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Surveys show a disturbing degree of support for Hamas–and even justification of the October 7 atrocities–among younger Americans…and also, following the posting of Osama bin Laden’s ‘Letter to America’ recently on TikTok, a significant number of people–again, especially younger ones reading it for the first time–reacted favorably to his message. Anti-Israel views among the young […]
According to education site The 74, at least eleven school districts around the country have sued the owners of such platforms as Snap, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok seeking financial compensation for the “increased mental health services and training they’ve ‘been forced’ to establish” as a consequence of student use of social media.
Among school systems filing suits are those of Seattle, Mesa (AZ), Bucks County (PA), and San Mateo County (CA), as well as districts in New Jersey, Alabama, Kentucky, and elsewhere. Cash demands aside, the schools say they want to negotiate a settlement with the platforms to change how they operate.
Join Jim and Greg as they react to the Department of Energy warming to the idea that the COVID pandemic originated with a lab leak in China. They also welcome the bipartisan concern over the devastating impact that social media is having on teenagers, including significant increases in suicidal thoughts – particularly among girls. Finally, they cringe as new Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass wants to lower standards for police recruits in order to increase the diversity of the LAPD.
When Alan Turing proposed his eponymous test (he called it “the imitation game,” the title of a movie about Mr. Turing that, as I remember, doesn’t deal with the Turing Test at all), he imagined a human interlocutor on one end of a conversation and a machine on the other. The purpose was to determine if the machine had achieved human-like intelligence. The machine passed the test if a third party listening to the conversation could not reliably identify which participant was human and which was not.
Whether or not the Turing Test was ever an effective means of identifying machine intelligence depends almost entirely on what one means by “machine intelligence.” That’s an interesting topic, but not the topic of this post. I’m concerned about the evolution of the I Am Not a Robot test, given that robots can now pass the Turing Test as originally conceived.
A CDC study released Monday revealed the majority of teenage girls reported feeling persistently sad or hopeless in 2021. Back in 2011, 36% of girls reported this negative mental state; as of 2021, it was 57%.
Instagram was released in late 2010. Snapchat in 2011. Tik Tok in 2016. Then, beginning in 2020, teenagers were locked out of schools and extracurricular activities to embrace a life mediated entirely by screens.
“Kids are resilient!” teachers’ unions screamed, as they dragged child-sized coffins to protests, prolonged school lockdowns, and demanded more money. Anyone criticizing their madness was equated with the Grim Reaper.
In the 2022 film, Vengeance, a resident of a nowhere town in Texas is asked to describe where he lives by a New Yorker. Ty the Texan responds, “This is the most wretched, godforsaken stretch of land on the face of the earth. And I’d never leave.”
Ben the New Yorker (played by writer/director B.J. Novak) answers, “Yeah. That’s how I feel about Twitter.”
Oh, the good old days when I compartmentalized everything, shielding myself from emotional pain, disassociating from the political beat-downs I was hired as a proxy to suffer, and feeling free to fill my time with all kind of distractions for professional advancement. Those days are long gone … and good riddance.
Now, I’m old and retired. I began suffering chest pains a few weeks back. And, as many of you already know, I am Mom to a troubled kid. She’s 21. She lives with us. She works in a grocery store that attracts cranky customers; the kind that like to find a small person behind the counter, one who looks weak and meek, one who probably won’t fight back if they chose them as that day’s punching bag. That’s what it seems like. These angry and disillusioned customers come through the automated doors targeting small-in-stature clerks that they can verbally beat down at will with impunity because they’re pissed off about their life and the world, and they can’t help but spew their frustration and ugliness at the first vulnerable grocery clerk they find.
My daughter is that small person, who is not only tiny, but also, because of her serious mental health challenges, struggles to groom herself. You know, she forgets things … like taking a shower, brushing her teeth, washing her face, wearing clean black jeans to work, and making small attempts to comb her hair.
TechFreedom’s Internet policy counsel and director of appellate litigation Corbin K. Barthold joins Theodore Kupfer to discuss digital authoritarianism in China, the possibility of decentralized social control in the West, and the new era of Twitter.
