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    [–] Know of any data viz & design firms working with nonprofits/conservation? reid8470 1 points ago in conservation

    Looks interesting, thanks -- they seem a bit more marketing campaign-focused but still adding them to my list.

    [–] What is the smartest thing you've ever done? reid8470 1 points ago in AskReddit

    Thought this was a thread on "smartest things". Uninstalling League for personal health only to replace it with DotA 2 is like switching from meth to heroin.

    [–] Bill Gates: I need to be paying higher taxes reid8470 24 points ago * (lasted edited 18 hours ago) in politics

    The sheer number of enormous companies to come out of states with higher personal income taxes suggests you're incorrect. Amazon benefited from Washington's online sales tax laws, the growing high-tech industry due to other companies like Microsoft being in the area, and proximity to business partners within the PNW such as the Ingram Book's enormous distribution center in central Oregon. As for Microsoft, Bill Gates and Paul Allen were born and raised in Seattle--it's a bit natural that they'd move their company "back home" shortly after founding it in New Mexico.

    [–] Bill Gates: I need to be paying higher taxes reid8470 5 points ago in politics

    That's not really corruption, just flat out dirty business. Corruption is more akin to a company like Comcast employing an army of lobbyists across the entire country to perpetuate its regional monopolies at local, state, and federal legislative/regulatory levels by essentially buying out government functions, or like Trump maintaining stakes in numerous businesses that are influenced by his presidency.

    [–] Google Chrome to eradicate ads it deems annoying or otherwise detrimental to users such as ones that auto-play video with sound reid8470 1 points ago in technology

    Google benefits in the long run by minimizing annoyance of ads. They want effective, unintrusive advertising that doesn't push a growth of adblocker usage. Obviously anything Google does will be to benefit their business goals, but "annoying advertising" is an instance where if it's annoying for users, it's annoying for Google.

    [–] Sanders: Russian election interference has been clear to everyone except Trump reid8470 1 points ago in politics

    My statement was based on numerous studies reported on by NYT, The Atlantic, Vanity Fair, BBC, Wired, Newsweek, WaPo, CBC, CNN, CNBC, NPR, and others. Every single one of them have published articles claiming that while the majority of social media bots were pro-Trump (in numerous ways--literally pro-Trump or anti-Clinton, anti-Sanders, anti-Cruz, etc.), a sizable portion of them were pro-Clinton (again, in numerous ways).

    Beyond that, it's rude and condescending to call me an "unwitting low-information social media user [susceptible to Russian propaganda]. It's also against /r/politics rules, as I understand them.

    An automated army of pro-Donald J. Trump chatbots overwhelmed similar programs supporting Hillary Clinton five to one in the days leading up to the presidential election, according to a report published Thursday by researchers at Oxford University.

    Between the first two presidential debates, a third of pro-Trump tweets and nearly a fifth of pro-Clinton tweets came from automated accounts.

    In this year’s presidential election, the size, strategy, and potential effects of social automation are unprecedented—never have we seen such an all-out bot war. In the final debate, Trump and Clinton readily condemned Russia for attempting to influence the election via cyber attacks, but neither candidate has mentioned the millions of bots that work to manipulate public opinion on their behalf. Our team has found bots in support of both Trump and Clinton that harness and augment echo chambers online. (specifically for followers, nothing about active bots)

    By Status People’s estimate, only two million of the supposed 10.3 million followers that Trump bragged about last week are actually listening to him. Another estimate from The Atlantic, which employed a service called BotOrNot, suggested that Trump has a lot more real followers, and that bots only account for between 3.4 and 22.4 percent of his active followers. And yet another service, Twitter Audit, suggests that 41 percent of Trump’s Twitter followers are fake. As of Wednesday, Twitter Audit estimates that 6,223,450 of his followers are real, and 4,306,922 are fake. (Again, Clinton is not far behind.)

    Web robots dedicated to posting pro-Hillary Clinton tweets appear to have become more vocal in the second US presidential debate, says a study. But it adds that pro-Donald Trump bots saw an even bigger gain in activity, giving the Republican a potential advantage on the social network.

    Following the third debate, automated pro-Trump accounts on Twitter pumped out seven times more messages than pro-Clinton accounts. Most of these accounts, it turned out, were powered by chatbots: the newest tool in computational propaganda.

