Ethnic Affinity

Facebook started targeting ads based on its perception of a person’s race or ethnicity, but just to be safe without actually taking into account their race or ethnicity. The magic PR BS word they invented for it is “ethnic affinity.”

They want to monetize every aspect of your identity, whether that’s an ethnic affiliation or a preference for bean thread noodles.

The problem is that profiling somebody’s ethnic affinities has a lot more cultural baggage attached to it—to say the least—than profiling somebody’s taste in restaurants. And that’s why Facebook’s multicultural targeting scheme is getting a lot more pushback than the company bargained for.

Ramen Code

The plaintiffs in Toyota’s Unintended Acceleration lawsuit had someone with knowledge in building embedded software had a look at Toyota’s source code:

possible bit flips, task deaths that would disable the failsafes, memory corruption, single-point failures, inadequate protections against stack overflow and buffer overflow, single-fault containment regions, thousands of global variables. The list of deficiencies in process and product was lengthy.

Inner City “Dueling” Over “Micro Aggressions”

From the comments section of a summary of a paper called “Microaggression and Moral Cultures“:

Screen Shot of the comments section 2015-10-04 at 14.35.41
Now we just need to bring back a culture of dueling and the problem will sort itself out.
Re: In the inner city men are dueling over the smallest of, er, micro aggressions.



Kerngeschäft der Klägerin ist die Vermarktung von Werbung

Angeblich sollen Springer-Anwälte dem Gericht in einem Verfahren gegen die Macher von Adblock Plus folgendes erklärt haben:

Das Kerngeschäft der Klägerin ist die Vermarktung von Werbung. Journalistische Inhalte sind das Vehikel, um die Aufmerksamkeit des Publikums für die werblichen Inhalte zu erreichen.

Nicht, dass das jetzt überraschend kommt … dennoch beunruhigend.

The Trick of Hope

I often tell myself and my students: medicine is the most human of all the sciences that is stuck with the least human of all the experiments: and that is the randomized trial.
Randomization doesn’t exist because doctors are malign or medicine is nasty it exists precisely for the utterly opposite reason: because we hope too much.
We’re so hopeful, that we want things to work so badly-especially against cancer-we want things to work so badly that we’ll trick ourselves to believing that they’re working.
And there’s nothing as toxic or as lethal as that trick: the trick of hope.
Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee in PBS’ Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies