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Penitents, Pedophiles, Poets, Movie Stars, Silversmiths, and Drug Lords

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Taxco, on the road to Iguala where students vanished, has long been known for scenic streets and beautiful silver-tongued. But some of its history is dark indeed.”>

TAXCO, Mexico It was Holy Week in Mexico, and the village of Taxco in the state of Guerrero was atoning for its sins with the grisly processions that have been a fixture here since at least 1598( with the occasional decades-long hiatus, is dependent on who was operating happenings ).

Hundreds of series men and women in pitch-black punks and horsehair-belted costumes stepped to a single violin scratching an ancient music, their ankles sounding the coordination of the left-right-left. Some of the sons of Taxco serve as hooded encruzados, bramble packets weighing 100 pounds roped to bare shoulders, strolling their own private Calvary. Others elect to be flagelantes, sinking to their knees on the cobbled streets every few minutes for some self-inflicted blood-sport with a nail-encrusted whip.

It is said the absolute worst component is running barefoot on stones hot as coals during the daythe body counting the more obvious flesh curves with endorphins.

If your leader did it, you wanted to do it, too, says 87 -year-old journalist-historian Juan Crisstomo Estrada. He remembers the occasional pastor whod object to the practice, and the years the processions happened in secret inside blush-pink Santa Prisca church on the cities square.

The rest of the year, Taxco is perhaps the prettiest colonial city in all of Mexico, like some love child of Santorini and Crdoba, grasping to a steep hillside, all whitewashed walls, red-tiled roof, and potted geraniums. Corts had heard from Montezuma there was metal here, but it took a Frenchman, Jos de la Borda( n Laborde) to pinpoint a rich vein of silver a century eventually. He became the Trump of his time, the richest gentleman in Mexico( and perhaps “the worlds”) but nearly went bankrupt gilding the baroque guts of Santa Prisca, his twin-towered ticket to heaven.

Taxco is plenty worth consider; the too-bad bit is that Guerrero state is nationally No. 1 in murders since 2012, even if the majority of members of what is euphemistically referred to as the bad news happens off in the countryside amongst squabbling opium-poppy farmers and down in Acapulco, which the United States lastly questioned a travel advisory against in April. In and around Holy Week, Acapulco reportedly hosted 43 homicidesall supposedly intra-cartelbut assassins on aircraft skis taking out beach dealers does not a great postcard make.

Omar Jalil Flores, Taxcos new-ish publicity-loving mayor( as often as not photographed with his beautiful, busty partner ), says he requires beings to watch Taxco as a culture gateway to Guerrero. Which perhaps explains why Taxco is also pushing for the kind of Guinness World Records that nobody realise prevail: Creating the worlds largest bloom out of 10,000 poinsettias( first found out about Taxco ); completing a government-funded biggest cast-silver Virgin of Guadalupe in the world off to Mexico City to be sanctified by the pope, thereby burnishing its rsum for pious money-spending pilgrims.

The town just recollects its now extinct American creator settlement. Novels in English are the potsherds of this lost tribe, left behind at such bougainvillea-boughed villas as Casa de Las Palmas, a highly regarded bed-and-breakfast where American artist Clinton King property after his wife, the former Lady Duff Twysden, the muse for Hemingways Lady Brett Ashley, succumbed of tuberculosis.

Youre not going to see Angelina Jolie in Taxco, says the towns acknowledged official historian Javier Ruz Ocampo. The service is better in Cuba. Hotels like the Borda, brand-new when John F. Kennedy and Jackie honeymooned in Room 12( and too where Marilyn Monroe shacked up with Sixties playboy-director Jos Bolaos ), are appearing their age.

In the fading lamplight of the Depressionthen later, with Nazis overrunning Paris Taxco was a giddy Western Hemisphere Montparnasse, where people came in the 30 s and 40 s to behave badly and not get their work done.

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Donated organs of 13 -year-old girl help record eight people to live

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Parents of Jemima Layzell, who died unexpectedly of a brain aneurysm, crave other families to consider organ donation

A 13 -year-old girl who died unexpectedly of a brain aneurysm has had her organs transplanted to eight people – the largest number in its own history of the organ donation service.

Jemima Layzell was ” lovely- inventive, entertaining, compassionate and creative”, said her mother, Sophy Layzell, 43, a drama educator from Horton in Somerset. Just a couple of weeks before her sudden breakdown in March 2012, their own families had a exchange about organ gift because a family friend had died in a gondola gate-crash.

” They were on the registry but their organs couldn’t be donated because of the circumstances of their extinction ,” said Sophy.” Jemima had never heard of organ donation before and discovered it a little bit unsettling, but wholly understood the importance of it .”

Her parents ascertained the decision hard-boiled, but are glad they established it. Jemima’s heart, small-scale bowel, and pancreas were transplanted into three parties. Two beings received her kidneys. Her liver was separated and transplanted into another two beings, while her lungs were transplanted into one patient.

The eight recipients included five children, who came from all over England.

Jemima collapsed during the preparations for her mother’s 38 th birthday party and was killed in infirmary four weeks later. A intelligence aneurysm, rare in a child, is a swelling in an artery wall and there are no evidences unless it severs. When it explodes, it induces a bleeding in the brain which can kill or justification persistent shatter.

Her parents set up the Jemima Layzell Trustin her reminiscence to improve survivors.” If Jemima had endured, the ruptured aneurysm would have severely affected her communication and the right side of her body ,” they say on the cartel website.

Her parents went through invests and wealths, looking for evidences as to why she had died so young. They didn’t find them, but they did detect about 20 diaries and notebooks “shes been” preventing since she was four years old. These they have was transformed into a book, called The Draft, sales of which will invoke funds for the charity.

They tell the story of her brief life.

Saturday 9 July 2011

Dear Diary

It is day like this when I sit and amazement’ where’s my Romeo? What happened to my Prince Charming ?’ But then I stop and think, do I really deserve him?
… I want to leap out of plot, draw back the curtains and gaze out into the darknes.
To lean out the window, sing for my true love, the love I do not yet
possess and possibly never will. If merely I weren’t so afraid .

Monday 8 August 2011

Some people say that God can’t exist because if he did he would help all the poor people in the world.
I object to that. I find their hopelessnes but WE have to help them. They
are there because we did this to them. They are there because we have a
wrong to right. They are there to stop us from turning into complete
monsters before it’s too late . One extract even foretells the future 😛 TAGEND

Sunday 7 August 2011

Anyway I need to write what I believe and seem. Not all that you see
here actually’ happened’ but it’s still very real to me. I don’t care if
I give my resource run away with me!
Plenty of brilliant creators and columnists were mad! In happening it prepared their work most interesting! Even if they did cut their ears off, is suicide, flowed round doing crazy substance etc etc.
Beings still cherished them and their work merely the same. And I want to be loved more. I almost find as though I will never live long enough to become an columnist, to be married and found a family .

Her mother, her father-god, Harvey, 49, the manager of a building corporation, and her sister, Amelia, aged 17, pass the Jemima LayzellTrust, which also promotes organ donation. They are proud that Jemima’s organs facilitated eight other lives continue.

” Shortly after Jemima croaked, we watched a programme about children awaiting soul transplantings and being fitted with Berlin Hearts in Great Ormond Street infirmary ,” said her mother.” It confirmed for us that saying’ no’ would then be disavowing eight other beings the chance for life, especially over Jemima’s heart, which Harvey had felt unpleasant about donating at the time.

