It’s going backward.

I think this explains my bad luck lately:

From the irreplaceable Is Mercury in Retrograde, of course.

And my luck isn’t bad, I’m just crabby about perfectly normal, and not at all terrible, bumps in the road. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I can be a whiner.

Another bananas week that appears to be front-loaded through …Thursday afternoon, which makes it just a stupid week. It’s the evening obligations that end up making you feel nuts, although it’s the evening obligations that make you feel alive, too. At least if you’re an extrovert. And they’re not, strictly speaking, obligations.

So what happened today? Are we closer to war in North Korea? Bombing anyone in the Middle East? How’d the egg roll go yesterday? Did the first lady bring her special brand of frosty, astringent sunshine to the White House?

Speaking of which, much of this analysis is bananas, but when a person doesn’t give you much to work with, some critics have to reach a little — a dissection of Melania Trump’s Twitter photos.

I see my autocorrect is no longer changing Melania to Melanie. Do I have to stop calling her Natasha now?

Just a bit of bloggage: A history of how human beings have treated Yellowstone’s thermal features. (Badly.) Geysers weren’t meant to be washing machines, it turns out.

Don’t think much of George Schultz, but setting aside an hour a day week to stare out the window or at the ceiling isn’t worst idea in the world.

And then, of course, there’s Facebook, which issued everyone in the world a sword and appears astonished that some chose not to beat them into plowshares:

Even as it has become a forum for more sensational events, live and otherwise, it has said it does not want to be a media company that overly arbitrates what is posted on its site. But the more reluctant it is to intervene or the slower it is to respond, the more it may open itself to the posting of killings, sexual assaults and other crimes.

“Any of these platforms — especially live ones — encourages users to perform,” said Elizabeth Joh, a law professor at the University of California, Davis. “Should Facebook have a duty to rescue a crime victim? Should we, or is it O.K. for thousands or millions of people to watch a crime unfold without doing anything except sharing it?”

God, these people.

Posted at 10:01 pm in Current events |
 

63 responses to “It’s going backward.”

  1. brian stouder said on April 18, 2017 at 11:20 pm

    I was intrigued about the creater of Charlie Brown taking an hour a day to stare out the window, until I clicked it and learned we’re referring to the former SecState Schultz.

    I think everybody in the current White House stares at their i-Phones – raising the question Ms Maddow passed along this evening: Ignorant or nefarious? (I always liked the Coca-Cola response to the question whether “New Coke” was all a big plan to enliven the ‘classic Coke’ brand; their chief said something like “We’re not that stupid and we’re not that smart”!)

  2. Sherri said on April 18, 2017 at 11:28 pm

    Augmented reality, that’s going to solve all the problems! https://www.buzzfeed.com/mathonan/climbing-out-of-facebooks-reality-hole

    Mark Zuckerberg is a smart man, of that I have no doubt. He’s not a Travis Kalanick, a completely intentional asshole. On the other hand, it’s hard to see how an intelligent man who honestly does seem to want to do good in the world can be s willfully blind about the harm Facebook does, and so reluctant to take any responsibility for it. What’s he afraid of? He has control of the company, and the way it’s set up, shareholders have very little say.

    Zuckerberg wants to connect the world, but doesn’t seem interested in asking what connection means.

  3. Jakash said on April 19, 2017 at 12:56 am

    Nitpick alert! I don’t know whether George Shultz OR Charles Schulz had an hour a DAY to stare out the window, but the article talks about an hour a week. : )

  4. alex said on April 19, 2017 at 6:53 am

    Nitpick alert #2. What story about Ugly Americans in Yellowstone would be complete without mentioning the dolts who serve junk food to the animals through their car windows?

