In the News 08.08.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


In the News 08.08.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 08.08.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 08.08.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The Global Tourism Backlash

With summer travel season now in high gear, a number of the world’s cities are witnessing a backlash against tourism. Venice, Barcelona, San Sebastián (on the northern coast of Spain), and the island of Mallorca have seen anti-tourism protests aimed at visitors and cruise ships, along with graffiti slogans like “Tourists go home” and “Tourists are terrorists.” Protests have also sprung up in Auckland, New Zealand over double-decker sightseeing buses that clog the city’s streets. Some call this influx of visitors and the pressures it brings “over-tourism.”

The past decade or so has seen a surge in tourism, driven by a rising middle class across the world, especially in large emerging economies like China. Tourism has also become more affordable and accessible, with cheaper airfares and accommodations made possible through online booking services such as Airbnb. International tourism rose from fewer than 300 million trips in 1980 to some 500 million in 1995, before exploding to 1.3 billion trips in 2017—a number that’s expected to rise to 1.8 billion in 2030.

Read the rest of this article at: Citylab

In the News 08.08.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Capitalism Killed Our Climate Momentum, Not “Human Nature”

In the News 08.08.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

THIS SUNDAY, THE entire New York Times Magazine will be composed of just one article on a single subject: the failure to confront the global climate crisis in the 1980s, a time when the science was settled and the politics seemed to align. Written by Nathaniel Rich, this work of history is filled with insider revelations about roads not taken that, on several occasions, made me swear out loud. And lest there be any doubt that the implications of these decisions will be etched in geologic time, Rich’s words are punctuated with full-page aerial photographs by George Steinmetz that wrenchingly document the rapid unraveling of planetary systems, from the rushing water where Greenland ice used to be to massive algae blooms in China’s third largest lake.

The novella-length piece represents the kind of media commitment that the climate crisis has long deserved but almost never received. We have all heard the various excuses for why the small matter of despoiling our only home just doesn’t cut it as an urgent news story: “Climate change is too far off in the future”; “It’s inappropriate to talk about politics when people are losing their lives to hurricanes and fires”; “Journalists follow the news, they don’t make it — and politicians aren’t talking about climate change”; and of course: “Every time we try, it’s a ratings killer.”

None of the excuses can mask the dereliction of duty. It has always been possible for major media outlets to decide, all on their own, that planetary destabilization is a huge news story, very likely the most consequential of our time. They always had the capacity to harness the skills of their reporters and photographers to connect abstract science to lived extreme weather events. And if they did so consistently, it would lessen the need for journalists to get ahead of politics because the more informed the public is about both the threat and the tangible solutions, the more they push their elected representatives to take bold action.

Read the rest of this article at: The Intercept

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‘People You May Know:’ A Controversial Facebook Feature’s 10-Year History

In May 2008, Facebook announced what initially seemed like a fun, whimsical addition to its platform: People You May Know.

“We built this feature with the intention of helping you connect to more of your friends, especially ones you might not have known were on Facebook,” said the post.

It went on to become one of Facebook’s most important tools for building out its social network, which expanded from 100 million members then to over 2 billion today. While some people must certainly have been grateful to get help connecting with everyone they’ve ever known, other Facebook users hated the feature. They asked how to turn it off. They downloaded a “FB Purity” browser extension to hide it from their view. Some users complained about it to the U.S. federal agency tasked with protecting American consumers, saying it constantly showed them people they didn’t want to friend. Another user told the Federal Trade Commission that Facebook wouldn’t stop suggesting she friend strangers “posed in sexually explicit poses.”

In an investigation last year, we detailed the ways People You May Know, or PYMK, as it’s referred to internally, can prove detrimental to Facebook users. It mines information users don’t have control over to make connections they may not want it to make. The worst example of this we documented is when sex workers are outed to their clients.

Read the rest of this article at: Gizmodo

In the News 08.08.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

How Virgil Abloh Conquered Streetwear and Took Men’s High Fashion By Storm

In the News 08.08.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Virgil Abloh is restless. We’re sitting upstairs in the white-walled Paris offices of Louis Vuitton, in a studio packed with sketch-strewn worktables, and, as we speak, the designer wheels to and fro in an office chair across the floor. Yesterday was the luxe, sunny debut of Abloh’s Spring/Summer 2019 collection, his first show since being named the fashion house’s new artistic director of men’s wear, in March. Put another way: it’s the morning after Abloh made history, so pardon the jitters.

