Gongol.com Archives: December 2017

Brian Gongol

December 22, 2017

Broadcasting After 50 years, Charles Osgood is signing off from CBS Radio

Rare is the career where a person can do the same job for half a century. Rarer still is the one where a person can be exceptional at it the whole time.

Socialism Doesn't Work Were 10,000 people killed at Tiananmen Square in 1989?

Some evidence has surfaced to suggest that's the number Chinese officials thought were dispatched. If accurate, this is one of the most damning things reported about a government since WWII. And if anyone thinks that the present government would be above a similar atrocity today, they have greater confidence than they should.

Computers and the Internet Twitter asks users to suggest improvements

Chief among them ought to be some kind of authenticity index. It's well and good that public figures can have verified accounts confirming that they are who they say they are, but the service ought to make it instantaneously visible whether an account is probably an authentic one or whether it's more likely to be a troll or a bot. Measures of authenticity that could easily be formulated into an algorithm for this purpose: (1) The ratio of the account's original tweets to its replies (bots and trolls disproportionately reply to others, mainly for the purpose of harassing them). (2) The originality of the account's tweets (if twenty accounts post identical text at the same time, they're not likely to be authentic accounts). (3) Likes and replies from valid accounts (much like the Google Page Rank method of rewarding sites that have high-quality inbound links).

Humor and Good News Why is English such a fertile language for pun-making?

A question that shapes the comedic talents of fathers everywhere in the Anglosphere. Without puns, dad jokes would be impossible.

Computers and the Internet Eric Schmidt is leaving "executive chair" role at Alphabet/Google

The company appears to anticipate that a non-executive chair will be appointed by the board in January. It wouldn't hurt if more American companies selected non-executive chairs -- the whole idea that one person ought to be president, CEO, and chair of the board is pretty contrary to the idea of at least some oversight by the owners.

@briangongolbot on Twitter