- Facebook and the issue with Cambridge Analytica dominated headlines all week. Some useful links:
The Guardian asks “Is it time we all deleted our accounts?” — “In a sense, Facebook’s defence to the Cambridge Analytica story was more damning than the story itself.”
And if you want to know the impact of the news, this tweet summarizes it with: “Facebook stock now $50 billion down…’more than the market valuations of Ford, eBay or Delta.’”
William Davies writing for LRB on Cambridge Analytica: “Second, there is not – and cannot be – any evidence that it swung the election for Trump (by the same token, it isn’t strictly provable that it didn’t), though unsurprisingly the company claims otherwise. This still appears painful for Clinton herself to accept. Interviewed for one of the Channel 4 reports, she speaks of Cambridge Analytica’s ‘massive propaganda effort [which] affected the thought processes of voters’. And yet data analysis is at the heart of modern political campaigning.”
The Guardian publishes a “leaked” blueprint of Trump’s victory.
- Writer Beth M. Howard writes about her life in the house made famous by Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” painting:
Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” painting (and all of its parodies) may be legendary, but most people don’t realize that the little white farmhouse in the background is real — that it’s located in Eldon, Iowa (pop. 900), that it’s owned by the State Historical Society, and that, until recently, it was a private residence. There are only a handful of people who can say they’ve lived “inside” his masterpiece painting.
- Designer Adam Pickard has imagined that Ikea’s instructions were rendered in augmented reality and the effect is quite great, which you can see in the video below (more info on Co.Design):
- The Onion always finds a way to make us laugh, even when the topic is as serious as Trump’s wall. The title says it all” “Border Wall Prototype Clearly Designed By Yayoi Kusama.”
- Michael Kupperman writes that “death tribute cartoons” are the face of kneejerk social media mourning:
The death tribute cartoon is different from simple tribute art, in that it uses a visual format designed to amuse, but to be maudlin instead. As near a perfect description for the death tribute cartoon as I can find is German writer Winfried Menninghaus summary of the concept of kitsch: “A simple invitation to wallow in sentiment.”
Every celebrity’s death is treated as an occasion for cloying fantasy or impossibly awkward visual metaphor.
- The most insanely complex and expensive Starbucks drink orders, including:
This is from a guy at the store I used to work at ? he used to do this once a week for his free drink, no tip, actually drank it pic.twitter.com/AQk27esk07
— val pal
(@vnw_x) March 19, 2018
- Will Ferrell and Joel McHale visit the Hammer Museum for the Stories Of Almost Everyone exhibition with the curator:
The sprawling patch of detritus – spanning 1.6m sq km, (617,763 sq miles) more than twice the size of France – contains at least 79,000 tons of plastic, new research published in Nature has found. This mass of waste is up to 16 times larger than previous estimates and provides a sobering challenge to a team that will start an ambitious attempt to clean up the vast swath of the Pacific this summer.
- Have you ever thought about the politics of Google Maps?
The company was criticized early on for the potential for its maps to be used by terrorists, while technical bugs and incomplete data (understandable in the early stages of a product) caused some cringe-worthy but minor glitches like the temporary deletion of Malta. Yet until about 2007, Google somehow managed to avoid significant criticism about how it labeled international territories.
One of the early instances of Google Maps’ political immaturity flared up when people noticed that Google had marked the Temple Mount (referred to as the Haram al-Sharif by Muslims, and holy to Jews, Muslims, and Christians) in the Old City of Jerusalem as “occupied territory” — terminology that, in the context of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, suggested the site would ultimately belong to the Palestinians. (The area was annexed by Israel in 1967, but the United Nations considers that section of the city to be “disputed.”)
- These gifs by are Maja Wrońska and her husband Przemek Sobiecki reconstruct architectural ruins and the effect is quite dazzling (here is the Temple of Largo Argentina, Rome):
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