October 13, 2019
Billy Reilly worked as a confidential source in counterterrorism for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, penetrating radical groups online with false identities. Then he disappeared. Wall Street Journal | The Journal Podcast
The four impossible “problems of antiquity”—trisecting an angle, doubling the cube, constructing every regular polygon, and squaring the circle—are catnip for mathematical cranks. Every mathematician who has email has received letters from crackpots claiming to have solved these problems. They are so elementary to state that nonmathematicians are unable to resist. Unfortunately, some think they have succeeded—and refuse to listen to arguments that they are wrong.
GQ's New Zealand correspondent files an excellent in-depth piece on the massacre of Muslim worshippers in Christchurch and the people it affected. "On March 15, when a white supremacist livestreamed his mass shootings of a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, a country with one of the world's lowest gun homicide rates was stunned to silence. But only momentarily. The deaths of 51 New Zealanders, mostly Muslim immigrants, would not be met with a tepid countermeasure but a swift, clear response. Sean Flynn reports from Christchurch about the day of the massacre—and the days that followed." [more inside]
Elizabeth Warren Trolls Facebook With Ad Claiming Zuckerberg Supports Trump Sen. Elizabeth Warren is putting a spotlight on Facebook’s ad policies by turning the tables on the powerful social network. Following a week in which Facebook has been extensively criticized for its policy that allows politicians to lie in paid advertisements, Warren decided to place an ad of her own that makes false statements about Facebook and its chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg.
Babushka Boi by A$AP Rocky [YouTube][Music Video] “Directed by Nadia Lee Cohen and inspired by Dick Tracy, the “Babushka Boi” video sees Rocky, A$AP Ferg, ScHoolboy Q, A$AP Nast and Kamil Abbas cast as Depression-era gangsters, wearing stylized facial prosthetics that exaggerate the cartoonish quality of the clip. But that’s nothing compared to the video’s villains – the cops – dressed up as anthropomorphic pigs. Rocky and his gang flee from the oinking feds after pulling off a heist, and their Looney Toons car chase eventually leads to a good old-fashioned shoot-out.” [via: Rolling Stone] [more inside]
- “How TikTok Holds Our Attention”, by Jia Tolentino for The New Yorker (Sep 23)
- “Revealed: how TikTok censors videos that do not please Beijing” and “TikTok’s local moderation guidelines ban pro-LGBT content” by Alex Hern for The Guardian (Sep 25/26)
- “Zuckerberg misunderstands the huge threat of TikTok” by Josh Constine for TechCrunch (Oct 1)
- “The not-so-secret life of a TikTok-famous teen” by Rebecca Jennings for Vox (Oct 2)
- “On TikTok, There Is No Time” by Louise Matsakis for WIRED (Oct 3)
- “48 Hours in the Strange and Beautiful World of TikTok” by James Poniewozik, Amanda Hess, Jon Caramanica, Gia Kourlas, and Wesley Morris for The New York Times (Oct 10)
When my identical twin, Julia, came to visit recently, I took her to my favorite café for a coffee and a waffle. For as long as I can remember, I’ve known that Julia is the extrovert and I’m the introvert, though I wouldn’t have used those terms when we were kids. Back then I’d have described myself as “quiet” or “happy by myself” or “hard to get to know” and Julia as the opposite. It’s part of the family mythology that this contrast was apparent from day one, as we lay in our incubators at the hospital. I was wrapped contentedly in my swaddling cloth, calmly observing my environs like a philosophical burrito. Julia had worked her way out of her confines and was energetically smearing her shit onto the perspex walls, batting her eyelids at the nurses and crowing with delight. [more inside]
Aude Konan, writing for OkayAfrica, lists twenty Black punk bands you need to listen to. [more inside]
Meet America's newest military giant: Amazon - "How the most powerful company in e-commerce positioned itself to become one of the world's biggest national security contractors." (via) [more inside]
With the population bitterly divided and only ten weeks left, the season of festive mystery meats, expensive toys, slightly cheaper toys, the 63rd Queen's speech, edible Colin and food for pets is thankfully (almost) here. This year the Yorkshire pudding wrapped Christmas sandwich will compete against the Yorkshire pudding wrapped turkey sandwich. Jodie has eight trees up (be nice) so it's time to stock up on marshmallow gin and mince pies. Lights are being turned on, claw-proof trees sold, ice rinks built, and advent calendars launched. Or head to Preston to experience Boyz on Block. Write your letters, view a display, put some Martin and Shirlie on the gramophone, be grateful for presents, drink your black forest hot chocolate then tuck in (more). post title