Abloh is the first black man in Louis Vuitton’s 164-year history to debut a men’s-wear line. He’s also, he might point out, the first man in his position to hail not from New York City, or even the suburbs, but from Rockford, Illinois—a far midwestern cry from the majestic largesse of Paris’s Grand Palais des Champs-Élysées, where, the previous afternoon, his meteoric rise was capped off with a Wizard of Oz-themed rainbow runway. Abloh’s technicolor, multicultural parade of models and artists donning mohair jumpers and bright leather trench coats, all of them affixed with L.V. monograms and Abloh-esque flourishes, was a decisive statement: we’re not in Kansas anymore.

Up to this point, Abloh has largely been known to his colleagues in the fashion industry as this century’s consumer-savvy, media hyper-literate instigator of retooled, re-purposed, photogenic cool. For better and worse. This means high-end sneakers with shoelaces labeled “Shoelace”—in quotes, just so. It means constant, buzzy collaborations with the likes of Nike, Takashi Murakami, Jimmy Choo, Moncler, and, most recently, Ikea.

You can largely thank the success of Abloh’s Milan-based luxury-streetwear brand Off-White™, founded in 2013, for his name recognition and reputation as an arbiter of cool. But Off-White™ isn’t Louis Vuitton. The brand has a youthful folly, a crude sense of pop weirdness—detractors claim its fraudulence—unsuitable for a major house. Off-White™’s signature diagonal stripes and ironic quotation marks are, for hype beasts and the star-obsessed, as coded and class-aware as interlocking L.V. monograms are to another generation. The brand has more than 4 million followers on Instagram, which, in 2018, amounts to something. Beyond even those whose only job is to analyze this new-world currency, Abloh knows that what is attractive about his brand is its meaning.

Read the rest of this article at: Vanity Fair

The Ice Patrol

In the News 08.08.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The ice is melting. “Take a look! It’s fucking cool,” shouts Marc Herrell over the engines of the C-130 that flies us over the half-frozen sea. Seated in the plane’s womb, two ice observers recline in two high-backed military-issue swivel chairs, their ears covered by noise-canceling Bose headphones. To find an iceberg, you use the whole window, beginning at the horizon, then moving down, then over, then up. When the ice observers spot a berg, they note its exact position, size, and shape on a chart.

The Ice Patrol is a four-year enlisted tour, three years for officers, whose mission is to survey the Arctic shipping lanes for icebergs and other hazardous debris. When I join the Ice Patrol in March of 2014, to observe the one hundredth anniversary of its operations, there are three large icebergs in the harbor at St. John’s, Newfoundland, and thousand-mile stretches of the Atlantic Ocean are covered in bluish-gray pancakes of sea ice. The polar ice caps are melting, which is a fear that hasn’t changed all that much since the days of Noah: we are selfish and otherwise sinful; our cities will be washed away by floods. Yet beneath these dire rhythms and cadences drawn from Old Testament prophets is an entirely modern sense of tracklessness and vertigo.

Everything melts. What scares us these days is the idea that “everything” includes us. Our alarm at melting icebergs and polar ice caps reflects our fears about the stability of the verities of a world that we long ago agreed was inherently unstable, only to suddenly experience that instability as an immediate threat to the once-settled rhythms of our lives. Fake News has replaced Real News. Russia elected Donald Trump by buying ads on Facebook, according to a former British spy, who was paid by Trump’s opponent. Over the past decade or so, around 275,000 newspaper employees have lost their jobs. Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Twitter control what Americans read and how they communicate with one another, based on hidden algorithms that are torqued to maximize addictive behaviors that maximize profit. Newsrooms no longer decide what is news. The mirror is cracked. Everyone distrusts and detests one another, while intelligence bureaucrats abuse a giant surveillance net that was built to catch terrorists and is now being used, inevitably, to generate political scandals that obscure the deeds of the powerful in a fog of fear and mistrust.

The Arctic is real enough, though. It’s like a stripped-down blueprint of places we are familiar with, minus grass, and trees, and roads, and cars. iPhones don’t work well in the Arctic. But there is oil here. There is lots of snow and ice.

Read the rest of this article at: Topic

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