Fascinating that this is starting to seep Into the non-nerd consciousness.
With an army of fake friends at my disposal, I can now charge people who want to increase their number of followers or promote certain tweets. One bot creator I talked to (who spoke only on the condition of anonymity because his work violates user agreements with social media sites) said that he manages hundreds of thousands of Instagram bots and makes a good living by pushing posts to the app’s popular page. He can also manufacture all kinds of engagement, including following accounts and commenting on photos.
New York Times
The inside story of a journalist who decides to run for office which explains a lot about how we end up with the kind of legislators we have.
Campaign fundraising is a bizarre, soul-warping endeavor. You spend your time endlessly adding to lists of people who might be in a position to help. You enter them on a spreadsheet (dubbed “The Tracker”) and sort the names from high to low in terms of their giving potential. You start to think of every human being in your orbit as having a number attached to them. You book breakfasts, lunches, coffees and drinks at which you make the case for your candidacy … and ask for money. Always money. You call dozens of people a day … and ask for money. When people ask how they can help, you mostly ask them for the names of folks you can … ask for money.
Beautiful essay on coping with grief through retro-computing. It does make sense when you read it.
Over the last few days I’ve been crazy for emulation—that is, simulating old, busted computers on my sweet modern laptop. I’ve been booting up fake machines and tearing them down, one after the other, and not doing much besides. Machines I’ve only heard of, arcade games I never played, and machines I never used. Software about which I was always curious. And old favorites like MacWrite.
Spoiler alert: The reason is in your pocket.
“What’s happening? And why now? The word podcast is roughly ten years old, after all, and the “pod” to which it refers has been discontinued. Still, the genre seems more alive than ever. I spoke to the people behind several popular shows, and they agreed: We’re in a golden age of podcasting.
“What’s weird about this moment right now is that, broadly, you’ve got this huge audience of radio listeners,” Blumberg, the host of the “StartUp” podcast, told me. “Now that audio has moved to on-demand,” he added, “people are really jumping in.””
New York Magazine