Summary of “Cambridge Analytica: how did it turn clicks into votes?”

How do 87m records scraped from Facebook become an advertising campaign that could help swing an election? What does gathering that much data actually involve? And what does that data tell us about ourselves?
For those 87 million people probably wondering what was actually done with their data, I went back to Christopher Wylie, the ex-Cambridge Analytica employee who blew the whistle on the company’s problematic operations in the Observer.
According to Wylie, all you need to know is a little bit about data science, a little bit about bored rich women, and a little bit about human psychology…. Step one, he says, over the phone as he scrambles to catch a train: “When you’re building an algorithm, you first need to create a training set.” That is: no matter what you want to use fancy data science to discover, you first need to gather the old-fashioned way.
The “Training set” refers to that data in its entirety: the Facebook likes, the personality tests, and everything else you want to learn from.
Facebook data, which lies at the heart of the Cambridge Analytica story, is a fairly plentiful resource in the data science world – and certainly was back in 2014, when Wylie first started working in this area.
In order to be paid for their survey, users were required to log in to the site, and approve access to the survey app developed by Dr Aleksandr Kogan, the Cambridge University academic whose research into personality profiling using Facebook likes provided the perfect access for the Robert Mercer-funded Cambridge Analytica to quickly get in on the field.
Where the psychological profile is the target variable, the Facebook data is the “Feature set”: the information a data scientist has on everyone else, which they need to use in order to accurately predict the features they really want to know.
How Cambridge Analytica turned Facebook likes into votes.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The new food: meet the startups racing to reinvent the meal”

Winning is crucial, he says, with his company Just in the vanguard of a new sector with an ambitious mission: to use cutting-edge technologies to create food that will take down the meat and dairy industries.
The way it is produced for the burger shows how the new food tech companies are harnessing techniques first developed for biomedical uses.
We want to hear from people working in the farming and food production industry around the world as we begin a new investigative series.
Even if the technology does develop to produce delicious, affordable and sustainable food, the potential “Yuk factor” of tech-created food hangs heavy over the embryonic sector.
Food journalist Joanna Blythman recently criticised the Impossible Burger: “It’s the very antithesis of local food with a transparent provenance and backstory. It’s patently the brainchild of a technocratic mindset, one brought to us by food engineers and scientists whose natural environment is the laboratory and the factory – not the kitchen, farm or field.”
Vonnie Estes, is now an independent food industry consultant but worked for Monsanto in the 1990s, when the company was excited about its what its new technology could do.
GM food has been eaten by hundreds of millions of people since, but Estes says: “There is still a huge group of people who do not want GMOs in their food. Thirty years ago we thought people will get over this quickly – they didn’t.”
Just, whose methodology was independently certified, says its current mayo and cookie products cut carbon emissions by at least 25% and water use by 75%. Impossible Foods says its burger, which replaces the meat with the heaviest carbon hoofprint, cuts greenhouse gases by 87%. Could this food could end up being dominated by a few tech giants? All these new foods are produced using techniques that are then patented by the companies to protect their investments, leading some critics to suggest a creeping privatisation of livestock could occur.

The orginal article.

Summary of “This 75-Year Harvard study shows how to have lifetime joy”

“The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.” – Robert Waldinger, director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development.
Although the Harvard study lays the foundation, there is other compelling research on the importance of human relationships.
Put simply, if you have healthy relationships, your chances of survival increase by 50%. Nearly everything in life is impacted by WHO is around you, and how those people support you.
Healthy relationships could help you avoid addiction.
“You can give without loving, but you can’t love without giving.” – John Wooden.
The most loving and deep relationships are built on a very simple foundation: giving and gratitude.
Only in such relationships can you be fully present to the moment and fully un-inhibited in the expression of your love.
You’ve got to stick to these incredible practices of giving and gratitude or the relationships will stop being transformational.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Famous Soccer Player Hiding in Plain Sight in a California Bakery”

“Like LeBron James – he speaks about the president, the government,” Sukur said.
Sukur said recently he had a conversation with a friend, a Turkish television personality, and they agreed on how bad things were in Turkey.
“There are thousands and thousands of people living in this situation,” Sukur said.
“Last Friday my father says to my son, ‘I miss you,'” Sukur said in English, before turning to Turkish to finish the story.
Sukur sees himself as an immigrant, trying to build his own American dream for his family.
“At the moment there are a couple of investors,” Sukur said.
Like most of Sukur’s customers, not all the neighbors know who he is – or was.
“One of my neighbors came here to my bakery, and people were taking pictures with me,” Sukur said.

