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The Memex Method. When your commonplace book is a public | Cory Doctorow
doctorow.medium.com
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One of my favourite writers (offline and online) on his personal content strategy, first taking aim at the "tawdry and mercenary" version of "“why writers should blog”... the story goes, “and build a brand ... to promote your work.” Virtually every sentence that contains the word “brand” is bullshit, and that one is no exception.&qu;…

Even LinkedIn Is Overrun by Influencers | Index
index.medium.com
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This article absolutely nails why I can't stand LinkedIn anymore, describing the site as completely performative, and the "LinkedIn newsfeed ... as a vast wasteland... almost entirely filled with marketing gurus, salespeople talking sales, and recruiters and “career coaches” offering the same job search tips over and over".Why? Beca…

Evan Henshaw-Plath, Planetary.Social | The Institute for Digital Public Infrastructure
publicinfrastructure.org
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One of a great series of Reimagining the Internet podcasts. Guest: the Planetary.Social founder, discussing:the early days of Twitter: "Twitter's innovation ... happened all at the edges... users created everything... inline images and short links and retweets and the app, actual at and hashtags... the company... cultivated this garden w…

Decentralized Social Networks vs. The Trolls - ConfTube
conf.tube
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After pointing out that mainstream - ie centralised - social platforms cannot moderate effectively due to scale, then introduces fediverse/activitypub-based platforms. Will they face same moderation problems as the mainstream if/when they grow?Takes Gab's unsuccessful move into fediverse as an example: "Almost immediately, Gab was met by…

Meet GPT-3. It Has Learned to Code (and Blog and Argue). - The New York Times
www.nytimes.com
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"GPT-3 ... generates tweets, pens poetry, summarizes emails, answers trivia questions, translates languages and even writes its own computer programs, all with very little prompting"It's surprised a lot of AI researchers, but also "often spews biased and toxic language" and isn't always convincing. It's a univers…

24/12/2020
Post-Alpha Feature: Simplifying Zettelkasten by working out loud
mathewlowry.medium.com
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What did I learn about learning as I explored using Zettelkasten idea and knowledge management to write five newsletters about disinformation in the 2020 US elections?

Evaluating contradictory foreign interference allegations in the 2020 U.S. election | by @DFRLab | DFRLab | Oct, 2020 | Medium
medium.com
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DFRLab’s Foreign Interference Attribution Tracker (FIAT) database (see Interference2020.org) "captures allegations of foreign #us2020 interference... and assesses their credibility, bias, evidence, transparency, and impact".80 allegations were catalogued: a "sharp increase from 2016... vary widely in their evidence and objectivity, …

How Some Conservatives Have Switched to Parler, Rumble and Newsmax (FN)
www.nytimes.com
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Fleeting Note (FN): the creation of Fediverse-based alternatives might suddenly become an urgency.

Facebook Manipulated the News You See to Appease Republicans, Insiders Say – Mother Jones
www.motherjones.com
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When changing their Newsfeed algorithm, Facebook's tests found "a dramatic impact on the reach of right-wing “junk sites,”... [by] January 2018 a second iteration dialed up the harm to progressive-leaning news organizations instead... Mother Jones was singled out as one that would suffer... Daily Wire was identified as one that would be…

Domestic v. foreign disinformation: A question of timing (US2020 Disinformation news, ed. 4)
medium.com
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There are two possible reasons why we are not talking as much about foreign interference. Both could be true. Only one is good news.

QAnon shows that the age of alternative facts will not end with Trump - Columbia Journalism Review
www.cjr.org
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With more than a dozen congressional candidates appearing on ballots in November, Qanon is mainstream. While it looks like a lot of other conspiracy theories, this research provides a fascinating look at how the conspiracy's "Bakers" co-create their knowledgescape."QAnon doesn’t simply offer readers insider insight into current…

Breaking democracy to hold power (US2020 Disinformation news, ed. 3)
medium.com
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How a decades-long election delegitimisation campaign, amplified by social media disinformation, intersects with the death of a Chief Justice in a GoT-worthy season finale of “US democracy: Endgame”.

Big Lies and Rotten Herrings: 17 Kremlin Disinformation Techniques You Need to Know Now – Byline Times
bylinetimes.com
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During the Cold War, the Soviets conducted over 10,000 disinformation operations, with up to 15000 KGB officers. Europe a target since 2015. Goal: weaken western democracy from within. This article sets out their most pertinent tactics:1) Narratives: post-Western world (the West no longer dominates); anti-(elite, EU, NATO) narratives; danger narra…

From foreign meddling to pink slime (US2020 Disinformation news, ed. 2)
medium.com
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This edition’s 9 articles span the real meaning of “foreign meddling” and domestic flashpoints, social media platform preparations for Election Night and beyond, and how media has to go beyond factchecking as it tackles “pink slime” (yes, it’s a thing).