  5. Andrea said on April 19, 2017 at 8:05 am

    Speaking of intentional assholes:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2017/04/18/the-man-behind-the-neo-nazi-daily-stormer-website-is-being-sued-by-one-of-his-troll-storm-targets/?hpid=hp_hp-more-top-stories_dailystormer-630pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.4608a475c3cf

  6. coozledad said on April 19, 2017 at 8:31 am

    In a sane world, we wouldn’t be talking about Nazis putting one of their own in the White House. We’d be talking about whether they go in a landfill or a potter’s field.

  7. john (not mccain) said on April 19, 2017 at 9:37 am

    For such a long time it seemed liked we’d won WWII. Now, not so much.

  8. FDChief said on April 19, 2017 at 10:01 am

    The punchline of the whole “muscular” TrumpWar joke turns out to be that the Carl Vinson carrier group was and is not en route to the Sea of Japan. The Tangerine Toddler and his Trumpkins are trying to spin it as Five-Deferment Donnie being misinformed by “my military”, as if that somehow makes it less ridiculous. In the words of a certain not-Easter bunny: what a maroon. What an im-bessel.

  9. Suzanne said on April 19, 2017 at 10:05 am

    The Facebook/Zuckerberg thing brings to mind the book I read a few years ago: Googled by Ken Auletta. I bought the book after hearing him speak at IPFW’s excellent but now diminished Omnibus Lecture series in good old Fort Wayne, IN.
    I think Zuckerberg is like the founders of Google: brilliant people but with narrow focus and essentially clueless about many, many things. I remember Auletta discussing when Google wanted to digitize all the books in the world and put them on Google for free because that would be so great for humankind! and that someone had to sit down with these brilliant engineers and explain to them that the content of those books were the authors’ livelihood. Digitizing them and giving them away would essentially be stealing. The book also highlighted how difficult it was for the Google founders to grasp that if they just put Google out the for everyone to use for free,which they wanted to do, no revenue would be generated to keep the company afloat.
    I see Zuckerberg that way. Very brilliant and very clueless. My kids always called people like that Smart/Dumb people.

  10. Sherri said on April 19, 2017 at 10:46 am

    If one of the curses of Xerox PARC was that Xerox didn’t know what to do with this brilliant research lab, that was also its blessing. PARC wasn’t just a computer science lab; there were also chemists and physicists working on researching in printers, but there were also a wide variety of other types of people, including linguists and anthropologists. There was a lot of mixing, so people weren’t just locked into their little silo and ignorant of what else was going on. For a while in the 90s, there was actually a PARC artists in residence program, with the idea that it was a good thing for both to mix artists and scientists. I know one of the artists had an influence on my husband’s project, not because it was required, but because it was a good fit.

    As the cost of living in Silicon Valley has continued to grow ever so much more out of reach for those who don’t win the tech stock lottery, and as the rewards of winning the tech stock lottery have grown even more outsized, the world that the tech people occupy has grown narrower. You don’t learn about how people make connections by teaching yourself Mandarin or by making a 50 state tour listening to ordinary people, film crew in hand to document it, as Zuckerberg is doing. You learn that by living among people and making the kind of connections you make in real life, not by buying up all the houses around yours to create a buffer.

    One of the things that has always turned me off Facebook from the beginning is that is has no model of the idea that in real life, all connections are not the same. The type and depth of connections I might have at work, church, with family, with the other parents on my child’s soccer team, are all different, and while Facebook has made some changes to attempt to recognize this, it’s underlying model still treats all your connections as essentially the same, and gives you few tools for managing them yourself. The insistence of a single true identity is deeply baked into the model, and deeply flawed for mirroring real world interactions. It’s the choice of an immature young white male, who doesn’t yet see any reason to present any other face to the world.

    Facebook is a mature company now, and could ask some of these questions, but that might mean slowing down the spigot of advertising dollars. Zuckerberg could also ask what the downsides of connecting everybody in the world is, but again, that wouldn’t open the spigot any more.

