Semantic Infiltration

By Paul D. Miller | Notes from the Edge of Digital Culture

The Billionaire on a Mission to Save the Planet From Trump

Tom Steyer isn’t your average California tree hugger. The former hedge fund manager—number 1,121 on <i>Forbes’</i> wealthiest people list, with $1.61 …

Climate Change

Five Creepy Things Your ISP Could Do if Congress Repeals the FCC’s Privacy Protections

Why are we so worried about Congress repealing the FCC’s privacy rules for ISPs? Because we’ve seen ISPs do some disturbing things in the past to …

Net Neutrality

The Like Button Ruined the Internet

How “engagement” made the web a less engaging place<p>Here’s a little parable. A friend of mine was so enamored of Google Reader that he built a clone when it died. It was just like the original, except that you could add pictures to your posts, and you could Like comments. The original Reader was …

Google Reader

Our Political Economy Is Designed to Create Poverty and Inequality

Let me begin by sharing with you the story of an inner-city Cleveland family of seven, two adults and five children all under the age of 11.<p>The …

Equality

The Story Behind The Most Successful Crowdfunded Font In History | Co.Design

So who would have thunk a stoic typeface like Black Tie would be dethroned by a quirky outlier–a font called Futuracha Pro, developed by the Athenian creative studio Høly? At the time this article was written, Futuracha was just about to cross the $73,000 mark with a day to spare.<p>To be fair, the …

Typography

This is your brain on terrorism

The dark side of the brain: Too much emotional intelligence is a bad thing

A new study suggests that profound empathy may come at a price<p>Recognizing when a friend or colleague feels sad, angry or surprised is key to getting along with others. But a new study suggests that a knack for eavesdropping on feelings may sometimes come with an extra dose of stress. This and other …

Emotional Intelligence

2 Months In, Trump May Already Own A First: Most Corrupt POTUS. Ever.

Ethics experts cannot think of a predecessor more ready to use the prestige of the office for personal gain.<p>WASHINGTON – Imagine a foreign potentate who uses his official position to promote his private businesses. Who makes face time with visiting dignitaries a perk for his paying customers. Whose …

Donald Trump

Thousands of worlds may lurk beyond Pluto — and a stunning new animation shows the ones we've found

• <b>A new animation shows the orbits of hundreds of dwarf planets beyond Pluto.</b>• <b><br>The astronomer who compiled the data says it may capture only a small fraction of dwarf planets in the solar system.</b>• <b><br>A new definition of "planet" may categorize many dwarf planets and moons as planets.</b><p>You may be familiar with …

Astronomy

Think We're Living in a Computer Simulation? Prove It

Science doesn’t have all the answers. There are plenty of things it may never prove, like whether there’s a God. Or whether we’re living in a …

Quantum Mechanics

A political scientist explains how big data is transforming politics

“Big data makes it easy for candidates to dismiss their opponents.”<p>“Big data revolutionized the way American politicians win elections. In the process, it broke American politics.”<p>This was the central claim in a recent column by NBC’s Chuck Todd and Carrie Dann. The argument is simple enough: …

Democracy

Steve Bannon's Sad, Desperate Crusade - Vice

The world is a pitch-black graveyard and only Steve Bannon can save you. This is the man's fantasy. He dreams of terror so there can be vengeance, of rubble so there can be a man pulling people from it, of conspiracies and cabals of diabolical elites so that he can expose them, one by one.<p>You can …

Steve Bannon

Are you ready to monetize the 'disruption economy?'

What better way to illustrate the realities of the disrupted economy we currenty live in, than with the lyrics of the popularized Daft Punk song …

S&P 500

Is it possible to recover from narcissism?

What it really takes to ditch the self-absorbed and avoid adopting their bad habits<p>It’s probably not normal to ask a new friend to take the notorious Dark Triad Personality Test on a mobile phone in a dimly lit wine bar with bad Wi-Fi on your third time hanging out. However, this did not deter me …

Liberal POV

Fake news has a long history in the Middle East — and the lessons for Americans are unmistakably dire

Information has long been falsified and weaponized in Turkey and the Arab world — and we're headed that way fast<p>Fake news is all the rage; you can’t escape it. The entire op-ed section of last Tuesday’s Washington Post was dedicated to some aspect of the fake news phenomenon. My initial inclination …

Foreign Policy

Google's new sun map will tell you whether your roof needs a solar panel

Google has long stated its ambitions to run its global operations solely on renewable energy, and now it wants to lead by example. The company has updated its interactive Sunroof map that helps people estimate whether it makes sense to install a solar panel on their roof.<p>In a new blog post, the Big …

Renewable Energy

13 Surreal Drone Photos Transform America Into a Roller Coaster

Pity the poor rancher who finds himself trapped in an Aydın Büyüktaş photo. There he is in his pickup, cruising along a flat Texas road with nothing …

Photography

How we lost the world-changing power of useless knowledge

IN 1930, the US educator Abraham Flexner set up the Institute for Advanced Study, an independent research centre in Princeton, New Jersey, where …

Science

Books Can Take You Places Donald Trump Doesn’t Want You to Go

London — Whenever I was encouraged by my elders to pick up a book, I was often told, “Read so as to know the world.” And it is true; books have invited me into different countries, states of mind, social conditions and historical epochs; they have offered me a place at the most unusual gatherings.<p>I …

Literature

Seizure-inducing tweet leads to a new kind of prosecution

The arrest of a Salisbury, Md., man accused of giving a well-known journalist a seizure by sending him a flashing image online represents a new kind of prosecution for a new kind of crime.<p>The journalist, Newsweek’s Kurt Eichenwald, suffered a seizure in Dallas after viewing the flashing animation …

University of Michigan

Marshall McLuhan in Two Minutes: A Brief Animated Introduction to the 1960s Media Theorist Who Predicted Our Present

Marshall McLuhan, writes novelist and artist Douglas Coupland, entered the zeitgeist in the 1960s as “a guru or as a villain – as a harbinger of the …

The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless White Mind

For MSNBC viewers who had the chance to watch Chris Hayes’s townhall special <i>Bernie Sanders in Trump Country</i> on March 13, nothing could have been more …

Coal

BBC Order And Disorder Episode 2 - Information

BBC Order And Disorder Episode 1 Energy

No easy answers: why left-wing economics is not the answer to right-wing populism

On November 20, less than two weeks after Donald Trump’s upset win, Bernie Sanders strode onto a stage at Boston’s Berklee Performance Center to give the sold-out audience his thoughts on what had gone so disastrously wrong for the Democratic Party.<p>Sanders had a simple answer. Democrats, he said, …

Democracy

Here's Every Artist Who Has Defended Snoop Dogg's Trump-Referencing 'Lavender' Video

In Donald Trump's eyes, Snoop Dogg's career may be "failing" but in real-life, not so much.The West Coast rap veteran is not only cooking up a second …

Rap & Hip-Hop
Artificial Intelligence

Into the light: How humans became intelligent

Into the lightHow humans became intelligent<p>Consciousness explained<p>print-edition iconFrom the print edition | Books and arts<p>Mar 9th 2017<p><b>From Bacteria</b> …

Economics

Want to 'train your brain'? Forget apps, learn a musical instrument

Musical training can have a dramatic impact on your brain’s structure, enhancing your memory, spatial reasoning and language skills<p>The multimillion dollar brain training industry is under attack. In October 2014, a group of over 100 eminent neuroscientists and psychologists wrote an open letter …

The Brain