Coke Talk:
I sometimes wonder if the dude who runs corrections at the New York Times is actually a CIA asset trying to communicate with sleeper agents.

NYT Corrections, December 30:

An article on Monday about Jack Robison and Kirsten Lindsmith, two college students with Asperger syndrome who are navigating the perils of an intimate relationship, misidentified the character from the animated children's TV show "My Little Pony" that Ms. Lindsmith said she visualized to cheer herself up. It is Twilight Sparkle, the nerdy intellectual, not Fluttershy, the kind animal lover.


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Jon Mitchell: Google+ Hates The Internet

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I've been a happy Google customer product for a long time, because Google tools used to enhance the Internet. But as Google ships "the Google part" of its new Google+ identity, it's breaking the Web it once helped build. I can't take it anymore.

[...] This might be the Googlest thing I've ever seen. First of all, he designates himself a "user/reader," which is just spectacular. And he goes on to say that he'd rather see a Google+ post about the article than the article itself, because, and I quote, "I can comment here without having to jump through hoops." Hoops like reading the article?

I especially love this part:
Google is great for work. My work personality is much more measured, flat and bland than my real self, and Google tools are great for expressing that.

There's a lot of well-deserved G+ hate in the above-linked article, but the "reposts are more important than the original" part really riles me up.

This is a pervasive, toxic notion that has metastasized in the interwebs in the last few years: that the most important thing to know, when you see a thousand-times-reposted link to something, is the person you most immediately saw the link from. The second most important thing is the first person to repost that link on whatever service you are logged in to at the moment. A far distant 99th priority is the person who actually created the thing in the first place.

One DJ says to another, "Hey, want to go see a movie?" The other DJ says, "I dunno, who's the projectionist?"

This is the kind of behavior that Google+ is encouraging now, and of course they didn't even invent that, they just ripped off this model from Tumblr who seem to have pioneered it by showing the entire thread of attributions by default, and emphasizing the first and last -- but stopping cold at the walls of the Tumblr garden. To link to an actual creator, you have to take an extra step, so nobody bothers.

The reason is obvious: these sites want to keep you, the product, inside the walled garden. And hey, that worked amazingly well for AOL in the 90s, when they learned how to "engage" the Internet. Oh wait, no it didn't.

I'm sure I'd be even more pissed about how awful G+ is if I actually used it, but I only log in about once a month, because it's a ghost-town. The people I actually communicate with on a regular basis all have G+ accounts but almost exclusively use Facebook instead. (The exception being my friends who are actual Google employees, and I'm sure the electrified genital cuffs have something to do with that.) Facebook is a horror in its own innumerable ways, of course, but it's still less user- product-hostile than G+.

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Pingu's The Thing

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