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How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life

A PR professional should have known better. But mistakes can have serious, disproportionate consequences enacted by vigilante mobs. It may not be fair, but labeling it unfair doesn’t undo the consequences. Sacco’s Twitter feed had become a horror show. “In light of @Justine-Sacco disgusting racist tweet, I’m donating to @care today” and “How did @JustineSacco get a PR job?! Her level of racist ignorance belongs on Fox News. #AIDS can…

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Never trust a corporation to do a library’s job

The Internet Archive is mostly known for archiving the web, a task the San Francisco-based nonprofit has tirelessly done since 1996, two years before Google was founded. The Wayback Machine now indexes over 435 billion webpages going back nearly 20 years, the largest archive of the web. For most people, it ends there. But that’s barely scratching the surface.

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Be Kind, for Everyone You Meet Is Misattributing This Quote in a Meme

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. The original, “’Be pitiful, for every man is fighting a hard battle,’ was the tender Christmas message sent by Ian Maclaren to the readers of The British Weekly” (1898) uses an unfamiliar definition of “pitiful” and uses the gender-specific “man,” so the modernized version is understandably more popular.

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Twine: the program that’s democratised the video gaming world

Twine games look and feel profoundly different from other games, not just because they’re made with different tools but also because they’re made by different people – including people who don’t have any calcified notions about what video games are supposed to be or how they’re supposed to work. While roughly 75% of developers at traditional video-game companies are male, many of the most prominent Twine developers are women, making…

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When T.S. Eliot Invented the Hipster

  Prufrock cannot bring himself to ask his companion the “overwhelming question” (which he never identifies) that carries us through the poem. He is paralyzed by the same overwhelming fear of missing out (yes, “FOMO”) that plagues a generation facing endless options and clear few choices: “In a minute there is time / For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse,” Prufrock laments. Instead, not daring to “disturb the…

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Why I Still Blog

I particularly value blogging because of the visibility of older content. Facebook and Twitter don’t make it easy for you to contextualize links pointing to something relevant you posted a month or a year or decade ago. It may seem right to ask, after so many years: what is left to discuss about blogging? We all know what it is. We all know what it does. What used to be…