” We feel it’s very important for families to talk about organ donation. Every parent’s impulse is to say no, as “weve been” programmed to protect most children. It’s only with prior knowledge of Jemima’s agreement that we were able to say yes .”

NHS Blood and Transplant is hoping Jemima’s story will encourage more families to have its most important conversation, because a shortage of donated organs is expenditure hundreds of lives every year, it says.

Last year, 457 people died waiting for a transplant, including 14 children. There are 6,414 beings on the transplant waiting list including 176 children.

Anthony Clarkson, of NHS Blood and Transplant, said:” Every donor is special and Jemima’s unique legend shown in the remarkable gap a few terms can build. Hundreds of people are still croaking unnecessarily waiting for a transplant because too many lineages say no to organ donation.

” Please tell your family you want to donate, and if you are unsure, ask yourself; if you needed a transplant would you consent one? If so, shouldn’t you be prepared to donate ?”

To join the NHS organ donor register stay organdonation.nhs.uk or contact the 24 -hour donor line on 0300 123 23 23.

‘Our minds can be hijacked’: the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia

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The Google, Apple and Facebook workers who helped make technology so addictive are disconnecting themselves from the internet. Paul Lewis reports on the Silicon Valley refuseniks who worry the race for human attention has created a world of perpetual distraction that could ultimately end in disaster

Justin Rosenstein had tweaked his laptops operating system to block Reddit, banned himself from Snapchat, which he compares to heroin, and imposed limits on his use of Facebook. But even that wasnt enough. In August, the 34-year-old tech executive took a more radical step to restrict his use of social media and other addictive technologies.

Rosenstein purchased a new iPhone and instructed his assistant to set up a parental-control feature to prevent him from downloading any apps.

He was particularly aware of the allure of Facebook likes, which he describes as bright dings of pseudo-pleasure that can be as hollow as they are seductive. And Rosenstein should know: he was the Facebook engineer who created the like button in the first place.

A decade after he stayed up all night coding a prototype of what was then called an awesome button, Rosenstein belongs to a small but growing band of Silicon Valley heretics who complain about the rise of the so-called attention economy: an internet shaped around the demands of an advertising economy.

These refuseniks are rarely founders or chief executives, who have little incentive to deviate from the mantra that their companies are making the world a better place. Instead, they tend to have worked a rung or two down the corporate ladder: designers, engineers and product managers who, like Rosenstein, several years ago put in place the building blocks of a digital world from which they are now trying to disentangle themselves. It is very common, Rosenstein says, for humans to develop things with the best of intentions and for them to have unintended, negative consequences.

Rosenstein, who also helped create Gchat during a stint at Google, and now leads a San Francisco-based company that improves office productivity, appears most concerned about the psychological effects on people who, research shows, touch, swipe or tap their phone 2,617 times a day.

There is growing concern that as well as addicting users, technology is contributing toward so-called continuous partial attention, severely limiting peoples ability to focus, and possibly lowering IQ. One recent study showed that the mere presence of smartphones damages cognitive capacity even when the device is turned off. Everyone is distracted, Rosenstein says. All of the time.

But those concerns are trivial compared with the devastating impact upon the political system that some of Rosensteins peers believe can be attributed to the rise of social media and the attention-based market that drives it.

Drawing a straight line between addiction to social media and political earthquakes like Brexit and the rise of Donald Trump, they contend that digital forces have completely upended the political system and, left unchecked, could even render democracy as we know it obsolete.

In 2007, Rosenstein was one of a small group of Facebook employees who decided to create a path of least resistance a single click to send little bits of positivity across the platform. Facebooks like feature was, Rosenstein says, wildly successful: engagement soared as people enjoyed the short-term boost they got from giving or receiving social affirmation, while Facebook harvested valuable data about the preferences of users that could be sold to advertisers. The idea was soon copied by Twitter, with its heart-shaped likes (previously star-shaped favourites), Instagram, and countless other apps and websites.

It was Rosensteins colleague, Leah Pearlman, then a product manager at Facebook and on the team that created the Facebook like, who announced the feature in a 2009 blogpost. Now 35 and an illustrator, Pearlman confirmed via email that she, too, has grown disaffected with Facebook likes and other addictive feedback loops. She has installed a web browser plug-in to eradicate her Facebook news feed, and hired a social media manager to monitor her Facebook page so that she doesnt have to.

Justin
Justin Rosenstein, the former Google and Facebook engineer who helped build the like button: Everyone is distracted. All of the time. Photograph: Courtesy of Asana Communications

One reason I think it is particularly important for us to talk about this now is that we may be the last generation that can remember life before, Rosenstein says. It may or may not be relevant that Rosenstein, Pearlman and most of the tech insiders questioning todays attention economy are in their 30s, members of the last generation that can remember a world in which telephones were plugged into walls.

It is revealing that many of these younger technologists are weaning themselves off their own products, sending their children to elite Silicon Valley schools where iPhones, iPads and even laptops are banned. They appear to be abiding by a Biggie Smalls lyric from their own youth about the perils of dealing crack cocaine: never get high on your own supply.

One morning in April this year, designers, programmers and tech entrepreneurs from across the world gathered at a conference centre on the shore of the San Francisco Bay. They had each paid up to $1,700 to learn how to manipulate people into habitual use of their products, on a course curated by conference organiser Nir Eyal.

Eyal, 39, the author of Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products, has spent several years consulting for the tech industry, teaching techniques he developed by closely studying how the Silicon Valley giants operate.

The technologies we use have turned into compulsions, if not full-fledged addictions, Eyal writes. Its the impulse to check a message notification. Its the pull to visit YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter for just a few minutes, only to find yourself still tapping and scrolling an hour later. None of this is an accident, he writes. It is all just as their designers intended.

He explains the subtle psychological tricks that can be used to make people develop habits, such as varying the rewards people receive to create a craving, or exploiting negative emotions that can act as triggers. Feelings of boredom, loneliness, frustration, confusion and indecisiveness often instigate a slight pain or irritation and prompt an almost instantaneous and often mindless action to quell the negative sensation, Eyal writes.

Attendees of the 2017 Habit Summit might have been surprised when Eyal walked on stage to announce that this years keynote speech was about something a little different. He wanted to address the growing concern that technological manipulation was somehow harmful or immoral. He told his audience that they should be careful not to abuse persuasive design, and wary of crossing a line into coercion.

But he was defensive of the techniques he teaches, and dismissive of those who compare tech addiction to drugs. Were not freebasing Facebook and injecting Instagram here, he said. He flashed up a slide of a shelf filled with sugary baked goods. Just as we shouldnt blame the baker for making such delicious treats, we cant blame tech makers for making their products so good we want to use them, he said. Of course thats what tech companies will do. And frankly: do we want it any other way?

Without irony, Eyal finished his talk with some personal tips for resisting the lure of technology. He told his audience he uses a Chrome extension, called DF YouTube, which scrubs out a lot of those external triggers he writes about in his book, and recommended an app called Pocket Points that rewards you for staying off your phone when you need to focus.

Finally, Eyal confided the lengths he goes to protect his own family. He has installed in his house an outlet timer connected to a router that cuts off access to the internet at a set time every day. The idea is to remember that we are not powerless, he said. We are in control.

But are we? If the people who built these technologies are taking such radical steps to wean themselves free, can the rest of us reasonably be expected to exercise our free will?

