The Obtain: befriending crows, and Twitter beneath Musk

That is at this time’s version of The Obtain, our weekday e-newsletter that gives a day by day dose of what’s occurring on the earth of know-how.

The right way to befriend a crow

The crows play hide-and-seek with Nicole Steinke after her older youngsters head to highschool. She feeds a household of the birds from her condo balcony in Alexandria, Virginia, twice day by day. As soon as there’s no meals left, they’ll search for her as she walks round her neighborhood. When one crow finds her, it should name to the others, and so they’ll encompass her.

The crows have turn out to be minor TikTok celebrities due to CrowTok, a small however extraordinarily lively area of interest on the social video app that has exploded in reputation over the previous two years. CrowTok isn’t nearly birds, although. It additionally typically explores the relationships that corvids—a household of birds together with crows, magpies, and ravens—develop with human beings.

They’re not the one clever birds round, however normally, corvids are sensible in a method that resonates deeply with people. However how simple is it to befriend them? And what can it educate us about consideration, and endurance, in a world that usually appears to have little of both? Learn the total story.

—Abby Ohlheiser

Elon Musk doesn’t know what it takes to make a digital city sq.

It was in 2009 when the ability of Twitter actually turned evident. As some Iranians tweeted via the nation’s elections throughout a media blackout, the positioning started to emerge as a essential device of worldwide activists. It fashioned the blueprint for a way later actions relied on Twitter to disseminate data and achieve supporters.

Now, if the platform’s new official “Chief Twit” Elon Musk sticks to his said plans to overtake a collection of platform insurance policies, these very customers—arguably the customers who made Twitter what it’s—may face essentially the most threat. He’s signaled that he needs to push the platform to comply with the native legal guidelines of governments (together with authoritarian ones), cut back efforts to battle disinformation, and dilute the platform’s anonymity protections, which shield activists around the globe. Learn the total story.

By Jillian C. York, Director of Worldwide Freedom of Expression on the Digital Frontier Basis.

I made it huge on Twitter. Now I don’t assume I can keep.

For a very long time, it was value it for author Mikki Kendall to remain on Twitter as a result of Twitter had the ability to alter your life. She broke huge on Twitter greater than 10 years in the past with a hashtag, #solidarityisforwhitewomen. It was nice for her profession, giving her entry to a worldwide viewers and unprecedented entry to the editors who made her a printed writer.

However even earlier than Elon Musk purchased the platform, she’s discovered herself tweeting much less and fewer. Whereas she used to socialize frequently on the platform, TikTok, Instagram and personal teams have gotten more and more extra enticing methods to spend time on-line. And whereas harassment and a scarcity of time are partly accountable, for many who used Twitter to construct a profession, to maintain their careers, or just to attach, the actual query is: The place can we go from right here? Learn the total story.

The must-reads

I’ve combed the web to search out you at this time’s most enjoyable/necessary/scary/fascinating tales about know-how.

1 Massive Tech is turning into boring
As shares drop, so does Wall Road’s urge for food for zanier, riskier ventures. (Vox)
+ The tech increase the pandemic triggered is effectively and really over. (Bloomberg $)
+ The tech inventory decline is dangerous information for US pensions. (The Guardian)
+ Advertisers are spending much less cash on social media, too. (FT $)
+ Tech’s richest have misplaced near half a trillion {dollars} this 12 months. (WSJ $)

2 A number of new covid variants vying for dominance
Their capacity to skirt our present immunity is an actual drawback. (The Atlantic $)
+ Variants are likely to unfold throughout Europe earlier than the US. (Slate $)
+ Vaccines that delay the immune response may give higher safety. (New Scientist $)
+ Is a covid and flu “twindemic” on the horizon? (MIT Expertise Assessment)

three Twitter is planning to start out charging for verification
Elon Musk reckons folks will cough up $20 a month for the privilege. (The Verge)
+ Musk is reportedly planning to put off 25% of Twitter’s workers. (WP $)

four Cease the Steal’s organizer is whipping up dissent in Brazil
Ali Alexander is mobilizing Brazilians after Lula beat Bolsonaro to the presidency. (Insider $)
+ Social media chatter in El Salvador is resulting in mass arrests. (Remainder of World)
+ How claims of voter fraud in 2020 had been supercharged by dangerous science. (MIT Expertise Assessment)

6 How cryptography may also help sexual assault survivors to get justice
Programs that share information securely are getting used to construct circumstances towards repeat offenders. (The Guardian)

7 We’re nonetheless at nighttime over how TikTok impacts our psychological well being
However it appears necessary to search out out. (The Guardian)
+ For a lot of teenagers, the app is a gateway to self-diagnosis. (NYT $)
+ Dementia content material will get billions of views on TikTok. Whose story does it inform? (MIT Expertise Assessment)

eight Eric Schmidt is nervous by China’s fast AI advances
He needs the US authorities to spend so much extra money on AI analysis in response. (Protocol)
+ Do AI programs want to come back with security warnings? (MIT Expertise Assessment)

9 This artist has been creating memes because the 1970s
However Jenny Holzer isn’t executed sharing her inventive visions but. (WSJ $)

10 Why a bit little bit of worry is nice for us 👻
+ Denmark’s Leisure Concern Lab is digging into the science of it. (Slate $)
+ Silicon Valley’s elite are wealthy pickings for trick-or-treaters. (Economist $)

“The market has modified. Every part has modified fully.”—Vieje Piauwasdy, a director at fairness planning supplier Secfi, explains the challenges dealing with startups as funding withers within the harsh financial local weather to the New York Instances.

Quote of the day

“The market has modified. Every part has modified fully.”

—Vieje Piauwasdy, a director at fairness planning supplier Secfi, explains the challenges dealing with startups as funding withers within the harsh financial local weather to the New York Instances.

The large story

Alina Chan tweeted life into the concept that the virus got here from a lab.


June 2021

Alina Chan began asking questions in March 2020. She was chatting with associates on Fb concerning the virus then spreading out of China. She thought it was unusual that folks had been saying it had come out of a meals market. If that was so, why hadn’t anybody discovered any contaminated animals? She questioned why nobody was admitting one other chance, which to her appeared very apparent: the outbreak might need been resulting from a lab accident.

Chan is a postdoc in a gene remedy lab on the Broad Institute, a prestigious analysis institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that’s affiliated with each Harvard and MIT. All through 2020, Chan relentlessly stoked scientific argument and doubts, and wasn’t afraid to pit her mind towards one of the best virologists on the earth. Her persistence helped change some researchers’ minds, and her view is now extensively held. However she’s unlikely to have the ability to return to a standard life any time quickly. Learn the total story.

—Antonio Regalado

We will nonetheless have good issues

A spot for consolation, enjoyable and distraction in these bizarre occasions. (Bought any concepts? Drop me a line or tweet ’em at me.)

+ It’s not simply the US. The UK loves Halloween as of late too!
+ It’s a superb factor that Child Duck is lovable in addition to spooky.
+ The Banshees of Inisherin sounds gloriously bonkers.
+ These latest philosophy books dig into every little thing from coping methods to intersectionality.
+ Right here’s how actual witches are celebrating Halloween.

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