6/25/2017

We Are The Eggmen


Washington Post


Reports have zinged around the Internet this week about a sudden and mysterious surge in President Trump’s Twitter following, along with dark musings that something nefarious may be afoot...


...There is a strangely large percentage of Trump’s followers — and especially his newest followers — that have only the most rudimentary account information, with no profile picture, few followers and little sign that they have ever tweeted. These are so-called “egg followers” because instead of a profile photo they traditionally carried the image of a blank egg on Twitter account pages.

And that, say some researchers, is odd.
“This is very, very obvious when you just go and click on the newer followers,” said Jonathan Albright, research director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University. “The quality of the new followers is pretty bad.”

SocialRank, a New York-based analytics company that works with Southwest Airlines, L’Oreal and the NFL, reported this week that as Trump’s number of followers surged from 24.1 million in February to 31 million in May, his number of “egg followers” grew sharply as well, from 5 million to 9.1 million. Of that group, more than half have never tweeted and only 4 percent have 25 or more followers; 927,000 of Trump’s egg followers opened new accounts in May, according to SocialRank’s analysis posted Tuesday.

That doesn’t necessarily make the accounts “fake,” as some reports have claimed. Most academic researchers say that determining what percentage of followers are actual individual humans can be extremely difficult — and almost impossible with an account with as many followers as Trump’s. Twitter itself has acknowledged that as much as 8.5 percent of all of its accounts are likely automated, though independent researchers say the number may be twice as high...

...Last year, during the election campaign, several academic researchers tracked the use of Twitter bots supporting either Trump and his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. They reported that the bots supporting Trump massively outperformed the bots supporting Clinton, by a margin of 5-to-1  in the final days before the vote.

Among accounts that researchers had identified as “highly automated” — meaning likely bots — 81.9 percent carried at least some messaging supporting Trump, according to a November paper written by Woolly and two colleagues, Bence Kollyani of Corvinus University and Philip N. Howard of Oxford.

6/23/2017

David Bowie's Failed Attempt to Adapt George Orwell's '1984'

Rolling Stone

George Orwell's dystopian novel 1984 worked its way into countless high school lit syllabi since it was released in 1949, outlining a brave new world ruled by strict government surveillance and, even more disturbing, mind control of its denizens. It's a story that never quite went away...


...Bowie wanted a televised musical  – or so he told William S. Burroughs in a 1974 Rolling Stone interview. His album Diamond Dogs, which dropped that same year, featured the straight-forward "1984," with lines like, "They'll split your pretty cranium, and fill it full of air/ And tell that you're 80, but brother, you won't care," highlighting the novel's revisionism themes and totalitarian government. Other tracks like "Big Brother" and "We Are The Dead" double down on the artist's fascination not just with Orwell's futuristic society, but Surrealism and Dada (which makes his timely interview with the post-modern author all the more fascinating).



6/07/2017













6/05/2017

Bob Dylan 2016 Nobel Lecture





Witchfinder General

Via Talking Points Memo

A Republican congressman described a war between “all of Christendom” and “Islamic horror” in a Facebook post Sunday morning following a terrorist attack in London.
Next to a photo of the alleged perpetrators of the terrorist attack, Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA) wrote:
The free world… all of Christendom… is at war with Islamic horror. Not one penny of American treasure should be granted to any nation who harbors these heathen animals. Not a single radicalized Islamic suspect should be granted any measure of quarter. Their intended entry to the American homeland should be summarily denied. Every conceivable measure should be engaged to hunt them down. Hunt them, identity them, and kill them. Kill them all. For the sake of all that is good and righteous. Kill them all.
-Captain Clay Higgins





5/31/2017

Ziggy was in a rock & roll band and the kids no longer want rock & roll




Burroughs: Could you explain this Ziggy Stardust image of yours? From what I can see it has to do with the world being on the eve of destruction within five years.
Bowie: The time is five years to go before the end of the earth. It has been announced that the world will end because of lack of natural resources. Ziggy is in a position where all the kids have access to things that they thought they wanted. The older people have lost all touch with reality and the kids are left on their own to plunder anything. Ziggy was in a rock & roll band and the kids no longer want rock & roll. There's no electricity to play it. Ziggy's adviser tells him to collect news and sing it, 'cause there is no news. So Ziggy does this and there is terrible news. "All the Young Dudes" is a song about this news. It is no hymn to the youth as people thought. It is completely the opposite.

February 28th, 1974 issue of Rolling Stone




But this version of events somewhat contradicts other stories Bowie had told about “All the Young Dudes”; specifically, instances in which he talked about the song’s connection to the epic he was envisioning for his next record, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars. “All the Young Dudes” was apparently written about Ziggy and the events that take place in the concept album.
“Ziggy was in a rock ‘n’ roll band, and the kids no longer want rock ‘n’ roll,” Bowie explained to Rolling Stone in 1974. “There’s no electricity to play it. Ziggy’s adviser tells him to collect news and sing it, ’cause there is no news. So Ziggy does this, and there is terrible news. ‘All the Young Dudes’ is a song about this news. It is no hymn to the youth as people thought. It is completely the opposite.”


Read More: 45 Years Ago: The Tangled Web of David Bowie, Mott the Hoople and ‘All the Young Dudes’ | http://ultimateclassicrock.com/mott-the-hoople-all-the-young-dudes-story/?trackback=tsmclip
But this version of events somewhat contradicts other stories Bowie had told about “All the Young Dudes”; specifically, instances in which he talked about the song’s connection to the epic he was envisioning for his next record, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars. “All the Young Dudes” was apparently written about Ziggy and the events that take place in the concept album.
“Ziggy was in a rock ‘n’ roll band, and the kids no longer want rock ‘n’ roll,” Bowie explained to Rolling Stone in 1974. “There’s no electricity to play it. Ziggy’s adviser tells him to collect news and sing it, ’cause there is no news. So Ziggy does this, and there is terrible news. ‘All the Young Dudes’ is a song about this news. It is no hymn to the youth as people thought. It is completely the opposite.”


