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Research methods: the heart and soul of knowledge

Hollaback and Why Everyone Needs Better Research Methods (And Why All Data Needs Theory), by Zeynep Tufekci:
I’ve taught "introduction to research methods" to undergraduate students for many years, and they would sometimes ask me why they should care about all this "method stuff", besides having a required class for a sociology major out of the way. I would always tell them, without understanding research methods, you cannot understand how to judge what you see.

The Hollaback video shows us exactly why.
[more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Nov 5, 2014 - 23 comments

Where stray or personal thoughts have intruded, you may delete them.

"Black Box," a futuristic spy story by Jennifer Egan. [more inside]
posted by divined by radio on Oct 31, 2014 - 13 comments

Cheers: 5 Cast Members, but mainly Kirstie Alley

Pop Culture Twitter Lists
posted by alby on Oct 31, 2014 - 10 comments

IN ANY CONVERSATION YOU ARE ALSO DEALING WITH AN EMOTIONAL TRUTH

Film Crit Hulk is back with a long essay about more-than-gamergate. Building off his previous ethical criticism (especially his multipart James Bond series) Film Crit Hulk gives us his opinions on "THE VOID OF THIS PARTICULAR HOUR". [more inside]
posted by Hypatia on Oct 30, 2014 - 78 comments

An internet of firsts, some of them still online

The Webpage FX blog compiled a list of 13 internet "firsts," from the first email sent (1971) and the first spam, sent out to 400 people (1978), to the first photo posted online (1992) and much later, the first Instagram photo, (2010).
posted by filthy light thief on Oct 28, 2014 - 20 comments

hassled by the cops for taking too many photographs of freight trains

Please tell me the most Dad thing your dad has ever done
posted by griphus on Oct 23, 2014 - 263 comments

life is short. fly to mars

i build rocket in my back garden for 10 year
i build rocket from spare car part and old nuclear facility
in month of march i buy 10,000 of my favourite protein bar
in month of april i launch rocket with me in it towards planet mars
now i am on mars

Evghenia is on Mars. She has enough water to survive for another two hundred and eighty days. In the meantime, she reminisces about her favorite and least favorite things on earth, comments on the space-speculation of poets Bowie and Elton, writes about her heroes, and criticizes Elon Musk and NASA and all the many people who have failed to be on Mars first. (She is understandably proud of her significant accomplishment.) She also writes about goatbot, who she built herself and who is her only friend, and occasionally tells jokes and sings songs and reminisces about her past and present. Definitely a Twitter account worth following.
posted by rorgy on Oct 20, 2014 - 16 comments

Superhero costumes are still not allowed

The Day Care center in Los Feliz, Los Angeles is tweeting announcements and news. Updates include weddings, slacktivism, billing, sunscreen and the Special Person Of The Week. It alleges to be a real day care center. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Oct 17, 2014 - 22 comments

The most radical thing I can do as a woman scientist is, well, science.

When words fail: women, science, and women-in-science – [Trigger warning for this and all following links] by Jacquelyn Gill (@JacquelynGill):
The seminars, workshops, blogs, op-eds, research, policy papers, luncheons, and happy hour discussions are all valuable, and important, and they need to continue. But when the beer is drunk, and the pizza gone cold, and the printed articles relegated to the recycling bin, we are left with words: words written by us and about us, spoken in confidence, tossed like poisoned barbs in the comments sections, smoldering as craters in our in-boxes, pounding in our ears when we run it out at the gym.

I’m sorry, you guys, but words are not enough. Not anymore.
[more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Oct 8, 2014 - 32 comments

Twitter Will Destroy The Nation-State, Argues Marketer

In an essay for the Wharton School of Business' blog, confessed 'social media evangelist' and marketer Curtis Houghland argues that the advent of twitter and other social media heralds the destruction of the nation state over the coming century. Literally.
Formal nationhood as the basis for a social contract with its citizens dates only to the 17th century. It is a relatively new phenomenon. As Pankaj Mishra points out in Bloomberg View, 'Few people in 1900 expected centuries-old empires — Qing, Hapsburg, Ottoman — to collapse by 1918.' The belief in the centralized nation as the default political organization is grossly misplaced. And we are seeing the de-evolution of nationhood before our eyes in our daily newsfeeds....As there are now more than 30 brands of Mountain Dew, there will be more nations in Europe.

posted by Diablevert on Oct 8, 2014 - 59 comments

Trouble at the Koolaid Point

Kathy Sierra talks about weev, harassment of women, trolling and Twitter.
posted by Elementary Penguin on Oct 8, 2014 - 167 comments

bot love

Beautiful image conversations between Twitter bots: @badpng and @pixelsorter, @a_quilt_bot and @pixelsorter
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide on Oct 2, 2014 - 7 comments

MacWHAAAAAAT?????

