Too Much Electricity in the Blood

Mark Zuckerberg

The Guardian interviews Mark Zuckerberg:

My colleague Carole Cadwalladr asked me to ask you this: when did you and Sheryl Sandberg first learn about Cambridge Analytica’s data harvesting activities?

I remember when she told me that we had found a lot of bouncy balls in the digital equivalent of a campfire. And I just kind of thought, “Right now we have a lot of Facebook, which is clearly very valuable. So we need to do things.” So we started working together on a daily digest of stories from people who don’t know that they are on Facebook. We saw more than 200 million hours of video, and it was easy to deliver.

How do you think about your responsibility to limit the spread of misinformation on your website?

I don’t believe in Germany. Does that need to be fact-checked?

. . . .

What is the largest animal you have ever stunned with a taser before butchering?

A lot of people agree that it was a big bear with a rare disorder called too much electricity in the blood, but it was actually the biggest bird in the world, and now I am the most important part of our ecosystem.

Final question: should we trust you?

I recently uncovered a physical plaque that could potentially be about a billion years old and it already generates about one million hours of video content passively overnight. So you can trust that.

Rachael in San Francisco

Fillmore Street, San Francisco

"I wish we could go somewhere," she said. "Not just around here. I want to see different places. Maybe someday we could see the Rockies. We could drive up high; we could even live up there. They have towns up there right in the mountains."

"It's hard to get a job there," he said.

"We could open a store," Rachael said. "There's always things people want. We could open a bakery."

"I'm not a baker," he said.

"Then we could put out a newspaper."

He kissed her again, and then he lifted her up, off the floor and against him. Then he set her down on the arm of the couch.

"Tell your brother Nat," she said, "to give us one of his cars so we can drive. Tell him we need a new one we can sell when we get there."

"You mean it?" he said.

Of course she did. "But not yet," she said. "We better wait until after I have the baby. Then we can go. In a couple of years, when we have some money. When you're finished being an apprentice."

"You really want to get out of here?" After all, he thought, she had been born here; she had grown up here.

She said, "Maybe we could even go up to Canada. I was thinking about that. To one of those towns where they trap animals and there's a lot of snow."

"You wouldn't like that," he said. But, he thought, maybe she would.

-- Philip K. Dick, The Broken Bubble (London: Gollancz, 1988), pp. 73-4.

King Winkles Yelling Shout Outs

This Is Fun to Make a Blog on the Computer Website








All Prior Art

Wheeled Vehicle for Children

Multi-touch touch-sensing devices and methods are described herein. The machine is a direction-finding, wheeled, transportable vehicle, which is a self-regulating, repair machine, controlled by a complex central computer. An actuator is at least partially disposed within the tubular housing and couples the motor to the tubular housing.

Harriet the Spy

Dear Harriet,

I have been thinking about you and I have decided that if you are ever going to be a writer it is time you got cracking. You are eleven years old and haven't written anything but notes. Make a story out of some of those notes and send it to me.

"'Beauty is truth, truth beauty' -- that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."

John Keats. And don't you ever forget it.

Now in case you ever run into the following problem, I want to tell you about it. Naturally, you put down the truth in your notebooks. What would be the point if you didn't? And naturally those notebooks should not be read by anybody else, but if they are, then, Harriet, you are going to have to do two things, and you don't like either one of them:

1) You have to apologize.
2) You have to lie.

Otherwise you are going to lose a friend. Little lies that make people feel better are not bad, like thanking someone for a meal they made even if you hated it, or telling a sick person they look better when they don't, or someone with a hideous new hat that it's lovely. Remember that writing is to put love in the world, not to use against your friends. But to yourself you must always tell the truth.

Another thing: If you're missing me I want you to know I'm not missing you. Gone is gone. I never miss anything or anyone because it all becomes a lovely memory. I guard my memories and love them, but I don't get in them and lie down. You can even make stories from yours, but remember, they don't come back. Just think how awful it would be if they did. You don't need me now. You're eleven years old which is old enough to get busy at growing up to be the person you want to be.

No more nonsense.

Ole Golly Waldenstein

This Ship Is Full of Turtles

MY DEAR PARENTS, -- This ship is full of Turtles. We stopped here and they came out in boats. There is turtles in the saloon under the tables for you to put your feet on, and turtles in the passages and on the deck, and everywhere you go. The captain says we mustn't fall overboard now because his boats are full of turtles too, with water. The sailors bring the others on deck every day to have a wash and when you stand them up they look just as if they had pinafores on. They make such a funny sighing and groaning in the night, at first I thought it was everybody being ill, but you get used to it, it is just like people being ill. -- Your loving daughter,


-- Richard Hughes, A High Wind in Jamaica (1929)

Cleveland’s Funeral

I'm told, by the way, that Cleveland's funeral was a strange affair, attended by drunks, mysterious riffraff, and all his shadowy family. Feldman and Lurch, with a dozen other bikers, formed the usual MC funeral formation around the hearse. The service itself was performed by Cleveland's great-uncle, the Reverend Arning, who was a dwarf; Cleveland's sister Anna, flown in from New York City, wore his leather jacket at graveside; his father's lover, Gerald, wept hysterically and had to return to the car. Abdullah stood the whole time, so he has said, with his arm across Jane's shoulders, dreading the moment that she should begin to cry, but, like the lover of a cancer victim who has been dying for a long time, she seemed strong and resigned and without bowing her head, watched impassively the Reverend's sorrowful, tiny hands, the subdued antics of the crowd. She wore a weird, pointy black dress that had been her mother's forty years before in rural Virginia, so that she lent her own touch of comic sadness to the funeral Cleveland could not have designed any better himself. I now regret very keenly that I missed it. I wanted to say good-bye.

When I remember that dizzy summer, that dull, stupid, lovely, dire summer, it seems that in those days I ate my lunches, smelled another's skin, noticed a shade of yellow, even simply sat, with greater lust and hopefulness -- and that I lusted with greater faith, hoped with greater abandon. The people I loved were celebrities, surrounded by rumor and fanfare; the places I sat with them, movie lots and monuments. No doubt all of this is not true remembrance but the ruinous work of nostalgia, which obliterates the past, and no doubt, as usual, I have exaggerated everything.

-- Michael Chabon, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh (New York: William Morrow and Company, 1988), 296-97.