What happened at the IRS is the government’s essential business. The IRS case deserves and calls out for an independent counsel, fully armed with all that position’s powers. Only then will stables that badly need to be cleaned, be cleaned. Everyone involved in this abuse of power should pay a price, because if they don’t, the politicization of the IRS will continue—forever. If it is not stopped now, it will never stop. And if it isn’t stopped, no one will ever respect or have even minimal faith in the revenue-gathering arm of the U.S. government again.
And it would be shameful and shallow for any Republican operative or operator to make this scandal into a commercial and turn it into a mere partisan arguing point and part of the game. It’s not part of the game. This is not about the usual partisan slugfest. This is about the integrity of our system of government and our ability to trust, which is to say our ability to function.
The single biggest fallacy I want to blow up is this utopian idea that there is this SINGLE thing called ‘The Cloud’. Each company today reinvents their own cloud. The Cloud as a concept is dead and has been for years: we are living within a stormy sky of cranky clouds, all trying to pretend the others don’t exist.
How well this attack succeeds depends much less on what happened in Boston than by our reactions in the coming weeks and months. Terrorism isn’t primarily a crime against people or property. It’s a crime against our minds, using the deaths of innocents and destruction of property as accomplices. When we react from fear, when we change our laws and policies to make our country less open, the terrorists succeed, even if their attacks fail. But when we refuse to be terrorized, when we’re indomitable in the face of terror, the terrorists fail, even if their attacks succeed.
Don’t glorify the terrorists and their actions by calling this part of a ‘war on terror.’ Wars involve two legitimate sides. There’s only one legitimate side here; those on the other are criminals. They should be found, arrested, and punished. But we need to be vigilant not to weaken the very freedoms and liberties that make this country great, meanwhile, just because we’re scared.
Empathize, but refuse to be terrorized. Instead, be indomitable — and support leaders who are as well. That’s how to defeat terrorists.
So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, ’The good outnumber you, and we always will.’
The purpose of an article page is to read the article. It’s not to show an advertisement. It’s not to get a click. It’s not to create a lead. It’s not to read related or recommended items. It’s to read the damn article!
I think this sort of thing happens because nobody really believes they’re building relationships with readers. It’s too bad, if people just honored the very basic interaction they are asking people to have with their content, they might just build the relationship they’re looking for.
If buyers start asking ‘does it have Facebook Home?’ — and I think many will — that will be bad news for both Google and Apple. However, the Google – Facebook war is sure to be more vicious than the Google – Apple war because Google and Facebook have the same customers: advertisers. Users are their currency, and Facebook is about to rob the bank.
What Home allows Facebook to do is put Edgerank and people’s ‘social graphs’ on steroids by giving them easy access to their identities. A Facebook-centric phone that constantly tells you what you want to hear about yourself and your friends means that you’ll find less and less use for the rest of the Internet. And that’s very, very good for Facebook since engagement is everything for an ad-based business.
And most importantly it is Facebook, a company that is known to have played loose-and-easy with consumer privacy and data since its very inception, asking for forgiveness whenever we caught them with its hand in the cookie jar. I don’t think we can be that forgiving or reactive with Facebook on mobile.
Maybe it’s not useful to define one person as the garbage collector and one person as the singer. Maybe everyone is a lot of things. Maybe the self-obsessed celebrity artist culture isn’t that helpful or useful. Maybe eventually we get to a place where we see that books and music and art are created by us, people who have school and day jobs and other shit we care about. And we’re not rich celebrities, and we are all always being pulled in different directions, but we’re present and engaged with the people in our lives? And we value what we contribute as much as what we create? And we create things because want to, and not because we have expectations for what it will get us, or how it will cause society to value us? And we don’t berate and hate ourselves for the very human failure of having a lot of complicated shit to juggle in our lives? That might be kind of cool?
So then why hasn’t Path taken off in high schools across America yet? You might say it’s difficult to run against an enormous incumbent like Facebook. You’d be right, except Instagram ran such an effective and popular campaign it was bought out by an enormous incumbent. Maybe it’s a wave of luck and timing that Path can’t seem to find. My guess is it’s just hard to sell to anyone, not just teens. And stickers and private messages won’t change that. Being a hybrid of existing services, it’s challenging for Path to convince us to switch over without some obvious hook — Twitter’s limited set of characters, Instagram’s filters, old Facebook’s network exclusivity, that gets people insatiably curious and signing up. Path’s problem is that the hook it does have, i.e., being able to find that footing between what’s personal and what’s public, thereby letting us feel like our lives are shared rather than exposed, is hard to succinctly convey in a single line of copy. Figuring that out should be higher on the list than stickers.