The medium is the message. And while some of those media messages may stick, most lack substance. Look closely.
“Real journalism matters.” Pics via Columbia Journalism Review.
In other strange coffee news, scientists made a broccoli powder you can dump into your coffee. A broccoli latte sounds nutritious.
Says one professor from the Times Educational Supplement newspaper:
“It is amazing the number of students I am coming across in year 10, 11 and in sixth form who do not know how to tell the time. We live in a world where everything is digital. We are moving towards a digital age and they do not necessarily have analogue watches anymore and they have mobile phones with the time on.”
They don't need to learn how to tell the time; they've got phones!
— Naureen Khalid (@5N_Afzal) March 13, 2018
Children tend to get bought an iPhone before they get a wrist watch if at all
— Niall Dosad (@Dosad_SCITTELS) March 14, 2018
Of course, kids in the UK can’t be the only ones who need digital clocks to tell time.
Generation thumbs in the USA can’t seem to either, as Jimmy Kimmel highlights in the video below.
We’re all familiar with Shazam identifying songs by audio. But what about Shazaming cover art?
This is a Rube Goldberg Machine of the Google Cloud Vision API and the Spotify API. After logging into Spotify, upload an image. The image will be sent to the Google Vision API, which will guess what it is. The app will then search Spotify using Google’s guess, and give you the first result to play.combined the Google
Watch how it works below:
— Patrick Weaver (@patrickweave_r) May 2, 2018
Hilton Carter keeps 180 plants in his house. Apparently, he’s part of a millennial trend that’s obsessed with houseplants.
From The Washington Post:
Others prefer the term “urban rain forest” or the cutesy “jungalow.” In this aspirational landscape, outlandishly and photographically lush is ideal, and filling your home with plants is “urban wilding.” In less enlightened times, we probably would have just called it “decorating.”
The obsession helps generation thumbs bring a little outside, inside.
Writes Tovah Martin, the writer behind houseplant books The Indestructible Houseplant and The Unexpected Houseplant: “One of the first waves of houseplants was after the Industrial Revolution.” The move to cities compelled folks for more greenery, and albeit, oxygen.
“I think the current cycle has a lot to do with people hunkering down. A houseplant is therapeutic. It gives you something to nurture.”
PS. If you want to take care of your own houseplant, Amazon has a whole bunch on sale.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is about to testify before the US Senate. You can expect the hearing to focus on the manipulation of data in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Can Zuckerberg rectify the damage he’s done to digital oil? We never worry about our privacy until its too late.
Watch the privacy theater live below and highlights after the jump. Scroll down for a live viewing of Day 2.
‘Mr. Zuckerberg, would you be comfortable sharing with us the name of the hotel you stayed in last night?’
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) April 10, 2018
#Zuckerberg starts spewing technical lingo that these senators do NOT understand. It makes him SOUND smart & like he's answering the question. The senators don't want to look dumb by challenging him, so advantage to Zuck.🙄
Zuck is well prepared.🤨
— Dr. Dena Grayson (@DrDenaGrayson) April 10, 2018
Whoah. "There will always be a version of Facebook that will be free." That's a VERY INTERESTING hedge suggesting a paid version is under consideration.
— Nicholas Thompson (@nxthompson) April 10, 2018
"So, my question is: can you help me reset my password" pic.twitter.com/9RipMFxPFt
— Nick Grossman (@nickgrossman) April 10, 2018
— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) April 10, 2018
As we wind down here at the #ZuckHearing, a look at how Americans currently view Facebook.
— Recode (@Recode) April 10, 2018
That face when you just wanted a faster way to rank girls by looks and ended up installing a fascist government in the most powerful country on earth pic.twitter.com/VEaQjz9Z6s
— Zack Bornstein (@ZackBornstein) April 10, 2018
— Stefan Becket (@becket) April 10, 2018
This was interesting. An older senator wanted Zuckerberg to pay lip service to American exceptionalism. He wasn't interested. Indicative maybe of a broader generational gap—millennials not so moved by such needless piety. pic.twitter.com/wCRdut9nWX
— Ishaan Tharoor (@ishaantharoor) April 11, 2018
"Mr. Zuckerberg, thank you for your service to capitalism."
— Will Oremus (@WillOremus) April 11, 2018
Zuckerberg is not able to give a straight answer about whether Facebook tracks browsing activity after users log off.
— Alan Rappeport (@arappeport) April 10, 2018
Congressmen floating the 'FB listening to your microphone' conspiracy theory to Zuck, complete with personal anecdote.
