danah boyd explains the connection between the epistemological crisis and the rise of far-right conspiratorial thinking

    Back in 2017, I started writing about the "epistemological crisis" ("we're not living through a crisis about what is true, we're living through a crisis about how we know whether something is true. We're not disagreeing about facts, we're disagreeing about epistemology"); danah boyd picked up on that theme later that year, making the connection between "media literacy" education and the crisis ("If we’re not careful, 'media literacy' and 'critical thinking' will simply be deployed as an assertion of authority over epistemology"). Read the rest

    Oxford Dictionaries' crowns 'toxic' as its 2018 word of the year

    Collins Dictionary named "single-use" as their 2018 word of the year and now Oxford Dictionaries' has dubbed "toxic" as theirs. They report that the word was looked up 45% more times on their site over the last year, having "been used in an array of contexts, both in its literal and more metaphorical senses."

    Drawn from our corpus, the top 10 toxic collocates for the year – that is, words habitually used alongside toxic – are indicative of this.

    Top 10 ‘toxic’ collocates in 2018 by absolute frequency

    Chemical Masculinity Substance Gas Environment Relationship Culture Waste Algae Air

    "Toxic" beat out the Oxford's shortlist of "Big Dick Energy (BDE)," "Cakeism," "Gammon," "Gaslighting," "Incel," "Orbiting," "Overtourism," and "Techlash."

    photos by Shalaco ("clear San Francisco" was taken last week and "toxic San Francisco" was taken this week -- Ouch!)

    (NPR) Read the rest

    The Internet of Shit: a godsend for abusers and stalkers

    People who help domestic abuse survivors say that they are facing an epidemic of women whose abusers are torturing them by breaking into their home smart devices, gaslighting them by changing their thermostat settings, locking them out of their homes, spying on them through their cameras. Read the rest

    For years, Facebook has been secretly deleting Zuck's messages from his correspondents' inboxes

    People who'd corresponded with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg contacted Techcrunch to say that Zuck's messages were missing from their inboxes -- but the replies to his messages lived on as proof that something had been deleted.

    Read the rest

    Comcast spams social media with Net Neutrality promises, hopes you won't notice that they used to promise a LOT more

    Back in 2014, Comcast was desperately trying to stop the FCC from bringing meaningful Net Neutrality regulation to the web, and they laid out a suite of promises about their future conduct, with or without the rules, including a promise not to introduce internet slow lanes that publishers who wouldn't pay bribes would be stuck in, while their spendier competitors would be able to reach Comcast subscribers faster. Read the rest

    Trump now privately denies authenticity of the Access Hollywood tape

    The New York Times reports Orange Julius now denies the Access Hollywood tapes are legit. The gaslighting of America continues...

    Via NYT:

    But something deeper has been consuming Mr. Trump. He sees the calls for Mr. Moore to step aside as a version of the response to the now-famous “Access Hollywood” tape, in which he boasted about grabbing women’s genitalia, and the flood of groping accusations against him that followed soon after. He suggested to a senator earlier this year that it was not authentic, and repeated that claim to an adviser more recently. (In the hours after it was revealed in October 2016, Mr. Trump acknowledged that the voice was his, and he apologized.)

    Read the rest

    Not just Kellyanne: Sean Spicer also repeatedly references nonexistent terrorist attack

    On at least three occasions this week, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer referenced a nonexistent Islamic terrorist attack on Atlanta. Read the rest

    Elijah Wood says Hollywood has a major pedophile problem

    Before we knew him as Frodo Baggins in Peter Jackson's blockbuster Lord of the Rings film trilogy, Elijah Wood was a child actor. In a recent interview with Britain's Sunday Times, Wood spoke out on sexual abuse of young actors in Hollywood, and says “a lot of vipers” roam the upper echelons of the entertainment biz, preying on na?vete and eagerness for fame.

    “Clearly something major was going on in Hollywood. It was all organized. There are a lot of vipers in this industry, people who only have their own interests in mind,” he told the Times.

    “There is darkness in the underbelly. What bums me about these situations is that the victims can’t speak as loudly as the people in power. That’s the tragedy of attempting to reveal what is happening to innocent people: they can be squashed, but their lives have been irreparably damaged.”

    “If you’re innocent, you have very little knowledge of the world and you want to succeed,” he added. “People with parasitic interests will see you as their prey. What upsets me about these situations is that the victims can’t speak as loudly as the people in power.”

    Wood is now 35. As a child, he performed with fellow child star alongside Macaulay Culkin in “The Good Son,” and had a part in the “Flipper” remake. He said his mother, Debra, protected him from predators back then, and he “never went to parties where that kind of thing was going on.”

    Here's a non-paywalled report that quotes extensively from the Times: Elijah Wood Calls Out Hollywood's Pedophile Problem [the daily beast]

    The paywalled Sunday Times interview was booked to promote his latest film The Trust, which tells the tale of corrupt cops who plan to steal drug money. Read the rest

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