  11. Deborah said on April 19, 2017 at 11:01 am

    Since we’re talking about Facebook, I’ve noticed something a bit scary, maybe I’m paranoid, or maybe I’m naive, but this has happened to me over and over again. Sometimes an ad pops up on my FB feed that is about something mentioned in a recent email to me. For instance my sister-in-law is visiting Chicago next week and she’s staying at the newly renovated athletic club hotel on Michigan Ave because it’s close to the art institute which is the reason she’s coming to town to see a specific exhibit there. So what do you know an ad for that hotel shows up on my feed today. My SIL had sent me an email yesterday giving me the specifics of her stay because we’re going to the exhibit together etc. I didn’t google the hotel or anything, she only mentioned it in the email. This happens often enough that it makes me wonder if there’s a connection. Facebook constantly asks for my phone number which I don’t offer, and it has my old email address, which I never use any more because it got hacked once, but I don’t delete because it’s still connected to things (like FB). But these coincidences are turning up concerning emails I have received on my new email address (I’ve actually had the new one for years so it’s not really “new”). Anyway, like I said, am I paranoid about FB’s capabilities? Or naive? Are these just weird coincidences?

  12. Suzanne said on April 19, 2017 at 11:07 am

    I’ve noticed that, too, Deborah. Sometimes across devices. For example, I look something up on Amazon on my iPad and then later in the day, an ad for the same type of item shows up on my work computer. That does kind of creep me out. Or, as you said, someone emails or texts me about something and suddenly, ads are popping up about that very thing.
    Does it stop me from using these platforms and programs? No.

  13. Deborah said on April 19, 2017 at 11:18 am

    Here’s some good news Chaffetz says he’s not running for re-election in 2018. A woman Doctor has been lining up to run as a Democrat against him, Kathryn Allen. I hope this is good news for her and for Democrats since she’s had a bit of a head start on this race now.

  14. Julie Robinson said on April 19, 2017 at 11:19 am

    Not a coincidence. Switch to incognito mode for your window shopping or you’ll get those darn ads forever. I learned about this after I bought some bras from Kohl’s, and my hubby got bra ads for about a month.

    And now, some big personal news: I’ve retired! I cleaned out my desk at the end of the day on Monday. My mom is getting older and needs more help, and I’ve been feeling really stretched for the last year or so between the two. She’s going to be 85 this summer and I see her slowing down, so I don’t know how much more time we’ll get. I doubt I’ll be less busy, but it feels like the right kind of busy.

  15. alex said on April 19, 2017 at 11:23 am

    Deborah, if you think that’s bad, LinkedIn raids your address book for all of your e-mail contacts.

  16. Suzanne said on April 19, 2017 at 11:24 am

    Well, congratulations on that retirement thing, Julie Robinson!

  17. Bruce Fields said on April 19, 2017 at 11:39 am

    “someone had to sit down with these brilliant engineers and explain to them that the content of those books were the authors’ livelihood.”

    Eh, I didn’t follow that so closely, but it was obviously more complicated than that.

    Anyway, these days it’s technically possible to provide full-text search of a huge chunk of the world’s books, so the interesting problem to me is whether and how we can make that legally possible.

    I was curious what happened to that project; googling around turns up this New Yorker article: http://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/what-ever-happened-to-google-books

  18. brian stouder said on April 19, 2017 at 11:50 am

    Julie – marvelous news!

    It won’t be easy (and will get less easy, I’m guessing) – but that’s good stuff

  19. coozledad said on April 19, 2017 at 11:52 am

    Chaffetz understands he can’t stonewall the Trump/Russia shitshow and win election to the House again, so he’s going to be a good little traitor and collect his oil money. Yesterday’s Georgia race will have more Republicans exploiting the closing window for becoming entrenched DC lobbyists. On top of the fees he’s collecting from the Russians and Turks, he’s looking at a lot of money.

    With Republicans, you always have to look at the whoring motivation first. it’s not some personal or ethical decision he’s made. Chaffetz is a whore’s whore.

