I was thinking about how topics of interest change when I came across this link I had saved since 2016: Should we have intervened in Syria? I don’t know – and neither do most armchair generals.
Back when Obama was president, whether or not the US should intervene in Syria was a hot topic. Articles like this struggled with whether or not something should be done about it. It was hard not to think about, both because it was terrible and because there was alot of media devoted to it.
Then Trump became President. Suddenly everything shifted. Terrible things went on in Syria, but it was no longer a topic of interest in much of North America. I confess I barely know what is going on there now.
It’s a good reminder to me how much of what I think about is driven by who ever can get information in front of you. And it’s also a reminder of why disinformation campaigns will get stronger and stronger.
I don’t know what the answer is. I just know I have to constantly remind myself that just because it appears something is important or unimportant, my ability to assess that is shaped very much by others. There may be topics I spend a lot of time thinking about and researching. But most of the time, and for most people, that is not possible.
The man who threw his lot in with Donald Trump continues to sink in the world. Case in point: Y Combinator Quietly Ends Relationship With Peter Thiel.
Posted in IT, news
Tagged IT, news, ycombinator
I often come across links that capture the spirit of the time, links that I save using Pocket or Instapaper. Here are some of them, with quick comments.
Politics, mostly American:
Psychology, mostly links about glumness in America
Work, mainly grim or putting a good face on work.
And by next, I mean this: How do you spot the next terrorist? – The Globe and Mail. Chances are the solutions they are proposing are wrong and harmful. Read that and know why.
According to Re/code, the New York Times, BuzzFeed and others have received really good terms with Facebook regarding the publishing of “Instant Articles”. For instance:
Facebook’s “Instant Articles” are designed to load, um, instantly on Facebook’s iOS app — which is the heart of Facebook’s pitch.
Facebook lets publishers use their own publishing tools, and then converts stories automatically into a format that works on Facebook’s app. There are also some cool bells and whistles, like a photo and video-panning feature Facebook imported from its all-but-forgotten Paper app. Here’s a demo video:
Facebook will let publishers keep 100 percent of the revenue they sell for “Instant Articles”; if they have unsold inventory Facebook will sell it for them via its own ad network and give publishers 70 percent of that revenue.
Facebook will give “Instant Article” publishers access to performance data on their stuff, provided by Google Analytics and Adobe’s Ominiture.
ComScore, the Web’s most important measurement company, will give “Instant Article” publishers full credit for any traffic those stories generate on Facebook’s app.
Publishers can control much of the look and feel of how Facebook presents their stories; the item BuzzFeed publishes tomorrow won’t be mistaken for National Geographic’s.
Facebook says it won’t alter its algorithm to favor “Instant Articles” over any other kind of content. But given their novelty, and the fact they’re designed to be eye-catching, it seems very likely that these things will get lots of attention at the start.
Very generous. Enticing, even.
I am keen to revisit this in a year from now, to see if Facebook has revised these terms. If Facebook treats these terms like they treat your privacy, in a year or so I expect the revised terms will not be as generous. And if some companies are not careful, they will find they let their own IT teams dwindle and they will have no choice but to stick with Facebook.