Thursday, September 30, 2021

Senate hearing on social media an teen girl mental health

protest for jan 6 defendants 

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security, held a hearing today:

Protecting our Kids: Facebook, Instagram and Mental Health Harms

A WP story: Cat Zakrewski 

If 13 year old’s use the platforms  inevitably physical development will get tossed around by algorithms.

But when I was growing up around 1961, boys were concerned about competitive assets well before social media and with demands of reassurance by seeing people like me score

There is a difference between the tribal cohesion among Facebook friends and Twitter followers, as in this article from France.  

Update: Oct 3: CBS 60 min interview with Frances Haugen .  The dissoluton of civic integrity before JAN 6 is discussed..

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Youtube had already cracked down on anti-vax, what changed?

 

capitol

Youtube has tightened community guidelines on vaccine misinformation regarding all vaccines, not just coronavirus, official blog post

Most of the examples are obvious and you wonder if these are changes.



But the authority given to WHO which has been wrong a lot.   

What about discussions of unknown risks to emerge over time?  True, social media has arguably slowed down vaccinations needed for public health.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Daniel Hale, whistleblower

 

beverly beach md

Dan Hale, a former defense analyst, was sentenced to 45 months in prison for revealing classified documents showing that drones strikes had killed innocent people.

His concerns went back to 2014 with various personal activities given a notorious clip from Iraq passed by Chelsea Manning in 2010. 

The judge said he could have become a whistleblower without disclosing classified materials.  He may have wanted to become a real journalist, out of vanity or ego from not taking sides or joining a tribe.

Rachel Weiner explains in the Washington Post. 


Sunday, September 26, 2021

The top mistakes small youtubers make

Frederick Md

 

“TOP 15 YouTube Mistakes Small YouTubers Make - Why Your Channel Isn't Growing”, by Roberto Blake, 24 minutes

Of course there is excess vanity but in the middle of the video he gets going.with thumbnails and titles that interest people, but most of all knowing your own audience in the real world.  This sounds like Blogtyrant advice for the older pursuit of blogging.

Some of the most successful channels are the college or young adult ones (John Fish or Max Reisenger).  Even given overcoming censorship, it takes a lot of journalism experience to do politics.  I do like Thiojoe’s tech channel.

Friday, September 24, 2021

Citizens can still get caught in quarantine traps.


casselman pa 

Uber will require some riders to take masked selfies through the smartphone app, if any driver reports them for not wearing a mask. The Verge reports. This happened to me in a situation where I misinterpreted the meetup point on a map, rushed to find the driver and was distracted enough to forget to resecure the mask.

That brings up another point. If you go to the hospital for a necessary but small operation and test positive as a routine breakthrough case with no real symptoms, it would be a crime to ride home and you could be kept isolated from critical business interests if you had no personal backup or online access while isolated.  Nobody connects all the dots. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Texas's new social media anti-censorship law could drive platforms away from allowing small creators altogether, however unintentionally

 

Dallas, 2018-5

Nathan Sheard of Electronic Frontier Foundation discusses Texas’s news social media law, which at least pretends to honor some of the Santa Clara principles with notification provisions. 

However Ian Corzine recently made a video discussing Texas’s new social media law, which in its attempt to stop companies from taking down “conservative” speech has so many holes that it will tempt many social media companies (especially YouTube) to cut off amateur content creators altogether – at least if they live in Texas.

I am reminded of the “Safe Tech” Act, which would, recall, literally deny Section 230 protections to companies (maybe even Hosting companies?) which get paid by speakers to provide services.  That is, taken literally, a provision that the hosts can only be paid by a cut from what the speakers would earn.  Think about the implications of that idea. 

Monday, September 20, 2021

Tim Pool, Jack Murphy have energetic dispute about vaccines, family, childrearing and personal agency on Timcast IRL

 

Protest signs, DC, against J6 on 2021-9-18

On Timcast IRL on Sept 17, Tim Pool and Jack Murphy debated how parents should teach their children personal agency and integrity on vaccines.  It's gotten reactions. 