  20. Suzanne said on April 19, 2017 at 11:56 am

    Maybe I wasn’t clear, Bruce, but Mr Auletta spoke about the Google people wanting to put every book, new, old, and in between, online for free and that someone had to explain to these brilliant people that the authors made their living by people paying to buy those books. The contents of those books were under copyright for a reason and if they were all online for free, the authors’ livelihoods would be impacted.(Of course, older books that are no longer copyrighted are different.) I found that part of his talk very interesting.

  21. basset said on April 19, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    I used to tutor writing at our local community college, and it wasn’t at all unusual to find students who thought “The Internet” was an acceptable citation.

    Julie, congrats on the retirement… hiw do I ensure that I’m in incognito mode?

  22. Julie Robinson said on April 19, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    Basset, if you use Chrome, there are three vertical dots in the upper right hand corner that are a pull-down menu of tools. The third one is new incognito window. Other browsers, I’m not sure, but if you google it I’m sure it’ll show up.

    I should note that my retirement comes courtesy of my dear hubby, who doesn’t get to retire yet, but suggested it was time some 18 months ago.

  23. basset said on April 19, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    Firefox here and Safari on the phone, we’ll figure it out.

    Mrs. B’s been retired on full disability for going on three years…I can go next October.

  24. Suzanne said on April 19, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    You’ve probably all heard that for NFL player Aaron Hernandez killed himself in prison.
    I saw a piece on him a while back (ESPN, maybe). Very sad all the way around. According to this documentary piece, he was a pretty decent kid until his father passed away and then he went completely off the rails . And now he will never come back and neither will the people he killed.

  25. Jakash said on April 19, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    Yeah, the first few times ads popped up regarding things in emails or that I’d purchased online, it did seem creepy. What I thought was stupid was that I’d buy a pair of running shoes, say, and then later that day an ad for those exact shoes would appear. Uh, I know you’re all-seeing and all-knowing, oh cyberking, but you don’t seem to have a lot of common sense. I already bought those — I don’t need to buy them now! How about an ad for some bras, for a change, like Julie’s husband gets? I don’t need those, either, but that sounds like more fun… ; )

  26. Scout said on April 19, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    “Did the first lady bring her special brand of frosty, astringent sunshine to the White House?”, is the best line on the internets today. Thanks, Nancy. I also enjoyed the piece about Natasha’s photography. I found the theories into what makes her tick fascinating. I also think she is actually talented at photography if she ever did want to be known for something besides being the marmalade hairball’s absentee FLOTUS.

    Congrats on the retirement, Julie! I’m envious. And thank you for the incognito tip. I hadn’t been aware of that.

    Chaffetz will no doubt fail upwards like any self serving Republican, but I wonder if he’ll be singed by some of that Russiagate burn that may be coming and that’s why he’s getting out.

    Facebook can be stupid sometimes, but I still enjoy the connectivity it affords. The most active of my ‘Friends’ are people 40-80. The kids have moved on to Instagram and Snapchat. My grandkids drop by occasionally but I know they consider Facebook to be for the ‘olds’.

  27. Scout said on April 19, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    Oh and this… How in the name of all that is holy did we end up with this mess?
    http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a54606/ivanka-trump-brand-conflict-of-interest/

  28. Dorothy said on April 19, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    I am NOT a tech-y kind of person but I noticed what several of you have commented on here about advertisements showing up in Facebook, etc. several years ago. The internet gets smarter all the time about how to find out information about us all without ever asking us a question. Here are a couple of links to stories in case you want to read more about it. Julie – thanks for the info about the incognito button. I’ll probably rarely use it because of laziness, but I’m one of those people who are aggravated by the ability of websites to track you and then send you ads based on other things you’ve looked at. I have learned to ignore much of it. But I still get aggravated about it.

    http://adage.com/article/digital/facebook-web-browsing-history-ad-targeting/293656/

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/236226/8_Algorithms_That_Rule_Web.html

  29. john (not mccain) said on April 19, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    Ya want creepy? A recent New Yorker article was all about the joys of mechanical watches. Made them seem interesting enough that I was considering looking into them. Before I even got a chance to do any online searching, or even mention them to anyone online (or in real life, for that matter), I started getting ads on Facebook for mechanical watches. At least once a day for a week. The only thing I can think of is that Facebook knows I have liked the New Yorker page, probably knows that I’m a subscriber, and knew that they recently published that article. I am not going to buy a mechanical watch. Although after posting this I bet I get more ads.

