reading notes: we are bellingcat

we are bellingcat author: eliot higgins ISBN: 978-1526615756 overview higgins provides a nice and reasonably chronological account of what led to the creation of bellingcat. from his days lurking on the guardian and various message boards while working a standard office job to the creation of his brown moses blog and eventually the creation of the bellingcat project. notable escapades/investigations include: detailing the acquisition of expertise in identifying war crimes during the civil war in syria as well as chemical attacks on the part of the assad regime....

November 14, 2021 · steve ulrich

meta-elite overload

it’s meta + elites the whole way down. ny review of books ny review of books “worthy” reviewer elite author who writes for the atlantic, etc., still, the reviewer here does a solid job of being grounded and taking a critical look at the book and the author’s perspective. based on this review, i don’t think i’ll be buying the book. honestly, i found the reviwer’s take here to be a pretty solid damnation of the perspective of a lot of liberals....

February 27, 2021 · steve ulrich

when the news is an attack on you personally

largely apropos of nothing given the state of things these days. the article is primarily interesting to me given the author author and the candor. Having been cosseted by self-validating coverage for so long, many Americans now consider any news that might suggest that they are in error or that their side has been defeated as an attack on them personally. The lie that Trump won the 2020 election wasn’t nearly as much aimed at the opposing party as it was at the news outlets that stated the obvious, incontrovertible fact....

February 1, 2021 · steve ulrich

post coup/insurrection/smearing the capitol with shit, reading

it’s no secret, i was really disappointed with the results of the 2016 election, but i honestly didn’t think things would end up here. one could reasonably be forgiven for thinking that there would be practical limits to the damage that could be wrought in 4 years. i was incredibly naive. to be fair, i think a lot of us were. oh the things i’ve learned over the past 4 years....

January 15, 2021 · sulrich

oh, you're saying it's going to require work?

a useful reminder as to how young and anomalous democracy actually is and that the tendency is towards authoritarian rule. The way to shore up American democracy is to shore up American democracy—that is, to strengthen liberal institutions, in ways that are unglamorously specific and discouragingly minute. The task here is not so much to peer into our souls as to reduce the enormous democratic deficits under which the country labors, most notably an electoral landscape in which farmland tilts to power while city blocks are flattened....

January 1, 2021 · steve ulrich

reading - does facebook use private data for ads?

ACM article: does facebook use sensitive data for advertising purposes? (DOI:10.1145/3426361) answer: yes. #reading

December 31, 2020 · sulrich

reading: on not meeting nazis halfway

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito just complained that “you can’t say that marriage is a union between one man and one woman. Now it’s considered bigotry.” This is a standard complaint of the right: the real victim is the racist who has been called a racist, not the victim of his racism, the real oppression is to be impeded in your freedom to oppress. And of course Alito is disingenuous; you can say that stuff against marriage equality (and he did)....

November 25, 2020 · steve ulrich

reading: how greenwich republicans learned to love trump

How Greenwich Republicans Learned to Love Trump Leora Levy, who called him vulgar in the local paper, took to applauding his “leadership” and quoting him on Twitter, where she adopted some of his rhetorical style. “AMERICA WILL NEVER BE A SOCIALIST COUNTRY!!!” she posted. “WE ARE BORN FREE AND WILL STAY FREE!!!” Last fall, Trump nominated her to be the American Ambassador to Chile. i’m always a bit amused by these “we are born free and will stay free” assertions....

August 10, 2020 · steve ulrich