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Sean Parker calls Facebook a “social-validation feedback loop”

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Sean Parker calls Facebook a social-validation feedback loop

Sean Parker of Napster, Facebook, and Spotify fame spoke out against one of his former employers in an interview with Axios. He explained how Facebook hooks and potentially harms us psychologically.

“It literally changes your relationship with society, with each other, he said. “It probably interferes with productivity in weird ways. God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.”

Since leaving Facebook and founding he Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, the former dotcom trendsetter has become “something of a conscientious objector” to social media.

“The thought process that went into building these applications, Facebook being the first of them, was all about: ‘How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?'”

Parker, who was played by Justin Timberlake in the 2010 movie The Social Network, helped expand Facebook in its early days as the company’s first President. His inside look into the development of social media as an all-encompassing phenomenon bounced between pride and regret.

“It’s a social-validation feedback loop … exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you’re exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology.”

Further Reading

Sean Parker unloads on Facebook “exploiting” human weakness

https://www.axios.com/sean-parker-unloads-on-facebook-2508036343.htmlSean Parker, the founding president of Facebook, gave me a candid insider’s look at how social networks purposely hook and potentially hurt our brains.

Be smart: Parker’s I-was-there account provides priceless perspective in the rising debate about the power and effects of the social networks, which now have scale and reach unknown in human history. He’s worried enough that he’s sounding the alarm.

Former liberal who recently realized I've been a #Federalist the whole time. GOP fooled me into hating what I thought was conservatism. Now I see the light.

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Culture and Religion

The strange tale of the Turpin family

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The strange tale of the Turpin family

Abuse of children is one of the most horrible things anyone can do. Rarely do I even read stories about abuse. I know it exists. I’m against it. I don’t want reminders of how evil some people really are. The story of the Turpin family drew me in and made me weep for a world that allows such things to happen.

Here’s the story, followed by my brief thoughts:

California family: Parents charged after children found shackled

http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/16/us/california-turpin-13-siblings-held-captive/index.htmlDavid, 57, and Louise, 49, are accused of holding their children captive in their Perris, California, home in filthy conditions, some of them shackled to beds with chains and padlocks. The 13 siblings range in age from 2 to 29.

The parents are charged with torture and child endangerment, and scheduled for a court hearing Thursday. Bail was set at $9 million each. It was not immediately clear if the suspects had attorneys or whether they had entered a plea.

On Sunday, one of their daughters, a 17-year-old, managed to escape from their home by climbing out a window and called 911 from a deactivated cell phone she found in the house, police said. She told officers her parents were holding her 12 siblings captive inside the home, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said.

My Take

There’s a danger here. We have to be mindful of children who are being abused. Unfortunately, that also means there will be times when the state must intervene. Any time that happens, I get worried. I want as little intervention as possible and only when absolutely necessary. The story of the Turpin family is an example of it being necessary.

The problem is that this evil was allowed to continue for decades. How can that happen? How do we respect the rights of parents and embrace a non-interfering government when there are people like the Turpins in the world? It’s a slippery slope and I have no answers.

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Economy

The number of companies helping employees thanks to tax cuts is 164 and rising

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The number of companies helping employees thanks to tax cuts is 164 and rising

Republican tax cuts were met with instant success on the business front when the President signed them into law last month. Companies across the nation rewarded their employees and customers by passing on some of the saving they’ll get. It’s helping to push the economy even higher than it was last year.

As Nick Givas covered over at Daily Caller, the total number of companies giving back to their people is 164 and rising:

164 Companies Credit Tax Reform For Bonuses And Pay Raises

One hundred sixty-four companies have gone on record stating they gave bonuses and pay raises to employees because of the new tax reform law, according to Americans for Tax Reform. The list has been continually updated and jumped from 40 companies to 164 in 10 days, The Washington Examiner reports. The businesses include: American Airlines, AT&T,… (more…)

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News

Romney swipes at Trump over ‘s***hole’ comment

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Romney swipes at Trump over shole comment

Some celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day by honoring the civil rights leader. Others just take the day off. Potential (nearly certain) Senate candidate Mitt Romney used his national holiday to take a swipe at President Trump’s comments about “s***hole countries” that were reported last week.

My Take

It was a strange play. It’s obviously a populist view that goes against a semi-populist President who sees his greatest divergent from American culture in his opinions about race and immigration, but for Romney to tie it into MLK Day is a little odd. There is plenty of time to demonstrate he would be a candidate who opposes the President. There’s only one strategic reason to do it now: If he intends to support the President in the near future.

By Tweeting this, Romney could be doing two things to help his cause. First, he builds credibility as a GOP Senator who is not beholden to the President’s every whim. Second, it gets that out of the way up front so he can turn around and talk about the good things the President is doing.

Then again, it’s probably just a politician playing politics.

Further Reading

Mitt Romney Calls Out Donald Trump With MLK Day Tweet

https://www.redstate.com/arbogast/2018/01/15/mitt-romney-calls-donald-trump-mlk-day-tweet/With Orrin Hatch (finally) retiring, the recruitment efforts to get Mitt Romney to run for that seat started immediately. With the revelation that Romney received treatment for prostate cancer over the summer, it may not be a slam dunk he runs, but if he does, Donald Trump shouldn’t expect Mitt to just get in line.

The fallout from the “s**thole” comments continue for President Trump, providing another means for him to get in his own way. The economy hums along. Corporations continue to announce wage increases and bonus payouts due to the GOP tax cut. Trump had the opportunity to get something done on DACA (which 2/3 of the country supports), and he chooses instead to yelp to the press that he’s the least racist person in the world.

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