— Antonio García Martínez (@antoniogm) April 11, 2018
"Mr. Zuckerman" pic.twitter.com/Xc4qtKPJs8
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) April 11, 2018
— darth™ (@darth) April 11, 2018
Today it's Zuckerberg. 20 Years ago: "Senate grills Gates about Internet.." via Harry McCracken pic.twitter.com/oToIaOIREU
— Bill Gross (@Bill_Gross) April 11, 2018
Instagram is making tweaks to the algorithmic feed it introduced two years ago. While the social network won’t bring back the chronological feed, it will emphasize newer posts first. You’ll also be able to manually refresh your feeds instead of kicked up to the to while browsing.
From the Instagram blog:
We’ve heard it can feel unexpected when your feed refreshes and automatically bumps you to the top. So today we’re testing a “New Posts” button that lets you choose when you want to refresh, rather than it happening automatically. Tap the button and you’ll be taken to new posts at the top of feed — don’t tap, and you’ll stay where you are. We hope this makes browsing Instagram much more enjoyable.
Based on your feedback, we’re also making changes to ensure that newer posts are more likely to appear first in feed. With these changes, your feed will feel more fresh, and you won’t miss the moments you care about. So if your best friend shares a selfie from her vacation in Australia, it will be waiting for you when you wake up.
I no longer use Instagram like I used to because the feed feels like a disorganized mosh pit. Timestamps are all over the place and my friends’ posts went missing at the cost of brands.
I’d still like the ability to create lists like Twitter. I’d create one feed specific to street photographers and another for my closest friends. An ad-less version of Instagram would be a bonus as well, even at the price of a monthly subscription.
According to research done by data scientists at MIT, it is humans, not bots, which disseminate false news.
The study began with the 2013 Boston bombings when Twitter spread inaccurate rumors about the aftermath of the events.
The three authors of the study then took it upon themselves to dig deeper into the fake news phenomenon by examining tweets of 3 million users from the years 2006 to 2017.
The overarching result is that false news spreads faster than real news because people on Twitter are more likely to retweet novelty. Said MIT professor and researcher Sinan Aral, “We found that, contrary to conventional wisdom, bots accelerate the spread of true and false stories at the same rate. False news spreads more than the truth because humans, not robots, are more likely to spread it.”
Sensationalism stokes retweets. In fact, “false news stories are 70 percent more likely to be retweeted than true stories are. It also takes true stories about six times as long to reach 1,500 people as it does for false stories to reach the same number of people.”
MIT scientists believe misinformation also runs rampant on Facebook but is harder to detect because it lives in the echo chambers of a walled garden: FB groups, private posts, and direct messages (re: dark social). Because of Russia’s election meddling in 2016, both Facebook and Twitter are finally taking efforts to improve their platforms for better veracity detection. Fact-checking is more vital than ever.
Humans are suckers for captivating but erroneous news. Some people even refuse to let go. As Mark Twain so wisely noted, “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.” The good news is that the truth never expires, even if it takes longer to percolate.
We are suckers for fake news not necessarily because we want to believe it’s true, but because the world has become so chaotic and polluted with noisy opinions that the possibilities are endless.
— Jason Michael (@Jeggit) August 28, 2017
The coexistence of anxiety and confirmation bias prevents us from thinking clearly. We are stuck in perpetual worry of the next terrorist attack, natural disaster, and baseless tweet.
Even worse, the facts don’t change our minds. We are ignorantly settled on we think is right and only collect information that solidifies our beliefs.
We reject any proof, having lost our ability to rise above sidedness altogether. Our entire system of beliefs, beliefs about beliefs, are in a state of flux because we’re obsessed with being right.
We’ve lost our ability to pause and reflect, allowing the suck of dopamine to woo our biases instead.
The loop of deception feeds off our inattention. We are trapped in the illusion of knowledge.
“It’s such an American thing that nothing is real until it’s on television.”
As Charlie Brown says after looking into the dark sky: “Let’s go inside and watch television. I’m beginning to feel insignificant.”
John Coltrane and Einstein shared interests in mathematical principles. In response to the Coltrane doctrine (image below), Thelonious Monk replied: “All musicians are subconsciously mathematicians.”
+ Now that ⚾ is back, here’s a little-known fact on how the game influenced jazz music.
“I never sleep because sleep is the cousin of death,” spits Nas in his Illmatic track ‘N.Y. State of Mind.’ What he may have overlooked is that sleep, and indeed rest can make you even more productive. It’s a canard to think that all successful people do is just work. Charles Darwin and Ernest Hemingway were slackers.
Somewhere upon the way of evolution, humans lucked out. We developed language. We had hands that allowed us to manipulate our environment. Says American neuroscientist Christof Koch, “human civilization is all about tools, whether it’s a little stone, an arrow, a bomb, or a computer.”