Not according to Tristan Harris, a 33-year-old former Google employee turned vocal critic of the tech industry. All of us are jacked into this system, he says. All of our minds can be hijacked. Our choices are not as free as we think they are.

Harris, who has been branded the closest thing Silicon Valley has to a conscience, insists that billions of people have little choice over whether they use these now ubiquitous technologies, and are largely unaware of the invisible ways in which a small number of people in Silicon Valley are shaping their lives.

A graduate of Stanford University, Harris studied under BJ Fogg, a behavioural psychologist revered in tech circles for mastering the ways technological design can be used to persuade people. Many of his students, including Eyal, have gone on to prosperous careers in Silicon Valley.

Tristan
Tristan Harris, a former Google employee, is now a critic of the tech industry: Our choices are not as free as we think they are. Photograph: Robert Gumpert for the Guardian

Harris is the student who went rogue; a whistleblower of sorts, he is lifting the curtain on the vast powers accumulated by technology companies and the ways they are using that influence. A handful of people, working at a handful of technology companies, through their choices will steer what a billion people are thinking today, he said at a recent TED talk in Vancouver.

I dont know a more urgent problem than this, Harris says. Its changing our democracy, and its changing our ability to have the conversations and relationships that we want with each other. Harris went public giving talks, writing papers, meeting lawmakers and campaigning for reform after three years struggling to effect change inside Googles Mountain View headquarters.

It all began in 2013, when he was working as a product manager at Google, and circulated a thought-provoking memo, A Call To Minimise Distraction & Respect Users Attention, to 10 close colleagues. It struck a chord, spreading to some 5,000 Google employees, including senior executives who rewarded Harris with an impressive-sounding new job: he was to be Googles in-house design ethicist and product philosopher.

Looking back, Harris sees that he was promoted into a marginal role. I didnt have a social support structure at all, he says. Still, he adds: I got to sit in a corner and think and read and understand.

He explored how LinkedIn exploits a need for social reciprocity to widen its network; how YouTube and Netflix autoplay videos and next episodes, depriving users of a choice about whether or not they want to keep watching; how Snapchat created its addictive Snapstreaks feature, encouraging near-constant communication between its mostly teenage users.

The techniques these companies use are not always generic: they can be algorithmically tailored to each person. An internal Facebook report leaked this year, for example, revealed that the company can identify when teens feel insecure, worthless and need a confidence boost. Such granular information, Harris adds, is a perfect model of what buttons you can push in a particular person.

Tech companies can exploit such vulnerabilities to keep people hooked; manipulating, for example, when people receive likes for their posts, ensuring they arrive when an individual is likely to feel vulnerable, or in need of approval, or maybe just bored. And the very same techniques can be sold to the highest bidder. Theres no ethics, he says. A company paying Facebook to use its levers of persuasion could be a car business targeting tailored advertisements to different types of users who want a new vehicle. Or it could be a Moscow-based troll farm seeking to turn voters in a swing county in Wisconsin.

Harris believes that tech companies never deliberately set out to make their products addictive. They were responding to the incentives of an advertising economy, experimenting with techniques that might capture peoples attention, even stumbling across highly effective design by accident.

A friend at Facebook told Harris that designers initially decided the notification icon, which alerts people to new activity such as friend requests or likes, should be blue. It fit Facebooks style and, the thinking went, would appear subtle and innocuous. But no one used it, Harris says. Then they switched it to red and of course everyone used it.

Facebooks
Facebooks headquarters in Menlo Park, California. The companys famous likes feature has been described by its creator as bright dings of pseudo-pleasure. Photograph: Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images

That red icon is now everywhere. When smartphone users glance at their phones, dozens or hundreds of times a day, they are confronted with small red dots beside their apps, pleading to be tapped. Red is a trigger colour, Harris says. Thats why it is used as an alarm signal.

The most seductive design, Harris explains, exploits the same psychological susceptibility that makes gambling so compulsive: variable rewards. When we tap those apps with red icons, we dont know whether well discover an interesting email, an avalanche of likes, or nothing at all. It is the possibility of disappointment that makes it so compulsive.

Its this that explains how the pull-to-refresh mechanism, whereby users swipe down, pause and wait to see what content appears, rapidly became one of the most addictive and ubiquitous design features in modern technology. Each time youre swiping down, its like a slot machine, Harris says. You dont know whats coming next. Sometimes its a beautiful photo. Sometimes its just an ad.

The designer who created the pull-to-refresh mechanism, first used to update Twitter feeds, is Loren Brichter, widely admired in the app-building community for his sleek and intuitive designs.

Now 32, Brichter says he never intended the design to be addictive but would not dispute the slot machine comparison. I agree 100%, he says. I have two kids now and I regret every minute that Im not paying attention to them because my smartphone has sucked me in.

Brichter created the feature in 2009 for Tweetie, his startup, mainly because he could not find anywhere to fit the refresh button on his app. Holding and dragging down the feed to update seemed at the time nothing more than a cute and clever fix. Twitter acquired Tweetie the following year, integrating pull-to-refresh into its own app.

Since then the design has become one of the most widely emulated features in apps; the downward-pull action is, for hundreds of millions of people, as intuitive as scratching an itch.

Brichter says he is puzzled by the longevity of the feature. In an era of push notification technology, apps can automatically update content without being nudged by the user. It could easily retire, he says. Instead it appears to serve a psychological function: after all, slot machines would be far less addictive if gamblers didnt get to pull the lever themselves. Brichter prefers another comparison: that it is like the redundant close door button in some elevators with automatically closing doors. People just like to push it.

All of which has left Brichter, who has put his design work on the backburner while he focuses on building a house in New Jersey, questioning his legacy. Ive spent many hours and weeks and months and years thinking about whether anything Ive done has made a net positive impact on society or humanity at all, he says. He has blocked certain websites, turned off push notifications, restricted his use of the Telegram app to message only with his wife and two close friends, and tried to wean himself off Twitter. I still waste time on it, he confesses, just reading stupid news I already know about. He charges his phone in the kitchen, plugging it in at 7pm and not touching it until the next morning.

Smartphones are useful tools, he says. But theyre addictive. Pull-to-refresh is addictive. Twitter is addictive. These are not good things. When I was working on them, it was not something I was mature enough to think about. Im not saying Im mature now, but Im a little bit more mature, and I regret the downsides.

Not everyone in his field appears racked with guilt. The two inventors listed on Apples patent for managing notification connections and displaying icon badges are Justin Santamaria and Chris Marcellino. Both were in their early 20s when they were hired by Apple to work on the iPhone. As engineers, they worked on the behind-the-scenes plumbing for push-notification technology, introduced in 2009 to enable real-time alerts and updates to hundreds of thousands of third-party app developers. It was a revolutionary change, providing the infrastructure for so many experiences that now form a part of peoples daily lives, from ordering an Uber to making a Skype call to receiving breaking news updates.

Loren
Loren Brichter, who in 2009 designed the pull-to-refresh feature now used by many apps, on the site of the home hes building in New Jersey: Smartphones are useful tools, but theyre addictive I regret the downsides. Photograph: Tim Knox for the Guardian

But notification technology also enabled a hundred unsolicited interruptions into millions of lives, accelerating the arms race for peoples attention. Santamaria, 36, who now runs a startup after a stint as the head of mobile at Airbnb, says the technology he developed at Apple was not inherently good or bad. This is a larger discussion for society, he says. Is it OK to shut off my phone when I leave work? Is it OK if I dont get right back to you? Is it OK that Im not liking everything that goes through my Instagram screen?

