As discussed previously, this is my weekly Twitter roundup. Note that tweets of articles generally include header images from the articles, which are not included here unless they happen to be available under a free license. Most are not. But I now add most of my commentary here, where I’m not restricted by the message length.

diagrams showing the division of the day and of the week

I also don’t generally attach pictures to posts with quotations.

9:03 – Mon 18 January 2021

No, Facebook, You Didn’t Stop Capitol Rioters From Planning an Insurrection from VICE News

In a blog post, Facebook’s vice president of integrity Guy Rosen said that the company started planning for the inauguration a year ago, but “took on new urgency” only after last week’s violence.

Yep. A year’s preparation led them to do absolutely nothing. Seeing their name in the news associated with an attempted coup, however, got them to think that maybe they should do something.

12:02 – Mon 18 January 2021

True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

I try to keep to quotes from sources verifiably in the public domain, these days, but especially with Republicans calling for “unity” in the wake of—and trying to avoid the “divisiveness” of holding people accountable for—trying to overthrow democracy, I think that an exception was warranted, especially on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

9:02 – Tue 19 January 2021

Too little, too late: The cynical calculus of banning Donald Trump from Fast Company

And because Trump has been so controversial, so dramatic, so engaging all of the time, he’s driven more eyeballs and hate-clicks to their platforms than they’d ever dreamed.

I’ve talked about this issue near the start of the blog, before it became a legal issue, and just last weekend, but the point remains the same: If a system is funded by advertisements, that system is only going to take action against hatred when it endangers their profits or market position.

Here, it’s no coincidence that the major software companies all decided to act after Trump lost the election, the campaign lost all of its court cases to overturn the election, the Senate became (narrowly) Democratic, and the failed coup put them back under scrutiny. If any of those conditions hadn’t been the case, they wouldn’t fear regulation, so it’d be business as usual.

12:01 – Tue 19 January 2021

A bore is a man who deprives you of solitude without providing you with company.

Gian Vincenzo Gravina

9:01 – Wed 20 January 2021

The Hacker Who Archived Parler Explains How She Did It (and What Comes Next) from VICE Motherboard

she posted on her GitHub that the API could be used “to solve fun mysteries such as…Is Parler really the world’s most secure social network? (no)”

The response to the data release is far more interesting than the release itself, with angry fascists making death threats, because they’re afraid of being held accountable for their actions.

12:04 – Wed 20 January 2021

If once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think little of robbing; and from robbing he next comes to drinking and Sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and procrastination.

Thomas De Quincey

9:05 – Thu 21 January 2021

In Wake of Capitol Riot, GOP Legislatures “Rebrand” Old Anti-BLM Protest Laws from The Intercept

And in November, he went further, drafting “anti-mob” legislation that would expand Florida’s “stand your ground” law, making it easier to shoot and kill with impunity people looting property.

Despite the utility of the article, it bothers me that the author never comes out and says that they’re capitalizing on the insurrection to push bills they already want, rather than trying to solve the problem.

12:05 – Thu 21 January 2021

Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact.

George Eliot

9:04 – Fri 22 January 2021

Remediation gets the lead out of soil, but not kids from Futurity

The annual cost of resulting lost productivity is estimated to be nearly $1 trillion dollars globally and $16 billion in Bangladesh alone.

We shouldn’t need to measure children’s health in dollars of productivity, but it’s also a measurement that’s extremely easy to understand, as opposed to the attempts to link lead to criminal behavior.

12:03 – Fri 22 January 2021

Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end.

Henry David Thoreau


Because it accidentally became a tradition early on in the life of the blog, here’s a sixth article that didn’t fit into the week, but too weird to not mention.

Donald Trump has set the wheels in motion to scrap the H-1B lottery from Quartz

…the newer system will prioritize wages to protect US jobs and ensure only the crème de la crème are allocated H-1Bs, according to the notification.

This is a petty and stupid move to deliberately drive people from the United States, of course, and won’t fix anybody’s problem. However, the H-1B visa system is a mess that locks excellent workers to awful jobs, because they can’t risk losing their sponsorship. If companies were required to pay their sponsored employees the same as everyone else and had enough of a grace period to look for better jobs, you’d see a far fairer redistribution of jobs.

Credits: Header image is Circular diagrams showing the division of the day and of the week from a manuscript drafted during the Carolingian Dynasty.