and forth and they will have less time to scam other humans.
Source: Boing Boing
‘The gunman behind the worst mass shooting in Texas history escaped from a psychiatric hospital while he was in the Air Force, and was caught a few miles away by the local police, who were told that he had made death threats against his superiors and tried to smuggle weapons onto his base, a 2012 police report showed.
That episode, which came to light on Tuesday, was another in a series of red flags about the threat the gunman, Devin P. Kelley, posed to those around him. But none of the warnings stopped Mr. Kelley from legally purchasing several firearms, including the rifle he used to kill 26 people at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs on Sunday…’
via New York Times
But this is not an anomaly! I work in a psychiatric hospital and it is not the exception but the rule that there is no mechanism through which the fact of someone’s admission, or the determination that they are dangerous, is conveyed to any authority who might flag them if they later attempted to purchase a firearm!
A new study sheds light on ADHD, reporting teens with the disorder fit into one of three specific subgroups with distinct brain impairments and no common abnormalities between them.
via Neuroscience News
I have long decried the maniacal overdiagnosis of ADHD by my colleagues. Of course, this leads to massive overprescribing of stimulant medication. In a bit of circular reasoning, the fact that someone’s mood or functioning often improves when they take stimulants is taken as confirmation of the diagnosis, ignoring the fact that almost anyone feels better when they take these medications. Furthermore, if a diagnosis represents a heterogeneous category, a medication which helps one subgroup may be seen as beneficial overall just by a statistical effect. It has long been clear to me that the ADHD diagnosis is used to explain a variety of unrelated difficulties in very different individuals; now there is some empirical confirmation. And let this stand as a broader challenge to one-size-fits-all diagnosis in psychiatry!
Each shooting supplants the previous one almost completely in media attention, memory and public discussion and we act as if it has been the only one. With the Texas church massacre, we have already lost sight of Las Vegas, and so on and so on. We act as if each of these incidents should be analyzed in its own terms. In so doing, no one asks why this has become nearly a weekly occurrence in the US and what the meaning of or explanation for the underlying generic phenomenon might be.