If you’re still spending time with your family, performing that age-old holiday tradition of sitting in the same room while everyone looks at their phones, this newsletter goes out to you. Godspeed. Keep clicking and refreshing. One day you will be free.
How Much of the Internet Is Fake? (NY Mag)
”Studies generally suggest that, year after year, less than 60 percent of web traffic is human; some years, according to some researchers, a healthy majority of it is bot. For a period of time in 2013, the Times reported this year, a full half of YouTube traffic was ‘bots masquerading as people,’ a portion so high that employees feared an inflection point after which YouTube’s systems for detecting fraudulent traffic would begin to regard bot traffic as real and human traffic as fake. They called this hypothetical event ‘the Inversion.’”
The “Definitive” Guide to British Comedy TV Since Fawlty Towers (Vulture)
Not included: Brass Eye, Look Around You. I’m also a big fan of Charlie Brooker’s proto-Black Mirror series How TV Ruined Your Life.
There’s Nothing Virtuous About Finding Common Ground (Time)
”The middle is a point equidistant from two poles. That’s it. There is nothing inherently virtuous about being neither here nor there. Buried in this is a false equivalency of ideas, what you might call the ‘good people on both sides’ phenomenon. When we revisit our shameful past, ask yourself, Where was the middle? Rather than chattel slavery, perhaps we could agree on a nice program of indentured servitude? Instead of subjecting Japanese-American citizens to indefinite detention during WW II, what if we had agreed to give them actual sentences and perhaps provided a receipt for them to reclaim their things when they were released? What is halfway between moral and immoral?”
“On Living” by Nazim Hekmet, 1902-1963 (Poets.org)
New York’s Self-Induced Transportation Crisis (CityLab)
There’s no rhyme or reason to New York City’s transportation policy, except to placate loud NIMBY minorities and hope half-assing some bike lanes and some buses is enough. If any of y’all live on the L train: move.
Staten Island Amazon Workers Are Pushing for a Union (Bloomberg)
And the HQ2 tax breaks might be leverage enough to make it happen. Fingers crossed.
A Good, Barely-Heard Song from 2007: “Frozen Feet” by Tacks the Boy Disaster (YouTube, 4 min)
Finally, a heartwarming story from a local Utah weekly:
XOXO stay warm out there.