Journal 125 — John McCain, e-commerce in China, moderating Facebook’s content, an oral history of Goldeneye, and buildings so high they reach space

John McCain announces his candidacy for President in in 2007 Photo by: River Bissonnette

This week — e-commerce in rural China, the challenge of moderating Facebook’s two billion users, an oral history of Goldeneye and buildings so high they reach space.

If you only read one thing — Rolling Stone on John McCain is worth the time.


David Foster Wallace on John McCain: ‘The Weasel, Twelve Monkeys and the Shrub’ | Rolling Stone | Politics

David Foster Wallace spent a week with the late Senator John McCain during his 2000 Republican presidential primary battle against George W. Bush for this perceptive and nuanced profile.

The Impossible Job: Inside Facebook’s Struggle to Moderate Two Billion People | Vice | Society

A look at one of the toughest jobs in the business — content moderation at Facebook. It is area where the company has been forced to ramp up their team due to a string of crises and bad publicity. The piece does well at providing a sense of the scale, difficulty and sheer oddness of the task — which, for example, now involves the company having a specific policy on things like what variety of photos of anuses photoshopped onto celebrities should be acceptable.

How E-Commerce Is Transforming Rural China | The New Yorker | Business

While Amazon and many of their US based competitors are seeking growth by diversifying beyond retail (movies, music, television), for their counterparts in China there is a huge amount of growth still to be had simply by spreading outside major urban centres. This piece looks at the impact on local communities, by examining the experience of Xia Canjun, a regional manager for covering the rural community he grew up in, and the CEO’s strategy back at HQ in Beijing.

An Oral History of ‘GoldenEye 007’ on the N64 | Mel | Entertainment

A history of the iconic video game that changed the industry and helped significantly develop the genre of first-person shooters, delivered by the people who made it.

What would it take to build a tower as high as outer space? | Aeon | Science

Such are the advances that have been made in structural engineering, that proposals now exist to create buildings that can reach space. For such “megastructures” to be viable however, we may need to look to the natural world for inspiration — perhaps even our own bodies, where an estimated 98% of atoms are replaced each year.


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