The Starting Block

Tina Carmillia
A weekly collection of notes on science and society with an emphasis on disinformation, data, and democracy.
Created 09 May 2020
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  • The 74th Block: An economy built on personal data to feed the rich
    03 Oct 2021 • 2 min read
    This week… Google reinvents search—again—to include ‘context’ (Dieter Bohn, The Verge), TikTok hits 1 billion active monthly users (Echo Wong, Reuters), Facebook really, really wants to target tweens ...
  • The 73rd Block: An Atlantic divide
    26 Sep 2021 • 4 min read
    This week… I watch with fascination the ongoing German election—the first without the world’s most powerful woman, Angela Merkel, running. It is worth noting that the German green party came in third—...
  • The 72nd Block: Do emoji and memes improve your online communication?
    19 Sep 2021 • 2 min read
    This week… Jennifer Daniel, the chair of the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee introduces new emoji. Did you know that the plural of emoji is emoji? Anyway, in this article, she explains how to use emoji as—...
  • The 72nd Block: Do emoji and memes improve your online communication?
    19 Sep 2021 • 2 min read
    This week… Jennifer Daniel, the chair of the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee introduces new emoji. Did you know that the plural of emoji is emoji? Anyway, in this article, she explains how to use emoji as—...
  • The 71st Block: A lot of yelling about nothing
    12 Sep 2021 • 1 min read
    This week… My dog was having diarrhoea but is on the mend now. The other good news is she now knows how to use her bathroom. More importantly, the Canadian federal leaders’ English debate was… strange...
  • The 70th Block: Tech companies are not directly selling your data
    05 Sep 2021 • 1 min read
    This week… School is rough. Here’s a selection of top stories on my radar, a few personal recommendations, and the chart of the week. What does it actually mean when a company says, “We do not sell yo...
  • The 69th Block: Unbubbling
    29 Aug 2021 • 2 min read
    This week… Brecht Castel @brechtcastel This picture was put online in Denmark 🇩🇰, shared 424K times and viewed by 44M people. 😲 @snopes and @Knack got in contact with this woman for a #FactCheck. H...
  • The 68th Block: Language, morality and storytelling
    22 Aug 2021 • 2 min read
    This week… African languages get more scientific terms (Sarah Wild, Nature), a brief history of hand gestures (William Park, BBC), and how the co-founder of Snopes plagiarised articles for the fact-ch...
  • The 67th Block: What's the view like from up there?
    15 Aug 2021 • 1 min read
    This week… In light of political unrests back home and elsewhere, and news of a few colleagues and friends facing arrests, I urge once again for everyone to do a privacy checkup and look into other di...
  • The 66th Block: Who watches the birdwatchers?
    08 Aug 2021 • 1 min read
    This week… Still on a semi-break, I will be on the road and will respond late to any feedback on this edition of the newsletter. Here’s a selection of top stories on my radar, a few personal recommend...
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