  30. Jenine said on April 19, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    @Julie R: High five! I am very interested in a retired future. But my kids haven’t started college yet so I don’t see it happening for another decade.

    @Scout: thank you for “marmalade hairball”!

  31. Judybusy said on April 19, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    Congratulations, Julie! I hope retirement brings joy as well as enhanced ability to look after your mom. If the Rebupublicans don’t tank the economy, I should be done in 11 years. I know some folks who continue to work PT after “retiring.” Not me. I love my career, but I have so much other stuff I wanna do. Thanks, too, for the incognito tip.

  32. Jolene said on April 19, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    Bill O’Reilly definitely out at Fox. This makes me happy because I know it will make him really mad.

    According to this article, Chaffetz is leaving his House seat because he wants to run for governor of Utah. Still, that’s an improvement for most of us. Governors don’t appear on the national news very often, so, even if he runs and wins, we likely won’t hear from him often.

  33. Deborah said on April 19, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    Julie, congrats on the retirement. I love being retired, don’t miss the daily slog to work one bit.

    I had noticed that when I’d click on an ad anywhere on the internet (rare) or Google something I’d end up with FB ads about that same thing on my feed, that I can live with for some reason, don’t like it but it doesn’t freak me out. That they can seemingly pull things out of your personal emails, that is really creepy to me and sends up red flags all over the place.

  34. Deborah said on April 19, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    I wonder what Trimp will tweet about O’Reilly now?

  35. Deborah said on April 19, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    Time to send $ to Ossoff’s campaign for the June runoff with the Repub candidate, Handel, she’s a trip and a half. This is symbolic, we need to nip it in the bud. I encourage you all to chip in, doesn’t need to be much. Oh, the Rs will be out by hook and by crook, you can be sure of that. In this case it’s not a local deal because the republican billionaires from all over the place will be pouring mega $$$$ into the race.

  36. Bruce Fields said on April 19, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    “Maybe I wasn’t clear, Bruce, but Mr Auletta spoke about the Google people wanting to put every book, new, old, and in between, online for free”

    For out-of-copyright works, yes. For works in copyright, Google provides a search interface. Which requires Google to have the full content on their servers, but doesn’t require them to provide full access to that content to users. That raises any number of interesting copyright questions, but it’s not true that Google was somehow completely unaware of the existence or purpose of copyright. (But, I haven’t read Auletta’s book and don’t know what individual engineers might have said.)

  37. Jolene said on April 19, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    That they can seemingly pull things out of your personal emails, that is really creepy to me and sends up red flags all over the place.

    It’s not “seemingly.” It’s real. This is a feature of Gmail and probably other email systems as well. Gene Weingarten wrote a column about it several years ago.

  38. brian stouder said on April 19, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    Y’know – this thread got me thinking.

    The young folks and I look forward to running errands and picking up a loaf of bread and this and that….but the Coming Thing seems to be shop-ahead, where you click on all the items you want, and then go get it (or have it delivered)

    A good argument against that is our nibby-nosed friends at Facebook and Amazon (et al) – knowing (to the last nickel) what you’ll spend on deodorant or pretzels or toilet paper or doughnuts.

    (presumably, if Vlad Putin wanted to make some money*, his hackers can sell all the same data)

    *the possibility that Vlad loves money (as much as anything else) seems roughly equivalent to the chances that the Pope is Catholic, or that sharks shit in the sea

  39. Julie Robinson said on April 19, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    I just got back from the grocery and saw one of those shoppers gathering groceries. She was standing in front of the dairy bunker for a long time as I was down the way. AS I passed her she was puzzling at her phone and a carton of almond milk, not certain she had the right thing. Five minutes for one item, I’m not thinking she’s earning much.