    While Hillary Clinton’s campaign also engaged in such tactics, with big-data and pro-Clinton bots multiplying in number as her campaign progressed, Trump’s team proved the most effective.

    A study from the University of Southern California cited by Manjoo estimated that a fifth of the accounts that tweeted the most about the campaign last year were automated accounts. How can you tell if an account is automated? A few ways. How does it tweet? Does it only retweet? Tweet an abnormal amount? Did the user set up a profile picture? Are its tweets geolocated?

    That statistic, though, is also interesting in its mirror reflection: The vast majority of those who tweeted the most about the 2016 campaign during the election were just humans who tweeted a lot about the campaign. Another study found that pro-Trump bots were much more prominent online than pro-Clinton ones as the campaign wrapped up. What was the net effect? It’s extremely hard to say.

    The goal of a political bot in particular is to promote a specific ideology or public policy idea. For instance, there are armies of pro-Trump bots, and pro-Clinton bots, and they've been very active throughout the 2016 presidential election campaign.

    Phil Howard, who studies bots — and particularly political bots — with the Oxford Internet Institute estimates that a third of the millions of tweets in favour of Donald Trump, and a quarter of pro-Clinton tweets, are generated by automated accounts. (One of the studies frequently referenced)

    Not only did the pace of highly automated pro-Trump activity increase over time, but the gap between highly automated pro-Trump and pro-Clinton activity widened from 4:1 during the first debate to 5:1 by election day.

    Automated accounts tweeting with pro-Clinton hashtags increased their activities from over the course of the campaign period but still never reached the level of automation behind pro-Trump traffic. In this sample the dominance of highly automated pro-Trump tweets increased over automated pro-Clinton tweets to a level of 5:1.

    But the team of academics, led by Oxford University professor Philip Howard, also found that 33% of pro-Trump traffic was driven by bots and highly automated accounts, compared to 22% for Clinton.

    During the debates themselves, around 40 percent of tweets included pro-Trump hashtags, as opposed to 12 or 13 percent using pro-Clinton hashtags. However, the researchers found that many of these tweets were generated by bots: Automated Twitter accounts programmed to send out tweets. The most active bot accounts can make more than 500 or even 1,000 tweets a day.

    There may be even more problems for Twitter than what real live people are doing on the app. A recent study conducted by a research team at Oxford University found that during the period of time between the first presidential debate and the second, one-third of pro-Trump tweets and nearly one-fifth of pro-Clinton tweets came from automated accounts. Douglas Guilbeault, one of the researchers in the study, told NPR that hurts political discourse. "They reinforce the sense of polarization in the atmosphere," he said. "Because bots don't tend to be mild-mannered, judicial critics. They are programmed to align themselves with an agenda that is unambiguously representative of a particular party. ... It's all 'Crooked Hillary' and 'Trump is a puppet.' "

    [–] Sanders: Russian election interference has been clear to everyone except Trump reid8470 6 points ago in politics

    You're being condescending and rude, and that makes it very difficult to have an actual discussion with you. Beyond that, calling me a "troll" just because I disagree with you is not only not cool, but hypocritical when you were just recently complaining about people calling anyone who supported Hillary a shill.

    As for objectivity/bias, my point was that while I try to be objective/unbiased, per me being a human I'm bound to be at least a little bit biased. That's a broadly-understood fact of psychology. News organizations are expected to put in all sorts of effort to report objectively and mitigate the influence of reporter/journalist bias on stories. Expecting every individual person to do the same every single time they communicate is simply unrealistic.

    Now, mind answering my question about "Progressive Messaging" and its contract with the Sanders campaign that you mentioned?

    [–] Sanders: Russian election interference has been clear to everyone except Trump reid8470 0 points ago in politics

    I don't make any claims of being unbiased. I try to be objective--I think it's a desirable way to communicate with people--but at the end of the day I'm an individual person bound to be biased. Just like your own exaggerated claims in your initial post were blatantly biased.

    Now mind telling me about this contract with "Progressive Messaging", how it somehow conflates with the fact I stated in my post of how Clinton did employ chatbots that lowered the degree of trust in political discourse on social media, and how I think it's a practice that shouldn't be considered acceptable across the entire political spectrum?

