The Fyre Festival: The Fiasco We All Should Have Seen Coming

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Sure, everyone loves a good millennial shaming, and yes, it’s pretty satisfying when corporate fraudsters get epically outed. But try to suspend your schadenfreude for just the moment. Because maybe you wouldn’t have spent thousands of dollars to swim with pigs or head bang to Blink182 on the beach, but the Fyre Festival ordeal reveals just how vulnerable all of us are to manipulation online, where a hashtag and a finely cropped image can cause us to lose all sense of caveat emptor.

Social media’s promise has always been its ability to connect anyone with a voice to a willing and eager audience. That’s been a potent driver of social change in recent years, leading to the rise of groups like Black Lives Matter. But it’s also led to the rise of dangerous alt-right conspiracy theories like Pizzagate, fake news websites like the Denver Guardian, and performance artists like Alex Jones posing as journalists. At a time when one website peddling pure fiction can look just as legitimate as another real one—and build just as large a social media following—it can take a lot longer for the audience to discover the emperor has no clothes (or luxury villas).

Don’t Let Facebook Make You Miserable

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IT is now official. Scholars have analyzed the data and confirmed what we already knew in our hearts. Social media is making us miserable.

We are all dimly aware that everybody else can’t possibly be as successful, rich, attractive, relaxed, intellectual and joyous as they appear to be on Facebook. Yet we can’t help comparing our inner lives with the curated lives of our friends.

Living Better In The Age Of Notifications

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So, I am not going to make a list 10 things you CAN do. It almost never works for me. Instead, I will walk you through the process that I recommend that you follow step-by-step. I leave it upto you to customise it according to your needs. It involves the following steps.

  1. Becoming aware of your phone usage habits

2. Turning off triggers

3. Setting up response time for each channel

4. Exercising your brain muscles for longer attention spans

5. Replacing old habit loops with healthier and better ones

Meet your new lab assistant

A chemist in a lab asks Alexa, "Alexa, ask Helix for the boiling point of benzene," and Alexa responds, "80.1 degrees Celsius." Another person asks, "Alexa, when will I finish my Ph.D.?"

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Imagine working on a multistep reaction that requires you to add reagents in a specific sequence and with precise timing. Standing at the hood, reagents measured and ready to go, you begin the carefully orchestrated procedure, when suddenly your mind draws a blank. Which reagent do you add next?

You could take off your gloves and look up the protocol in your lab notebook, but with each precious second that passes, the reaction is more likely to fail. Then you remember your lab assistant—a black cylinder sitting on a shelf across the lab. “Alexa, ask Helix for the protocol for the coupling reaction,” you say. A ring on top of the cylinder glows blue as Alexa rattles off the correct order of addition. Crisis averted.

 

Children Taken From Maryland Couple After YouTube ‘Prank’ Videos

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A Maryland couple who played elaborate “pranks” on their children, then racked up millions of views on YouTube before critics accused them of abuse, could end up losing two of their children after their biological mother obtained a court order for temporary custody.

…The parents first defended the videos, posted on the DaddyOFive account with more than 760,000 subscribers, as a harmless family activity that the children enjoyed, but they have gone on an apology tour after widespread criticism emerged in April. In the videos, the couple verbally berated their five school-age children, frequently to the point of tears, while performing stunts like appearing to destroy an Xbox video game system and accusing the children of making messes they had not made.