From The Boston Globe, does the secret to social networking lie in the remote jungle? After years of observational studies and lab experiments, two researchers are hoping to find answers in Honduras. Virtue signaling and other inane platitudes: Mark Peters on thoughts and prayers for those who engage in the self-glorifying behavior rampant on social media. Ghosts in the machine: Jenna Wortham on how social media has changed the way we mourn, for the better. The Peach app is dead, but it taught us something about social media. From PUP, the first chapter from Political Turbulence: How Social Media Shape Collective Action by Helen Margetts, Peter John, Scott Hale, and Taha Yasseri; and the first chapter from A Social Strategy: How We Profit from Social Media by Mikolaj Jan Piskorski.

Facebook for work is here, which means you’re never going to clock out. Cass Sunstein on how Facebook makes us dumber. Libby Nelson on how 6 degrees of separation is too much — Facebook says we’re all 3.5 degrees apart. Jessi Hempel goes inside Facebook’s ambitious plan to connect the whole world. Harry McCracken goes inside Mark Zuckerberg’s bold plan for the future of Facebook. Will Oremus on who controls your Facebook feed: A small team of engineers in Menlo Park, a panel of anonymous power users around the world and, increasingly, you. Luciano Floridi: “Either we control Facebook or it will control our whole life”.

Twitter, to save itself, must scale back world-swallowing ambitions: “Twitter should think of itself and portray itself to investors as more of a public utility than as a business that never stops growing”. Fred Wilson on the Twitter contradiction. Twitter is not a failure — and the fact that it’s collapsing in Wall Street’s estimation only reveals the utter perversion of the digital economy. The end of Twitter: Twitter is losing executives and it’s being crushed by Facebook, Instagram, and even WeChat — it used to be essential, but now is it about to die? Navneet Alang on how you can’t kill Twitter, even if it dies.

Wikipedia just turned 15 years old — will it survive 15 more? Monica Anderson, Paul Hitlin and Michelle Atkinson on Wikipedia at 15: Millions of readers in scores of languages. Brian Feldman on a definitive list of lists of the best and worst of Wikipedia for its 15th birthday. Celebrate or hate it as you will, writes Scott McLemee, Wikipedia has metamorphosed from its beginnings as a gangly cultural interloper into the de facto reference work of first resort. Manu Saadia on why Wikipedia might be the most important invention ever.

Jessi Hempel goes inside Reddit’s plan to recover from its epic meltdown. Steve Huffman co-founded Reddit, sold Reddit, watched Reddit grow, watched Reddit flounder, watched Reddit mutiny — now he’s back, to try to save Reddit from itself. How Reddit took on its own users and won: Since 2006, the site insisted anything that wasn’t illegal should be tolerated — under Ellen Pao’s brief leadership, all that changed.


Nelson Lund (George Mason): In Defense of Presidential Signing Statements. Human traffickers implant their slaves with RFID chips. Trudeau’s message to world: Let government spending do the work. Who’s driving the GOP’s Supreme Court blockade? Miranda Blue investigates. Trump goaded Bloomberg into planning a presidential campaign — here’s why he probably won’t run. Jason Stanley on the free-speech fallacy: Self-declared proponents of open debate are in effect silencing the voices of oppressed and marginalized groups. Peter Coy on why big business is brushing off campaign trail rage: Corporations have scored big victories in Congress — but populism puts those gains in doubt. US agency Arpa-E reaches “holy grail” of battery storage sought by Elon Musk and Gates. Errors riddled 2015 study showing replication crisis in psychology research, scientists say. Daniel Wenger on Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy” and the intractable cultural script of school shooters.


From Rolling Stone, revenge of the simple: Matt Taibbi on how George W. Bush gave rise to Trump. Michael Tesler and John Sides on how political science helps explain the rise of Trump: The role of white identity and grievances. Peter Levine on why political science dismissed Trump and political theory predicted him. Signs of panic over Trump at top conservative convention. Wall Street readies big Trump assault: Anti-Trump super PAC source says billionaire Paul Singer will make sure it has all the money it needs. Koch brothers will not use funds to try to block Trump nomination. Ronald Brownstein on the Republican Party’s best bet against Trump: GOP leaders had planned to unite behind an alternative to the front-runner, but after Super Tuesday, they now favor a strategy of fragmentation.

Jonathan Chait on Mitt Romney and the probably doomed revolt against Donald Trump. Trump needs to unify the GOP to win in November, but this week suggested he can’t — time for Democrats to get excited. How Trump could blow up the GOP without winning the nomination. Anti-Trump Republicans call for a third-party option. Hamilton Nolan on how Republicans will fall in line. Sara Murray on how Donald Trump plans fundraising blitz if he wins GOP nomination. Okay, so what would a Trump presidency be like? Eric Posner on why it is likely that Trump’s authoritarian tendencies would clash with a legalistic political culture and an individualistic political culture, yielding disruption and gridlock — but that is reason enough to be alarmed.

“My goal is to destroy the Republican Party”: Former Reagan adviser Bruce Bartlett explains his vote for Donald Trump (and more on voting with your middle finger). “Not even my wife knows”: Secret Donald Trump voters speak out. Jenna Johnson and Jose A. DelReal on who supports Trump and why. Scott Bland on 5 myths about Trump supporters. James Croft on why Trump is evangelical Christianity. Charles Lane on how Trump wants to make America more like Denmark. Brent Staples on Donald Trump and Reconstruction-era politics. Eventually a Trump rally is going to boil over — and in the public eye, whoever throws the first punch will be the one who started the violence. They had it coming: The real danger in a demagogic racist’s volatile campaign is that black people might make his white supporters look bad by forcing them to beat them up some more.

Researchers have found strong evidence that racism helps the GOP win. Trump proves racism no longer needs to be subtle. No, the KKK is not and has never been liberal: A historysplainer. From National Review, Jonah Goldberg on how Trump thinks the KKK are conservative. From The Unz Review, up from Buckleyism: Will Trump’s victory spell National Review’s demise?

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