"What a bizarre day. I'm sitting here watching my email fill up with message after message from people from so many different times and places of my life, all congratulating me for the astonishing good fortune of receiving a MacArthur Fellowship. Not to mention a flurry of texts and tweets, and I haven't had the energy to even look at Facebook." Cartoonist and Graphic Memoirist Alison Bechdel (previously on MetaFilter: 1, 2, 3, 4) has won the prestigious MacArthur Genuis grant, giving her the opportunity to dig into her archives for a previous comic she drew in 2004 to conclude her reaction blog post. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Sep 24, 2014 - 32 comments

#WomenTweetScienceToo

This is Science Magazine; this is one of their featured front-page stories (date stamped 17 September 2014 8:00 am): "The top 50 science stars of Twitter", by Jia You. The list has 46 men and 4 women. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Sep 18, 2014 - 23 comments

Twitter Detective FanSince09

FanSince09 is a Twitter celebrity. He’s known for retweeting some of the worst people on Twitter. Recently, he played detective and was able to use social media to track down some alleged Philadelphia gay bashers.
posted by josher71 on Sep 17, 2014 - 57 comments

The Click Clique

How Dallas’s Amber Venz transformed a stylish group of young bloggers into a powerful force in the world of fashion—and made them rich along the way.
posted by ellieBOA on Sep 10, 2014 - 48 comments

"Eating and walking is a false economy, time-wise"

How to eat: burritos
"It may be categorised as 'street food', but eating a burrito while walking is hazardous. We've all been there: you take a bite from one side of the burrito, which leaves a quivering 'lip' of rice-loaded tortilla on the other, and, like a slow-motion shot in the world's most boring action film, it falls to the ground or down your shirt, before you can whip your head down and around to snaffle it to safety. Then there is the issue of leakage from the bottom of a too-loosely-twisted foil wrap, and also the delicate procedure of prising that, by now sopping wet, last mouthful from the final cup of foil – itself now overflowing with juices – and transferring it to your mouth without any spillage. It's a task that requires focus and concentration. You walk with a burrito once, twice maybe, before you either a) get knocked-down on a busy road or b) realise – standing outside the pub trying to wipe meat juices off your trainers with an old tissue – that eating and walking is a false economy, time-wise.
[more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Sep 2, 2014 - 96 comments

Publish or PERISH!!!

LEGO Academics experience the trials and tribulations of their taller, less-plasticy peers (previously 1, 2).
posted by ChuraChura on Sep 1, 2014 - 14 comments

March in August: "Liar Liar, pants on fire" (also: "Kick this Knob Out")

March in August: thousands rally against Tony Abbott by taking to streets:
Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets for the latest wave of protests against the federal government.

Demonstrations were held in cities across the country, including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide, to protest against a range of of social and economic policies being implemented by the Abbott government.

About 3,000 protesters marched through Sydney, voicing their concerns on a range of issues, from Australia's asylum seeker policies, to education cuts and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
[more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Aug 31, 2014 - 40 comments

Women as Background Decoration: Part 2 (Tropes vs Women in Video Games)

Women as Background Decoration: Part 2 – Tropes vs Women in Video Games (28 min 33 sec; here's a pointer to the identical video at YouTube). Warning: contains graphic sexual and violent game footage. Presented by Anita Sarkeesian of the video blog, Feminist Frequency. The website version (first link) is annotated to include links and resources, an "about the series" section, games referenced in this episode, and a transcript. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Aug 27, 2014 - 399 comments

"Professors are citizens."

Former Virginia Tech professor Steven Salaita's blocked appointment to teach at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has ignited a debate over academic freedom. [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu on Aug 26, 2014 - 602 comments

How Should a Person Tweet?

"There are a lot of people who are so innovative on twitter. That’s why it’s so puzzling to me when someone like Jonathan Franzen is like, 'twitter is murdering literature with a gun!' Twitter is seen as a millenial thing. Naturally, older people assume we only use it to send thousands of disrespectful selfies to God, or whatever the stereotype is nowadays." - Kimmy Walters (@arealliveghost) to Sheila Heti in Part One of The Believer Logger's interview series, "What Would Twitter Do?" [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Aug 16, 2014 - 62 comments

memes that demean

"Having influential figures like George Takei publishing a meme that reinforces disabled=fake is incredibly damaging to disabled people." [more inside]
posted by flex on Aug 13, 2014 - 137 comments

"a story about how Steam, Twitter and the App Store came to exist"

