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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘social networking

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

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  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly wonders who we should trust.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the discovery of Kepler-138b, a Mars-sized exoplanet orbiting a red dwarf star.
  • Cody Delistraty considers whether language influences morality.
  • Geocurrents’ Martin Lewis shares different scenarios for the breakup of Nigeria.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the oppression of women workers.
  • Marginal Revolution argues that there is a skills shortage in the American economy and is in favour of the TPP trade agreement.
  • Steve Munro shares plans for TTC improvement.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog notes how Russia’s neighbours see it as a greater or lesser threat.
  • Torontoist and Transit Toronto react to the extension of cell service into the subways.
  • Window on Eurasia notes how Ukrainian Baptists in the Donbas resist Russian influence and argues that Russian militarization will ultimately hurt Russians.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly comes out in favour of not trying to lead the life of an overachiever.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper noting the extent to which circumstellar habitable zones are influenced by the evolution of their stars.
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog considers the sociology of summer vacations. Who gets to take one?
  • Language Hat notes the complexities of Unicode.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the sweatshops of Argentina.
  • The Planetary Society Blog’s Emily Lakdawalla shares the latest pictures of Pluto while Jason Davis shares the first photos taken from the interior of the Society’s solar sail.
  • Towleroad notes Caitlyn Jenner’s outpouring of support on Twitter.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the practical collapse of federalism in Russia.

[BLOG] Some pop culture links

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  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly talked about her social networks, and about the need to have faith in one’s abilities and to be strong.
  • C.J. Cherryh describes her visit to Grand Coulee Dam.
  • Crooked Timber notes the ways in which Ian Macleod is actually a romantic writer.
  • The Crux looks at the controversy over the siting of a new telescope on Hawaii’s Mauna Kea.
  • Cody Delistraty wonders if social rejection is needed for creative people.
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog looks at how difficult it is for Americans with criminal records to get jobs.
  • Mathew Ingram notes how young Saudis can find freedom on their phones for apps.
  • Language Hat suggests that a computer’s word analysis has identified a lost Shakespeare play.
  • Personal Reflection’s Jim Belshaw linked to his local history columns.
  • Otto Pohl notes the culinary links between Ghana and Brazil.
  • Peter Rukavina remembers the fallen elms of Charlottetown and reports on innovative uses of Raspberry Pi computers.
  • The Search reports on format migration at Harvard’s libraries.
  • Mark Simpson notes homoeroticism on British television.
  • Speed River Journal’s Van Waffle describes his discovery of wild leeks.
  • Towleroad notes an Austrian magazine’s printing of a limited edition with ink including HIV-infected blood, notes a gay Mormon’s defense of his life to his church, and observes an Argentine judge who thought it acceptable to give a man who raped a possibly gay child a lighter sentence because of the child’s presumed orientation.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes the repeal of blasphemy laws in Norway and examines the questionable concept of Straight Pride.

[LINK] “if you can’t spell this you might be a troll”

Earlier, I shared Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell’s post looking at a definition of trolling on Facebook.

Defining trolls as those who get banned for trolling, a pragmatic solution if nothing else, they obtained a large corpus of comments from three high-volume sources, CNN, a gamer news site, and Breitbart. (Clearly they weren’t about to risk not finding enough trolls.) They paid people to classify the comments on various metrics, and also derived a lot of algorithmic metrics, and used this to train a machine learning model to guess which users were likely to be banned down the line.

The results are pretty fascinating. For a start, there are two kinds of troll – ones who troll-out fast, explode, and get banned, and ones whose trollness develops gradually. But it always develops, getting worse over time.

In general, we can conclude that trolls of all kinds post too much, they obsess about relatively few topics, they are often off topic, and their prose is unreadable as measured by an automated index of readability. Readability was one of the strongest predictors they found. They also generate lots of replies and monopolise attention.

Not surprisingly, predictions are harder the further the moment of the ban is into the future. However, the classifier was most effective looking at the last 5 to 10 posts – it actually lost forecasting skill if you gave it more data. Fortunately, because trolling is a progressive condition that tends to get worse, scoring the last 10 comments on a rolling basis is a valid strategy.