It was rather shocking.  Murphy is concerned that his teen sons must get vaccines (and maybe take a minimal risk of a mild carditis ) to play sports.  Tim claimed that the moral high ground was to play John Galt and leave the world and live separately from civilization to have maximum freedom.

I would have trouble with this.

Vaccines have not been an issue for me because (1) as an elder person there is no reasonable medical doubt that I should take them, and I have (2) I’m “used” to the idea of regular vaccines for many other things.

It’s the collective public health (important for a civilization to function) that is a problem.  We’ve covered that in detail here. It might even have been much uglier for gay men in the 1980s than it actually was, given all the possible hypothetical theories.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

What sins will get your YouTube channel deleted? A social media lawyer weighs in

 

flags at a right-wing protest

Ian Corzine today issued an important vide, “Seven Things that will Get Your Channel Deleted”. Do one of these and you're gone, not just a strike or lost video, but the whole channel. 

The video is 84 minutes (it premiered at 11 AM, while I was out filming a rally)

The first warning has to do with other people’s videos – shocking playlists.  Another would be fake subscriptions or visits. 

Another would be thumbnails that are themselves offensive

But one of his most subtle warnings is about external links in descriptions which are common.  All of my videos are called by blogs, and I always give the invoking blog post.  But if my site went away (or were considered a dangerous site) then the links would fail and the channel might be removed.  Some links YouTube especially dislikes are those about  cryptocurrency.

Corzine recommends putting external references on Google Docs. He thinks YouTube and Google don’t like channels that depend on going into the outside world to comprehend the content (which mine does, because a lot of the content is old or legacy), as this doesn’t fit its concept of “commercial viability”.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Many people who die alone of COVID never have funerals or burials and are "unclaimed" by families as social capital breaks down

 

Baseball field in Manassas VA 2021-9

Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan offer a story ("Alone in Death") in the Washington Post about the large number of people who die of COVID unidentified, unclaimed, and go to nameless graves.  

This happens not just because of poverty.  Many families break down with loss of communication because of personal or even political differences, to the point that some people are totally “lost” when found dead. 

Typically relatives who have lost touch are contacted, by law, if the deceased had not named an executor (or been able to name one because of lack of social ties). 

This can be the way personal agency plays out in a society that is hyperindividualistic and polarized (along with "MGTOW"). 

My own intention, if I ever got severe Covid, would be never to go on a ventilator, instead be given a sedative and allowed to pass at my age, with only the attorney contacted.  Frankly, because of the course of my own life, death to a disease released by a communist adversary would be shameful.  I would not want a funeral or burial in such circumstances. For something like this, I have to own my own shame.   There is also the idea that, given the reckless behavior of so many people, we are turning to a society of “survival of the fittest” whether intentionally or not.  We also have a world where people climb by the existential and often unwilling sacrifices of others.

But of course all the usual challenges of old age, and knowledge that something will end (my) life, are always there.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Liberal author Naomi Wolf has problems with Twitter and YouTube censorship and banns; also Facebook expands "social harm" policy; Texas social media censorship law has holes

Hudson, Jersey City, 2015-11

Naomi Wolf apparently was sidelined by both Twitter and YouTube in June for vaccine misinformation.  

A feminist author noted for “The Beauty Myth” in 1990, her activity made Liza Featherstone question how sound her material was before, in The New Republic (June 10, 2021), except that it probably didn’t have to be that sound.  (She also authored “Give Me Liberty”:  See Nov. 3, 2008).

Now Petr Dvab of The Epoch Times reports she is joining Trump’s lawsuit “after questioning Fauci”.  Other sources report that the ET is a Trump vehicle – it’s always been a voice of oligarchical conservatives.

We’re still left with the main reason bug Tech is restricting amateurs talking about certain things on its platforms.  It’s afraid of “real harm” – we might not get vaccinated enough to stop the next variant, or we really could have a coup.  With “freedom of reach”, the genie has long been out of the bottle.

