(It’s going to do it anyway.)

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From Sci Show’s three part history of the internet

We are parenting in interesting times. Our children are the most media drenched children who have ever lived, navigating their way between addictive games and social media platforms, and a hyperfast news cycle trying at all times to push everyone’s nervous system as hard as possible. Then there’s the regular stresses of school and socialization that plagued us when we were young. But they’re also the smartest people who have ever lived, and able to pluck wonders of human understanding from the ether, form groups that coalesce around ideas in moments, and google their homework answers.

This is one mom’s answer to marshaling that new-found knowledge and smartness for good, and using resources on the net to teach your offspring. It’s not a substitute for schooling, and I am personally not a homeschooler. It’s for supplementing both your kids’ education, and your relationship with them. …


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Here are some quick texts (in English, Dutch, French, German, Bulgarian) to pass around to your family and friends with a call to action to stop this terrible vote in the EU:

The European Internet is Under Threat!

There is a pending vote on EU copyright law with two articles that could severely limit what you could say and how you express yourself online — Articles 13 and 11.

Article 13 would require the services you use, like Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter to keep tabs on you and potentially delete copyrighted material you post. There’s no way to do this by hand, so what you say and what you see will have to be controlled by algorithms, which can’t tell a joke from a meme, or a friends’ karaoke night from pop song piracy. Automatic filtering could make it practically impossible to comment on current events or pieces of media, or even to share computer code or artistic expression as part of business or educational community. There is no way to know what’s copyrighted by whom in an automated system, so Article 13 will inevitably be abused to shut down competition, conversation, and criticism — just as American copyright takedown notices(DMCA) have been used against competitors and critics. In 2017, Google estimated that 99.95% of the DMCA takedown requests it received were bogus, mostly generated by malicious bots. …


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The reason for the season: I had three cervical discs replaced with this Mobi-C prosthetic. Post-op was painful and difficult.

Hello, I’m Quinn, and I’m documenting my experience of opioid withdrawal to help others who are facing the same process. It’s just one person’s experience, but I hope it can help others out there get through withdrawal safely and successfully, and put physical dependency behind them.

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I am physically dependent on opioids after being prescribed three-day patches for post-operative pain. My surgery was no trifle: it was between three and four hours, and involved my cervical spine. …


First posted to quinnnorton.com.

People have a strange vision of me. I’m going to set a few things straight real quick.

I was an anarchist pacifist two years ago, I was an anarchist pacifist two months ago, I’m an anarchist pacifist right now, and I probably will be one until I go to my grave. I didn’t get fired for what I believe or what I’ve done, because none of that ever really came up. I got fired because of the language I used when I was working with Anonymous in 2011–12, and because I believe in engaging with racists instead of shunning them. On a personal level, my friends can tell you, it’s not just racism. I’m not an easy friend. I confront a lot of difficult topics head on, and I can be in turns comforting and challenging. If I am worried you are going to far with drugs or alcohol, I will tell you. If I think your relationship is fucked up, you’ll understand why I think that. …


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White people hanging out with a turkey in 1949.

Thanksgiving opens the annual Season of Awkward Conversations in America. This one, the first Thanksgiving of the Trump administration, in the middle of the great outing of sex monsters, is going to be beyond awkward. And yet, we need to confront each other, and there’s no time like the present.

Our friends and family are where we go to feel safe and accepted. But there’s always been a lie in that; we often don’t accept each other, and not everything is safe. Sometimes it blows up, and sometimes people, even family, don’t speak to each other for years. …


What I am telling you right now is because of two things: I caught up on my On The Media podcast for this week, and because when I was a homeless teenager dreaming of having a different future, I dreamed of writing for Rolling Stone Magazine.

Dreaming of writing for Rolling Stone and Wired, The Atlantic, and Harpers, and other magazines I’d lovingly stole off to corners of my bookstore to read as a barely-adult person kept me going and hoping for years. …


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Foo Camp, the original unconference thrown by O’Reilly every year, is one of my favorite events in the technology world. In many ways, it’s often felt like one of the safest — it welcomes crazy ideas, breaks down social barriers, starts cross disciplinary conversations. Their format encourages people to contribute to sessions, or leave them, not if they’re angry, but just if they’re not getting much out of it or have much to contribute. People bounce around the space and ideas and conversations, and so many of the normal social distances break down into collaboration. …


On living a continuously interrupted life

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I made a lot of big plans. Plans are hope. They necessitate a future that is not only different from, but also better than, the present.

But plans are fragile, little crystalline thoughts that must be carried from place to place cupped in a steady hand that is always slightly too small to carry them, breathing even, or even held, until they can be put somewhere safe.

A body in pain can’t carry such things, and inevitably, when you try, they shatter. Their shards stick in you, adding to the pain.

The first and most persistent thing pain will teach you is patience, and that’s the hardest thing to learn when time feels limited. When the chances for education are slipping away, when friends drift off from social neglect, when your children are growing up regardless of how much time you can give them, when there’s so much work unfinished, when your partner gets up to leave for work, and you stay home, surrounded by shattered plans and time that flows like syrup. …


Teen Vogue has written a pretty good piece on mobile phone message security. It’s good! You should read it if you haven’t yet. I have a few useful notes to add.

TV advises “Second, set a long PIN of at least eight characters to unlock your handset.” This is too short if you’re afraid of the police or someone else with access to technical tools trying to break it. Computers guess passwords by trying all the possible ones, which isn’t that many if there’s only eight characters. …


Like sex, there’s no such thing as safe leaking. But there is safer leaking, and ways to encourage your sources to be safer.

Originally published here.

The next few months (like the last few weeks) will see a lot of people who want to talk about their life and their work with a media audience; people who never wanted to talk before. If they come to us, and by us I mean journalists, we need to be ready and equipped to protect them, whether what they tell us becomes journalism or not. We also need time. We need to be in a position to check stories, cross check references, and talk to experts to make sure the leaks we receive are true and right and placed in the appropriate context. …

About

Quinn Norton

A journalist of Hackers, Bodies, Technologies, and Internets. ‘’Useless in terms of… tactical details’’ -Stratfor Contact me here: https://t.co/u4F7yfikU4

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