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  1. STSLOS THUMB MP

    In this episode of “Songs That Sound Like Other Songs” Chris compares Ke$ha’s “Die Young,” Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out Of Heaven,” and Maroon 5′s “One More Night” to their audio doppelgängers.

    Spoilers Ahead:

    Read More »

  2. racism video

    When people say racist things online, is it okay for bloggers to publicly ridicule them for it? What about when they’re minors? And how can you ever be sure they even are who they say they are in the first place?

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  3. jezebel racist minors

    If we could only get everyone to use a persistent user identity then we could solve this whole online agression problem, right? As Randi Zuckerberg, sister to Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg once put it:

    “People behave a lot better when they have their real names down. … I think people hide behind anonymity and they feel like they can say whatever they want behind closed doors.”

    Tracie Morrissey’s latest article for Jezebel provides a stark contrast to Zuckerberg’s assertion that persistent identity can act as a behavioral policing mechanism. In the article, Morrissey unapologetically names 12 teenagers who posted racist remarks about the President on Twitter. These 12 students willingly made rude remarks unprovoked, under their real names. None of them felt the need to hide behind any mask of anonymity.

    To be clear, Tracie Morrissey published already-public information. All you need to do is search Twitter for the words “Obama” and “n****r” and you’ll find people saying offensive things. Some use pseudonyms. Others are fully comfortable doing so under their real names, and many of them are minors.

    While nearly anyone is fully capable of using Twitter to find real-life racists being racist under their real names, Morrissey took vigilante justice into her own hands. In addition to their names, many of the teens also listed the schools they attended and the sports teams they played for. So Morrissey contacted the school administrators and coaches to report the students’ conduct. Simply alerting the administrators was reasonable enough, but the way Morrissey publicly shamed these minors is at the very least a moral gray area. Read More »

  4. VOTE

    Hey panty-waists. Did you vote today? NO. I know you didn’t because I didn’t see you post any new Facebook status updates. You didn’t take a picture of your ballot and simul-post it to Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter.

    Well what’s wrong with you? You think you’re too good to tell people you voted? Well I voted. I voted the shit out of this election. I probably set a record for the most awesome voting ever.

    So why didn’t you post about how you voted on your Facebook? Huh? I bet you didn’t even vote. Well listen up, Nancy. Me and my boys are going to come over there and kick your non-voting ass. Fuck you for not voting! Fuck you! I’ll fucking kill you for not voting! GOD I’M SO ANGRY ABOUT PEOPLE WHO DIDN’T VOTE. GOD DAMN IT! I JUST WANT TO ROUND UP EVERYBODY WHO DIDN’T VOTE AND FORCE THEM TO VOTE! I DON’T EVEN CARE WHO THEY VOTE FOR, THEY’RE FUCKING NANCIES FOR NOT VOTING! EVERY LAST ONE OF THEM! EVERY OTHER DAY OUT OF THE YEAR I’M TOLD I HAVE TO BE POLITE! I NEVER GET TO BE THE ASSHOLE THAT I WANT TO BE! I NEVER GET TO SHOW PEOPLE HOW ANGRY I AM SO I’M TAKING ADVANTAGE OF IT RIGHT NOW! IT’S MY TURN TO BE THE SANCTIMONIOUS ASSHOLE! OH MY GOD I’M SO FUCKING ANGRY WHY DIDN’T YOU VOTE WHY GOD DAMN IT FUCKING BALLS SHIT GOD

  5. upper east side slow internet

    Damn my Internet is slow.

    That’s about the extent of how Hurricane Sandy has affected me. Well, add to that the fact that the parks are all still closed, (so the dog has a mad case of cabin fever so he requires at least three times the amount of attention) but aside from that, really slow internet access with intermittent failures is about the only inconvenience we’ve suffered up here in Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

    Out on the street, 10 year old kids with French accents and better clothes than I’ve ever owned run around in gangs, reveling in the freedom that is school cancellations. Apart from some trash and fallen branches, the UES has gone relatively unscathed. You’d almost never know there was a hurricane up here. Friends in the East Village tell me they’re still without power, heat, water, even cell reception. They may not be back up and running for at least five days. Since my internet is too slow to stream videos I found myself going to the local video store to rent some DVDs. Did you know they still have video stores? It’s nuts! I have to bring these things back to the store on Saturday so someone else can rent them! It’s like when we were young! Read More »

  6. Hurricane

    Hurricane Sandy has caused untold damage and problems to people all across the Eastern Seaboard; this much is true and cannot be denied. I have a lot of friends who live on that side of the United States and I, like most people in similar situations, have been worrying about them and checking the status of the storm and whatnot since yesterday. I live in Los Angeles, where for the past two days it’s been sunny and in the mid-70s. It’s very hard to comprehend how such horrible, destructive weather could be happening at the same time as a pleasant autumn in Southern California. Surely there are people in the country for whom Hurricane Sandy is simply a news story and their day-to-day activities aren’t impacted in the least. I understand this. However…

    Last night I received an e-mail from Amazon.com (a business I give lots of money to every year) saying, in part, the following:

    “Hurricane Sandy may impact fulfillment of some orders. If you anticipate that your seller-fulfilled orders will be impacted, we encourage you to take actions to minimize the effects on customers and protect your performance metrics.