Consider the Holy Bible as a product in a marketplace. It has several attractive qualities, foremost among them the tantalizing possibility that it contains the true word of a being who created the universe. But it has several worrisome drawbacks as well. Like most written anthologies it has poor replay value when compared to something like Spelunky; after you read it once you know more or less how it goes. It features a relatively weak Physical Rights Management scheme; for example, you don't need to purchase one for your household if you can simply borrow it from a friend or read it in a local church. Even its branding as a 'perfect document' becomes something of a double-edged sword; the first, purportedly perfect edition might seem very desirable indeed, but who is going to buy Holy Bible: Religious Text Of The Year Edition when the original is supposed to be immaculate? How are you going to make corrections, utilize analytics data or market additional 'content'? Where will your fine sponsors place all their full-page advertisements: After the crucifixion or before?
Form and its Usurpers is a long essay by Brendan Vance [previously] about videogames, Hegel, form, content, what "free" means, how capitalism ruins everything and what to do about it.
posted by Kattullus on Aug 4, 2014 - 26 comments

Cover Your Tracks

How to Flawlessly Predict Anything on the Internet.
posted by stoneweaver on Jul 30, 2014 - 27 comments

Library of Emoji

OBVIOUSLY ANGULAR PETRIFICATION BENEATH CHARLOTTETOWN. TWO SCABS. OVAL WITH PLATO. These are...the emoji of the future. (Maybe.) Library of Emoji [via mefi projects] randomly generates descriptions for the Unicode characters we never knew we wanted.
posted by capricorn on Jul 21, 2014 - 7 comments

The cuteness. It burns.

Yesterday, (and apparently several times in the past) super popular twitterer @darth kicked off the kind of love-in that only the Internet can provide. #hugadog [more inside]
posted by DigDoug on Jul 18, 2014 - 27 comments

We get off the Number 10 bus at a pub called 'The Fox and Hounds'.

MeFi favorite David Mitchell ("Cloud Atlas," "Ghostwritten," "Number 9 Dream") is this week publishing a new short story, "about a boy tripping on his mother's Valium pills." He is publishing it in a series of 280 tweets. [more inside]
posted by jbickers on Jul 15, 2014 - 14 comments

. . . is an A̶m̶e̶r̶i̶c̶a̶n̶ ̶j̶o̶u̶r̶n̶a̶l̶i̶s̶t̶ Russian propagandist

congress-edits (@congressedits) is a Twitterbot broadcasting anonymous Wikipedia edits made from Congressional IP addresses. [more inside]
posted by ryanshepard on Jul 15, 2014 - 30 comments

two slugs hanging in a cave

Last night, popular Twitter user @rachelmillman asked her followers for their best and funniest stories about their first kiss. She got a big response. This morning, Twitter user @connorcook collected most of the tweets she received in a Storify.
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Jul 10, 2014 - 40 comments

Go ahead. Make him a vampire. Make them ALL vampires.

The Worst Muse is here to help.
posted by bswinburn on Jul 10, 2014 - 52 comments

What if Homer Simpson smoked weed? It's not that crazy to imagine.

For the last few weeks, the Twitter account @Homer_Marijuana has been publishing a bizarre piece of long-form fan fiction about The Simpsons, family, America's wars in the Middle East, and marijuana, vast amounts of all sorts of marijuana. Now, 5,015 tweets later, Marijuana Simpson has concluded, and is available to read on an easier-to-follow Scribd document.
posted by Small Dollar on Jul 9, 2014 - 28 comments

ZooHannibal

"Your quarter doesn't buy you a handful of food for the billy goat. It buys the forgiveness of all the billy goats you are unable to feed" #HannibalAtTheZoo (SLT)
posted by FirstMateKate on Jul 9, 2014 - 49 comments

Social Justice and Language

Several recent articles draw attention to the power of demonisation, outrage and weaponised language within contemporary activist culture - and question whether this focus is doing more harm than good. Jack Halberstam, director of the Center for Feminist Research at University of Southern California: When groups that share common cause, utopian dreams and a joined mission find fault with each other instead of tearing down the banks and the bankers, the politicians and the parliaments, the university presidents and the CEOs? Instead of realizing, as Moten and Hearny put it in The Undercommons, that “we owe each other everything,” we enact punishments on one another and stalk away from projects that should unite us, and huddle in small groups feeling erotically bonded through our self-righteousness. [more inside]
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory on Jul 8, 2014 - 143 comments

The quick brown fox has a twitter account

PangramTweets automatically finds and retweets tweets which include all of the letters of the alphabet. [more inside]
posted by gingerbeer on Jul 6, 2014 - 37 comments

Think of mistakes as proof that you're trying your hardest.

