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First POST: Patient Zero

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, October 21 2014

Patient Zero

  • Pew Research Center for the People & the Press' new study on the different media sources most trusted (or distrusted) by conservatives and liberals in America is getting a lot of attention today, even though it basically reports what we already know: conservatives trust Fox News and distrust most other news sources; liberals trust a range of outlets including the New York Times, NPR, the BBC and PBS.

  • What surprised me about the Pew study is that its scoring of Americans across the liberal-conservative spectrum, based on their responses to a set of ten core questions, appears to show that the portion of Americans who are "mostly" or "consistently" conservative is just 27%, while the portion who are "mostly" or "consistently" liberal is 34%. (The remaining 39% are scored as having mixed ideological views.) Isn't the conventional wisdom that conservatives outweigh liberals in America?

  • Monica Lewinsky re-emerged with a public speech for the first time in 13 years at the #Under30Summit, saying that after college student Tyler Clementi's suicide for being outed online, she realized that her calling in life is to fight cyber-bullying, reports Clare O'Connor of Forbes.

  • As Lewinsky notes in her speech, it was "thanks to the Internet" and a then-little-known website called the Drudge Report that her affair with President Clinton became public, "as far as major news stories were concerned, this was the very first time that the traditional media was usurped by the Internet." She calls herself "Patient Zero…the first person to have their reputation completely destroyed worldwide by the internet."

  • Interviewed by Kevin Roose in New York magazine, tech VC Marc Andreessen says he is a "McGovern libertarian" who also admires the American Enterprise Institute and centrist Democrats of the 1990s and says he doesn't want either a "massive dismantling of the social safety net" nor a "massive buildup of the social safety net." I think we can ignore the McGovern reference.

  • The "crypto wars" are back in Congress, reports Julian Hattem for The Hill.

  • Here's a proposed digital code of conduct for crowdsourcing projects in the social good space, drafted by Kate Chapman, Brooke Simons and Patrick Meier.

  • Some of the tech funders of Lawrence Lessig's MayDay PAC are getting pushback calls from a top staffer to Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), from one of the powerful incumbents the group is targeting, Ryan Grim reports for the Huffington Post.

  • Chicago is testing a prototype "Array of Things" initiative, putting up sensor nodes on light poles around the Loop and figuring out how to collect real-time data on pedestrian behavior to better manage traffic flows, reports Liz Stinson for Wired.

  • Civic design maven Dana Chisnell is going to work as a consultant for the US Digital Service.

  • Marco Arment explains why developers don't trust Twitter.