His then colleague, Marcellino, agrees. Honestly, at no point was I sitting there thinking: lets hook people, he says. It was all about the positives: these apps connect people, they have all these uses ESPN telling you the game has ended, or WhatsApp giving you a message for free from your family member in Iran who doesnt have a message plan.

A few years ago Marcellino, 33, left the Bay Area, and is now in the final stages of retraining to be a neurosurgeon. He stresses he is no expert on addiction, but says he has picked up enough in his medical training to know that technologies can affect the same neurological pathways as gambling and drug use. These are the same circuits that make people seek out food, comfort, heat, sex, he says.

All of it, he says, is reward-based behaviour that activates the brains dopamine pathways. He sometimes finds himself clicking on the red icons beside his apps to make them go away, but is conflicted about the ethics of exploiting peoples psychological vulnerabilities. It is not inherently evil to bring people back to your product, he says. Its capitalism.

That, perhaps, is the problem. Roger McNamee, a venture capitalist who benefited from hugely profitable investments in Google and Facebook, has grown disenchanted with both companies, arguing that their early missions have been distorted by the fortunes they have been able to earn through advertising.

He identifies the advent of the smartphone as a turning point, raising the stakes in an arms race for peoples attention. Facebook and Google assert with merit that they are giving users what they want, McNamee says. The same can be said about tobacco companies and drug dealers.

That would be a remarkable assertion for any early investor in Silicon Valleys most profitable behemoths. But McNamee, 61, is more than an arms-length money man. Once an adviser to Mark Zuckerberg, 10 years ago McNamee introduced the Facebook CEO to his friend, Sheryl Sandberg, then a Google executive who had overseen the companys advertising efforts. Sandberg, of course, became chief operating officer at Facebook, transforming the social network into another advertising heavyweight.

McNamee chooses his words carefully. The people who run Facebook and Google are good people, whose well-intentioned strategies have led to horrific unintended consequences, he says. The problem is that there is nothing the companies can do to address the harm unless they abandon their current advertising models.

Googles
Googles headquarters in Silicon Valley. One venture capitalist believes that, despite an appetite for regulation, some tech companies may already be too big to control: The EU recently penalised Google $2.42bn for anti-monopoly violations, and Googles shareholders just shrugged. Photograph: Ramin Talaie for the Guardian

But how can Google and Facebook be forced to abandon the business models that have transformed them into two of the most profitable companies on the planet?

McNamee believes the companies he invested in should be subjected to greater regulation, including new anti-monopoly rules. In Washington, there is growing appetite, on both sides of the political divide, to rein in Silicon Valley. But McNamee worries the behemoths he helped build may already be too big to curtail. The EU recently penalised Google $2.42bn for anti-monopoly violations, and Googles shareholders just shrugged, he says.

Rosenstein, the Facebook like co-creator, believes there may be a case for state regulation of psychologically manipulative advertising, saying the moral impetus is comparable to taking action against fossil fuel or tobacco companies. If we only care about profit maximisation, he says, we will go rapidly into dystopia.

James Williams does not believe talk of dystopia is far-fetched. The ex-Google strategist who built the metrics system for the companys global search advertising business, he has had a front-row view of an industry he describes as the largest, most standardised and most centralised form of attentional control in human history.

Williams, 35, left Google last year, and is on the cusp of completing a PhD at Oxford University exploring the ethics of persuasive design. It is a journey that has led him to question whether democracy can survive the new technological age.

He says his epiphany came a few years ago, when he noticed he was surrounded by technology that was inhibiting him from concentrating on the things he wanted to focus on. It was that kind of individual, existential realisation: whats going on? he says. Isnt technology supposed to be doing the complete opposite of this?

That discomfort was compounded during a moment at work, when he glanced at one of Googles dashboards, a multicoloured display showing how much of peoples attention the company had commandeered for advertisers. I realised: this is literally a million people that weve sort of nudged or persuaded to do this thing that they werent going to otherwise do, he recalls.

He embarked on several years of independent research, much of it conducted while working part-time at Google. About 18 months in, he saw the Google memo circulated by Harris and the pair became allies, struggling to bring about change from within.

Williams and Harris left Google around the same time, and co-founded an advocacy group, Time Well Spent, that seeks to build public momentum for a change in the way big tech companies think about design. Williams finds it hard to comprehend why this issue is not on the front page of every newspaper every day.

Eighty-seven percent of people wake up and go to sleep with their smartphones, he says. The entire world now has a new prism through which to understand politics, and Williams worries the consequences are profound.

The same forces that led tech firms to hook users with design tricks, he says, also encourage those companies to depict the world in a way that makes for compulsive, irresistible viewing. The attention economy incentivises the design of technologies that grab our attention, he says. In so doing, it privileges our impulses over our intentions.

That means privileging what is sensational over what is nuanced, appealing to emotion, anger and outrage. The news media is increasingly working in service to tech companies, Williams adds, and must play by the rules of the attention economy to sensationalise, bait and entertain in order to survive.

Tech
Tech and the rise of Trump: as the internet designs itself around holding our attention, politics and the media has become increasingly sensational. Photograph: John Locher/AP

In the wake of Donald Trumps stunning electoral victory, many were quick to question the role of so-called fake news on Facebook, Russian-created Twitter bots or the data-centric targeting efforts that companies such as Cambridge Analytica used to sway voters. But Williams sees those factors as symptoms of a deeper problem.

It is not just shady or bad actors who were exploiting the internet to change public opinion. The attention economy itself is set up to promote a phenomenon like Trump, who is masterly at grabbing and retaining the attention of supporters and critics alike, often by exploiting or creating outrage.

Williams was making this case before the president was elected. In a blog published a month before the US election, Williams sounded the alarm bell on an issue he argued was a far more consequential question than whether Trump reached the White House. The reality TV stars campaign, he said, had heralded a watershed in which the new, digitally supercharged dynamics of the attention economy have finally crossed a threshold and become manifest in the political realm.

Williams saw a similar dynamic unfold months earlier, during the Brexit campaign, when the attention economy appeared to him biased in favour of the emotional, identity-based case for the UK leaving the European Union. He stresses these dynamics are by no means isolated to the political right: they also play a role, he believes, in the unexpected popularity of leftwing politicians such as Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn, and the frequent outbreaks of internet outrage over issues that ignite fury among progressives.

All of which, Williams says, is not only distorting the way we view politics but, over time, may be changing the way we think, making us less rational and more impulsive. Weve habituated ourselves into a perpetual cognitive style of outrage, by internalising the dynamics of the medium, he says.

It is against this political backdrop that Williams argues the fixation in recent years with the surveillance state fictionalised by George Orwell may have been misplaced. It was another English science fiction writer, Aldous Huxley, who provided the more prescient observation when he warned that Orwellian-style coercion was less of a threat to democracy than the more subtle power of psychological manipulation, and mans almost infinite appetite for distractions.

Since the US election, Williams has explored another dimension to todays brave new world. If the attention economy erodes our ability to remember, to reason, to make decisions for ourselves faculties that are essential to self-governance what hope is there for democracy itself?

The dynamics of the attention economy are structurally set up to undermine the human will, he says. If politics is an expression of our human will, on individual and collective levels, then the attention economy is directly undermining the assumptions that democracy rests on. If Apple, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat are gradually chipping away at our ability to control our own minds, could there come a point, I ask, at which democracy no longer functions?