David Kleeper of ABC News reports that Facebook has banned some German accounts on a “coordinated social harm” policy which sounds like a retread of 2018. 

Dallas, near Tollway in Oak Lawn, 2018-5

 Note also: Ian Corzine discusses the shortcomings of Texas's new "social media censorship" laws.  It is very porous.  

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Breakthrough cases in some healthy people may be more serious than we had thought

 

NYC 2015-11

Mile Hansen, a NYC pulmonologist who has made a lot of detailed videos on COVID19 (now becoming COVID21), presents a breakthrough case in a middle-aged male adult who was perfectly healthy that seems disturbing.

This case actually had breathing problems and may have come close to hospitalization.

He had actually recovered from a mild case of conventional Covid in 2020, finished the course of Moderna in early 2021, and in the summer gone to an indoor concert with people not wearing masks and possibly gotten an overwhelming exposure to Delta.

So this story makes one wonder how many chances one can take. 

Hansen says he would have been hospitalized and close to death if he had not been vaccinated.

This is a narrative to note.

 

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Tim Wise article shows how "obliviousness" or "lack of proximity" is the most destructive "privilege" of all

 

Strausburg railroad, PA, 2021-9

Tim Wise has a provocative Medium article, “Obliviousness is the most destructive privilege of all”, link. 

“Not knowing others’ experiences—or recognizing our own lenses – is the most destructive privilege of all”

John Fish had talked about this idea, of not having social “proximity” to poor or underprivileged (sometimes white, however) people after an interview with author Bryan Stevenson (see Book Reviews blog Feb. 7, 2020).   John made two videos about this while living in Montreal on his gap year from Harvard just before the pandemic broke out.

One problem is even being able to bond with people who don’t share our personal values, but who may be “earthier” and less abstract in their values.  That problem has worked its way into critical race theory. There is a problem that being willing to bond this way may be the only prep for being taken out by others in some kind of revolutionary reset. 

(Update: Sept. 14 AM): In my own life, I "run my own world" alone, and it would be almost impossible for anyone else to run it if something happens to me (the restructuring the late fall and winter will do something about that). So I don't "belong" to groups, and are rather appalled by their "intersectional" or wokish values. So it is difficult to get into consistent volunteering and meeting "real needs".  But you can turn this around. As a "self-declared" journalist (I may not be able to claim that any longer in 2022) I claim objectivity and not joining up to take sides (with conventional participation in activism and protesting).  But journalists normally should report on individuals who are doing the most with what they've got (the Uncle Remus thing, "So Dear to My Heart").  That would include people in marginalized groups (and its a good question wither people with disabilities are a "group" but in practice they are viewed that way).  Although I have mentioned some of these persons like in music reviews, I generally haven't given them the attention (or PoC as individuals the attention) that I give my "favorite" persons online.  You can say, I'm, by subtraction, contributing to the problem.  People feel they won't get recognition as individuals, so they feel driven back to tribalistic identities and wokeness.    How someone in my situation deploys his "freedom of reach" really can add up and matter. 


Saturday, September 11, 2021

"How to Prepare for the End of Social Media", livestream today by Ian Corzine

 

Paris in Las Vegas, 2012-5

Ian Corzine today did a livestream “How to Prepare for the End of Social Media”.

Mr. Corzine is covering points that I have discussed on my own blogs at various times in detail particularly since the spring of 2018. 

Corzine gives two major reasons that social media as we know it may not be sustainable:  One is polarization and special interests (especially “The Left”) changing the perception of free speech as something that is gratuitous and damaging to marginalized groups (along with critical race theory especially) .  Two is the strengthening of enforcement of copyright. That picked up in the EU with the Copyright Directive and Articles 13 and 17 (including even a “link tax” which could seriously undermine blogging, although I haven’t heard a lot about it lately.

