👓 Sorry, Sony Music, you don’t own the rights to Bach’s music on Facebook | Ars Technica

Read Sorry, Sony Music, you don’t own the rights to Bach’s music on Facebook (Ars Technica)
Public shaming forces publisher to abandon ridiculous claim to classical music.

When is the industry going to finally fix this issue of false positives like this. Surely in the case of Bach, it should be even easier?

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👓 Why It’s So Hard to Be a Working Mom. Even at Facebook. | Wired

Read Why It's So Hard to Be a Working Mom. Even at Facebook. (WIRED)
Opinion: I was a data scientist and mom. Then I had to choose.

For Facebook to say that they can’t do this is simply stupid and insane.

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I’m spending some time this morning unliking/unfollowing corporate accounts in Facebook in lieu of following their websites via RSS. Since Facebook’s algorithmic feed isn’t really helping them, prioritizing them, or presenting them to me the way I like (without inordinate work) it just feels so useless. For the most part I’m reading most of them elsewhere anyway.

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👓 Facebook is deleting timeline posts that users cross-published from Twitter | The Verge

Read Twitter posts on Facebook temporarily disappeared by Nick Statt (The Verge)
Oops
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👓 Reviewing “The Social Network” – Constructing Grand Narrative | Edge Perspectives with John Hagel

Read Reviewing "The Social Network" - Constructing Grand Narrative by John HagelJohn Hagel (Edge Perspectives with John Hagel)
The debate has begun. Many who know Mark Zuckerberg and his company are upset about the inaccuracies in The Social Network. Movie critics on the other hand love the movie. Few, though, are reflecting on what these two sets of reactions tell us about the moment we are living in. We live in the midst of a social revolution and this movie represents the effort of mass media to make sense of the changes going on around them. Facts are not important. It is about symbols, metaphors and mythologies. It is about constructing grand narratives to shape our understanding of why things are happening.

h/t Kevin Marks:

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👓 The End of History? | Francis Fukuyama

Read The End of History? by Francis FukuyamaFrancis Fukuyama (The National Interest | No. 16 (Summer 1989), pp. 3-18)

IN WATCHING the flow of events over the past decade or so, it is hard to avoid the feeling that something very fundamental has happened in world history. The past year has seen a flood of articles commemorating the end of the Cold War, and the fact that "peace" seems to be breaking out in many regions of the world. Most of these analyses lack any larger conceptual framework for distinguishing between what is essential and what is contingent or accidental in world history, and are predictably superficial. If Mr. Gorbachev were ousted from the Kremlin or a new Ayatollah proclaimed the millennium from a desolate Middle Eastern capital, these same commentators would scramble to announce the rebirth of a new era of conflict.

And yet, all of these people sense dimly that there is some larger process at work, a process that gives coherence and order to the daily headlines. The twentieth century saw the developed world descend into a paroxysm of ideological violence, as liberalism contended first with the remnants of absolutism, then bolshevism and fascism, and finally an updated Marxism that threatened to lead to the ultimate apocalypse of nuclear war. But the century that began full of self-confidence in the ultimate triumph of Western liberal democracy seems at its close to be returning full circle to where it started: not to an "end of ideology" or a convergence between capitalism and socialism, as earlier predicted, but to an unabashed victory of economic and political liberalism.

In general, while I’ve been reading Stuart Kauffmann’s At Home in the Universe, I can’t help but thinking about the cascading extinctions he describes and wonder if political extinctions of ideas like Communism or other forms of government or even economies might follow the same types of outcomes described there?   
August 29, 2018 at 09:37AM

Building on this, could we create a list of governments and empires and rank them in order of the length of their spans? There may be subtleties in changes of regimes in some eras, but generally things are probably reasonably well laid out. I wonder if the length of life of particular governments follows a power law? One would suspect it might.   
August 29, 2018 at 09:43AM

Highlights, Quotes, Annotations, & Marginalia

The triumph of the West, of the Western idea, is evident first of all in the total exhaustion of viable systematic alternatives to Western liberalism.  

Total exhaustion?
August 29, 2018 at 08:53AM

What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of postwar history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.  

What if, in fact, we’ve only just found a local maximum? What if in the changing landscape there are other places we could potentially get to competitively that supply greater maxima? And possibly worse, what if we need to lose value to get from here to unlock even more value there?
August 29, 2018 at 08:56AM

Hegel believed that history culminated in an absolute moment – a moment in which a final, rational form of society and state became victorious.  

and probably not a bad outcome in an earlier era that thought of things in terms of clockwork and lacked the ideas of quantum theory and its attendant uncertainties.
August 29, 2018 at 08:59AM

Believing that there was no more work for philosophers as well, since Hegel (correctly understood) had already achieved absolute knowledge, Kojève left teaching after the war and spent the remainder of his life working as a bureaucrat in the European Economic Community, until his death in 1968.  