Will we be able to recognise it, if and when it happens? Williams replies. And if we cant, then how do we know it hasnt happened already?

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/oct/05/smartphone-addiction-silicon-valley-dystopia

Mark Singer on Trump: ‘The rotates are starting to come off dramatically’

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The New Yorker writer who profiled Donald Trump in the 90 s delves into the Republican attitude, and explains why he thinks hes destined to drop out

The first time I interrogation Mark Singer its the Tuesday after the Republican national gathering, which culminated with a Donald Trump pronunciation Singer accurately describes as scripted lunacy. Happens appear pretty bleak. Trumps candidacy, says Singer, is more contemptuous and truly heartbreaking occasion thats ever happened in “peoples lives” in its own country, and Ive lived through assassinations and horrid crusades, but that it has led to this its a mix of every horrific feeling. If we elect this soldier its the end of a lot of things, I merely dont known better that happens. With a whimper perhaps I hope not a bang.

Born in 1950, Singer has been a writer for the New Yorker since 1974( There was no reason to leave, he tells me as we sit outside a caf near his home on Manhattans Upper East Side ). In 1996, his then writer Tina Brown commissioned him to write a chart of Trump with the words Hes totally full of shit, youll adoration him! After months going a full immersion into Trumps world, one foreground being a outlandish fulfill between Trump and Aleksandr Lebed, in which Trump proudly depicted the Russian general and Kremlin fixer a shoe hed been given by Shaquille ONeal Singer wrote a 10,000 -word profile that nailed the narcissism, superficiality and cynicism with which the world is now so alarmingly familiar. It concluded that Trump had aspired to and attained the ultimate indulgence, an macrocosm unmolested by the rumbling of a soul.

Naturally, Trump didnt appreciate Singers endeavors, criticizing him in his notebook Trump: the Art of the Comeback, in a letter to the New York Times( “hes not” born with great writing ability ), and finally in an irate missive that speak: Mark, you are a total loser! And your journal( and copies) sucks!

These last two sentences are proudly reproduced on the back of Singers new work Trump and Me, which revisits his profile in the light of Trumps presidential campaign. Imparted Singers probing brain and Trumps indispensable ridiculousness, it is very funny, though the implications of a Trump presidency seem increasingly less entertaining following the conclusion of the hatred he has unleashed. I am afraid. Everybody I know is afraid, Singer says. If Hillary Clinton prevails, listening to the sigh of comfort simply on this island, we might have a carbon dioxide overload crisis. Youll ensure these trees shooting up.

Singer is indicated that Trump is the most unapologetic there has to be a word more powerful than charlatan, there is does. He is despairing that some voters fuelled by the email gossip and the WikiLeaks discoveries about her attempts to undermine Bernie Sanders reckon Hillary Clinton is more deceptive than Trump. This, he says, is what really manufactures you want to blow your mentalities out. It induces you want to go back and find patient zero and think, when was the moment where we stopped being willing to fund public education in this country, that it became so outrageous that we no longer could have people who understood the constitution, the controls and matches? Trump says: I affection the ill-educated. You bet he does.

Singer blames Fox News and the web for what seems to be a flourishing ignore for the truth, but also acknowledges that expanding difference, leaving a large swathe of Americans basically abandoned by the two main parties, has helped account for Trumps rise along with the haters, racists and xenophobes excited by this promises to keep Mexicans and Muslims out of America.

Nevertheless, he cant deliver himself to picture Trump actually being elected. Imagine November 9, 2016. You wake up and there it is in the newspaper, Donald Trump has been elected president. Hes not going to association martial law yet, hes not going to abridge the first amendment just yet, hes not going to shut their own borders he cant do anything until January 20. This will be the beginning of a series of anni horobili that weve never seen.

Singer cites a recent obituary of a friends aunt, which concluded: Died of complications of coronary thrombosis and the 2016 presidential election. Like her, he says, I think that youre go to a lot of people whove been hanging on, giving run. I believe that. And a lot of them are going to be envied.

Trump in his quintessence

Just a week later, nonetheless, stuffs ogle most varied. Trump is jumping in the referendums, mainly thanks to his typically impetuous and politically suicidal decision to attack Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the parents of US army captain Humayun Khan, who was killed in the Iraq war. You have sacrificed nothing, Khan said of Trump in his speech at the DNC, a line devastating because it is so self-evidently genuine, and one to which Trump was stupid enough to respond, telling ABC: I guess Ive made a lot of sacrifices.

That nearly saw me flustered for humanity, says Singer when I call him a few days after Trumps car-crash performance. I dont actually lump myself in the same humanity that perhaps he belongs to.

Singer says the Khan episode evidenced Donald Trump in his quintessence. Even the rightwing political commentator Bill OReilly, he says, whos a bombard thrower, told Trump on his Fox show that you dont attack a gold-star baby. Trump is saying: Well yeah, but and then he says, as plain as day, I didnt attack her. And right after he says that he says: I was viciously criticized. This illustrates as patently as anything that hes a person who lies reflexively.

Now Trump seems to be flailing. Hes appalled, Singer says. Hes in a tailspin because his self-esteem is constructed in a way that does not creek any sort of dissension. He has his party telling him, Dude, shut the fuck up. Do not go there. These are parties like Rudy Guilianiand Newt Gingrich, this is not Nancy Pelosi, OK? He listens them, he goes out and the next day does it again.

This negligent practice has had many commentators wondering whether Trump is suffering from a mental illness. Last week, Singer participated in an extraordinary discussion on MSNBCs The Last-place Word With Lawrence ODonnell with Dr George Simon, a psychologist described on his website as the leading expert on manipulators and other disturbed personas. To be diagnosed with a egotistical personality disorder, there is a requirement exhibit five members of around a dozen indications on a checklist, such as Has a extravagant feel of self-importance and shortage rapport. Nonetheless, the entire list seemed to apply to Trump.

His mental illness is now those discussions, Singer says. There are tricky ethical issues around such a long-distance diagnosis not least, he says, the fact that comparing them to Trump may further stigmatize sufferers. Its unusually unjustified to people who have various mental illness.

Singer says that even mental illness cant exclusively account for Trumps behaviour. You cant believe that this is somebody capable of this stage of obtuseness, obliviousness, total absence of self-awareness and brutality. This combination. Since you and I expressed the other day, that has blown open and hes genuinely done. So now the headlines are, whats the working party going to do? Theyve got to do something. Theyre nearly conceding such elections now, two weeks after their convening! Singer even made a bet last-place Monday with Jane Mayer, a New Yorker peer, that Trump would be gone in 2 week. The rotations are starting to come off so dramatically and you can feel it.

Given his plunge notoriety, Singer says its no amaze that Trump is now claiming that such elections will be rigged. Its in the book, he points out. The happening that hes dreaded most in his life is being labeled a loser. So he has to have an explanation for that.

In the short term, Singer says, Trumps next big challenge will be the dialogues or more specially, how he can avoid them. As Trump has demonstrated many times, for instance recently claiming that Russia would not invade Ukraine, when Russian soldiers resided Crimea over two years ago, when it comes to episodes beyond Americas perimeters he is profoundly ignorant. Precisely right, Singer says. By choice and temper both. And this is a person who brags: I know more about Isis than members of the general. This party has this repeat on preserve when they chose him. Guess who I dont have a whole lot of compassion for? Its play over. Committed the warp hasten at which the bulletin has moved this year however, Singer rows back: That is the kind of nonsense that is so dangerous to say I should pierce my tongue.