Another big reason is that Section 230 is likely to go away as we know it now. That could make it much riskier for social media like YouTube to continue gratuitous amateur content that don’t make money (even mine), and even for hosting companies to host likewise personal content without legitimate business purposes.  Hosting companies might be able to get around these changes with common carrier-like measures, and there hasn’t been a lot of discussion of that yet.

He recommends that people who do have content to sell that people will pay for, to set up paywalls or to use Patreon.  Since I have an inherited trust to manage, I personally believe that I cannot ask for donations. 

Other ideas are to set up locals or substack accounts.  Alison Morrow and Karlyn Borysenko, both libertarian-leading YouTubers (opposing the radical Left) like locals.  A problem here is that a user can reasonably subscribe to only so many.  Tim Lee left corporate media and is trying to make a living on substack (Fullstackeconomics). 

He recommends people set up email subscription lists, which Blogtyrant was emphatic about.  I think it is problematic to the extent many people fear spam and malware so you need something specific to sell to people to get them to follow "just you". 

I am making big changes this winter and will get into that in detail as the time approaches.

Friday, September 10, 2021

Biden's speech takes up Rapid Tests, which could have major implications for everyone if we can't depend on the vaccines indefinitely

 

Sesquehanna River bridge, PA

Biden’s speech, which many on the right are calling “totalitarian”, did mention the idea of expanding the use of rapid tests, after scaling up production, as proposed in 2020 by epidemiologist Dr. Michael Mina at Harvard, before we had experience with the vaccines. 

A truly wartime footing for doing almost every day tests could have been imagined if vaccines had not been useful, and still could come up if further mutations escape vaccines entirely.  We’re quite afar from wartime production of home tests, as in this Business Insider assessment. 

The idea was that everyone get used to testing themselves daily, just the way diabetics must now for blood sugar or women do sometimes for pregnancy. 

In theory, if everyone carried their infection status around on a phone all the time, businesses could stay open and we would not need lockdowns.

But there would be quarantines.  Based on the medicine at the time, there could be a legal requirement to be isolated for ten days at least, even without symptoms. That might be backed up by automated contact tracing as in South Korea in 2020, or by draconian steps as in South Australia now.   What if an appliance breaks?  How are errands run?  In theory, everyone would seem to need to have some pod-based backup plan, but many of us don’t have the social capital to set that up.

There is still a conceptual question:  are we really better off if everyone develops some immunity, however imperfect, through both vaccination and gradual exposure (“variolation”)?   I think we are, but this has been a closer call than for comfort.

It seems infeasible to do what New Zealand and Australia tried to do, which was Zero Covid, on the theory that any infected person is like a “cancer cell” in society, to be erased by some kind of societal chemotherapy.

But what if we did have a virus with asymptomatic spread and later near certain disability or death? Somewhat like the movie “Contagion”?

There are viruses around the world that threaten that (like nipah) but which fortunately have never been quite that infectious in general circulation.

That ‘s one question I still have for all the people who defend every last line of individual liberty. 

In the current situation, someone in my situation (with no pod) has an incentive not to be tested (I am fully vaccinated as of March 18) if I suspect exposure and have only trivial symptoms.  For example, I still run numerous websites and other activities.  What if there is a major failure of my own infrastructure and I need to make trips to get things fixed?  Theoretically, letting my operate “alone” as I do carries a potential risk.

All of these thoughts indeed – as I see Tim Pool’s tweet, “I will not comply”, or this one .  Again – being vaccinated might not get you out of having to be tested all the time given the scenarios we could imagine.  Pool says “move to the mountains if you’re scared”.

Tuesday, September 07, 2021

Immunization by both recoverable infection and then vaccine seems to be the "best way" out of the pandemic

sunflowers PA 2021-9

 ZDoggMD interviews Monica Gandhi and concludes that now "immunization" (not avoidance of infection) is the only reasonable way out of the pandemic. 

