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.

9:01 – Mon 01 March 2021 🔗

If Big Tech has the will, here are ways research shows self-regulation can work from The Conversation

Some form of government regulation is likely in the U.S. Big Tech still has an opportunity to engage in responsible self-regulation…

It’s likely that they won’t do this, and I’d be worried—if they did—that self-regulation would scare Congress away from actually regulating them. But for people interested in alternative social media outlets, this sort of research is good for deciding what to look for.

12:05 – Mon 01 March 2021 🔗

This little town was so rich in the Panic of 1837, it sent its funds to help New York banks over that depression. It was as busy as a beehive and as thrifty as it was busy.

John Parker 🔗

I managed to forget that Black History Month had ended and Women’s History Month has begun. Oh, well. I’ll try to save the rest for next year.

9:03 – Tue 02 March 2021 🔗

Sexist AI is Even More Sexist Than We Thought from VICE Motherboard

…displayed social biases in similar ways to those scientists have been documenting in humans for decades using implicit bias tests…

The big problem is that we don’t actually have “artificial intelligence.” We have—if you’ll permit me to assemble some jargon words—self-reinforcing approximation algorithms. So, we’re not so much “training” the systems as we are feeding them biased examples. And then we’re all surprised that the systems aren’t doing better.

12:04 – Tue 02 March 2021 🔗

How often are the laurels worn by those who have had no share in earning them!

Abigail Adams 🔗

9:04 – Wed 03 March 2021 🔗

Teacher bond may especially help homeless preschoolers from Futurity

…evidence that these relationships are important for all students, and this work suggests that it may be particularly important for housing insecure children.

This should go without saying, but it’s one of those situations where I’m mostly happy to have research to point at.

12:01 – Wed 03 March 2021 🔗

I slept, and dreamed that life was Beauty; I woke, and found that life was Duty.

Ellen Sturgis Hooper 🔗

9:05 – Thu 04 March 2021 🔗

Our Fundamental Right to Vote Is Under Attack from Common Dreams

Today’s Jefferson Davis Republicans know that they are increasingly a minority party. In Georgia, Arizona, Texas, North Carolina and other states, Republicans fear they will lose control.

I’ve discussed voter suppression before, but probably neglected to make it clear that the goal is to prevent an obsolete way of thinking—that happens to be extremely profitable for industries that rely on exploitation—from being ignored as it deserves to be.

12:03 – Thu 04 March 2021 🔗

I was practically driven to Rome in order to obtain the opportunities for art-culture, and to find a social atmosphere where I was not constantly reminded of my color. The land of liberty had no room for a colored sculptor.

Edmonia Lewis 🔗

9:02 – Fri 05 March 2021 🔗

Limbaugh Helped Create the Conservative Movement—and Paved the Road for Trump from Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting

But despite his power and connections, the fact that Limbaugh was a serial dissembler seemed to come as a surprise to establishment media, who treated the report like a breaking story.

Consolidation of media has made it accepting of conservative views, given that deregulation and divisiveness empowers them.

12:02 – Fri 05 March 2021 🔗

The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain, is floating in mid-air, until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.

Jane Addams 🔗

Bonus 🔗

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 or important to not mention.

Twitter’s Content Filters Flagged ‘Union Buster’ as ‘Offensive Language’ from VICE Motherboard

…Twitter spokesperson told Motherboard that “we’re still in the early testing phase and this was a mistake…”

I doubt it was an actual mistake, since that’s not a phrase that “falls into” a list on a web interface, but at least they’ve corrected it.

Misinformation-spewing cable companies come under scrutiny from The Conversation

Facebook, Twitter and Google have faced significant pressure to curb disinformation on their platforms — especially since Jan. 6. But, Darcy said, “somehow [cable providers] have escaped scrutiny and entirely dodged this conversation…”

This is a big deal, especially in the case of Fox News. They charge television providers higher fees per customer than any other channel, which lessens their reliance on advertisers that could (plausibly) keep them in line. For example, if you search for Tucker Carlson’s show and advertising, you’ll discover that the last five years or so has been a steady stream of losing almost all his advertisers. This usually means that Fox will drop the advertising rates to attract the next batch. The upshot is that anybody who pays for a television package (cable, satellite, or Internet) is funding right-wing propaganda. And I mean that literally.


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