  40. brian stouder said on April 19, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    Copy Editor Alert!! Copy Editor Alert!!

    I just stumbled across this, and it made me snort/chuckle/giggle (all at once)

    http://wane.com/2017/04/19/oreilly-out-at-fox-news-channel/

    The lead:

    Fox News Channel’s parent company fired Bill O’Reilly on Wednesday following an investigation into harassment allegations, bringing a stunning end to cable television news’ most popular program and one that came to define the bravado of his network over 20 years.

    O’Reilly lost his job on the same day he was photographed in Rome shaking the hand of Pope Francis.

    He was fired the same day he shook hands with the Pope?!!

    hahahahahahahaha

    PS – and if he’d stuck with that, none of this trouble would’ve sprung up (so to speak)

  41. alex said on April 19, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    I’ve seen a lot of google books because I’m always looking up history stuff. Anyway, books still under copyright are presented with a few random pages omitted so that anyone who really wants a true and complete copy will still have to buy one, although I suspect most people are happy to get most of a book for free.

    Congrats on your retirement, Julie.

  42. coozledad said on April 19, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    Treason for oil. This administration ought to be waterboarded; not because it would result in useful information, but because traitors ought to gag.

    https://twitter.com/olgaNYC1211/status/854747141150998531

  43. Peter said on April 19, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    This morning I googled to see the Georgia election results and now all I get are pop up ads to donate cash to Handel.

    If I’m not mistaken, isn’t she the person who ran Susan Komen Foundation into the ground then wrote a book blaming it on Planned Parenthood?

    I’m think she’s entitled to a premium grade Coozledad comment, as opposed to the standard grade observations.

  44. Peter said on April 19, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    Oh, and Julie, congratulations on your retirement. I know many who would love to take time off of work to care for the ailing parent. Good luck.

  45. Sherri said on April 19, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    There are other tools also available to prevent ad trackers from following you everywhere. Privacy Badger and Ghostery are two I’m familiar with. I’ve been using Ghostery for years.

  46. Deborah said on April 19, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    Peter, you’re right about Handel, she’s the one. Gotta get her out. Coozledad, I’m sooooo waiting for your observation.

  47. Icarus said on April 19, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    Like many, I have a love-hate relationship with Facebook. I use FB Purity to block ads and also hide content that bugs me, like fake news and stories about animal abuse.

    I find that every time I unfriend someone, or i’m unfriended, my feed changes every so slightly. Let me explain that otherwise duh statement. Even if all your friends posted something at 5 o clock (for instance) FB would not show you all of those posts. It shows you a small percentage based on some makes no sense algorithm loosely based on your interactions with your friends. After deleting someone, I’ve seen posts from friends I haven’t seen in years, even though they have been active all this time.

  48. Deborah said on April 19, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    Jolene, I get that because i have a gmail account I can get ads within that account that might pertain to what’s in my emails (not that I like it, but at least there’s an explanation) but how does it get to Facebook from my gmail account? As Weingarten says gmail is more commercial than my previous email provide, I get a lot of promo emails on it, but I just ignore them and delete the, there is enough that I like about the platform that makes it OK (sort of). What creeps me out though is how it crosses platforms and ends up on Facebook.

  49. Deni Menken said on April 19, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    Brian, you crack me up! Julie, congrats and many lovely days with your mom.

  50. Deborah said on April 19, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    Sorry, lots of typos in #48 , it’s because my physical therapist has me assuming a weird position at rest so to speak to try to squeeze the toothpaste back into the tube of my disk. I’m lying on the day bed face down with a bunch of pillows under my chest so that my back is angled upward. Hard to explain, and hard to type this way with my arms dangling over the edge of the bed.