    [–] Sanders: Russian election interference has been clear to everyone except Trump reid8470 -1 points ago * (lasted edited 3 days ago) in politics

    I can criticize someone who I voted for. I'm allowed to do that, right? Just noting that. I voted for Sanders in my state's primary and Clinton in the general election. I also criticized Sanders on certain topics during the primaries--does that mean I didn't vote for him, either?

    As for Progressive Messaging, are you referring to Progressive Message or Revolution Messaging? I've never heard of Progressive Messaging, so any information would be nice.

    [–] Sanders: Russian election interference has been clear to everyone except Trump reid8470 -2 points ago * (lasted edited 3 days ago) in politics

    While I was glad to see the mods here start suspending accounts that accused others of being "shills", pro-Clinton sources like David Brock's super PAC did genuinely push a lot of social media content via literal "shills". While it was only a fraction of pro-Trump activity (Oxford Internet Institute's research found pro-Trump chatbots outweighed pro-Clinton chatbots on social media by roughly 5 to 1 (direct source:, the activity on the Clinton campaign's behalf (primarily via supportive super PACs) is a prime example of why this sort of behavior shouldn't be acceptable across the board---because it's not transparent and easily accountable.

    I voted for Clinton and wish the threat of Russian involvement was being addressed so our elections moving forward were much more secure, but manipulating social media with bots is a tactic that needs to be considered utterly unacceptable across the entire political spectrum.

    I engaged with a lot of people on Twitter during the primaries who spouted otherwise nonsensical pro-Clinton talking points, and noticed months later that dozens, if not hundreds of those accounts were deleted in Twitter's bot-cleansing waves. Good lessen to only use Twitter to look at what verifiable people are saying. It's much, much worse when it's a foreign country doing it, but it still shouldn't ever be a legal campaign strategy.

    [–] Sanders: Russian election interference has been clear to everyone except Trump reid8470 0 points ago in politics

    Snake oil act? Definitely not. It amazes me to this day that so many people still haven't caught on. But without classified information it was borderline impossible for anyone to conclude that Trump was a Russian puppet when Clinton made that assertion. There were reasons to be suspicious of that being the case, but to outright draw that conclusion took a bit more than public knowledge until months into 2017.

    [–] Since Standing Rock, 56 Bills Have Been Introduced in 30 States to Restrict Protests reid8470 6 points ago in politics

    You can view the states, which legislation passed or is pending, and what it does there.

    Every bill passed and enacted thus far has been in a GOP-controlled state.

    25 of 28 "pending" bills were introduced by Republicans, 1 of 28 was jointly introduced by a Republican and a Democrat (albeit a Blue Dog Democrat in rural Washington State), and 2 of 28 were introduced by Democrats in Massachusetts and Virginia.

    The bill introduced in Virginia by a Democrat is targeted at white supremacists (which would classify them as domestic terrorists), but the bill's author, Marcia Price, is clearly being very shortsighted with her legislation and is facing opposition from groups like the ACLU.

    [–] Megathread: Office of Special Counsel Indicts 13 Russian Nationals and 3 Russian Entities for Interference in 2016 Election reid8470 8 points ago in politics

    I voted for Clinton in Nov '16 as she was clearly the best option in the general election. I disagree with your characterization of that election cycle and Sanders in particular. Was Sanders' campaign perfect? Certainly not; It was unorthodox in its management and fundraising strategies. Was it self-centered and "all about himself" in contrast with Clinton's campaign being a workhorse for downballot candidates? Definitely not. Here's why:

    But less than 1 percent of the $61 million raised by that effort has stayed in the state parties’ coffers, according to a POLITICO analysis of the latest Federal Election Commission filings.

    The victory fund has transferred $3.8 million to the state parties, but almost all of that cash ($3.3 million, or 88 percent) was quickly transferred to the DNC, usually within a day or two, by the Clinton staffer who controls the committee, POLITICO’s analysis of the FEC records found.

    And most of the $23.3 million spent directly by the victory fund has gone toward expenses that appear to have directly benefited Clinton’s campaign, including $2.8 million for “salary and overhead” and $8.6 million for web advertising that mostly looks indistinguishable from Clinton campaign ads and that has helped Clinton build a network of small donors who will be critical in a general election expected to cost each side well in excess of $1 billion.

