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News 12.04.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

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News 12.04.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
@rikkekrefting
News 12.04.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
@pinkines
News 12.04.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
@ny.gallery

Facebook has repeatedly allowed world leaders and politicians to use its platform to deceive the public or harass opponents despite being alerted to evidence of the wrongdoing.

The Guardian has seen extensive internal documentation showing how Facebook handled more than 30 cases across 25 countries of politically manipulative behavior that was proactively detected by company staff.

The investigation shows how Facebook has allowed major abuses of its platform in poor, small and non-western countries in order to prioritize addressing abuses that attract media attention or affect the US and other wealthy countries. The company acted quickly to address political manipulation affecting countries such as the US, Taiwan, South Korea and Poland, while moving slowly or not at all on cases in Afghanistan, Iraq, Mongolia, Mexico, and much of Latin America.

Read the rest of this article at: The Guardian

News 12.04.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 12.04.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

I STILL HAVE a photograph of the breakfast I made the morning I ended an eight-year relationship and canceled a wedding. It was an unremarkable breakfast—a fried egg—but it is now digitally fossilized in a floral dish we moved with us when we left New York and headed west. I don’t know why I took the photo, except, well, I do: I had fallen into the reflexive habit of taking photos of everything.

Not long ago, the egg popped up as a “memory” in a photo app. The time stamp jolted my actual memory. It was May 2019 when we split up, back when people canceled weddings and called off relationships because of good old-fashioned dysfunction, not a global pandemic. Back when you wondered if seating two people next to each other at a wedding might result in awkward conversation, not hospitalization.

Did I want to see the photo again? Not really. Nor do I want to see the wedding ads on Instagram, or a near-daily collage of wedding paraphernalia on Pinterest, or the “Happy Anniversary!” emails from WeddingWire, which for a long time arrived every month on the day we were to be married. (Never mind that anniversaries are supposed to be annual.) Yet nearly two years later, these things still clutter my feeds. The photo widget on my iPad cycles through pictures of wedding dresses.

Of the thousands of memories I have stored on my devices—and in the cloud now—most are cloudless reminders of happier times. But some are painful, and when algorithms surface these images, my sense of time and place becomes warped. It’s been especially pronounced this year, for obvious and overlapping reasons. In order to move forward in a pandemic, most of us were supposed to go almost nowhere. Time became shapeless. And that turned us into sitting ducks for technology.

Read the rest of this article at: Wired

The Balmoral in Chestnut

Shop the Balmoral in Chestnut
at Belgrave Crescent & shop.thisisglamorous.com

Take a look at any given corporation’s registration docs, and there’s a good shot you’ll see the address 1209 North Orange Street.

Spanning less than a city block in Wilmington, Delaware, this nondescript office building is the official incorporation address of 285k+ companies from all over the world.

On the surface, there’s no reason that Delaware — home to blue hens and Civil War monuments — should be a corporate paradise. It’s the second smallest state in America, and the 6th least populous, with just 986k residents.

Yet, nearly 1.5m businesses from all over the world are incorporated there, including 68% of all Fortune 500 firms. Among them:

How did Delaware become an unlikely mecca for corporate America? And why are so many businesses parked there?

Read the rest of this article at: the Hustle

News 12.04.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 12.04.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

In 1851, members of a California state militia called the Mariposa Battalion became the first white men to lay eyes on Yosemite Valley. The group was largely made up of miners. They had been scouring the western slopes of the Sierra when they happened upon the granite valley that Native peoples had long referred to as “the place of a gaping mouth.” Lafayette Bunnell, a physician attached to the militia, found himself awestruck. “None but those who have visited this most wonderful valley, can even imagine the feelings with which I looked upon the view,” he later wrote. “A peculiar exalted sensation seemed to fill my whole being, and I found my eyes in tears.” Many of those who have followed in Bunnell’s footsteps over the past 170 years, walking alongside the Merced River or gazing upon the god-rock of El Capitan, have been similarly struck by the sense that they were in the presence of the divine.

The Mariposa Battalion had come to Yosemite to kill Indians. Yosemite’s Miwok tribes, like many of California’s Native peoples, were obstructing a frenzy of extraction brought on by the Gold Rush. And whatever Bunnell’s fine sentiments about nature, he made his contempt for these “overgrown, vicious children” plain:

Any attempt to govern or civilize them without the power to compel obedience, will be looked upon by barbarians with derision … The savage is naturally vain, cruel and arrogant. He boasts of his murders and robberies, and the tortures of his victims very much in the same manner that he recounts his deeds of valor in battle.

When the roughly 200 men of the Mariposa Battalion marched into Yosemite, armed with rifles, they did not find the Miwok eager for battle. While the Miwok hid, the militiamen sought to starve them into submission by burning their food stores, souring the valley’s air with the smell of scorched acorns. On one particularly bloody day, some of the men came upon an inhabited village outside the valley, surprising the Miwok there. They used embers from the tribe’s own campfires to set the wigwams aflame and shot at the villagers indiscriminately as they fled, murdering 23 of them. By the time the militia’s campaign ended, many of the Miwok who survived had been driven from Yosemite, their homeland for millennia, and forced onto reservations.

Read the rest of this article at: The Atlantic

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News 12.04.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

When I visited my grandmother at the undertakers, an hour or so before her funeral, I was struck by how different death is from sleep. A sleeping individual shimmers with fractional movements. The dead seem to rest in paused animation, so still they look smaller than in life. It’s almost impossible not to feel as if something very like the soul is no longer present. Yet my grandmother had also died with Alzheimer’s. Even in life, something of who she was had begun to abandon her. And I wondered, as her memories vanished, had she become a little less herself, a little less human?

These end-of-life stages prick our imaginations. They confront us with some unsettling ideas. We don’t like to face the possibility that irreversible biological processes in our bodies can snuff out the stunning light of our individual experience. We prefer to deny our bodies altogether, and push away the dark tendrils of a living world we fear. The trouble for us is that this story – that we aren’t really our bodies but some special, separate ‘thing’ – has made a muddle of reality. Problems flow from the notion that we’re split between a superior human half and the inferior, mortal body of an animal. In short, we’ve come to believe that our bodies and their feelings are a lesser kind of existence. But what if we’re wrong? What if all parts of us, including our minds, are deeply biological, and our physical experiences are far more meaningful and richer than we’ve been willing to accept?

As far as we know, early hunter-gatherer animist societies saw spirit everywhere. All life possessed a special, non-physical essence. In European classical thought, many also believed that every living thing had a soul. But souls were graded. Humans were thought to have a superior soul within a hierarchy. By the time of theologians such as the Italian Dominican friar and philosopher Thomas Aquinas, in the 13th century, this soulful view of life had retreated, leaving humans the only creature still in possession of an immortal one. As beings with a unique soul, we were more than mere animals. Our lives were set on a path to salvation. Life was now a great chain of being, with only the angels and God above us.

But, as the Middle Ages came to a close in the 16th century, a fresh, apparently rational form of exceptionalism began to spread. The origins for this shift lie in the thinking of René Descartes, who gave the world a new version of dualism. Descartes argued that thought is so different from the physical, machine-like substance of the body that we should see humans as having two parts: the thoughtful mind and the thoughtless, physical body. This was religion refocused through a rational lens. The division between humans and the rest of nature was no longer the soul – or, at least, not only the soul – but rather our intellectual capabilities: our reason, our moral sensibilities, our gifts for abstraction. He assumed, of course, that other animals don’t think.

Read the rest of this article at: aeon

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M.