Those people who consider themselves as the prince-electors are aiming to destroy the Elon Musk-owned Twitter unless they are able to bring Musk to heel. Many advertisers have been pressured into stopping or suspending their advertising on the platform, and Apple is apparently thinking of banning Twitter from the App Store.
As Musk said yesterday: “This is a battle for the future of civilization. If free speech is lost even in America, tyranny is all that lies ahead.”
During the Middle Ages, in the time of the Holy Roman Empire, there was a small group of men known as the Prince-Electors. They, and only they, got to choose the next Emperor. We have something kind of similar in America today. There is a cluster of influential and would-be-influential people who fervently believe that–while they might not get to actually select the next President–they should have the authority to decide who may and who may not be considered for the Presidential role. These Prince-Electors include national journalists, Ivy League professors and administrators, and high-level government officials. Their primary means of action is via the control of communications channels.
A few days ago, Jon Gabriel linked a YouTube video of a 2019 speech by Giorgia Meloni, the newly-elected Prime Minister of Italy. For at least 12 hours, that video showed a message: “This video has been removed for violating YouTube’s Terms of Service.” It now has been restored. But the fact that a video platform would take it upon themselves to censor a speech by the elected leader of a major and generally-US-friendly country betrays an astonishing level of arrogance. Although not surprising, given the recent history, including Twitter banning of Donald Trump and the Facebook suppression of stories about the Hunter Biden laptop–and much more.
With the midterm elections coming and possible 2024 candidates dipping their toes in the political pool, Americans want a guarantee — be nice and civil, and that means no mean tweets. Mark Alexander posts the “Funnies” on the Ricochet Member Feed, for which I am grateful for the many laughs. This is a good one that deserves further comments or additions.
Making America energy independent, bringing back manufacturing and jobs; securing the borders from drugs and criminals; and asking that illegals coming into our country follow the law and enter through legal channels like other countries; teach English, math, science, and history to our children instead of gender fluidity; support our brave law enforcement, military and other first responders; and clean up our unlivable cities and towns by creating opportunity instead of ignoring the homeless and sick — these are secondary in importance.
The most important is that we must have no more mean tweets!
We have a 24/7 classical music station, via public broadcasting, and on late Sunday afternoons, a wonderful program comes on. It highlights young classical musicians from all walks of life. They sheepishly talk about their influences, inspiration for the piece they are presenting (sometimes written by themselves), while sharing their culture and challenges. The host […]
I’m seeking the expertise of fellow Ricochet members to help me understand better whether states even need to “invest” in the difficult process of implementing red flag laws as a means to help curb mass shootings. Here’s my question, followed by some additional context: Would it not be possible, consistent with the Fourth Amendment, for […]
Congratulations to the nation’s richest and perhaps its most interesting man, Elon Musk, for his $44 billion purchase of the social media site, Twitter. Launched around 2008 (when I joined) along with Facebook and other “big tech” initiatives, it has transmogrified from a “town hall” to that church scene in the first Kingsman movie, where […]
Jeff Bezos recently touched off a mini firestorm when he suggested that free-speech enthusiast Elon Musk may be vulnerable to pressure from Beijing to put his own finger on the sacred algorithmic scales to protect Chinese Communist Party interests. Bezos later walked it back a bit, but he should have stood his ground. This is […]
This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-host Cara Candal and guest co-host Prof. Robert Maranto talk with Dr. Mark Bauerlein, Senior Editor at First Things, Professor of English Emeritus at Emory University, and the author of The Dumbest Generation Grows Up. Dr. Bauerlein shares his views about the kinds of content American K-12 students should be reading for preparation for college and meaningful lives. He describes the main findings of his books, including how overuse of technology, excessive screen time, and social media have prevented our youth from pursuing more elevated intellectual endeavors and delayed their maturation into adulthood. He draws linkages between the narcissism of these habits and an illiberal and closeminded outlook on society among too many Millennials and follow-on generations. Dr. Bauerlein offers thoughts on how teachers, parents, and leaders can use higher academic-quality education as a counterbalance to this trend.
Stories of the Week: In Pennsylvania and other states, school districts have filed lawsuits forcing legislatures to allocate equitable funding for K-12 public education. A new book by Larry Cuban, former Virginia teacher and school superintendent, offers some sobering realities about our K-12 education system, as well as reasons for optimism.