Read More: 45 Years Ago: The Tangled Web of David Bowie, Mott the Hoople and ‘All the Young Dudes’ | http://ultimateclassicrock.com/mott-the-hoople-all-the-young-dudes-story/?trackback=tsmclip
But this version of events somewhat contradicts other stories Bowie had told about “All the Young Dudes”; specifically, instances in which he talked about the song’s connection to the epic he was envisioning for his next record, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars. “All the Young Dudes” was apparently written about Ziggy and the events that take place in the concept album.
“Ziggy was in a rock ‘n’ roll band, and the kids no longer want rock ‘n’ roll,” Bowie explained to Rolling Stone in 1974. “There’s no electricity to play it. Ziggy’s adviser tells him to collect news and sing it, ’cause there is no news. So Ziggy does this, and there is terrible news. ‘All the Young Dudes’ is a song about this news. It is no hymn to the youth as people thought. It is completely the opposite.”


Read More: 45 Years Ago: The Tangled Web of David Bowie, Mott the Hoople and ‘All the Young Dudes’ | http://ultimateclassicrock.com/mott-the-hoople-all-the-young-dudes-story/?trackback=tsmclip
But this version of events somewhat contradicts other stories Bowie had told about “All the Young Dudes”; specifically, instances in which he talked about the song’s connection to the epic he was envisioning for his next record, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars. “All the Young Dudes” was apparently written about Ziggy and the events that take place in the concept album.
“Ziggy was in a rock ‘n’ roll band, and the kids no longer want rock ‘n’ roll,” Bowie explained to Rolling Stone in 1974. “There’s no electricity to play it. Ziggy’s adviser tells him to collect news and sing it, ’cause there is no news. So Ziggy does this, and there is terrible news. ‘All the Young Dudes’ is a song about this news. It is no hymn to the youth as people thought. It is completely the opposite.”


Read More: 45 Years Ago: The Tangled Web of David Bowie, Mott the Hoople and ‘All the Young Dudes’ | http://ultimateclassicrock.com/mott-the-hoople-all-the-young-dudes-story/?trackback=tsmclip
But this version of events somewhat contradicts other stories Bowie had told about “All the Young Dudes”; specifically, instances in which he talked about the song’s connection to the epic he was envisioning for his next record, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars. “All the Young Dudes” was apparently written about Ziggy and the events that take place in the concept album.
“Ziggy was in a rock ‘n’ roll band, and the kids no longer want rock ‘n’ roll,” Bowie explained to Rolling Stone in 1974. “There’s no electricity to play it. Ziggy’s adviser tells him to collect news and sing it, ’cause there is no news. So Ziggy does this, and there is terrible news. ‘All the Young Dudes’ is a song about this news. It is no hymn to the youth as people thought. It is completely the opposite.”


Read More: 45 Years Ago: The Tangled Web of David Bowie, Mott the Hoople and ‘All the Young Dudes’ | http://ultimateclassicrock.com/mott-the-hoople-all-the-young-dudes-story/?trackback=tsmclip

5/29/2017

Cardenna, Cardenno...


Cardenio

In the spring of 1613, the office of the Treasurer of the King's Chamber recorded two separate payments to the King's Men – William Shakespeare's company – for performances of a play called Cardenna or Cardenno. The two records presumably refer to the same play, since it is unlikely that the King's Men had two different plays whose titles differed by only a single letter. Court records almost always abbreviated play titles, and the clerks who wrote these draft accounts were primarily concerned with exactly how much money was paid to whom. Almost all scholars agree that both payments refer to Cardenio.



5/28/2017

Sometimes F is just a letter





Midway through the film, after we've listened to stories that may or may not be true about Mr. de Hory's success in supplying the art world with fake Matisses, Picassos and Modigilianis, Mr. Welles reminds us that there are no signatures on the cathedral at Chartres. Chartres needs no “experts” to authenticate its grandeur, he says. “Experts” are the villains of “F for Fake'—people who must tell us whether we should swoon when looking at a particular painting or turn up our noses in disgust.









Video game titles created by a neural network trained on 146,000

games:

  • Conquestress (1981, Data East) (Arcade)
  • Deep Golf (1985, Siny Computer Entertainment) (MS-DOS)
  • Brain Robot Slam (1984, Gremlin Graphics) (Apple IIe)
  • King of Death 2: The Search of the Dog Space (2010, Capcom;Br�derbund Studios) (Windows)
  • Babble Imperium (1984, Paradox Interactive) (ZX Spectrum)
  • High Episode 2: Ghost Band (1984, Melbourne Team) (Apple IIe)
  • Spork Demo (?, ?) (VIC-20)
  • Alien Pro Baseball (1989, Square Enix) (Arcade)
  • Black Mario (1983, Softsice) (Linux/Unix)
  • Jort: The Shorching (1991, Destomat) (NES)
  • Battle for the Art of the Coast (1997, Jaleco) (GBC)
  • Soccer Dragon (1987, Ange Software) (Amstrad CPC)
  • Mutant Tycoon (2000, Konami) (GBC)
  • Bishoujo no Manager (2003, author) (Linux/Unix)
  • Macross Army (Defenders Ball House 2: League Alien) (1991, Bandai) (NES)
  • The Lost of the Sand Trades 2000 (1990, Sega) (SNES)
  • Pal Defense (1987, author) (Mac)

5/19/2017