dylan tweney

if you're bored, you're not paying attention

Month: May 2016

Suburban bliss.

Not to complain, but the children have been obnoxious, I’m not sleeping enough, car alarms keep going off in the neighborhood, the track workers have been jackhammering all morning, and the house is its usual mess. Sometimes it’s not all sunshine and roses here in the suburbs.… Read the rest

Bay Parade Swim Report

Today’s Bay Parade swim went super well. It was a beautiful day on the Bay, the water wasn’t too cold (maybe 58 degrees near the Gate, 62-plus in McCovey Cove), and we had a fun bunch of swimmers aboard our boat, comprising two teams: “Flood Tide” (my team) and “Frijoles Frios.”… Read the rest

How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds — from a Magician and Google’s Design Ethicist

“The problem is, maximizing interruptions in the name of business creates a tragedy of the commons, ruining global attention spans and causing billions of unnecessary interruptions each day.”

Tristan Harris, in an illuminating essay on how the techniques of attentional misdirection deployed by tech companies parallel the techniques used by magicians

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When a clickbait headline leads to national outrage.

So let’s see if I’ve got this right:

Gizmodo publishes a story whose headline reads “Former Facebook Workers: We Routinely Suppressed Conservative News.”

The Internet goes apeshit, especially the conservative part of it, without reading the whole story, in which it becomes clear that…

Although the headline says plural “workers,” there’s really only one worker, an anonymous one, who is making this allegation, and…

That worker doesn’t allege that conservative news is being suppressed everywhere on Facebook, just in the tiny “Trending News” box, which accounts for a vanishingly small percentage of Facebook’s clicks.… Read the rest

Master class on prosody.

Vox just dropped a 12-minute master class on prosody featuring some amazing rap lyrics. Rhyme, beats, metrical motives … this really covers some ground. Super cool.

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Breaststroke.

The breaststroke has a faint sense of femininity attached to it these days. There’s the name, of course: Anything beginning with “breast” seems inevitably female, at least a little bit. But it’s also a slower stroke than the crawl, otherwise known as freestyle.… Read the rest

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