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘It’s not a done deal’: inside the battle to stop Brexit”

On 1 February, the Labour MP Chuka Umunna formally announced the existence of the grassroots coordinating group, a regular Wednesday morning gathering of organisations, activists and sympathetic MPs. Two weeks ago, GCG members launched the People’s Vote, calling for a referendum on the final Brexit deal.
Launching in August 2016 with six staff, the campaign group aimed to “Seek common ground between voters on both sides” by advocating a Brexit so soft, one journalist dubbed it “The Mr Whippy of Brexits”.
“I said, ‘Look, I want to stop Brexit as much as anyone else, but the question is how?’ My very strong view was that seeking to divide the movement between whether you were pure no-Brexit or soft Brexit was totally unhelpful.”
One argument is that there was no form of Brexit on the ballot paper and that campaign promises have been broken.
“We think Brexit is being driven by elites,” says Tom Brufatto, chair of Britain for Europe.
Thousands of people have gathered outside the Art Gallery for the Great Northern March, one of several simultaneous Stop Brexit protests designed to show that opposition is growing around the country.
At Best for Britain’s barnstorms, activists are sternly told that things that galvanise remainers, such as flags and Bollocks to Brexit stickers, are counterproductive when it comes to swaying the unconverted.
The voices are diverse, but they all hit the same notes: new facts have emerged; the negotiations aren’t delivering what was promised; a people’s vote is a democratic necessity; Brexit is not inevitable.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to Run a Meeting Without Talking Too Much”

Have you ever left a meeting feeling that you dominated the whole thing – and not in a good way? You talked a lot, and in the end, you felt that nobody else had enough time to speak.
What can you do to help ensure that you are not the only one talking in meetings? The obvious answer is to talk less, but that’s often easier said than done.
Preparation is just as important for a meeting as it is for a public speech.
If the agenda for the meeting is posted in advance, make a few notes about what you will say about the points that you know are going to be raised.
Of course, you should make sure that other people in the meeting also contribute.
Let them know that you are hoping they will speak up at the meeting.
In a round-robin, attention is given to people by the structure of the meeting – not from being called on – so the pressure is off.
If you better prepare and take steps to ensure others contribute, you can make the meeting one people want to attend, instead of dread..

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to be alone: ‘I feel most alive when I’m with my own thoughts'”

“It should be a reward,” says Sara Maitland, author of How To Be Alone.
Loneliness is simply being alone and not liking it, says Maitland.
Being alone in your flat with nothing to do is more isolating than being in the Antarctic with nobody around for miles.
The key to being alone is having things to do: a sense of a quest and a purpose.
Being alone in your flat with nothing to do is probably more isolating than being in the Antarctic with nobody around for miles.
I recharge when I’m alone, and I feel most alive when I’m with my own thoughts – and nature.
I look forward to my phone calls and being home, but I’ve just got totally used to being alone.
Coming home after being away made us appreciate being together even more.

The orginal article.

Summary of “If You Think You Hate Puns, You’re Wrong”

Either way, having to deal at all with the demand that wordplay be acknowledged is probably the reason so many people think they hate puns.
Some puns are just interruptive white noise while others have the power to make people stand up and scream.
The good news is that puns are also embedded in everything people do like, and in the right hands they are tiny word-shaped miracles.
Think Kanye West on the song “Otis” Think of all the greatest gutter-filthy insults on Veep, like when someone refers to the gangly Jonah as “Jizzy Gillespie.” Think Seth Meyers monologues, Daily Show chyrons like “Mess O’Potamia,” or when Donnell Rawlins said on Guy Code, “The only loofa a man should have in his house is Loofa Vandross.” Puns are, to use a dicey second vegetable metaphor, the onions of comedy.
Most people who think they hate puns actually just hate lazy, shopworn, shitty puns-and the tah-dah flourish with which they’re executed.
They hate puns that sound lifted from popsicle stick jokes, or ones that are drawn from something someone said five minutes ago, the context melting away like popsicle juice running down your fist.
One thing bad puns have on other jokes is that after passing a certain threshold of Bad, their very badness suddenly becomes the joke itself.
There’s a kind of math undergirding most jokes, but puns are especially equational.

The orginal article.

Summary of “You Can’t Opt Out Of Sharing Your Data, Even If You Didn’t Opt In”

We’re used to thinking about privacy breaches as what happens when we give data about ourselves to a third party, and that data is then stolen from or abused by that third party.
“One of the fascinating things we’ve now walked ourselves into is that companies are valued by the market on the basis of how much user data they have,” said Daniel Kahn Gillmor, senior staff technologist with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project.
The privacy of the commons is how the 270,000 Facebook users who actually downloaded the “Thisisyourdigitallife” app turned into as many as 87 million users whose data ended up in the hands of a political marketing firm.
Even if you do your searches from a specialized browser, tape over all your webcams and monitor your privacy settings without fail, your personal data has probably still been collected, stored and used in ways you didn’t intend – and don’t even know about.
The information collected every time they scan that loyalty card adds up to something like a medical history, which could later be sold to data brokers or combined with data bought from brokers to paint a fuller picture of a person who never consented to any of this.
The privacy of the commons means that, in some cases, your data is collected in ways you cannot reasonably prevent, no matter how carefully you or anyone you know behaves.
Our digital commons is set up to encourage companies and governments to violate your privacy.
Almost all of our privacy law and policy is framed around the idea of privacy as a personal choice, Cohen said.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Bad habits you must break to improve your life in 100 days”

Nothing sabotages your creativity and productive life quite like bad habits.
It’s about time you paid attention to the habits that could be hindering your progress in life and career.
It’s easy to say, “I will start when I have more experience, money, time and resources”.
You can actually achieve more in less time when you single task and focus on getting one thing done well.
So you may be wasting a lot more time than you think.
Give yourself time in your life to wonder what’s possible and to make even the slightest moves in that direction.
Give yourself time in your life to wonder what is possible and to make even the slightest moves in that direction.
Make time to check in with yourself about your hopes, dreams, and goals.

The orginal article.