Elon Musk Doesn’t Want Free Speech on Twitter . . . and Neither Do You

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Elon Musk’s bid to take over Twitter starts with platitudes about free speech. He says he’s a “free speech absolutist.” “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy,” he says in the news release about his takeover of the company, “and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of … Continued

The best parts of me are like my Dad

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Picture this. It is the 1960s. You are a student at the Ogontz Campus of Penn State University, near Philadelphia, where the students and professors who are unable or unwilling to get into the main University Park campus end up. You are majoring in something other than science, but you need a science class to … Continued

Hollywood’s focus on the dark side of tech could change American attitudes

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Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are having their Hollywood moment. Could this change the way America perceives the tech industry? American ingenuity is a value we grew up believing in. The American mythos of technologically advanced startups and their dazzling founders is an unbroken chain, from Edison to Jobs to Zuckerberg. They make us feel good about … Continued

Did 1.5 billion people rush to get in on Trump’s “Truth Social?”

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According to the Washington Examiner: By Tuesday morning, 1.5 billion people had viewed the app in the iPhone App Store, with nearly 400,000 people receiving notices they were placed on a waitlist upon trying to sign up. Could this be true? When it comes to numbers, be skeptical It pays to understand the world that numbers … Continued

Donald Trump’s “Truth Social” site launches with a resounding “Oops!”

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After receiving a solicitation from the Republican Party to join Donald Trump’s “Truth Social” social network, I decided to try it out. Although the solicitation says it is “Live,” the sign-in page asks you to join a waiting list. Since you have to agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, I wanted to … Continued

Meta’s new values look more awful than awesome

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Less than six months ago, it seemed that Meta, the company behind Facebook and Instagram, had learned a very public lesson. Between its involvement in spreading disinformation in the January 6 insurrection, a humiliating leak of documents showing how little it cared about the corrosive impact of its policies, and public calls to break the company up, … Continued

Finding Wesley

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Halfway through an hour’s walk in the cold, I was perched on a cinder-block wall in front of the Grace Baptist Church in Portland, Maine. There are not many places to rest in this part of town, and I needed a rest. It was overcast and lightly snowing. A boy who looked about nine years … Continued

A tool for exploring Wordle consonant-vowel patterns

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I hope you’re having fun solving Wordle puzzles; I know I am. As I attempt the puzzles, I’m often thinking about how vowels and consonants appear in different patterns in five-letter words. I wanted to start exploring those patterns, so I wrote a Python program to probe the results of different patterns. If you want … Continued