This is depressing on so many levels.
August 29, 2018 at 09:05AM

Paul Kennedy’s hugely successful “The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers”, which ascribes the decline of great powers to simple economic overextension.  

Curious how this may relate to the more recent “The End of Power” by Moisés Naím. It doesn’t escape one that the title of the book somewhat echoes the title of this particular essay.
August 29, 2018 at 09:18AM

But whether a highly productive modern industrial society chooses to spend 3 or 7 percent of its GNP on defense rather than consumption is entirely a matter of that society’s political priorities, which are in turn determined in the realm of consciousness.  

It’s not so much the percentage on produced defense goods, but how quickly could a society ramp up production of goods, services, and people to defend itself compared to the militaries of its potential aggressors.

In particular, most of the effort should go to the innovation side of war materiel. The innovation of the atomic bomb is a particularly nice example in that as a result of conceptualizing and then executing on it it allowed the US to win the war in the Pacific and hasten the end of war in Europe. Even if we otherwise had massive stockpiles of people or other weapons, our enemies could potentially have equaled them and dragged the war on interminably. It was the unknown unknown via innovation that unseated Japan and could potentially do the same to us based on innovation coming out of almost any country in the modern age.
August 29, 2018 at 09:24AM

Weber notes that according to any economic theory that posited man as a rational profit-maximizer, raising the piece-work rate should increase labor productivity. But in fact, in many traditional peasant communities, raising the piece-work rate actually had the opposite effect of lowering labor productivity: at the higher rate, a peasant accustomed to earning two and one-half marks per day found he could earn the same amount by working less, and did so because he valued leisure more than income. The choices of leisure over income, or of the militaristic life of the Spartan hoplite over the wealth of the Athenian trader, or even the ascetic life of the early capitalist entrepreneur over that of a traditional leisured aristocrat, cannot possibly be explained by the impersonal working of material forces,  

Science could learn something from this. Science is too far focused on the idealized positive outcomes that it isn’t paying attention to the negative outcomes and using that to better define its outline or overall shape. We need to define a scientific opportunity cost and apply it to the negative side of research to better understand and define what we’re searching for.

Of course, how can we define a new scientific method (or amend/extend it) to better take into account negative results–particularly in an age when so many results aren’t even reproducible?
August 29, 2018 at 09:32AM

FAILURE to understand that the roots of economic behavior lie in the realm of consciousness and culture leads to the common mistake of attributing material causes to phenomena that are essentially ideal in nature.  

August 29, 2018 at 09:44AM

“Protestant” life of wealth and risk over the “Catholic” path of poverty and security.[8]   

Is this simply a restatement of the idea that most of “the interesting things” happen at the border or edge of chaos? The Catholic ethic is firmly inside the stable arena while that of the Protestant ethic is pushing the boundaries.
August 29, 2018 at 09:47AM

Hence it did not matter to Kojève that the consciousness of the postwar generation of Europeans had not been universalized throughout the world; if ideological development had in fact ended, the homogenous state would eventually become victorious throughout the material world.  

This presupposes that homeostasis could ever be achieved.

One thinks of phrases like “The future is here, it just isn’t evenly distributed.” But everything we know about systems and evolving systems often indicates that homeostasis isn’t necessarily a good thing. In many cases, it means eventual “death” instead of evolving towards a longer term lifespan. Again, here Kauffmann’s ideas about co-evolving systems and evolving landscapes may provide some guidance. What if we’re just at a temporary local maximum, but changes in the landscape modify that fact? What then? Shouldn’t we be looking for other potential distant maxima as well?
August 29, 2018 at 09:52AM

But that state of consciousness that permits the growth of liberalism seems to stabilize in the way one would expect at the end of history if it is underwritten by the abundance of a modern free market economy.  

Writers spend an awful lot of time focused too carefully on the free market economy, but don’t acknowledge a lot of the major benefits of the non-free market parts which are undertaken and executed often by governments and regulatory environments. (Hacker & Pierson, 2016)
\August 29, 2018 at 10:02AM

Are there, in other words, any fundamental “contradictions” in human life that cannot be resolved in the context of modern liberalism, that would be resolvable by an alternative political-economic structure?  

Churchill famously said “…democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time…”

Even within this quote it is implicit that there are many others. In some sense he’s admitting that we might possibly be at a local maximum but we’ve just not explored the spaces beyond the adjacent possible.
August 29, 2018 at 10:08AM

For our purposes, it matters very little what strange thoughts occur to people in Albania or Burkina Faso, for we are interested in what one could in some sense call the common ideological heritage of mankind.  

