Thursday, March 02, 2023

Today's Scene: An Inquiry If Necessary, but Not Necessarily An Inquiry

A batch of very good substacks this week. 
When it comes to the news of the day, the conclusion of the Canadian columnists I read is this: 
1. If China interfered in Canadian elections and the Liberals let them, then there needs to be an investigation and Trudeau would likely need to resign. 
2.  But the CSIS leaks so far seem to show just normal political activity by Chinese-Canadian Liberal supporters, whose political involvement should be applauded, not targeted.
3. So we should have an inquiry if necessary, but not necessarily an inquiry 
The commentary this week is too extensive to quote, but see Evan Scrimshaw here Foreign Interference and CSIS Leaks, and Dale Smith here Roundup: A smear to precede the report, and The Line here Emergency Dispatch: The China File, and Paul Wells here Things to do in Ottawa when you're not calling an inquiry into Chinese election interference 
For myself, I would add this point
4 Conservatives will lose the plot if they keep on trying to turn the China questions into just another partisan anti-Trudeau issue.
And there may be truth here: Moving on: at Garbage Day, Ryan Broderick explains why Twitter is disintegrating - I Gave Into The New Twitter Algorithm And I Went Way Too Viral. 
I'm not a tech person so I don't really understand all of this but Broderick figured out how to game the "For You" algorithm to make two of his tweets go viral and he explains it all here: 
... My Occam's razor assumption is that the For You algorithm was cobbled together from existing parts. I fundamentally do not believe Elon Musk is capable of building anything himself ... The fact that Musk is both a huge embarrassing nerd and also launching Twitter Coins, which are literally a thing Reddit already has, made me start thinking about Twitter as a sort of meaner Reddit. 
 ... finally, I recently noticed Musk doing a very specific trick that is mainly done by teenage tweetdeckers [- he is] replying to his own tweets.
...So my hypothesis went like this: Twitter is using invisible subreddits via Topics to algorithmically organize tweets. Because the For You page isn’t chronological anymore, viral tweets can’t be as timely as they used to be. They have to be kind of evergreen. It helps if they’re commenting on something that’s already going viral. And it really helps if you post a thread, reply to yourself, or create some kind of discussion in the replies. There also seems to be a bigger emphasis on video now. 
 Anyways, I can safely say I understand how Twitter works now. It’s basically just Reddit moving at the speed of Tumblr. Which is pretty sad tbh. 
Here's his tweet thread about this issue:
Moving on, a new substack I will be reading regularly now is this one, Shit You Should Care About, Daily. Here's what they had to say about The "Permacrisis" -- the continous dread we are all finding ourselves worrying about lately as we doomscroll the Internet: 
'Permacrisis'...was Collins Dictionary's word of the year in 2022 and means 'an extended period of instability and insecurity, especially caused by a series of catastrophic events.' 
Right? As we run head-first into a period of climate adaptation (a simple example being building to adapt to climate events happening like using hurricane-proof glass), tech AI metaverse who the hell knows what, the recesh and other imperfect things that are impossible to predict, I feel a little like... ergh, argh, it's SO MUCH ALL THE TIME. 
So, how do we cope? I liked that there was a least a word to justify the sensation. 
 I wish I had the answer, I wish I had the cure. I don't, but I do have a feeling which is what I thought I'd offer you this week. 
And the feeling is that amongst all of these wild and dangerous things, sometimes the biggest thing you can do to feel in control of your life is to seek out joy. 
Sounds good to me! 
And one source of joy lately, for me and for SYSCAbout, is the National Park Service twitter account:


rumleyfips said...

I don't trust Fife or CSIS, does anybody ?

Cathie from Canada said...

Yes, I wonder about this too. Fife and the Globe & Mail are knee-jerk anti-Trudeau. So their shock SHOCK at the Outrage Of The Day is always lacking in credibility

lungta said...

With JTF2 and the CIA "influencing" as well as every ad and product placement in your news feed and every dime donated being used to "rig" or "steal" an election this all is about as shocking as discovering your high schoolers masturbate.

Cap said...

The story of Chinese election interference against the Cons makes no sense. Both the 2019 and 2021 federal elections were conducted while China and Canada were in a major dispute over Canada's arrest of Meng Wanzhou and China's retaliatory arrest of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. How would tilting the table to favour the Libs serve China's interest? Especially when it was the Cons under Stephen Harper who secretly gave away the store by signing the Canada-China FIPA trade deal. Also, why is this story coming out now, a year and a half after the election, and while Poilievre is desperately trying to conceal his party's ties to European neo-Nazis? I welcome a full inquiry.