Thursday, March 22nd, 2018


The Flight of the Zuckerberg

The Facebook scandal is interesting in a number of ways, not the least of which is that we're sharing our communal outrage on the very platforms that we accuse of breaching our our trust. The expression of our anger at being turned into a set of psychographic profiles is, ultimately, adding to our psychographic profiles. Today, the story is about Zuckerberg and Cambridge Analytica. But ultimately, it's a story about the online world we've been building for years, and what we want it (and us) to be. Let's start with The New Yorker's Adrien Chen on our lives inside the surveillance machine: "Cambridge Analytica is as much a symptom of democracy's sickness as its cause."

+ "I can imagine Mark Zuckerberg is devastated that his creation has been abused and misused. (Some days I have the same feeling #justsaying). I would say to him: You can fix it." Tim Berners-Lee: This is a serious moment for the web's future.

+ Zuck was silent for days. But then he was everywhere. Here's his sitdown interview with CNN's Laurie Segall.

+ "It has become obvious there are things our friend Zuckerberg isn't telling us." Jessi Hempel: The Irreversible Damage Of Mark Zuckerberg's Silence.

+ And I'm probably biased, but I think this is Dave Pell at his best. The Flight of the Zuckerberg: 20 Quick Thoughts About The Facebook Scandal.


Bank Shot

"The rules, which the company described as 'common-sense measures,' echo similar restrictions established by some major retailers, like Walmart. But they also represent the boldest such move to emerge from the banking sector." Citigroup Sets Restrictions on Gun Sales by Business Partners.

+ YouTube has banned videos that show people how to manufacture or modify guns.

+ "School shootings remain extremely rare, representing a tiny fraction of the gun violence epidemic that, on average, leaves a child bleeding or dead every hour in the United States. While few of those incidents happen on campuses, the ones that do have spread fear across the country, changing the culture of education and how kids grow up." WaPo with an analysis of the more than 187,000 students have been exposed to gun violence at school since Columbine: Scarred by school shootings.


Xi Loves Me, Xi Loves Me Not

"I view them as a friend. I have tremendous respect for President Xi. [But, the U.S.'s trade deficit with China is] the largest deficit in the history of our world.'" Bloomberg: Trump Slaps Tariffs on $50 Billion Worth of Chinese Goods. (I'm not seeing much coverage of this angle, but the "get tough with China" policy is coming at an interesting time given our upcoming talks with North Korea.)

+ The House just passed a 2,232-page budget deal that they hope the Senate will pass by Friday (and I thought I had to skim fast...) Here's WaPo's look at the winners and losers in the spending bill.


It’s Dowd De-Duty Time

"The departure comes amid rising frustration from the president with his legal team and frustration from the legal team over Trump's refusal to follow advice" The Atlantic's David Graham on the resignation of President Trump's personal lawyer, John Dowd: Trump Proves Indefensible.

+ Meanwhile, the scope of the Mueller probe widens. George Nader "worked for more than a year to turn a top Trump fund-raiser into an instrument of influence at the White House for the rulers of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates." And Nader has an immunity deal with Mueller's team. NYT: How 2 Gulf Monarchies Sought to Influence the White House.


The Fix is In

"While denying climate change is a human-caused problem and rejecting proposals to cut greenhouse gases, they're promoting what many experts worry is the risky default solution of geoengineering." From Reveal: What on Earth? Why climate change skeptics are backing geoengineering.

+ "Seventy-nine thousand tons of plastic debris, in the form of 1.8 trillion pieces, now occupy an area three times the size of France in the Pacific Ocean." WaPo: Plastic within the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is increasing exponentially.

+ "Copenhill is more than a ski slope. It has a 278-foot-high artificial climbing wall, a full-service restaurant, and an après-ski bar surrounded by tree-lined hiking trails. And there's more: The hulking, geometric wedge of silvery aluminum-and-glass paneling does double duty, oddly, as one of the most technologically advanced waste-to-energy plants in the world." Bloomberg: Can a Waste Plant Become Copenhagen's Biggest Tourism Attraction? (If it's between visiting that or the plastic garbage patch, I don't see why not...)


Paddle Pop

"He was a few days shy of his 71st birthday. He was unaccustomed to wearing pants. He'd been at sea 110 days, alone." The NYT Mag on Aleksander Doba, who kayaked across the Atlantic for the third time.


In Living Couloir

"Adam, in normal life, felt like he couldn't feel ... He'd see two people walking down the street holding hands and kissing, and be like, 'God, I wonder what that feels like, to actually be in love?' But for him ... when he got into some really serious shit that he knows is dangerous, that he damn well knows could kill him, and eventually will kill him, he's—for the first time in hours, days, weeks, months—feeling alive again." Christopher Solomon on extreme skier Adam Roberts who was killed by an avalanche in the mountains of Washington State: The Boy Who Lived on Edges. "It would be inaccurate to say that Adam took his own life. It would also be inaccurate to say that he didn't."


State of Mind

Rex Tillerson addressed his State Department employees for the last time: "This can be a very mean-spirited town. But you don't have to choose to participate in that. Each of us get to choose the person we want to be and the way we want to be treated."


Lake Bed

"It's fair to wonder how a single long-forgotten weekend could, all these years later, cause so much trouble. It's also reasonable to wonder just what the hell was going on in Tahoe across those four misbegotten days." GQ's Ben Schreckinger: When Trump Met Stormy Daniels: The Strange Story of Four Wild Days in Tahoe. (It's only a matter of time before Lake Tahoe is called FAKE TAHOE!)


Bottom of the News

"If we were in high school, I'd take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him." ... "He doesn't know me, but he would go down fast and hard, crying all the way." Biden And Trump Taunt Each Other Over Who Would Win 'High School' Fight.

+ Would you like to take a picture with every single USPS mailbox in Seattle? Okay, here's the bad news: Somebody already beat you to it.