Trump, says Singer, is the most transparent politician there has ever been: Hes only out for himself, in every way, in every gesture. One of the reasons for producing his volume, he says, was in resentment at the lane journalists indulged Trumps race for the conference of presidents because it was good for ratings and transaction. This notion of incorrect equivalency is not something that correspondents have figured out, but it wasnt even that with Trump, it was just the fame and[ him] using up all the oxygen. But I knew that Trump had no intention of winning, it was obvious and here we are.

As for numerous Americans, the Trump candidacy has been a draining knowledge for Singer. No one can turn away, Singer least of all. I only sat here and I was watching MSNBC last nighttime until 11 oclock and I recognise, I am now an addict. Im wholly a junkie and I genuinely need to have an intervention of my own, Im afraid.

That determined him off on another Trumpian train of thought those in the Republican party who think they can play-act certain kinds of intervention. This idea of doing policy interventions with Trump is amusing to me. These are likely to be the last optimists in America. You cant treat parties like Trump, he says. Theyre incurable.

Gabriel Jesus:’ I like a challenge. The biggest battles go to the biggest fighters’

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The brilliant Palmeiras and Brazil forward tells the Guardian about the phone call from Pep Guardiola that persuaded him to assemble Manchester City and that his mum is never pleased with him unless he facilitates out defensively too

No one wants to be told off by their mom and Gabriel Jesus is no different. The Brazilian wonderkid, who signed for Manchester City in the summer for 27 m and will join the Premier League commanders in January, has the potential to become one of best available forwards in the world but what stirs him stand out even more is his desire to also help out defensively.

It is not a characteristic he shares with too many forwards but then they are not able to get a rollocking from their mom if they do not help out at the back. Gabriel Jesus does. Yes, its true-blue that my mother has a go at me when I dont track back, he says in his first interrogation with non-Brazilian media since signing for City. We are very, very close and she asks a lot from me, which is great. She only praises me if I have done something worthy of kudo. I am really happy to have a mum like that, who really charges. She ever tells me the truth and her franknes helps me a lot.

Mrs Vera Lcia is a constant and tremendously positive spirit in Gabriel Jesuss life and that is no surprise considering his upbringing. The musicians parent died when Gabriel Jesus was young and his mother promoted him and his three brothers on her own. She was a cleaner back then and there was not a lot of coin around. A football musician grows up faster than other people, he says. I grew up very quickly because of the difficulties and responsibilities that I have always had.

Gabriel Jesus is a very mature 19 -year-old. We convene at Academia de futebol, Palmeirass training centre and he is polite and humble. He does not wear sunglasses or headphones and does not play with his mobile during the interrogation. He starts by apologising for running late. I had to do the frost tub, he explains.

It has been a hectic 18 months for “the mens” from Jardim Peri, a humble neighborhood on the outskirts of So Paulo( it is a comunidade , a kind of favela , simply a little bit more peaceful ). In March 2015 he made his debut for Palmeiras after tallying 37 objectives in 22 games in the Paulista Under-1 7 rival and at the end of the season he was named the best newcomer of the Brasileiro .

And that was just the beginning. This summertime he won Olympic gold with Braziland then attained his debut for the elderly squad, scoring two objectives in a 3-0 away win against Ecuador. And he is still a teen. The former Brazil and Real Madrid striker Ronaldo, for one, is a love: When I consider Gabriel I think about my own past. He has a terrific journey onward, Ronaldo told TV Globo recently.

It is not that long ago Gabriel Jesus was playing for the amateur squad Pequeninos do Meio Ambiente on the lurches of the military prison camp Romo Gomes. He moved on to Anhanguera but, unlike numerous prodigious endowments these days, he did not assemble a upper side Palmeiras until persons under the age of 15 so his occupation was very much determined by street football.

Gabriel Jesus: abilities, stunts and purposes.

His childhood neighbourhood is always on his mind and on his skin. On his forearm there is a tattoo evidencing a boy with a ball in his hand looking at a favela in front of him, dreaming of a better future in football. The tattoo is almost identical to the one that his pal Neymar has.

I have always experienced working hard and thats why I try to give my best tactically as well as moving forward. From an early age, in my vrzea eras[ a special type of Brazilian street football ], I tried to take in all the instructions of all the managers I had. I am the same today. After all, it is very important to enroll the pitching knowing what I have to do to help the team.

He no longer was living in Jardim Peri but goes back to visit pals. When doing so in December he was stopped by the police while driving his expensive gondola. A dark-skinned son cannot drive a neat vehicle in the vicinity where he grew up without being stopped by the police. Everyone knows how hard it is to be pitch-black in our communities, he wrote on Instagram.

He remain in Jardim Peri until last year. He could have left for So Paulo as early as 2010 but the guild did not offer him accommodation, meaning that he would have had to travel for four hours to get to and from develop, and that would have had a negative impact on his academy work.

Not that Gabriel Jesus paid too much attention to anything apart from football. My whole life has always been football and that exclusively, he says. Since I was six years old Ive only really was just thinking about football. I used to watch it on TV, play video games and so on. I simply love football. Some parties joke that I am too into it but football exactly summing-up up my life.

His discipline is remarkable for the purposes of the a young age, and this is probably one of the things that has impressed Pep Guardiola, the manager who was desperate to return him to City. Gabriel Jesus was a hot prospect even before the Olympics and City were able to beat off rival from Barcelona, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain partly because of telephone calls from their new manager.

It was a involved decision, but in the end my desire to learn acquired, Gabriel Jesus says. The existence of Guardiola as a administrator at City and the fact that it is a great guild were very important factors in my final judgment. Guardiolas phone call was a huge part of me deciding to go there. It saw me realise that Id love to work with him. I dont know him personally hitherto but he already obliged me feel very safe about his assignment there.

Gabriel
Gabriel Jesus, celebrating here after scoring for Palmeiras against Figueirense in June, hopes to acquire the Brazilian entitlement before coming to Manchester. Photo: Brazil Photo Press/ CON/ LatinContent/ Getty Images

Where will he play though? City are not exactly lacking in attacking knack with Sergio Agero, Raheem Sterling, David Silva, Nolito, Kelechi Iheanacho, Kevin De Bruyne, Leroy San and Jess Navas able to occupy the forward situates. For Palmeiras Gabriel Jesus played wide-ranging on the left before Cuca, the manager, moved him into the centre with good results: 11 aims in 18 conference games.

I belief I will fight for a target as a winger in the team, he says. I actually prefer playing as a left-winger rather than a striker, but I exactly want to be very clear that Im willing to play in either position. I am often prepared to give up a position high on the pitching and help out defensively because some good marking and undertaking can result in a goal for my squad in the end. Id like to think that Im a versatile player.

Only two years ago, during the course of its World cup finals, Gabriel Jesus was covering the pavement of his street in dark-green and yellowish as a love. Today he is one of the reference points in strike for guild and country. Palmeiras are objection for the entitlement, they thump Corinthians 2-0 at the weekend to remain top, and Gabriel Jesus desperately wants to leave for Manchester City having won the tournament. At Verdo he is an undisputed idol Glory, beauty, alleluia, is Gabriel Jesus is the song that all devotees sing( even if it exasperates his mother, who is a very religious person ).