  51. Jolene said on April 19, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    What creeps me out though is how it crosses platforms and ends up on Facebook.

    Presumably, you gave FB your email address at some point.

  52. Suzanne said on April 19, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Jolene, yes about the email, but the email tied to my Facebook account is a very old hotmail account that I rarely use, and yet, stuff I’ve emailed someone about with my gmail does show up as Facebook ads. Creepy, but does it stop me from checking Facebook 20 times a day? No.

    Bruce, I feel like I am still not being clear about the Google books thing. Auletta’s point, I think, was that you had all these brilliant people who thought it would be the coolest thing in the world to have available online every book in the world for anybody to be able to access at any time. They were shocked to find out that there were people out there who objected to that idea, especially the people who wrote the books and didn’t want to lose money from sales of their work. According to him, in the earliest iterations of this idea, that thought had not occurred to the Google people, so caught up were they in the thrill of digitizing all those books and making them available for free. If I recall correctly, it went to court at some point.

  53. Sherri said on April 19, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    Do you log out of FB when you’re done using it? Do you use your FB account to log into other sites? Even when you simply visit a site with a FB like button on it, FB is tracking you.

    This is what the web has turned into. It’s as if you walked into a store and window-shopped, and when you left the store, 20 people with clipboards followed you to the next store. There, 20 more people followed you. When you got to your car and turned on your radio, all those people were placing ads on your radio. This is “targeted advertising” and yes, it’s creepy as hell. even more creepy, they can take the data from those people following you, combine it with all sorts of other demographic data, and draw conclusions about you to make predictions about what you might do in the future, like the infamous story of Target sending coupons for baby stuff to someone whose daughter was pregnant and he didn’t know it.

    Facebook and Google make most of their revenues from advertising. They are selling you and the vast trove of data they know about you to advertisers. Everything else they do is secondary.

  54. Sherri said on April 19, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    I’m so tired of Bernie Sanders. He’s not a Democrat, by his own say-so, but he wants to define what a Democrat is. You must show absolute fealty to his economic beliefs, but pro-choice? Ah, let’s not let that get in the way of electing Democrats in red states. So, Jon Ossoff? Maybe not so good, but this guy over in Nebraska, he’s great even though he introduced a bill to require an ultrasound before getting an abortion.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/democrats-reload-for-georgia-runoff-but-party-divisions-remain-1492626238?tesla=y

  55. Scout said on April 19, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    Sherri, agreed about Bernie. I’m sorry I voted for him in in primary and helped in even a small way to give the tiresome old fart any extra encouragement for his Dem bashing. He needs to stfu because he is not helping anything or anyone at this point.

  56. Jolene said on April 19, 2017 at 8:06 pm

    Agree on Bernie Sanders. Saw something on Twitter re what people would say if it were a woman who had lost in the primaries by four million votes and had never been a member of the party, but, nevertheless, thought the party should be remade in her image.

  57. Deborah said on April 19, 2017 at 11:22 pm

    Jolene as Suzanne said FB has an old email of mine that I never use anymore, but the ads are showing up on FB that are related to things on my current email that I have never shared with them. And yes, Sherri, I log out of FB when I’m not actively on it, at least I think I do. I always have to login when I click on FB.

  58. Rana said on April 19, 2017 at 11:24 pm

    I’m not completely convinced that the ads on Facebook are entirely “from” Facebook. Some of them, yes, are, and are based on some very odd preference lists that FB squirrels away. (If you’ve time to kill, I encourage you to go check them out sometime – you can tweak them under the settings somewhere – and you’ll learn things like FB thinks you are a fan of “pickles” and “the Grand Canyon (place)” or whatever.)

    But I suspect that the reason for the appearance of many ads “on” Facebook that don’t seem to have a direct connection with the information you’ve provided to Facebook is that they’re probably more generic than that – they’re pulling from a feed of ads based elsewhere (the owner of the feed presumably paying FB for the privilege) – and it’s that feed that’s tapping into your Google searches. A quick way to check that is to go through your cookies and purge the ones associated with the product in question (that is, if you were looking at lamps and are now seeing a ton of lamp ads, go yank the cookies associated with the site where you were looking at the lamps). If the ads disappear, you’ll know it’s about the cookies, rather than FB.