She makes dumplings by day and spins records by night. Check out 82-year-old Japanese woman DJ Dumpling. Watch the video.
Poll: What’s your jukebox preference: iTunes or Spotify?
Scientists have shown again and again that the mind, like a piece of software, is elastic. We are the sum of a hundred billion neurons that strengthen through knowledge and experience. Our skull evolves within a gooey flesh.
But there has to be a cap on human acuity, surely. At some point, exponents can’t go any further. We can’t get any smarter, nor pinpoint the largest number which is infinity and beyond. Even “Moore’s Law peters out, “as microchip components reach the atomic scale and conventional lithography falters,” says computer scientist Scott Aaronson.
You’re either left brained or right. You’re either normal or mental. Rather, it’s a continuum of both. The stigma that goes along with differentness makes you an outsider, yet these ‘weirdos’ are exactly the ones crazy enough to change the world. Said the American mathematician John Nash: “I wouldn’t have had good scientific ideas if I had thought more normally.”
As Physician Dr. Gabor Mate explains in his interview, maybe we should make more space for those different to express themselves rather than hide in anguish.
“Go out into the streets of Paris and pick out a cab driver. He will look to you very much like every other cab driver. But study him until you can describe him so that he is seen in your description to be an individual, different from every other cab driver in the world.” — De Maupassant
+ Speaking of cars, “Americans are used to cars the way that fish are used to water.” Ezra Klein explains why we should take a cue from Barcelona.
STUFF is a five piece instrumental band from Antwerp, Belgium. ‘Strata’ is the first track from the band’s second album old dreams new planets due out April 28th.
The song vacillates from broken jazz before weaving into a funky, electronic jungle. Says the quintet’s SoundCloud page, “it makes you doubt whether you’re at a rave or at a fusion jazz concert in some late 80’s basement.”
Noga Erez is an electronic music producer from Tel Aviv. ‘Off the Radar’ is one of the lead singles from her debut album of the same name.
Noga’s electro-pop vibes will most certainly remind you of MIA’s adventurism. Says the artist, “have this idea of giving people moments of thought and inspiration, and at the same time offering escapism and fun.”
With jungle nods to LTJ Bukem comes Mysterious of a Blunt, presumably an alias of Berlin-based techno producer Orson Wells.
Here’s how he describes his music-making process in an interview with EdHid:
“It’s somehow a meditative process immersing yourself in a basic loop and trying to add selectively more elements based on your experiences you have collected. I didn’t have a mentor or did a programming study. Everything I do is the result of an autodidactic approach.”
For more interesting reads and new music, follow along on Instagram, Facebook, or the Twitter feed. You can also subscribe to the blogs: wellsbaum.blog and bombtune.com. If you dig the blogs and want to support them, make a donation, buy a book, or email this post to a friend.
In today’s age, unfollowing the news will give you a peace of mind. News entertains, it dances with sensationalism and highlights disappointing stories. ‘As it turns out, your hobby of monitoring the “state of the world” did not actually affect the world,’ blogs David Cain in his piece ‘Five Things You Notice When You Quit the News.’
The news is candy for the mind. There’s little currency in meta-truth and more credibility in depth. Books will always be more dependable than the news. The future is apt to repeat the past because people never learned the history taught in books in the first place.
‘If we only care about the breadth of information, and not the depth, there’s not much distinction between “staying informed” and staying misinformed.’
People substitute care with attention, thinking that knowing the latest news on Aleppo shows genuine concern. Their opinions on the issue tip-toe around ideal resolutions without doing anything about it.
‘The sense of “at least I care” may actually prevent us from doing something concrete to help, because by watching sympathetically we don’t quite have to confront the reality that we’re doing absolutely nothing about it.’
It doesn’t matter how well-informed you are because you won’t do anything to ameliorate the situation. You don’t need more news to fill your echo chamber of partisanship; you need to listen with intent.
It’s not even worth consuming the news at all. While that may sound callous, to “remain uninvolved without feeling uninvolved,” can bring focus to the things where you can actually make a difference.
For many people, Facebook is their sole newspaper. One of the primary roles of a newspaper is to validate events rather than spread false rumors.
But fake news runs rampant on the platform because anyone can post it without consequence. Facebook does nothing to validate sources, especially since it fired its human curators and replaced them with an algorithm that amplifies noise, true or false. Twitter is equally culpable.
Should we believe anything on social media platforms? Probably not. But the press isn’t exactly trustworthy either. It also has an agenda, that which revolves around whichever drives the most site traffic and clicks.
Misinformation and lies are at the root of chaos. Even the smartest people can often be the most gullible, duped by comedians faking death.
If marketers are liars and social media is edited real life, people must also interpret the news with a grain of salt. Doubt everything.