Virtue Signaling: Why Political Debates on the Internet Are So Often Pointless

Virtue Signaling: Why Political Debates on the Internet Are So Often Pointless:

False beliefs about economics and political philosophy may be devastating in aggregate, but for the individual the cost of choosing to embrace fallacy is negligible. So, as Caplan argues, it is perfectly rational for many to stubbornly cling to false but “emotionally appealing” beliefs. There are no individual, internalized costs that could possibly outweigh whatever emotional benefit the false belief might have.

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Federal Judge: Computers Connected to Internet Have No Expectation of Privacy

Federal Judge: Computers Connected to Internet Have No Expectation of Privacy:

In a ruling on one of the cases related to FBI hacking of Internet users, a federal judge for the Eastern District of Virginia insisted that there could be no expectation of privacy for any personal computer that has a connection to the Internet, because computer security is “ineffectual.”

The FBI used single warrants as a pretext for mass hacking of broad numbers of American Internet users, a practice which sparked a flurry of lawsuits. The judge not only upheld the FBI’s broad interpretation of the warrants, but even claims they didn’t need warrants at all to hack any PCs on the Internet, because it was “not objectively reasonable” to think you aren’t going to be hacked by the FBI.

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Brexit ‘2nd Referendum Petition’: Media Excited Over 4Chan Prank

Brexit ‘2nd Referendum Petition’: Media Excited Over 4Chan Prank:

The BBC, the UK’s national broadcaster, gleefully reported, as real, with no basic journalistic checks, an online petition that appeared to be growing at a colossal rate.

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6 in 10 of you will share this link without reading it, a new, depressing study says

6 in 10 of you will share this link without reading it, a new, depressing study says:

On June 4, the satirical news site the Science Post published a block of “lorem ipsum” text under a frightening headline: “Study: 70% of Facebook users only read the headline of science stories before commenting.”

Nearly 46,000 people shared the post, some of them quite earnestly — an inadvertent example, perhaps, of life imitating comedy.

Now, as if it needed further proof, the satirical headline’s been validated once again: According to a new study by computer scientists at Columbia University and the French National Institute, 59 percent of links shared on social media have never actually been clicked: In other words, most people appear to retweet news without ever reading it.

Worse, the study finds that these sort of blind peer-to-peer shares are really important in determining what news gets circulated and what just fades off the public radar. So your thoughtless retweets, and those of your friends, are actually shaping our shared political and cultural agendas.

“People are more willing to share an article than read it,” study co-author Arnaud Legout said in a statement. “This is typical of modern information consumption. People form an opinion based on a summary, or a summary of summaries, without making the effort to go deeper.”

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