    But it is perhaps more notable that the arrangement has prompted concerns among some participating state party officials and their allies. They grumble privately that Clinton is merely using them to subsidize her own operation, while her allies overstate her support for their parties and knock Sanders for not doing enough to help the party.

    “It’s a one-sided benefit,” said an official with one participating state party. The official, like those with several other state parties, declined to talk about the arrangement on the record for fear of drawing the ire of the DNC and the Clinton campaign.

    Leaked emails show the Democratic National Committee scrambled this spring to conceal the details of a joint fundraising arrangement with Hillary Clinton that funneled money through state Democratic parties.

    The emails show the officials agreeing to withhold information from reporters about the Hillary Victory Fund’s allocation formula, working to align their stories about when — or if — the DNC had begun funding coordinated campaign committees with the states. They also show one official blaming Sanders for putting the DNC between “a real rock vs hard place” by forcing “a fight in the media with the party bosses over big money fundraising.”

    "What's successful here is that there is a large group of people who've been activated and there's a good chance to keep them active, and that's terribly important to rebuild our democracy," said Eric Kingson, a congressional candidate in upstate New York who has also received an endorsement and fundraising email from Sanders. Kingson said that the day of Sanders' email, he received over 5,000 individual donations, whereas the most he had previously received in one day was fewer than 30.

    Along with Pearson and Kingson, Sanders has raised funds for a number of congressional and state-level candidates to a degree unprecedented in presidential campaigns. Indeed, as Sanders slows down his campaign, he has continued to raise funds for other candidates as recently as Saturday.

    Additionally, campaign resources were used to spinoff a 501(c)4, (, to benefit "downballot" progressive candidates across the country in the long-run (including 2018 elections) and a 501(c)3, (, to forward progressive policy ideas, legislation, and broader goals.

    [–] Megathread: Office of Special Counsel Indicts 13 Russian Nationals and 3 Russian Entities for Interference in 2016 Election reid8470 4 points ago in politics

    Meanwhile Hillary spent decades building the party up and supporting and fundraising for it's candidates.

    Meanwhile Sanders also spent decades supporting candidates through campaigning and fundraising, as well as caucusing and drafting legislation with Democrats and, most importantly, acting as a reliable vote on loads of important legislation.

    He didn't just waltz into the primaries as an otherwise-detached politician. You're severely downplaying the factual involvement he's had with Democrats for the bulk of his nearly 30 years in Congress.

    As for this part in particular:

    Meanwhile Hillary spent decades building the party up

    I voted for Hillary 'cause she was clearly the better candidate in Nov '16, but her fundraising scheme with state Democratic parties was counterproductive to broader party goals and efforts. Not something I'd describe as "building the party up".

    [–] Megathread: Office of Special Counsel Indicts 13 Russian Nationals and 3 Russian Entities for Interference in 2016 Election reid8470 1 points ago * (lasted edited 3 days ago) in politics

    That would be completely acceptable if the Democratic Party was straightforward and public in saying that in every election they will express preference for the most senior Democratic Party members among the candidates. They don't; they express fairness and impartiality because they understand that voters value and desire that.

    It's not about whether or not it was surprising, it's about whether or not it was ethically acceptable. I voted for Clinton in Nov '16 and I don't find the actions and conduct of the DNC during that election cycle to be acceptable. Democrats can (and need to) do better. As a party they're still leaps and bounds ahead of Republicans, but certain changes are required--and several have already happened in party reforms post-election.

    Beyond that, Sanders had fundraised for, campaigned for, caucused with, worked on legislation with, and voted with Democrats for the bulk of his nearly three-decades-long career in Congress. It's not like he was some complete outsider detached from the party, the guy is basically a Democrat in every aspect except for official registration (which seems out of protest of the direction the party has headed and sort of stagnated in).

    [–] Megathread: Office of Special Counsel Indicts 13 Russian Nationals and 3 Russian Entities for Interference in 2016 Election reid8470 11 points ago in politics

    It's not about liberal vs. conservative, it's about degradation of competence. Trump was interest #1 in weakening the US via getting him elected, and working to split the left-wing vote resulted in improved chances for...

    1. Trump to win the election.

    2. Growing the divide between left-wing voters to weaken the party (and, in turn, weaken the US) in the instance that Hillary won.

