Numlock News: June 15, 2018
An annual study from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism found that in the U.S. only 39 percent of respondents used Facebook as a source for news, down 9 percentage points from 2017. For young people, that drop was 20 percentage points. For 10 percent of U.S. news consumers, the top gateway to news was email. If you were to ask me, they are the smartest and best and most attractive and coolest and best-informed 10 percent of readers out there. But I may be biased here.
Laura Hazard Owen, NiemanLab
Teen Drug Use
According to the CDC the percentage of U.S. high school students who reported using cocaine, inhalants, heroin, meth, hallucinogens or ecstasy fell from 22.6 percent in 2007 to 14 percent today. In the same period the percentage who reported having sex declined from 47.8 percent in 2007 to 39.5 percent in 2017. Listen, I'm not going to say it's all because of Fortnite, but do you have any idea how hard it is to be good at Fortnite on hallucinogens?
Jacqueline Howard, CNN
Canadian Dollars To Pay For Stolen Dreams
In what will definitely be a movie one day, a musician has won $350,000 (Canadian) in a lawsuit against his ex-girlfriend. In 2013, Eric Abramovitz was accepted to a prestigious program worth $50,000 per year at Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles. His girlfriend of five months allegedly deleted the email, posed as Abramovitz to decline the offer, and sent a fake email posing as someone declining his application. Two years later Abramovitz learned about the deception, and Wednesday the Ontario Superior Court awarded him $300,000 (CAD) in damages and another $50,000 on top of that for legal fees and aggravated damages. Personally I insist that in the movie the Canadians be played by American actors, because once, just once, I want to invert the usual trend.
Rene Bruemmer, Montreal Gazette
Some of the most fraught international relationships come from the management of fisheries, and climate change is poised to add even more heat. Rising temperatures in the oceans mean fish gradually adapt and migrate with the temperatures that match with their habitat. Over time, fish that were a central part of one coastal economy may shift into a different country's fishery. New research indicates that fish may migrate over 40 miles per decade as the oceans warm. Current projections indicate this could seriously screw with established fisheries, as up to 70 countries are projected to have one or more new fishery stocks in their exclusive zones by 2100.
Alexander C. Kaufman, HuffPost
On average, there's a new infectious disease emerging every year for the past 30 years. Lots of time the infectious innovators made the leap from animals to humans. Researchers estimate there could be631,000 to 827,000 unknown viruses in birds and mammals that could, under the right conditions, make the leap out of the minor leagues and infect humans. We're monitoring poultry farms and bushmeat markets to prevent that, but all I'm saying is you should definitely wash your hands.
Ed Yong, The Atlantic
(It Being Alkaline Hydrolysis for Human Remains)
Every year, people die. This has been pretty consistent through human history despite many attempts to work on that. When people in the U.S. die, typically they decide to be cremated or buried. The environmental impacts of these interments stack up; 4 million gallons of toxic fluids used in the embalming process are buried annually, and cremation has the same carbon dioxide impact as a 1,000-mile car trip. Another procedure advocated by some — alkaline hydrolysis, or "water cremation" — breaks down the body using water and lye, but is only allowed for human remains in 15 states.
Emily Atkin, The New Republic
Research and Not Researched
Facebook's ongoing partnerships with academic researchers was thrown into harsh light following the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal. But the company has partnered with all sorts of outside researchers for years, with the first peer-reviewed paper collaborations coming out in 2009. Still, what they don't study can be a little more interesting than what they do: while there have been over 180 public papers about A.I., there's only been 1 paper about Facebook's impact on elections, related to a voter mobilization drive in the 2010 elections.
Karen Weise and Sarah Frier, Bloomberg