Social Media Bots Offer Phony Friends and Real Profit

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

Mr. Miller Doesn’t Go to Washington

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.

Politico

Networks without networks

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.

Medium

Why Sci-Fi Keeps Imagining the Subjugation of White People

But it’s worth remembering that in sci-fi, the future actually isn’t safe or sterile at all. On the contrary, with its alien invasions, evil empires, authoritarian dystopia, and new lands discovered and pacified, the genre can look as much like the past as the future. In particular, sci-fi is often obsessed with colonialism and imperial adventure, the kind that made the British Empire an empire and that still sustains America’s might worldwide.

The Atlantic

What’s Behind the Great Podcast Renaissance?

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

The Valley

Hello, I am a high school filmmaker and this is my six month long project of Phoenix, AZ. I began this project back in May, however the majority of the clips you will see are only from the past 3 months. I have been on most mountain tops and trails in the greater Phoenix area to get these angles. By taking on this project I have learned the ins and outs of time lapse and can’t wait to get out there to start my next project on Arizona, stay tuned. Hope you enjoy the video! :)