    3. Widening that divide regardless of who won the election.

    If, for example, Jim Webb was instead the top contender against Clinton's prospects of winning the election (with Clinton still most likely to win), Russian involvement would likely seek to prop up Jim Webb at Clinton's expense despite Webb being to the right of Clinton on most issues.

    Russians saw Clinton as the most likely Democratic candidate in a close general election, and Trump as a candidate that could most degrade the US if nominated and elected. It wouldn't surprise me if "support" of Bernie Sanders was a double-edged sword, with part of that being to instigate Clinton supporters to speak and act in ways that sort of reinforce biases that Sanders supporters might have about Clinton and her supporters, and part of that being to promote Sanders at Clinton's expense.

    [–] Man Shaves 1.7 Seconds Off 2-Hour Flight By Standing Up As Soon As Plane Lands reid8470 22 points ago in funny

    Also worth noting that not everyone's legs are the same length. There are 6'1" guys with legs as long as 6'5" guys, and 5'9" guys with legs as long as 6'1" guys.

    Someone who's 6'1" is ~95% as tall as someone who is 6'5". That 5% difference can just as easily be in the torso as it can in the legs.

    [–] 1000 foot ship passes through river too quickly; leaves large displacement that damages creeks and feeder streams. reid8470 19 points ago in videos

    There isn't much lake effect snow along Lake St. Clair--Western Michigan, along Lake Superior, western edge of Lake Huron, and southern/western edges of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario are where lake effect snow is frequent.

    [–] There is an optimal point to how much money it takes to make an individual happy, and that amount varies worldwide. Globally, the ideal income point is $95,000 for life evaluation and $60,000 to $75,000 for emotional well-being, according to research published in Nature Human Behaviour. reid8470 1 points ago in science

    You listed another luxury... Go anywhere in impoverished countries and you'll see smartphones everywhere. Telling you right now the vast majority of them aren't iPhones; there are loads of extremely cheap alternatives, and people sure as hell aren't paying $60-100/month for services.

    Along that same line, necessities and basic aspects of the economy are just flat out cheaper. Property is cheaper. Construction labor is cheaper. Home services are cheaper. Food is cheaper. Electronics are often cheaper (as companies create less expensive alternatives to pretty much any Western/Asian product you could imagine, and a lot of Asian/Western countries have branches South America and Africa that produce cheaper products aimed at those countries).

    I've spent a decent amount of time over there myself, and my friend has spent months in Bolivia and is currently in Colombia (where he's been for 2 months now). He can budget ~$1,000/month and live very comfortably while travelling all over, going on tours, etc. The "tourist" budget. Cut out the need to pay for hostels/hotels, not eating at restaurants remotely as often, lower travel expenses, and less leisure expenses, and people in places like Bolivia and Colombia are simply living far, far cheaper than people in London.

    [–] TIL that every year, 25 million pounds of Mardi Gras beads are distributed in New Orleans, and the plastic beads contain toxic levels of lead, bromine, arsenic, phthalate plasticizers, halogens, cadmium, chromium, mercury and chlorine. reid8470 2 points ago in todayilearned

    It isn't an exact solution yet but PLA straws are probably the closest replacement at the moment in terms of cost and acceptable durability. I'm sure different companies manufacture PLA straws at varying qualities at the moment, but there are some fairly durable ones out there.

    The thought is more along the lines of if there was legislation requiring all businesses to phase out non-biodegradable plastic straws by a date five years in the future, there'd be substantial investment in pushing biodegradable alternatives to a more polished, cheaper, and durable state.

    [–] TIL that every year, 25 million pounds of Mardi Gras beads are distributed in New Orleans, and the plastic beads contain toxic levels of lead, bromine, arsenic, phthalate plasticizers, halogens, cadmium, chromium, mercury and chlorine. reid8470 2 points ago in todayilearned

    I mean.. if you want to, but that's a prime example of why certain things are far better left to the legislative side of things. If there was a ban on non-biodegradable plastic straws, fast food companies would replace them with alternative straw materials, whereas expecting people to carry around a metal straw for fast food would be slightly ridiculous. You might be able to do it yourself but it's something that would be unlikely to catch on to any meaningful degree.