While this seems solid on it’s face, we don’t know what the future landscape will look like. What if climate change brings about massive destruction of homo sapiens? We need to be careful about how and why we explore both the adjacent possible as well as the distant possible. One day we may need them and our current local maximum may not serve us well.
August 29, 2018 at 10:10AM

anomie  

I feel like this word captures very well the exact era of Trumpian Republicanism in which we find ourselves living.
August 29, 2018 at 10:37AM

After the war, it seemed to most people that German fascism as well as its other European and Asian variants were bound to self-destruct. There was no material reason why new fascist movements could not have sprung up again after the war in other locales, but for the fact that expansionist ultranationalism, with its promise of unending conflict leading to disastrous military defeat, had completely lost its appeal. The ruins of the Reich chancellery as well as the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed this ideology on the level of consciousness as well as materially, and all of the pro-fascist movements spawned by the German and Japanese examples like the Peronist movement in Argentina or Subhas Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army withered after the war.  

And yet somehow we see these movements anew in America and around the world. What is the difference between then and now?
August 29, 2018 at 11:46AM

This is not to say that there are not rich people and poor people in the United States, or that the gap between them has not grown in recent years. But the root causes of economic inequality do not have to do with the underlying legal and social structure of our society, which remains fundamentally egalitarian and moderately redistributionist, so much as with the cultural and social characteristics of the groups that make it up, which are in turn the historical legacy of premodern conditions.  

August 29, 2018 at 11:47AM

But those who believe that the future must inevitably be socialist tend to be very old, or very marginal to the real political discourse of their societies.  

and then there are the millennials…
August 29, 2018 at 11:51AM

Beginning with the famous third plenum of the Tenth Central Committee in 1978, the Chinese Communist party set about decollectivizing agriculture for the 800 million Chinese who still lived in the countryside. The role of the state in agriculture was reduced to that of a tax collector, while production of consumer goods was sharply increased in order to give peasants a taste of the universal homogenous state and thereby an incentive to work. The reform doubled Chinese grain output in only five years, and in the process created for Deng Xiaoping a solid political base from which he was able to extend the reform to other parts of the economy. Economic Statistics do not begin to describe the dynamism, initiative, and openness evident in China since the reform began.  

August 29, 2018 at 11:58AM

At present, no more than 20 percent of its economy has been marketized, and most importantly it continues to be ruled by a self-appointed Communist party which has given no hint of wanting to devolve power.  

If Facebook were to continue to evolve at it’s current rate and with it’s potential power as well as political influence, I could see it attempting to work the way China does in a new political regime.
August 29, 2018 at 12:04PM

IF WE ADMIT for the moment that the fascist and communist challenges to liberalism are dead, are there any other ideological competitors left? Or put another way, are there contradictions in liberal society beyond that of class that are not resolvable? Two possibilities suggest themselves, those of religion and nationalism.  

August 29, 2018 at 12:19PM

This school in effect applies a Hobbesian view of politics to international relations, and assumes that aggression and insecurity are universal characteristics of human societies rather than the product of specific historical circumstances.  

August 29, 2018 at 12:30PM

But whatever the particular ideological basis, every “developed” country believed in the acceptability of higher civilizations ruling lower ones  

August 29, 2018 at 12:37PM

Perhaps this very prospect of centuries of boredom at the end of history will serve to get history started once again.  

Has it started again with nationalism, racism, and Trump?
August 29, 2018 at 12:48PM

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👓 I am completely baffled why some people seem to be choosing Mastodon over Micro.blog | Bruce Godin

Read I am completely baffled why some people seem to be choosing Mastodon over Micro.blog by Bruce Godin (brucegodin.ca)
It is completely baffling to me that a lot of people seem to be choosing Mastodon over Micro.blog as an alternative to Twitter lately. At least among tech geeks on Twitter anyway. I admittedly do not know a lot about Mastodon but it seems confusing AF to set up by all accounts and may be just yet an...

Micro.blog can be so many things to so many different people. We need to help them clarify to others exactly what it is that the service is doing and how to help people begin to use it. It’s not simply just a Twitter replacement as some might pitch it.

We should consider: How would Marshall McLuhan pitch it?

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An Indieweb Podcast: Episode 9 30 Days of Indieweb

Episode 9: 30 Days of Indieweb


Running time: 0h 58m 33s | Download (18.9MB) | Subscribe by RSS | Huffduff

Summary: David is about to head off abroad for a month. We talk about what’s been happening recently and his plans for his upcoming sojourn.

Recorded: August 5, 2018

Shownotes

IndieWeb Camp NYC–September 28-29, 2018–RSVPs are open now

Micropub Plugin work for WordPress
It will include a Media endpoint
Code for integration with the WordPress REST API

rel=”alternate”
This sketch solution may be an end-around the issue of getting WordPress (or potentially other CMSes) Themes to be microformats 2 compatible, and allow a larger range of inter-compatibility for websites and communication.