    I also wouldn’t be surprised if these algorithms are going partly off our ISPs, not just our emails. A VPN masker like Tunnelbear can help with that, a bit.

    But mostly I just use AdBlocker and Social Fixer. Maybe they’re collecting all this purchasing data on me, but if I never see any ads, period, what good does it do them? I also don’t worry so much about the occasional ad I do see on FB (as when I forget to enable one of the blockers) because the accuracy of their recommendations is really, really crappy. “Here, rabid progressive woman, surely you must want to join this MAGA anti-feminist group, right?”

  59. Rana said on April 19, 2017 at 11:28 pm

    Also agreeing on Sanders. I liked his initial platform enough to support him in the primary, but now I just want him to shut up and go away. If he wants to direct the future of the Democratic Party, then perhaps he should be a member of it. And too many journalists feed into his self-importance. Interviewing him as some sort of Voice of the Democrats makes as much sense as asking Jill Stein what she thinks the Democrats should do. (Of course, these are often the same people who get all excited when John McCain acts “mavericky” and says the GOP’s doing something stupid… right before he votes party line with the rest of them. But does that second half ever get covered? Do they ever learn that he’s always going to pull the football away? Nope.)

  60. alex said on April 20, 2017 at 6:51 am

    Facebook occasionally presents articles and stuff in your feed “selected just for you” based on God knows what, and there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to it. I’ve gotten liberal stuff, but some really noxious right-wing stuff on occasion as well. Ads turn up from companies whose products I’ve researched or purchased, if not the exact products themselves, even after they’ve been purchased. But I see the same thing going on with other sites, not just Facebook. I have AdBlock Plus, but have to turn it off for particular sites if I want access.

    Like I mentioned yesterday, the most scary thing I’ve seen is that LinkedIn mines your contacts.

  61. coozledad said on April 20, 2017 at 7:35 am

    Congratulations, stupidest, ass-eatingest country on the face of the planet. Don Novello’s Mr.Tea is now a reality, and your president is Juicaesar.

    http://theconcourse.deadspin.com/i-just-love-this-juicero-story-so-much-1794459898

    Listen. Many features of life in this, the Ham-Fisted Satire Of Late Capitalism Dimension, are stupid. Donald Trump got to be president by holding up the wallet his dad gave him and yelling “I fuck this wallet.” The police will beat the shit out of you for using your flight ticket. Miami Beach is literally dissolving. The only thing this dimension does well is show its ass. We might as well applaud it!

    God bless Juicero. I’m going to get this story tattooed on my brain.

  62. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 20, 2017 at 7:37 am

    Got to talk to Leon Panetta last night at Denison. His view is that the only way real work gets done in an administration is when you have war rooms set up, staff assigned, and hard, disciplined, sustained effort is put into each bill you want to pass or at least shape. And that’s what they simply don’t have (and I thought I heard an implication that there had not been much of that in the last three or four, either, but a more centralized, controlled program focused on people, not teams, which Panetta doesn’t think works).

    Hearing him face-to-face, in the room with the greeting group and around dinner, and at the main event program, that was the main theme: legislation is work, and that’s what’s lacking in the administration and both party leaderships — a willingness to put hard, patient, tedious, ongoing effort into your intentions. There’s posturing and presentation, and a spasmic reaction again and again from crisis to crisis, but no leadership to put together teams, maintain focus, and work legislator by legislator until you find a solution to what’s at hand.

    I’d vote for him for about anything. He gave three classes worth of students value for the day, even before the evening event.

  63. coozledad said on April 20, 2017 at 7:41 am

    Juice-Cicero? Juice-Cisgender? Juice Cerebrum?

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