There is also research indicating that those who recover from a natural infection and then get vaccinated with at least one dose of an mRNA vaccine seem to be impervious to reinfection from any variant! (Medical-News net) related also regarding antibodies to all variants simultaneously (Medical News)

Monday, September 06, 2021

Can you copyright a hand in a card game? a chess opening?

 

southern Michigan, 2012-8

Someone has copyrighted a deck of cards for the game “Magic:the Gathering” which appears to me to be about karma. That is Robert Hovden, an engineering professor at the University of Michigan (story). 


Leonard French discusses the idea of copyrighting a hand or strategy for a card game or even computer game. 

Could people “copyright” card counting strategies in Las Vegas?

Or maybe could a chess opening be copyrighted?  (I really don’t think Eric Rosen can copyright the Staunton Gambit, especially before a David Pakman online tournament if David does another one.)

French discusses the fact that a list of ingredients for a recipe can’t be copyrighted, but the larger expression in a cook book (whether Betty Crocker or The Dove’s Nest) could, with photos.  A recipe might be patentable (like a coca cola formula) or a trade secret.

Saturday, September 04, 2021

Ian Corzine lists 5 things not to do with your YouTube videos

 

"Equal voting rights" protest sign 

Ian Corzine talks about five things you should never do in your YouTube videos.

I’ll mention a couple of them. One is that if you enclose a clip and intend Fair Use, you must comment on the clip both before and after the clip, and even during the clip.

Another is that if your title or thumbnail suggests a certain subject you will talk about or present, then you must present it and fairly soon in the video.  Otherwise you are violating a rule about deceptive titles, descriptions, or thumbnails. 

It’s probably also true that if you present a protester expressing unacceptable claims and have to prevent a countervailing claim (like about Covid or the 2020 election) it’s desirable to put the countervailing commentary first, by splicing in a separate segment at the beginning (as with iMovie).

Friday, September 03, 2021

Amazon Web Services hiring a cadre to police customers for prohibited dangerous activity, as the infrastructure of the Internet becomes less neutral under demands from activists

 

Chesapeake Bay below Annapolis 2021-9

Cindy Harper writes for “Reclaim the Net”: “Amazon says it will delete even more websites (from its Amazon Web Services) that aren’t breaking the law” with a tagline “the days of neutral infrastructure are slipping” .

This comes from a story by Sheila Dang  on Reuters, reporting that Amazon will hire a small cadre to look for threats, ranging from radical Islam to white supremacy.

Recently it shut down a website hosted on its servers that showed a suicide bombing in Afghanistan.

Amazon has typically asked customers using its service to moderate content when learning of abuses.

Amazon took down Parler for supposed involvement in January 6, which Parler denies and which is in litigation now.

In a morally related matter, The Verge (Sean Hollister) reports that Godaddy cut off a website from a "Texas Right to Life" group set up for snitching, because taken literally the group's behavior does violate terms of service or acceptable use. (No, this is not something I would ever do!) 

Activists are pressuring hosts and infrastructure companies as well as social media platforms, a trend which started after Charlottesville.  One problem is that it is very difficult to define “white supremacy” outside of the obvious behaviors of the past.  Social justice activism depends on recruiting large volume of support (what it calls “anti-racism”) to get results for oppressed groups, so it might see refusal to go along with demanded participation as kind of supremacy.

Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Republican Congressman threatens to put social media companies out of business if they comply with House Select Committee records requests on January 6 suspects

United States House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack Logo (Blue)

 

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has warned social media companies and tech (like major telecom) companies not to turn over private information of users believed to be associated with the January 6 riots to the House select committee investigating the planning of the riots.

Ronnie Nobles and Connie Grayer  report for CNN  

McCarthy hinted that if the GOP won control in 2022, the social media companies who had complied might be put out of business.  What about hosting companies?

Recently, a guest told Amanpour on PBS that most of the people arrested already believed in “Great Replacement” theory and many were relatively well off economically.

Wikipedia embed of the Committee logo.