    If you have orders to be shipped to areas potentially impacted by Hurricane Sandy, we encourage you to contact buyers about the status of their orders.

    If you anticipate that you cannot meet your shipping service levels, we encourage you to temporarily set your listings to inactive. ”

    There’s a lot I dislike about this, and almost none of it is Amazon’s fault. What this e-mail is telling me and other sellers to do is twofold. 1) If sellers are shipping things TO areas impacted by the hurricane, we’re to inform customers that they won’t get their stuff until the couriers start running again; and 2) if sellers are shipping things FROM areas impacted by the hurricane, we’re to inform customers that they won’t get their stuff until the couriers start running again. Either way, you want to do this lest your “performance metrics” aren’t negatively affected.

    I hate what this implies about people, specifically the “consumer” mentality of immediate gratification.

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  7. During last night’s Presidential debate, Mitt Romney made a statement regarding “binders full of women.” Here’s the obligatory fact check on that (SPOILER ALERT: he’s lying), and the obligatory image gallery of funny pictures with words on them generated by Tumblr users.

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  8. Baumgartner

    Over the weekend, Felix Baumgartner fell a really long way out of a thing. Setting or breaking all sorts of world records, Baumgartner took a hot air balloon 24 miles into the air before jumping out and free falling for nearly 5 minutes at speeds well over 700 miles per hour. He spent the rest of his trip down to Earth (another five minutes) floating down via parachute. It’s a very impressive and life-affirming testament to the power of the human spirit that didn’t need to be done at all. The actual feat is wonderful, but what’s more interesting to me is that, to get to these ten minutes, Baumgartner had to sit by himself in a tiny capsule underneath a helium balloon for 2.5 hours to get to the right altitude.

    Two and a half hours to sit and contemplate the billions of ways this could go wrong. 150 minutes to question whether what you’ve chosen to do with your life is really worth all this. It’d be very interesting to know what was going through his mind. Well, being the liar I am, I actually know some of the things he DID think about from the moment the balloon took off until it was high enough to jump out of.

    Read More »

  9. Our own Whitney Phillips, PhD has just published a really thoughtful piece on the Violentacrez fiasco over on The Atlantic. Here’s an excerpt:

    This may not be a pretty picture, in fact in Violentacrez’ case it is quite ugly (placing in entirely new context the term “front page of the internet”). But like all trolls, Violentacerz shows us, purposefully or not, the underlying values of the host culture. Maybe not the individual values of individual users (i.e. just because Violentacrez derives pleasure from the sexual exploitation of women and minors does not mean that all Redditors derive pleasure from the sexual exploitation of women and minors), but at the very least his actions shine an uncomfortable light on what passes as “positive” community contribution, as well as the kinds of behaviors Reddit’s paid staff and volunteer moderators are willing to protect — apparently in the name of “making the world suck less.”

    What an Academic Who Wrote Her Dissertation on Trolls Thinks of Violentacrez – The Atlanic

  10. On Forbes, Tim Worstall uses syphilis and penicillin to argue that technology changes which social mores are considered “acceptable” to explain why so many Redditors seemed to find Violentacrez’ actions defensible in his article We Need a New Set of Manners for the Internet.

    Excremental Virtue explains this “if I can do it, it’s permissible” lapse of logic by saying “Posing for photos constitutes an act for which any and all retaliation and “use” is fair, no matter how private their original contexts—including ex-partners circulating erotic photos, including photos taken of women unawares, including men commenting on and masturbating to them.”

    Aaron Brady makes an excellent point in his article Creepshots and the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy of ‘Free Speech’ – “when people invoke “free speech” to defend a person’s right to take pictures of unwilling women and circulate those pictures on the internet, they are saying that it is okay to do so.”

    Cranberryzero on I Heart Chaos demonstrates that he has no clue what he’s talking about when he says “when you’re a big enough troll to become both a hero and villain on a site like Reddit, you must be doing something right. The Redditor that goes by the name of Violentacrez has been a Reddit fixture for some time now, operating anonymously… that is until Gawker went and tracked him down.Thoughts? Was it right to out him? At first I thought so, but now, not so much.”

    Over on The Verge lots of commenters are rushing to Reddit’s defense, flubbing details and feebly alleging that Violentacrez was planted by Gawker to make Reddit look bad.

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