Fact-checking needs to make way for reality-testing and gaslighting-fighting | Press Watch
presswatchers.org
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Donald Trump literally laughs factchecking off - it's good to have, but insufficient. To establish non-partisan status, factcheckers need to be equally tough on all sides, but all sides don't lie the same. They use euphemisms for 'lie', and check narrow, easy-to-debunk statements while ignoring the larger pattern of "the a…

Is Russian Meddling as Dangerous as We Think?  | The New Yorker
www.newyorker.com
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Literature note: “How to Lose the Information War,” ... on disinformation as a geopolitical strategy...Mueller report: I.R.A.-created groups and accounts reached tens of millions... the troll factory found “authentic, local voices,” to foment large-scale distrust in government and democracy... and managed to get into the heads of powerful politici…

America mainstreaming disinformation against itself (US2020 Disinformation newsletter, ed 1)
mathewlowry.myhub.ai

I'm (re)launching my newsletter to focus on disinformation during the 2020 US election. It's also part of a wider experiment in integrating Zettelkasten idea and knowledge management into my personal content strategy, hosted on MyHub.ai.

How To Take Smart Notes: 10 Principles to Revolutionize Your Note-Taking and Writing - Forte Labs
fortelabs.co
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Books on note-taking... always too vague and boring, full of platitudes ... never an overarching system for turning notes into concrete results ... [but]How To Take Smart Notes ... is by far the most impactful and profound book I’ve ever read on the subject... most books are a few morsels of real insight wrapped in... fluff... I systematically unr…

The 2020 Election Will Be a War of Disinformation - The Atlantic
www.theatlantic.com
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The president’s reelection campaign ... multimillion-dollar ad blitz ... shaping Americans’ understanding of ... impeachment ... micro-targeted ads ... portraying Trump as a heroic reformer ... while Democrats plotted a coup... An alternate information ecosystem was taking shape ... I wanted to see it from the inside...I was surprised by the effec…

AI-Generated Text Is the Scariest Deepfake of All | WIRED
www.wired.com
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GPT-3... AI that can produce shockingly human-sounding (if at times surreal) sentences... imagine a future in which the vast majority of the written content ... is produced by machines... adjust, and adapt, to a new level of unreality ...video may turn out to be the easiest to detect ... Politicians will now be able to dismiss real, scandalous vid…

Why it’s as hard to escape an echo chamber as it is to flee a cult | Aeon Essays
aeon.co
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echo chambers and epistemic bubbles... systematically exclude sources of information... exaggerate their members’ confidence in their beliefs... work in entirely different ways... epistemic bubble is when you don’t hear people from the other side. An echo chamber is what happens when you don’t trust people from the other side...‘epistemic bubble’ …

Prebunking interventions based on the psychological theory of "inoculation" can reduce susceptibility to misinformation across cultures. | HKS Misinformation Review
misinforeview.hks.harvard.edu
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online “fake news” game, Bad News, can confer psychological resistance against common online misinformation strategies across different cultures... “prebunking,” ... can help cultivate “mental antibodies” against fake news... players “walk a mile” in the shoes of a fake news creator... significant and meaningful reductions in the perceived reliab…

A tech exec says history will frown on Zuckerberg and co.
www.fastcompany.com

I put together my own cheat sheet to keep in my back pocket for heated conversations to come

Zuckerberg, Trump and the protests: Facebook’s muddled makeover | Financial Times
www.ft.com
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Facebook is wary of being drawn further into a political argument ahead ... divisive presidential election ... ... steer clear of fact-checking political advertisements... keen not to antagonise Mr Trump ... claiming that social media platforms are biased against Republican ... purely a business decision ... ubiquitous... it must always align with…

FAQ: My Hub's been created. How do I get started?
youtu.be
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In 7 minutes you'll learn how to get your password, edit your about page and use the bookmarklet to start curating content to your Hub.

Ten Ways Cognitive Biases Impact Data Design Work - Nightingale - Medium
medium.com
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There are about 175 known cognitive biases to date. I will share some of the ones that I think are the most significant for designers... It is important that we not learn about biases to simply point out errors in others... we [need] to spot errors in our own thinking ...confirmation bias ... conservatism bias ... [influence us] to select and use …

Dear Facebook employees, - Barry Schnitt
medium.com
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"We believe in Facebook’s mission that giving people tools to make the world more open is a better way to combat ignorance or deception than censorship.” It turns out that I was wrong... There are more options than just being “open” and “censorship”... The more successful Facebook is ... the more ignorance, deception ...in the world...Facebo…

Imagining new MyHub.ai features as the pilot Hubs launch
medium.com
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This month sees the first generation of Hubs (other than mine) go live, so it’s time to imagine what comes next: AI integration? Filter-bubble Piercers? HubBots? Factcheck-driven credibility scores?

The most important technology critic in the world was tired of knowledge based on clicks. So he built an antidote - The Correspondent
thecorrespondent.com
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The Syllabus collects the best articles, podcasts and videos about the political, economic and social consequences of the coronavirus pandemic on a daily basis...world’s foremost technology critic... scans 100 pages per minute, 12 books in an hour, 100 in one day... can determine the relevance of every book in the world... all information and know…

Covering Climate Change and Countering Skepticism in Australia - Nieman Reports
niemanreports.org
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when climate skeptics in government and media control the message and the channels, it becomes fact for people like councilor Allen that Australia’s fires... have “nothing” to do with climate change... Climate skepticism runs deep in Australia, origin of ... Murdoch’s media empire... long history of climate science denial and diversion... in the w…

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