But even if he includes the Brazilian claim to his Olympic medal, he will not get too carried away. I try to manage my the advances in a down-to-earth pattern, he says. Some participates acquire a trophy and think that they are on top of the world. I dont let it go to my heading. Parties idolise me for acquiring the Olympics but I stop saying: It is just a medal.

Arguably the biggest challenge lies ahead forcing his way into Citys starting XI. All this change does not “re scared” at all, he says. My life has always been full of challenges. Clearly this is a bigger one, but the best engagements are given to the best warriors. I will listen to the managers opinion and his advice in order to improve and adapt as fast as I possibly can.

Kylie Jenner Is Selling One Of Her Six Cars And You Can Buy It

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Looks like Kylie Jenner decidedsix vehicles was just one car too many for a 19 -year-old.

After receiving two brand new autoes for her birthday last week one from Tygaand one from herself Kylie has reportedly exchanged her very first initiate of pedals: hervelvet-wrappedMercedes-Benz wagon.

According to a report from TMZ, Kylie sold a2015 Mercedes-Benz G-Class G6 3 AMG to a automobile dealership in Orange County a few days ago. The auto is now up for sale for $145,000.

Since it’s the 2015 simulation, it can’t be the actual Benz Kylie got as her first vehicle on her 16 th birthday. But my guess is it’s the one she got to supersede it after that car clang .

The dealership rosters the car as “celebrity-owned” and that private vehicles has the same blood-red interior and velvet exterior, custom-made per Kylie’s request.

So if you’ve went 145,000 horses to spare, you can be the next owner of Kylie Jenner’s car!

Meanwhile, Kylie still has five other autoes to keep her fellowship, including the right brand new Mercedes-Benz Maybach S6 00 from Tyga, so she won’t feel the loss extremely hard.

Plus it sounds like she could use the moneysince, apparently, she had to bail Tyga out and pay his debtsto keep him out of jail.

Tyga sure does know how to make a girl find special on her birthday.


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Rachel McAdams & Selma Blair Share Horrifying Details Of Alleged Sexual Harassment By Director James Toback!

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Rachel described being 21 when she met with James at his hotel room after her first audition:

“Pretty quickly the conversation turned quite sexual and he said, ‘You know, I just have to tell you. I have masturbated countless times today thinking about you since we met at your audition’… Then he went to the bathroom and left me with some literature to read about him. When he came back he said, ‘I just jerked off in the bathroom thinking about you. Will you show me your pubic hair?’ I said no.”

She continued:

“Eventually, I just excused myself. I can’t remember how long I was there. I felt like I was there forever. This has been such a source of shame for me—that I didn’t have the wherewithal to get up and leave. I kept thinking, ‘This is going to become normal any minute now. This is going to all make sense. This is all above board somehow.’ Eventually I just realized that it wasn’t. I was very lucky that I left and he didn’t actually physically assault me in any way.”

The Doctor Strange actress also recalled feeling anger over her agent sending her to him in the first place, saying she knew of his predatory behavior:

“I got up very early in the morning and called my agent at the time. And she was outraged. She was very sorry. But she also said, ‘I can’t believe he did it again. This isn’t the first time that this has happened. He did this the last time that he was in town. He did this to one of my other actresses.’ That is when I got mad, because I felt like I was kind of thrown into the lion’s den and given no warning that he was a predator. This was something that he was known for doing already. I was so surprised to hear that.”

Selma, who was one of the anonymous women in the original Los Angeles Time piece, had a similar experience meeting with Toback in his hotel room:

“It was about 40 minutes in and he said, ‘Will you trust me? I cannot continue to work with you unless you trust me.’ He said, ‘I need you to take your clothes off. I need you to do this monologue naked.'”

Despite the character being a lawyer in the courtroom, he continued to pressure her:

“He said, ‘Because I need to see how your body moves. How comfortable you are with your body. This is where I start training you.’ I told him I was uncomfortable. But he continued to coax me—saying that this was in no way a come-on. This was part of training. He wanted to make me a good actress. He wanted to make me comfortable. I thought, ‘Well, my representation sent me to see him. He must be really important.’ I took off my sweater. I was so private about my body. I do remember looking down at the script and seeing my bare chest and not being able to focus on anything but the words and my face being so hot and puffy and feeling so ashamed.”

The Cruel Intentions star explained she tried to leave, but he wouldn’t let her:

“As I was telling him, ‘Guess I better get out of here . . .’ he sat down on the bed and said, ‘No, you have to talk to me.’ He started to rub his penis through his pants and asked, ‘Would you f**k me?’ I went to leave and he got up and blocked the door. He said, ‘You have to do this for me. You cannot leave until I have release.’ I said, ‘What do I have to do? I cannot touch you. I cannot have sex with you.’ He said, ‘It’s O.K. I can come in my pants. I have to rub up against your leg. You have to pinch my nipples. And you have to look into my eyes.’ I thought, ‘Well, if I can get out of here without being raped . . .'”

Selma further described how he “raped” her leg:

“He walked me back to the bed. He sat me down. He got on his knees. And he continued to press so hard against my leg. He was greasy and I had to look into those big brown eyes. I tried to look away, but he would hold my face. So I was forced to look into his eyes. And I felt disgust and shame, and like nobody would ever think of me as being clean again after being this close to the devil. His energy was so sinister.”

James then told her a story about threatening another woman who “went against” him, recalling him saying:

“There is a girl who went against me. She was going to talk about something I did. I am going to tell you, and this is a promise, if she ever tells anybody, no matter how much time she thinks went by, I have people who will pull up in a car, kidnap her, and throw her in the Hudson River with cement blocks on her feet. You understand what I’m talking about, right?”

Absolutely horrifying!!

Selma was prompted to come forward publicly with the accusations after he denied his behavior:

“When he called these women liars, and said he didn’t recall meeting them and that the behavior alleged could not be attributed to him, I just felt rage and an obligation to speak publicly now.”

We applaud their bravery!

You need to read their accounts in full HERE.

[Image via FayesVision/Adriana M. Barraza/Dave Bedrosian/Future Image/WENN.]

Read more: http://perezhilton.com/2017-10-26-rachel-mcadams-selma-blair-sexual-harassment-allegations-james-toback

Richard Spencer holds white supremacist rally in Charlottesvilleheres what happened

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BTW

Two months after white supremacists held a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia that led to the death of a woman who was plowed over by a runaway car, white nationalist leader Richard Spencer joined a few dozen others on Saturday to march once again in the college town.

Holding torches, proclaiming that they weren’t breaking the law, and wondering whether they should walk on the sidewalk, Spencer and others visited the park where the Robert E. Lee statue, which is currently hidden by a tarp and which the city wants to remove, stands.

Spencer told the Washington Post that his cohorts came in peace.

“It was a planned flash mob,” Spencer told the paper. “It was a great success. We’ve been planning this for a long time. … Our identity matters. We are not going to stand by and allow people to tear down these symbols of our history and our people—and we’re going to do this again.”

According to WTVR, the rally only lasted about 20 minutes, but the group also said it would return to Charlottesville.

Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer made it clear that Spencer and his ilk were not welcomed.

Afterward, Spencer claimed the trip was a great success. “We came, we triggered, we left,” he said. “We did some singing, some chanting, some speeches. We got in and out.”

H/T Business Insider

Read more: https://www.dailydot.com/layer8/white-supremacists-charlottesville-return/

Maidens Seeming For Candles Wreck Car, Keep coming For Candles Anyway

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These must be some earnestly great candles.

