Category: Links

  • A Researcher Just Found A 9,000-Video Network Of YouTube Conspiracy Videos

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    Albright said the results suggest that the conspiracy genre is embedded so deeply into YouTube’s video culture that it could be nearly impossible to eradicate.

    “It’s already tipped in favor of the conspiracists, I think,” Albright told BuzzFeed News. “There are a handful of debunking videos in the data. They can’t make up for the thousands of videos with false claims and rumors.”

    Albright also suggested that the proliferation of these videos makes it more attractive for others to create this content.

    To anyone who dabbles in occasional conspiracy-theory deep dives on YouTube, this rings true. There is an absolute avalanche of dipshit conspiracies on YouTube, and most people lack the mental dexterity to tell that a video is playing loose with the facts – especially if it meshes nicely with their existing worldview.

    Less common is the conspiracy parody. The Outline absolutely nailed it with this gem:

    I’ve often thought a conspiracy channel would be an easy way to make some quick beer money, but it seems I’m much too late to the game.

    Or am I?

    Yes, I am.

  • Where the ‘Crisis Actor’ Conspiracy Theory Comes From

    Jason Koebler, Motherboard:

    The term ‘crisis actor’ has been in the news a lot lately, because conspiracy theorists have accused survivors of the Douglas High School mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, of being actors—people paid to pretend they witnessed a horrible tragedy that actually never happened and was instead staged by the government in order to garner the political will necessary to ban guns.

    To be clear, there is no evidence this is actually the case. Conspiracy theorists have questioned the legitimacy of people who lived through a horrific shooting—watched their friends and classmates slaughtered—in an attempt to harass and silence their political activism.

    It wasn’t until relatively recently that conspiracy theorists were audacious enough to suggest that terrorist attacks and mass shootings actually didn’t happen at all.

    A good backgrounder on the origins of the horseshit “Crisis Actor” conspiracies.

    Semi-regular reminder that false-flaggers are scum.

  • Social Decay


    Social Decay

    A gorgeous imagining of social network logos representing defunct brick-and-mortor stores by Andrei Lacatusu.

  • Reading List

    A collection of #longreads from the last week.


    New York Above 800 Feet

    We are currently in the midst of another clambering epoch. The city has 21 buildings with roof heights above 800 feet; seven of them have been completed in the past 15 years (and three of those the past 36 months). In this special New York Issue, we explore the high-altitude archipelago that spreads among the top floors of these 21 giants.


    A New Origin Story for Dogs

    Some say wolves were domesticated around 10,000 years ago, while others say 30,000. Some claim it happened in Europe, others in the Middle East, or East Asia. Some think early human hunter-gatherers actively tamed and bred wolves. Others say wolves domesticated themselves, by scavenging the carcasses left by human hunters, or loitering around campfires, growing tamer with each generation until they became permanent companions.

    It still blows my mind that all breeds of modern domesticated dogs came from wolves.


    Iceland’s Ghost Fleet

    Ironically, the same Icelandic search team that was dispatched more than four decades ago to try and rescue the crew at the crash site is now being dispatched every single day to rescue tourists trying to find the crash site.

    But even as viral images and music videos are luring crowds to come find this dead plane, the story behind its final descent has remained a mystery. No one seems to know why this thing crashed, why it was abandoned, and why it’s still lying on the beach.

  • UK Artists Make More Money from Vinyl than YouTube

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    Vinyl |

    “The fact that sales revenues dipped in a record year for British music shows clearly that something is fundamentally broken in the music market,” BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor told the Guardian. So who’s responsible? Taylor places the blame on “dominant tech platforms like YouTube,” which he says are “dictating terms so they can grab the value from music for themselves, at the expense of artists.”

    Recorded music as a consumer item is less than 100 years old as an industry, and the tech behind it has changed rapidly. Taking a long view historically, there’s been very little stability in the music industry as a commercial undertaking at all. The Internet has redefined an industry that’s already been completely redefined multiple times since records became popular. We’re still at the very start of this adjustment period, and the entrenched entities are flailing about a bit while the dust is starting to settle.

    Blaming dominant tech platforms for year-on-year discrepancies is myopic, but the music industry as a whole – and record companies in particular – have never been particularly visionary beyond the hunt for profits. “…dictating terms so they can grab the value from music for themselves, at the expense of artists” – yeah, that sounds familiar.

    Read: Music artists are still making more money from vinyl than YouTube (


    Subscription-based music streaming, on the other hand, has yet to prove itself to be a viable model, even after hundreds of millions of investment dollars raised and spent. For our part, we are committed to offering an alternative that we know works. As long as there are fans who care about the welfare of their favorite artists and want to help them keep making music, we will continue to provide that direct connection. And as long as there are fans who want to own, not rent, their music, that is a service we will continue to provide, and that is a model whose benefits we will continue to champion.? – Bandcamp

  • Blerging About I/O


    Chris Lacy kindly asked me to join him on The Blerg, re-treading some ground from his first I/O Keynote breakdown with Koush Dutta.

    Chris had more thoughts on the keynote in the days since, and wanted to get me on the horn to sound out a few ideas and hear my impressions of the presentation. Have a listen here:

    The Blerg #26: Google I/O Keynote followup with Karl Smith

    …and be sure to subscribe to The Blerg on your favourite podcasting app.


  • Don’t Use Allo…?


    Google is giving consumers two options: Insecure with a wonderful user experience, or secure with an inferior experience. What do you think the masses are going to choose? – Motherboard

    I think this article misses the point somewhat. When you need the app to be useful you’ll use the useful features, and when you need it to be secure you’ll turn encryption on.

    The fact is, for me at least, 99.9% of my comms are completely innocuous. If the Google assistant can make a small handful of things easier for me, then I’m totally fine with that.

    Also this cracked me up:

    Early sentiment about Allo is overwhelmingly positive…

    They’re obviously not on G+.

    Link: Don’t Use Allo (Motherboard)

  • The Melbourne Artist who Spent 15 Years Stealing Silverware Used by the 1%


    For the last 15 years, Melbourne-based artist Van T. Rudd has been obtaining the forks with which the uber-rich have feasted with at the five-star hotel Rudd worked at in Melbourne. The fruits of this 15-year collection process is Rudd’s The Rich Forks — 40 forks as readymade objects still full of food debris and saliva.

    Meet the Melbourne Artist who Spent 15 Years Stealing Silverware Used by the 1% | The Creators Project

  • Google Save


    Google Saves

    So Google Save is pretty interesting. I tend to keep stuff in a weird combination of Pocket (for articles), Pinterest (for mood board stuff), a Twitter “read later” list and a few other places. I wonder if this could become a real catch-all for me.

    A few observations:

    • You can edit the link title AND description, which is pretty interesting
    • No inline player for YouTube, seem like an oversight
    • No reading mode, so Pocket will still be my go-to place for a raw reading list
    • This seems best used for making Collections of links – think: researching a topic, or collecting links on areas of specific interest
    • You can’t currently share a Tag/collection, but surely that’s coming…