Ari Schulman Profile picture
Editor @tnajournal ~ The mundane, observed, became the romantic The trouble with science: Best reached by email
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Sep 21, 2018 6 tweets 3 min read
This is bonkers but not surprising. @adamjwhitedc's @tnajournal essay on Google's growing willingness to tweak its products to achieve political outcomes is proving remarkably prescient:… If you're hitting the paywall, the lede graf sounds a bit innocuous; the kicker is here:
Sep 11, 2018 6 tweets 2 min read
The wretched pending obliteration of the Outer Banks oddly brings to mind that the government in 1948 considered it as a nuclear test site before settling on Nevada. (And the Times in 1991 implied this was a mistake!)… It's amazing how persistent a theme it is in the history of science and technology for proponents of nutty views to describe their proponents as "hysterical" and suggest sensible psychological measures to ameliorate it.
Sep 10, 2018 7 tweets 3 min read
Coming soon... 👇👇…
Sep 7, 2018 5 tweets 3 min read
Please no: A play in four acts. The emoji-laden agent-bae tech support experience is enough to make one long for the authenticity of the hostile cabbie.
Sep 5, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
I wonder how long before someone runs textual fingerprint software on that anonymous Times op-ed to identify the admin staffer who wrote it.… Ah.
Aug 29, 2018 5 tweets 2 min read
NPR finds that more than 2/3 of school shootings reported by the Department of Education didn't actually happen.… 37 of the reported 235 "may have been intended for the previous item in the data collection."
Aug 28, 2018 19 tweets 5 min read
In reply to Trump admin "taking a look" at regulating search, Google says they bias results by relevance, not politics. The problem is that Google has spent years redefining good information in political terms. You must read @adamjwhitedc in @tnajournal:… Here's the WaPo piece, which isn't helping the paranoia surrounding this question by only citing the concerns of POTUS, Diamond & Silk, etc.…
Aug 23, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
The slow, slow, slow churn of the relationships between Jimmy McGill, Chuck, Kim, and Nacho is so much more tense and memorable than any of the great Breaking Bad heists or the grand unfolding of super baddie Walter White. As testified by the cartel plotlines and the return of other BB characters to Better Call Saul feeling so throwaway.
Aug 9, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
"We're not censoring -- just downranking and redirecting you to Snopes" is rapidly becoming Silicon Valley's go-to answer to charges of censorship or playing arbiter of truth.… The basic problem is that the strongest cases for making FB/Tw/G arbiters of truth is that they're now serving the role of editors, but they're doing everything possible to deny that their own judgment is part of their content decisions, which is definitive of the editorial role.
Aug 9, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
Even within the somewhat confining criteria of this list -- less about musical innovation per se than just not being something else -- it's amazing that no one of the likes of @PattyGMusic, @kittythefool, or @tiftmerritt appears.… ICYMI:
Aug 9, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
It is only in the event of a disaster, the wreck of the 8:15 train, that one is enabled to discover his fellow commuter as a comrade; thus, the favorite scene of novels of good will in the city: the folks who discover each other and help each other when disaster strikes.
-W Percy Someone has posted a searchable PDF of the entire text of Percy's "Message In the Bottle" (the whole book, not just the titular essay).…
Jul 30, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
Journalism without judgment, the discretion of accountable human editors replaced by automated, faceless "conversational health metrics," is the magic fix Twitter, Facebook News, and Google are rapidly converging upon for the crisis they've helped create. They actually have the gall to call this "part of our global health initiative."
Jul 27, 2018 7 tweets 2 min read
Google too is laying intellectual groundwork for censorship-in-all-but-name. Schmidt: "I am strongly not in favor of censorship. I am very strongly in favor of ranking… de-rank — that is, lower-rank — information that was repetitive, exploitive, false..."… or "...likely to have been weaponized." Just this April, Google announced, "We’ve adjusted our signals to help surface [rank higher] more authoritative pages and demote low-quality content." You really must read @adamjwhitedc on this:…
Jul 25, 2018 5 tweets 1 min read
Facts don't care about your feelings.
Facts feel no shame or remorse.
Facts don't need to eat or sleep.
Facts cannot be stopped. They are coming for you and your family. Long after your miserable species has been wiped from the face of the planet, facts will remain. Facts don't care about your feelings.
Facts are ruthless and determined.
Facts want to know, if the rule you followed brought you to this, of what use was the rule?
Facts got here the same way the coin did.
Jul 24, 2018 22 tweets 6 min read
The replace-libraries-with-Amazon thing is such a fascinating microcosm of the wretchedness of our current take culture. First some hapless, unheard-of practitioner of the dismal science has, as is his discipline's wont, a very rational and logical epiphany about the market inefficiency of an institution whose very purpose is to provide a service outside the market.
Jul 12, 2018 8 tweets 3 min read
It's remarkable that the emerging consensus is that Google, FB, and Twitter already have such excessive power over the public discourse that we must ... urgently give them even more power to decide of their own discretion who and what gets to be excluded from that discourse. What's remarkable is not that the idea is out there, but how it's so widely taken as astonishing that private companies -- who have no obligation to provide recourse of appeal for their decisions -- haven't already taken it upon themselves to serve as arbiters of public speech.
Jun 11, 2018 5 tweets 2 min read
Hello. Pancake shops are now burger shops. Burger shops are now policy shops. Policy shops are now posting their white papers with gifs of pancakes, probably. All are your bae. Wendy's issues an important warning to all of us.
Jun 8, 2018 9 tweets 2 min read
This a sad time to remind that the contagion effect (which I've long warned about re mass shootings) is very well established for suicides, especially celebrity suicides. Use caution in your coverage.…
Feb 16, 2018 28 tweets 9 min read
Some thoughts on why we and our institutions may be failing to deal with mass shootings because we approach them as part of broader problems, not as a distinct and self-perpetuating plague. The problem with almost every narrative that mass shootings are “actually an X problem” is that X is usually so broad it’s like saying the real problem with asteroid impacts is that the Earth is so big.
Dec 14, 2017 24 tweets 7 min read
On this terrible anniversary, some thoughts on the debate over the role of the media in mass shootings. #SandyHook /1 To start, I'll just reiterate that the evidence for a social contagion effect in mass shootings, fed by media attention, is extensive. Here's my closest look at that. 2/…