Facebook API changes cause breakage of Brid.gy
Ditchbook, a micropub-based tool for exporting data from Facebook and importing into other services

Greg McVerry’s EDU522 course Digital Teaching and Learning Too (🎧 00:47:57)

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👓 Facebook asks U.S. banks for financial info to boost user engagement: WSJ | Reuters

Read Facebook in talks with banks to expand customer service (Reuters)
Facebook Inc said on Monday it is in talks to deepen links with banks and financial institutions, saying it can help the firms improve their customer service.

Yeah, this doesn’t seem like a horrible idea. Particularly given how good banks and Facebook are at using our data ethically and securely. </sarcasm>

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👓 RIP Facebook for Bridgy | Ryan Barrett

Read RIP Facebook for Bridgy by Ryan BarrettRyan Barrett (snarfed.org)
As planned, Facebook turned off some of its key APIs for posting and fetching data on Wednesday, and I disabled Facebook for Bridgy entirely. It’s a sad day. Facebook was t...

It is a sad day. Ryan couldn’t have said it better. This is almost precisely how I feel about it.

Thanks for keeping things up and running as long as you could Ryan! We appreciate it.

Brid.gy++
snarfed++

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👓 The Expensive Education of Mark Zuckerberg and Silicon Valley | Kara Swisher for New York Times

Read Opinion | The Expensive Education of Mark Zuckerberg and Silicon Valley by Kara SwisherKara Swisher (nytimes.com)
They have weaponized social media, and we are all paying the price.

I’m definitely just biding my time until their export feature improves. Then I’m moving out of this toxic space.

I still find it interesting that no one seems to be taking him to either enough task or calling him out on potential political bids. He could very easily and quickly use the platform to drastically reshape the political scenery in America and around the world.

Aside: Interesting to note that Kara Swisher’s byline here doesn’t have a link on it, even to a default NY Times page for her.

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Some thoughts on silos, divisions, and bridges

Replied to a tweet by Cruce SaundersCruce Saunders (Twitter)

The #IndieWeb community has been working on this for a while. There’s even a service called Brid.gy to help enact it. At the same time, as Ben Werdmüller indicates, we need to be careful not to put too much reliance on silos’ APIs which can, and obviously will, be pulled out from underneath us at any moment.

As any kindergartner can tell you, “It’s difficult to play ball when the local bully owns the ball and wants to make up their own rules or leave in a huff.”

One of the things I love about IndieWeb is that we’re all trying to create a way for balls to be roughly standardized and mass manufactured so that everyone can play regardless of what the bully wants to do or what equipment people bring to the game.1

And as Nikhil Sonnad has reminded us very recently, we also need more than just connections, we need actual caring and thinking human interaction.2

References

1.
Aldrich C. Webmentions: Enabling Better Communication on the Internet. A List Apart. https://alistapart.com/article/webmentions-enabling-better-communication-on-the-internet. Published July 19, 2018. Accessed July 31, 2018.
2.
Sonnad N. Everything bad about Facebook is bad for the same reason. Quartz. https://qz.com/1342757/everything-bad-about-facebook-is-bad-for-the-same-reason/. Published July 30, 2018. Accessed July 31, 2018.
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👓 Everything bad about Facebook is bad for the same reason | Wired

Read Everything bad about Facebook is bad for the same reason by Nikhil Sonnad (Quartz)
The philosophy of Hannah Arendt points to the banal evil beneath Facebook's many mistakes.

We definitely need some humanity and morality in our present mess. More and more I really want to rage quit Facebook for what it’s doing to the world, but I would like to have all my friends and family follow me.

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👓 Just do it — by hand | Jeremy Cherfas

Read Just do it -- by hand by Jeremy Cherfas (Jeremy Cherfas)
So when I do syndicate out to a silo, I do it by hand. Sure it would be tedious if I wanted to do that for every little thing, but I don't. I share the things I want to share, in the way I want to share them.

I’ve noticed that I typically syndicate almost everything manually despite the fact that I’ve got the ability to do it automatically. Doing it manually actually gives me a greater feeling of ownership somehow.

I do miss the ability to have public comments coming back however…

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👓 Farewell Social Media | James Shelley

Read Farewell Social Media by James ShelleyJames Shelley (jamesshelley.com)
I recently purged the data from my Facebook account. This effort was shockingly labour intensive: it took a browser script all weekend to crunch, and still many aspects of the process required manual execution. Torching years and years of old Facebook activity felt so liberating that I found another...

A short, but solid piece on why James has left social media and consciously moved to his own blog and feed reader. I’m curious what his thoughts are a bit on into his experience. He’s definitely worth a follow.

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