Theses in Tweetform

I love these {nicholas carr’s blog}:

28. People in love leave the sparsest data trails.

11. Personal correspondence grows less interesting as the speed of its delivery quickens.

25. Personalized ads provide a running critique of artificial intelligence.

19. Instagram shows us what a world without art looks like.

39. When we turn on a GPS system, we become cargo.

“Green” Apps: A Contradiction in Terms

Apparently green apps {epa.gov} are a thing. They may help you find recycling locations in Chicago, set up a carpool, locate the closest farmers’ market, or allow you to calculate your carbon footprint.

But one thing these apps don’t factor into their calculations is the emissions created by people simply using said apps.

Psychology Today helpfully draws our attention to this contradiction:

For all the good intentions behind the green app explosion, there’s a big contradiction in their deployment: namely, increases in green app usage—the basis of a green mobile lifestyle—inevitably increase electricity usage. And no app can address the two main forces that sustain this contradiction: the number of consumers linked to broadband mobile and landline networks continues to grow at astounding rates; and with that growth, comes increasing dependency on conventional energy production to power mobile communication.

I don’t know why Psychology Today is picking on green apps. The vast amount of energy used by our devices to access data in the cloud has been well documented {tech pundit}:

Using a [tablet or smartphone] to watch an hour of video weekly consumes annually more electricity in the remote networks than two new refrigerators use in a year.

That’s the lead story, not green apps. We’ve witnessed an app and smartphone explosion {nielsen}—period—over the past several years. To call out green apps in particular is unfair, distracting, and irrelevant.

Troll Target? Just Change Your Profile Pic

Mikki Kendalli {the guardian} is a writer, pop culture analyst and social commentator. And as an African American female doing that writing and social commenting, she is subjected to a ton of vitriol from anonymous Internet commenters and Twitter trolls.

She recently decided to fight back, sort of. She changed her profile picture to that of a white man. The difference was remarkable.

She didn’t change what she wrote about. She didn’t cover up her identity; she even still referred to herself as a woman. But the hateful comments stopped—for the most part.

Check out the episode {tldr} for her story and for more about how she conducted her research. (She also got some white men to change their profile pictures to black women so they could experience life on the Internet in her shoes—and the change had the effect you might expect.)

Google Isn’t Always Evil

This is really cool:

Google is trying out one way of mapping climate change. It has outfitted a few of its Street View cars with special sensors to measure methane… the primary ingredient in natural gas. It’s part of a partnership between Google and the Environment Defense Fund that’s finding leaks in the thousands of miles of gas mains beneath streets in New York and other cities.

Google Experiments With Mapping Climate Change {npr}