Reading List: Awful Super Fans, CompSci Reckonings, Cow Game Data

My pretties, it’s nearly the freaking weekend again. Whether you’re digging yourself out of the snow in DC, making sure the possums under your home didn’t drown in the Bay Area storms, looking down on the US with general disbelief and fear from Calgary, etc. etc., I’m so happy to have you this morning.

Also, if you’re a new reader, say hi! I’d love to learn more about you, and how you came to join this motley crew of Mischevians (still workshopping that name.)

This piece on how super-fans can come to embody the shitty personal attributes of their favorite television anti-heroes while conveniently discarding the “argument against taking such dour satisfaction from one’s moral indifference” does an excellent job of illustrating why I’ve always been afraid of some intense nerd subcultures. ‘Rick and Morty’ and The Rise of The ‘I’m a Piece of Shit’ Defense.

As we all look back at our Farmville-beleaguered days in the early 2010s wondering just how much of our penchant for late-90s teen soap operas we gave up to third parties, an app developer from that era wrote for the Atlantic: My Cow Game Extracted Your Facebook Data.

Speaking of this whole mess, if you read one piece from Mark Zuckerberg’s media rounds yesterday, it should be the transcript of Kara Swisher’s interview. Especially because she seems to be one of the few holding feet to fires.

And to every CEO and software engineer who scoffed at my history degree and “soft skills,” it seems the online ethical reckoning may be upon us: This Is The A-Bomb Moment For Computer Science. Because sometimes the question shouldn’t be can we do something, but should we.

Meanwhile, Pro Publica has exposed the systematic firing of older workers at IBM. Age bias is real, y’all.

Not a long read, but giving me conniptions anyways: Bill Cosby lawyers ask judge to step aside over his wife's work with assault victims.

And because I want to leave you with something joyful and life affirming, you need to re-read Caity Weaver’s 2017 profile of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in all of his enthusiastic glory.

You are all amazing. Be kind to each other, and have a great weekend.