posts about or somewhat related to ‘tumblr’
The Supreme Court hears oral arguments today in a campaign finance case. At issue is whether total caps on direct individual giving to candidates and PACs violate First Amendment rights.
As CNN puts it, “The competing arguments are stark: supporters of campaign finance reform say current federal regulations are designed to prevent corruption in politics. Opponents said it would criminalize free speech and association.”
While oral arguments run today with a decision on the case expected next spring, Harvard professor Lawrence Lessig submitted a brief in September in the form of a Tumblr.
First: Via Fred Wilson:
Professor Larry Lessig has submitted a brief to the Supreme Court in a case arguing that limiting large political contributions is Constitutional and exactly what the Framers had in mind when they used the word corruption.
As part of the evidence he has submitted in his brief, Larry created a Tumblr with 325 citations from the Framers themselves showing that they had a very broad understanding of the word corruption. This will be the first time that a Tumblr has been submitted as evidence in a Supreme Court case.
Second: So what’s Lessig doing? Via “Corruption,” originally.
According to the Supreme Court, the First Amendment does not limit Congress’s power to pass laws narrowly tailored to attack “corruption” or the “appearance of corruption.” (Buckley v. Valeo). But by “corruption,” the Court increasingly speaks as if it means “quid pro quo” corruption only.
This modern understanding of the term “corruption” struck me as odd, at least for the originalists on the Court. Because it seemed to me clear that the Framers of the Constitution had a different conception of “corruption” than one limited to “quid pro quo” alone. For the Framers, “corruption” could predicate of an individual (“Aaron Burr is corrupt.”) as well as of an institution (“Parliament is corrupt.”). And when it predicates of an institution, that institution is not only corrupt because its members have engaged in “quid pro quo” corruption. Instead, according to the Framers, an institution could also be corrupt when it develops an “improper dependence.”
In other words, the Framers’ “main focus (or most common usage) was institutional corruption. And one prominent example of the institutional corruption they were concerned about was an institution developing an improper dependence. Like — to pick just one totally random example — a Congress developing a dependence upon its funders, rather than the dependence the framers intended — ‘on the People alone.’”
Third: Need help sifting through the "Corruption," originally site? Tumby, the social discoverability engine, has added its search magic to Lessig’s Tumblr to help you go through tags and keywords. To use and experience it, grab the tumbyHover Chrome Extension here.
Wired’s Evan Selinger describes what he sees as a new direction of the Internet, wherein platforms now focus on tracking and categorizing how users feel about the content they consume:
The point is that all these interfaces are now focusing on the emotional aspects of our information diets. To put this development in a broader context: the mood graph has arrived, taking its place alongside the social graph (most commonly associated with Facebook), citation-link graph and knowledge graph (associated with Google), work graph (LinkedIn and others), and interest graph (Pinterest and others).
Like all these other graphs, the mood graph will enable relevance, customization, targeting; search, discovery, structuring; advertising, purchasing behaviors, and more. It also signals an important shift in computer-mediated communication.
Several aspects of this “mood graph” concern Selinger, including the potential of the “pre-fabricated symbols” of digital emotional communication (emoji, emoticons, and so on) to simplify the range and complexity of our feelings as well as the monetization of emotional tracking by companies like Facebook into advertising revenue.
FJP: Selinger cites Bitly for for feelings and methods of user-reported emotional expression in his piece, but other applications attempt to track mood using “raw” data, like the MoodScope, which analyzes smartphone data with an algorithm that takes into account sites visited (both physically and online), apps used, friends contacted, etc. Biofeedback technologies, such as Affectiva, collect data like facial expression, skin conductance, and heart rate to measure emotional state. These extensions of the Quantified Self movement have the potential to provide a more nuanced measure of our feelings than tracking premeditated verbal communication.
I also just want to mention that Tumblr culture seems to have developed its own language conventions (purposeful capitalization, lack of punctuation, etc.) to facilitate emotive expression (see this great Tumblr meta-discussion for more thoughts on that). So there is a way for language to accommodate tone and emotion to more closely mimick “IRL” interaction. And we might already be seeing that shift in mainstream language use. — Shining
Well, kind of.
The tech world reeled when Yahoo announced in May that it would buy Tumblr, the weblogs platform favored by those tech-savvy young ‘uns, for a total of $1.1 billion.
Five intriguing tidbits about the deal came out in Yahoo’s quarterly financial documents, which landed last night.
Most eye-popping: Yahoo bought Tumblr for $990 million (the remainder of the billion-plus total goes to founder David Karp and other Tumblr employees), and an incredible $751 million of that value was attributed to “goodwill.”
Goodwill is an accounting term for the worth of an intangible asset blahblahblah, and in this case it means brand value. So 75% of Tumblr’s value lies in its cool factor. (More details in our main CNNMoney story here.)
FJP: Read through for the rest but know who could have used a perception of cool? The Boston Globe. Founded in 1872, it sold to Boston Red Sox owner John Henry for $70 million. Or, if you take into account pensions and other debts, it sold for negative $40 million.
The Washington Post might wish it had some “goodwill” too. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, of course, just bought the 136-year-old paper for $250 million.
Takeaways: Don’t get old. Stay cool. Valuations are a weird gig.
We have just released a very important security update for our iPhone and iPad apps addressing an issue that allowed passwords to be compromised in certain circumstances¹. Please download the update now.
If you’ve been using these apps, you should also update your password on Tumblr and…
FJP: In case you missed the news, change your Tumblr password stat.
— Marco Arment (one of Tumblr’s early developers) in a nice little ode to David Karp and Tumblr, on Tumblr’s history and why he’s hopeful about Yahoo’s acquisition. If you’re still wary about the whole deal, it’s a nice read.