A link to the paper, and more analysis of said including graphics, is available at the link.

Written by Randy McDonald

May 13, 2015 at 10:52 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Toronto politics in a hashtag”

Spacing Toronto’s Kat Eschner wrote about the genesis of the Twitter hashtag #topoli.

It was 2010. The G20 protests were in the news, and Rob Ford was running for mayor. Some of Toronto’s Twitter users took to the web to air their thoughts in 140 characters that included the new hashtag #TOpoli[.]

In the past year, from May 5, 2014 to May 4, 2015, more than 1.7 million tweets and retweets used that hashtag. But as the first ten tweets that used the hashtag show, it wasn’t a big success right off the bat. Though it was first used in June 2010, it didn’t really take off until October 25[.]

That’s when Jean-Pierre (JP) Boutros proposed changing from #VoteTO to a hashtag that more closely mirrored provincial hashtag #onpoli. “I just threw it out there,” he said. Boutros went on to work for Councillor Karen Stintz and run for council himself in 2o14. He thinks the hashtag took off because Toronto spent the four-plus years that followed in such preoccupation with municipal politics. But now that Rob Ford’s polarizing mayoralty is over, Boutros thinks there’s less interest in #TOpoli.

Written by Randy McDonald

May 13, 2015 at 10:41 pm

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • Anthropology.net notes the embarrassing discovery that one of the vertebrae believed to have been part of the skeleton of early hominid Lucy actually belonged to a baboon.
  • Antipope Charlie Stross comes up with another worrisome explanation for the Great Filter.
  • BlogTO visits the Toronto offices of photo community site 500px.
  • Centauri Dreams features a guest essay from Ashley Baldwin about near- and medium-term search strategies and technologies for exoplanets.
  • Crooked Timber examines problems with non-copyright strategies.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper noting oddities in the protoplanetary disk of AA Tauri.
  • The Dragon’s Tales considers how how to make enduring software.
  • Mathew Ingram notes that Rolling Stone encountered ruin with the story of Jackie by wanting it to be true.
  • Joe. My. God. notes a New York City artist who took pictures of people in adjacent condos won the privacy suit put against him.
  • Language Hat looks at foreign influence in the French language.
  • Language Log links to a study of Ronald Reagan’s speeches that finds evidence of his progression to Alzheimer’s during the presidency.
  • Languages of the World considers the geopolitics of a military strike against the Iranian nuclear program.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money argues that Jonah Lehrer was not treated unfairly.
  • Marginal Revolution approves of Larry Kramer’s new GLBT-themed history of the United States.
  • Justin Petrone at North contrasts Easter as celebrated in Estonian and Russian churches.
  • Savage Minds features an essay in support of the BDS movement aimed against Israel.
  • Spacing engages David Miller on the need of urbanites to have access to nature.
  • Torontoist notes the popularity of a bill against GLBT conversion therapy at Queen’s Park.
  • Towleroad observes the beginning of an opera about Grindr.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy takes issue with Gerry Trudeau’s criticism of cartoons which satirize Islam.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at a Tatar woman who kept Islam alive in Soviet Moscow, argues that the sheer size of Donbas means that Russia cannot support it, looks at the centrality of the Second World War in modern Russia, and suggests the weak Ukrainian state but strong civil society is the inverse of the Russian situation.

[WRITING] On the transience of blogging, or, is that all there is?

A well-written post  by Jim Belshaw that he posted to his blog Personal Reflections yesterday really made me think. There, he considered a post of his written in 2007. He remembered where he was and what he was doing at the time; he recognized that the sad situation he had described then had not changed in any of its particulars, sadly; he noted that changing HTML standards and link rot required a revision.

WordPress lets me know, whenever I have successfully uploaded a post, how many I have made in total. Lately it has been hovering around 16 thousand or so, stretching back to the very first posts I made back in 2002 on my LiveJournal. How much of what I wrote has lasted in anything like as good a form as Belshaw’s post? What have these posts led to, if anything? What might they yet lead to? Or, what can they not become, not now and perhaps not ever?

I am wondering, thinking. I admit to being afraid as to what I might conclude.

Written by Randy McDonald

April 10, 2015 at 3:45 am

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