Forget your magic eight balls, your I-Chings, your tarot cards, and your oblique strategies: Augur is an iPhone app that predicts the future by using the communal (sub? super?)conscious that is Twitter. [via mefi projects]
posted by Going To Maine on Jul 6, 2014 - 7 comments

Louis Wain 2.0

@GenerateACat is a Twitter bot which will make cats for you. Exquisite gatos, lovely kitties, brilliant felines. By @mousefountain, a.k.a. Gruau Pomme Lackey, a pixel artist and game designer.
posted by codacorolla on Jun 25, 2014 - 4 comments

Pants just don't 'get' us.

NYT Minus Context (SLTwitter) -- Does exactly what it says on the tin.
posted by schmod on Jun 24, 2014 - 6 comments

Familiar with all Internet traditions

I was sitting NIFOC and TLOL when I ran across this list of Internet slang [PDF] developed for FBI agents trying to navigate Twitter's ARE. [more inside]
posted by sparklemotion on Jun 24, 2014 - 44 comments

The Anti-Social Network

Whisper is an app that allows users to "anonymously share your thoughts and emotions with the world, and form lasting and meaningful relationships in a community built around trust and honesty." Secret is an app " to openly share what you're thinking and feeling with your friends. Speak freely, share anything." The Genius of Whisper, the Massively Popular App You Haven't Heard Of. With New Anonymous Social App Secret, the Merit Is in the Message. Two Apps, One Hot Trend [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 15, 2014 - 72 comments

The unbelievable truth

Factbot is a machine that makes up lies.
posted by unliteral on Jun 10, 2014 - 44 comments

Alan spilled water on me while I was trying to sleep.

Claire Meyer and Alan Linic, a twentysomething couple in Chicago, have been keeping a public record of every fight they have fought since August of 2013.
posted by SkylitDrawl on Jun 6, 2014 - 78 comments

Could This Kill Internet 'Journalism' As We Know It? (Probably Not)

@SavedYouAClick brings a new functionality to the 'joke twitter account' by retweeting click-baity headlines and spoiling them with well-under-140-character explanations:
...Sending text messages. RT @Upworthy: They could've waited till they got home. Doing it in a car is SO not OK.
...A piano. RT @HuffingtonPost: You won't believe what just washed up in the East River
...The article doesn't answer this. @alistdaily: How #Beyonce became a #marketing star
...Use 2005 as your baseline instead of 2014. RT @Slate: This one weird trick will help you cut carbon emissions overnight
...RT That's me! @jackshafer: New @ReutersOpinion: The guy who reads crap on the Web so you don’t have to

posted by oneswellfoop on Jun 5, 2014 - 41 comments

the Romeo & Juliet of government funded digital TV social media accounts

While Australian public TV channels ABC2 and SBS2 contemplate a possible merger, on their official Twitter accounts sparks fly.
posted by divabat on Jun 4, 2014 - 18 comments

A grape pops out of u that u never even ate

"I consistently felt myself to be not male or female,” she said, “but the 11-year-old gender: protagonist." [. . .] The title of the piece can only be rendered in these pages as “The Semen Queens of Hyatt Place.” The New York Times Magazine profiles Metafilter's own Tricia Lockwood. (Previously, previously)
posted by grobstein on May 28, 2014 - 33 comments

My team worked for months on this post.

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have become increasingly crowded with branded accounts seeking their attention. Every few seconds, your favorite brands are tweeting at you. But what most people don't know is how much time and effort goes into curating these accounts, writing tweets, and filling your news feed with content people actually want to see. For instance, it can take a team of 13 social media and advertising specialists up to 45 days to plan, create, approve, and publish a corporate social media post. The story of Huge Inc. and President Cheese.
posted by Horace Rumpole on May 27, 2014 - 162 comments

You Think You Get It. YOU DONT YOU DONT YOU DONT!!!!!!!

The baffling tweets of Jaden Smith make a surprising amount of sense when repurposed into Garfield comics.
posted by Faint of Butt on May 12, 2014 - 72 comments

Surrender to The Void in style!

Welcome to West Roanoke, a tumblr with pictures by Kaleb Horton (whose Twitter is here and whose writing about pop culture is here) and captions by Chris Barrus (whose Twitter as @quartzcity is here and whose blog Quartz City is here). Updates come every Saturday.
posted by Rustic Etruscan on May 10, 2014 - 12 comments

There's No Crying In Pilots

Actual Network notes given to actual shows BONUS: What network notes say vs. what they mean.
posted by The Whelk on May 9, 2014 - 43 comments

The Silence of the Fannibals

NBC’s Hannibal is the subject of significant critical acclaim as its second season draws near to conclusion, with many describing it as the best show on TV. It’s been called better than True Detective, better than American Horror Story and The Walking Dead, and even better than The Silence of the Lambs. However, despite the confidence of the show's creator in a renewal, the show’s fate on NBC is in question due to low ratings. [more inside]
posted by dogheart on May 1, 2014 - 2098 comments

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