When most people think of Internet surveillance, they imagine government bureaucrats monitoring their emails and Google searches. In a March 2014 study, MIT professor Catherine Tucker and privacy advocate Alex Marthews analyzed data from Google Trends across 282 search terms rated for their “privacy-sensitivity.” The terms included “Islam”, “national security”, “Occupy”, “police brutality”, “protest”, and “revolution.” After Edward Snowden’s leaks about NSA surveillance, Tucker and Marthews found, the frequency of these sensitive search terms declined—suggesting that Internet users have become less likely to explore “search terms that they [believe] might get them in trouble with the U.S. government.” The study also found that people have become less likely to search “embarrassing” topics such as “AIDS”, “alcoholics anonymous,” “coming out,” “depression,” “feminism,” “gender reassignment,” “herpes,” and “suicide”—while concerns over these more personal terms could have as much to do with startling Google ads, the notable decrease observed in the study suggests the increased awareness of surveillance led to a degree of self-censorship.

In other words, people are doing their best to blend in with the crowd.

How to Invent a Person Online - Curtis Wallen - The Atlantic

Stefan Sagmeister calls bullshit on storytelling.

MCCARTHY

Barbecues, mainly. And this is part of it. Calling the dogs in, all limbs and sinew, the vermicular homebound patterns they weave in the scorch of the grass. The glint of the grill in the sun’s fire ellipse, its entirety as it bends toward hyphenate unyielding horizon. I like to soak the mesquite chips for at least half an hour. Then there’s the marinade for the brisket, or the dry rub, the laying on of hands. A replication of primeval violence. In your fingertips the harm of generations, the wish to make right, the failure to cleanse and absturge. Raw matter. Chile ancho, dried chipotles, paprika and salt, pulverized plant and rock, the sad spice and crumble of the earth’s red crust. I put the beef in a plastic bag for two hours before my guests come.

Paris Review – Writers, Quotes, Biography, Interviews, Artists

As my MegaBus (25 quid, bought the night before) sank into the darkness of Calais, I realised that I never, ever want to be an islander. The world is bigger than that, even if you hate flying. Britain is a great country, but alone, it’ll drift away into the Atlantic. In getting lost in Europe, I rediscovered my own dream of a continent, and in doing it by coach, I was reminded that this is a place people still take great risks to be a part of. I saw the sadness in the eyes of those yanked off by border control, and elation in others when Reina Sofia, or the Eiffel Tower, or Westminster Bridge, eased into view. These are the people who want to be part of this continent, and they probably deserve to be. Much more than the miserable fucks who’d be happier living above a Nag’s Head in the Falklands or some other egg ‘n’ chips stalag state.

What did I learn? That coaches are cheap, service stations are shit everywhere and the dream of Europe is still out there. You just have to be willing to find it.

Britain’s Miserable Islanders Don’t Get the European Dream | VICE United Kingdom

Simply, we need to give up thinking of ourselves as technology reporters, and instead become tech-savvy hacks on other beats.
Crime, lifestyle, business, sport, health, whatever. Y’know, the news.

Regardless of what camp you’re in, one thing is quite clear: we need to grow up, and move beyond covering the minutiae of an industry that treats the journalists that report on it like puppets.

We need to loosen our dependence on “exclusives” that are almost always nothing more than carefully-coordinated PR efforts for which we regularly fall for hook, line and sinker.

Because let’s face it — if you think you’re sticking it to Apple by publishing those “leaked” pictures of the “new” iPhone, get real.

Let’s stop wasting time — and lining pockets — with inconsequential, meaningless puff that is serving nobody, not least our audience.

Technology journalists are facing extinction — Medium
Nor do the young trust the institutions or people they live with. Research by the Pew Research Centre, a think-tank, finds that just 19% of “millennials” in America agree that “generally speaking, most people can be trusted.” For the baby-boomer generation, the equivalent figure is 40%. Some 22% of French 15- to 24-year-olds say that they believe society’s problems can only be fixed by revolutionary action, up from just 7% of the same age group in 1990. In many countries young people are bothering less and less to vote at elections. Instead, notes Costas Lapavitsas, a political scientist at the University of London, it is older people who are leading populist political movements such as the National Front in France or the Tea Party in America. Young people, he despairs, seem to have swallowed what he calls “neoliberalism”. Faced with economic crisis, they prefer to put their heads down and push through, rather than try to find collective solutions.
The staid young: Oh! You pretty things | The Economist

Political advertising in the US as it really is.

Interesting things I find from the internet, my twittering and the occasional blog post.

twitter.com/Neilmajor

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