👓 Applied Category Theory – Online Course | John Carlos Baez

Some awesome news just as I’ve wrapped up a class on Algebraic Geometry and was actively looking to delve into some category theory over the summer. John Carlos Baez announced that he’s going to offer an online course in applied category theory. He’s also already posted some videos and details!

👓 MSU spent $500K in January to monitor social media accounts of Nassar victims, others | Lansing State Journal

I can’t imagine that they even came close to getting $500K worth of value out of whatever this company produced for them.

👓 Three more lose jobs at Ben Carson’s housing department | The Guardian

Read Three more lose jobs at Ben Carson’s housing department by Jon Swaine (the Guardian)
Three contractors in the office of Hud’s information chief are out amid a widening ethics controversy

👓 Memento Mori: Learning about life, by knowing you will die | W. Ian O’Byrne

A nice little essay which includes the general practice among several schools of thought and cultures. Reminds me about some of the practices I’ve read about masons practicing.

👓 Build an instant Twitter dashboard, with just a little code | PushPullFork

This is a cool looking little tool for Twitter analysis. Includes some useful outline for setting up and using the tool as well.

I could see this being an interesting thing to study the recent movement.

👓 How to get Twitter back on song? #NoMoreRetweets | the Guardian

Read How to get Twitter back on song? #NoMoreRetweets by John Naughton (the Guardian)
They make up a quarter of all tweets, but at long last someone has found a way to turn them off…
This is an interesting theory. I’ll have to dig into the mechanics and try it out. I often find that don’t pay as much attention in general to retweets as I do to original content. I even far prefer people who are excellent aggregators in focused topics and post their content as bookmarks to the article rather than retweeting content.

👓 Audience Doesn’t Matter | Bill Ferriter

Amen!

Similar to several other mantras I’ve seen recently by various bloggers. Most of them have essentially said that they write to test out ideas, to stretch their thinking, to try to find additional clarity in what they’re contemplating. This takes a slightly different tack, but is roughly the same thesis.

👓 Robert P. Langlands Is Awarded the Abel Prize, a Top Math Honor | New York Times

Maybe yet another hint that working on the Langlands program over the summer might be a fun diversion?

👓 Changes to Improve Your Instagram Feed | Instagram

I’ve got to think that this may not be the best week for making substantive changes to feeds on Facebook owned companies? This doesn’t seem too terribly intrusive as a change, but it still isn’t the linear ordering I wish they’d go back to.

👓 The Missing Building Blocks of the Web | Anil Dash – Medium

Read The Missing Building Blocks of the Web by Anil Dash (Medium)
At a time when millions are losing trust in the the web’s biggest sites, it’s worth revisiting the idea that the web was supposed to be made out of countless little sites. Here’s a look at the neglected technologies that were supposed to make it possible.

Though the world wide web has been around for more than a quarter century, people have been theorizing about hypertext and linked documents and a global network of apps for at least 75 years, and perhaps longer. And while some of those ideas are now obsolete, or were hopelessly academic as concepts, or seem incredibly obvious in a world where we’re all on the web every day, the time is perfect to revisit a few of the overlooked gems from past eras. Perhaps modern versions of these concepts could be what helps us rebuild the web into something that has the potential, excitement, and openness that got so many of us excited about it in the first place.
Anil is great at describing a fundamental problem on the web here. I feel a bit like he’s written a variation of this article a few times now.1–3

I wish that when he pivoted from ThinkUp he’d moved towards building an open platform for helping to fix the problem. He’s the sort of thinker and creator we could use working directly on this problem.

I do think he’d have a bit more gravitas if he were writing this on his own website though instead of on Medium.

References

1.
Dash A. The lost infrastructure of social media. Medium. https://medium.com/@anildash/the-lost-infrastructure-of-social-media-d2b95662ccd3. Published August 10, 2016. Accessed March 23, 2018.
2.
Dash A. Rebuilding the Web We Lost. Anil Dash. http://anildash.com/2012/12/rebuilding-the-web-we-lost.html. Published December 18, 2012. Accessed March 23, 2018.
3.
Dash A. The Web We Lost. Anil Dash. http://anildash.com/2012/12/the-web-we-lost.html. Published December 13, 2012. Accessed March 23, 2018.

👓 All the URLs you need to block to *actually* stop using Facebook | Quartz

Just by the bulk of URLs, this gives a more serious view of just how ingrained Facebook is in tracking your online life.

👓 The Google News Initiative: Building a stronger future for news | Google

This article is even more interesting in light of the other Google blog post I read earlier today entitled Introducing Subscribe with Google. Was today’s roll out pre-planned or is Google taking an earlier advantage of Facebook’s poor position this week after the “non-data breach” stories that have been running this past week?

There’s a lot of puffery rhetoric here to make Google look more like an arriving hero, but I’d recommend taking with more than a few grains of salt.

Highlights, Quotes, & Marginalia

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish what’s true (and not true) online.

we’re committing $300 million toward meeting these goals.

I’m curious what their internal projections are for ROI?


People come to Google looking for information they can trust, and that information often comes from the reporting of journalists and news organizations around the world.

Heavy hit in light of the Facebook data scandal this week on top of accusations about fake news spreading.


That’s why it’s so important to us that we help you drive sustainable revenue and businesses.

Compared to Facebook which just uses your content to drive you out of business like it did for Funny or Die.
Reference: How Facebook is Killing Comedy


we drove 10 billion clicks a month to publishers’ websites for free.

Really free? Or was this served against ads in search?


We worked with the industry to launch the open-source Accelerated Mobile Pages Project to improve the mobile web

There was some collaborative outreach, but AMP is really a Google-driven spec without significant outside input.

See also: http://ampletter.org/


We’re now in the early stages of testing a “Propensity to Subscribe” signal based on machine learning models in DoubleClick to make it easier for publishers to recognize potential subscribers, and to present them the right offer at the right time.

Interestingly the technology here isn’t that different than the Facebook Data that Cambridge Analytica was using, the difference is that they’re not using it to directly impact politics, but to drive sales. Does this mean they’re more “ethical”?


With AMP Stories, which is now in beta, publishers can combine the speed of AMP with the rich, immersive storytelling of the open web.

Is this sentence’s structure explicitly saying that AMP is not “open web”?!