Footage posted on YouTube shows a driver and her fare so intent on receiving a candle store that they drove right over the edge of a loading dock :~ ATAGEND

As the dash-cam clip comes to an culminate with the car smoking, according to one of the articulations on the recording one of the status of women can be heard calling out to a passerby not for help with the car … but help finding the candle shop.

To be fair to the driver, the loading dock is not specially well-marked, which is obliged as bad by the rain.

Naturally, there is some dispute on social media over the audio, which may have been dubbed from an unrelated clip or even faked altogether.

However, BangShift said the time was peculiarity on “America’s Funniest Home Videos, ” and the women were interviewed about the accident.

They said that resounding noise following the fall was the driveshaft, but there’s no parole on whether the car was totaled or repaired, the website said.

Several redditors too claimed to have found the site of industrial accidents, which does indeed appear to be located near a candle give storage.

Watch the video in its entirety above.

( h/ t Mashable)

This is How Much The Friends Apartments Would Cost Today

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Everything I’ve learned in life, I learned from . No, not my core group of Comm-majoring-drunk on-a-Wednesday-afternoon-losers—I’m talking about the six greatest people you will ever meet on the single greatest sitcom you will ever see (except for Ross and don’t @ me on that). Like, I’d never survive my 20s had I not learned that counting Mississippily when spray tanning results in borderline blackface, “meat sweats” are a legit medical condition, and being “on a break” apparently doesn’t mean I have a free pass at drunk-dialing my ex.

But out of everything, this is hands down the most valuable piece of info I’ve learned:

JK, that one I actually did learn from my own friends’ mistakes. But something I was forced to learn the hard way was that spending weekday afternoons in a coffeehouse bitching to my friends about being ghosted doesn’t result in me coming home to my comfy downtown loft with takeout (the ‘90s term for Seamless) every night. Not that shacking it in a studio apartment with three other people plotting ways to divvy up the remaining $12.35 balance on my debit card isn’t my definition of fun, but it’d be cool if someone gave me a heads up that life was gonna be this way, ya know? Anyway, I know your job’s a joke, you’re probably broke, and your love life… wellppp… but the friends would’ve been much worse off had their apartments been IRL-priced, so grab a bottle and chill the fuck out.

Joey & Chandler’s (& Rachel’s) Apartment

Address: 90 Bedford St., #19 New York NY
Rent: $4,200/month

I won’t discredit the size of Joey and Chandler’s apartment located across the hall from Monica’s, but I will discredit Joey’s acting career, which was comparable to gas station sushi. After being killed off early on, he went flat broke (as do most acting wannabes). Luckily, Joey had Chandler to save him from being a full-time dumpster diver, but Chandler was forced to provide for Joey and two farm animals on a transponster whatever-the-fuck-he-does’s salary for at least five seasons, which makes no sense.

A 2-bed/1-bath apartment in West Village that’s big enough to fit a foosball table and two Barcaloungers isn’t as shocking as the $4,200/month rent Chandler put down, which is like $2,850/month 18 years ago (yes, you’re old af), and that’s on the lower end of the spectrum, assuming the place hadn’t yet been tampered with during a game of “Hammer Darts” or “Extreme Fireball.” That rent also doesn’t include the utility bills and other shit Chandler had to pay for, like Joey’s health insurance and will to live, but honestly thank god for Joey, or Chan would prob still be half a virgin by now.

Ross’ (& Rachel’s) Apartment

Address: Somewhere across the street from Monica’s place
Rent: $4,500/month

If it wasn’t for Ross pulling the No. 1 fuckboy move and mixing up his hoes in different area codes almost marrying that British bitch with a scone up her ass, he’d still be living in a typical NYC shithole. Instead, he found an apartment with a bird’s-eye view of his sister’s and best friend’s sexcapades every night (EW). But out of every character’s living situation, the only believable one just so happens to be Ross’s, thanks to his career as a doctor paleontologist/college professor who sometimes fucks his students.

A 2-bed/1-bath, 700-square-foot apartment in the same West Village neighborhood as Monica averages to about $4,500/month, which would’ve been about $3,054/month back in ‘99. And considering Ross threw a bitch fit (when tf did he not?) about his fucking apothecary table that one time, I’d assume his bougie dino cave was equipped with an updated interior and (prob) fossilized foliage preserved in the wood flooring or some shit. Therefore, it’d likely be at the more expensive end of this rent spectrum.

Monica’s (& Rachel’s & Chandler’s & Phoebe’s) Apartment

Address: 90 Bedford St., #20 New York NY
Rent: $8,500+/month

Monica illegally subletting her grandma’s old apartment for 10+ years is the kind of savagery I strive to reach one day. But you seriously have to be a verified idiot to think that a ‘50s diner cook with flame-retardant boobs and a barista with waitressing skills as abominable as Blake Lively’s acting career would live comfortably in a 1,500-square-foot apartment, and not to mention while also feeding four other mooch-y parasite friends who apparently enter and eat and leave as they please.

She and Rachel were only paying $300/month living in their 2-bed/1-bath open floor plan apartment with a balcony that’s been rent controlled since apparently 600 B.C. Yeah, I said $300, like one pair of Khloé’s stupidly priced denim line, or a weekend bar tab. I already mentioned that 700(ish)-square-foot apartments in West Village average $4,200/month, so just double the rent for double the floor plan and maybe pop a Xanny immediately after.

Phoebe’s (& Rachel’s) Apartment

Address: 5 Morton St. # 14, New York, NY
Actual Rent: $3,400/month

First off, I’m calling bullshit on Phoebe and this whole freelance masseuse thing which, looking back, was def a fancy term for the upscale West Village prostitute, Regina Phalange. You heard it here first. This brings me to my next issue. Phoebe might’ve also inherited her 1-bed/1-bath apartment from her grandma, but I’d rather believe the blatant lie that is Trump’s latest tweet than believe that a freelance masseuse, who literally cancelled on and fucked over 90% of her clients every episode, made a comfortable living in Manhattan.

Her decent-sized 1-bed/1-bath pad, which was later turned into a 2-bed when Denise lived with her (K WHO TF WAS DENISE?!), was located four blocks from the rest of the friends’ apartments with an average monthly rent of $3,400 ($2,300 in the ‘90s), but there’s still no fucking way she’d be able to make rent while also doing this thing called LIVING. And do NOT even think about bringing the loose pocket change and occasional condom tips from Phoebe’s open mic days into this equation. #ItsNotSmellyCatsFault

Phoebe’s Rundown Buick LeSabre

Address: Probably some alleyway in Hunts Point
Rent: Stolen

Ok, so we never really saw Phoebe’s life pre-friends (or we did if you count watching ), but we do know that she lived a fucking badass/hard-knock life by living in a rundown Buick LeSabre on the streets of New York growing up. I mean, she mugged prepubescent goober Ross who collected rocks instead of Hot Wheels, and that in and of itself is iconic.

Based on the cost of gas to keep her car warm in the winter, the medical costs from getting Hepatitis after a pimp spit in her mouth, the shared funeral costs for her mom who killed herself, and the priceless cost of living to tell it all, Phoebe is a fucking legend and a probable alien, but mostly a complete mystery that I will dedicate the rest of my life to cracking the case on.

Read more: http://www.betches.com/how-much-each-friends-apartment-would-cost-today