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Live At The Robot Revolution

Social networks, self-driving trucks, decimation of the working class, robots defeating racism (sort of).


While We Weren’t Looking, Snapchat Revolutionized Social Networks

OK, I freaking love Snapchat. How do I count the ways in which you are marvelous? It's a fantastically invented medium that mirrors the real world, providing a transient look into our friends' lives. And so frequently, just the lives of the friends that want us to see--but with plenty in the Stories for us to be all voyeuristic about. And that's it's entire purpose. No awkward hedging an aped feature into a billion-dollar company's startup acquisition in a hamfisted attempt to shove the youth back under its umbrella. In the words of a coworker of mine, "Way, I think Snapchat is your love language." On top of that, it's got so many of the young folk, so many! There's a reason Facebook offered billions of dollars to buy it. Anyways, this is an interesting article.


Auto Format: I carry my followers with me everywhere, and I don’t mean on my phone

"To become occupied by a social network is to internalize its gaze. It is to forever carry a doubled view of both your own mind and the platform’s." A thinkpiece on social media's potential effects on us.


Uber Self-Driving Truck Packed With Budweiser Makes First Delivery in Colorado

This sure seems like the dark start of the disgruntled unemployed lower class revolution that we've been talking about. Or maybe the beginning of an artistic utopia where we all eat, laugh, play, and make art, and those who decide to serve the world by maintaining robots reap additional rewards? Eh, probably not.


This researcher programmed bots to fight racism on Twitter

The researcher used bots of different ethnicities/backgrounds. Which do you think were the best at getting white racists to be less racist? Yep, white bots! Not surprising, but extremely interesting in its applications.


Bots as social utilities and persuaders

Related to the above article, I went on a mini-ponderance on this on Twitter, where I talk about how bots can be used to perform emotional labor and persuade others to change their minds. Also, Twitter's Moments feature is actually pretty nice!


The Distribution of Users’ Computer Skills: Worse Than You Think

Holy moly. 215,942 people, from "Below Level 1" to "Level 3", where Below Level 1 is "delete this email message in this application", and Level 3 is "coordinate a meeting between multiple people based on information in a series of emails". Only 5% of people are in Level 3. If you're reading this newsletter, you're probably at least Level 2, likely Level 3. Only 69% of people are in Level 2 and below. Notice how that doesn't add up to 5% - that's because 26% of people in the survey literally couldn't use a computer at a Below Level 1 level. Holy shit. That's terrifying.

OK, hey, can we talk about that last article? I think it's important to remember, for anyone publishing content or creating spaces on the internet to be aware of the fundamental problem which is that many of your users are relatively computer illiterate. I've sat in user experience studies and seen people fly right past giant, big important buttons, ask questions that are answered by text on the page, or become paralyzed by too many choices. And it's not just not-computer-savvy people! Even experts get stuck on this stuff. Make it simple; and teach your friends keyboard shortcuts.

Psst, devs on Macs - in iTerm, did you know that you can press Ctrl + A to go to the beginning of a line and Ctrl + E to go to the end of it? None of this holding down the arrow key business anymore!


Stephen Hawking: Automation and AI is going to decimate middle class jobs

"A report put out in February 2016 by Citibank in partnership with the University of Oxford predicted that 47% of US jobs are at risk of automation. In the UK, 35% are. In China, it's a whopping 77% — while across the OECD it's an average of 57%." oh shit oh crap oh man we're so not ready for this oh shit oh man oh ma



what the shit is this -- wait, what was I just worrying about? can't seem to remember... oh well