All the open wounds on my face,
waiting for my skin itself to replace,
so I can resume the illusion of perfect grace
Yes! This is so cool!
In this article I have something stylish for you: It’s a project idea, I had for a while. And today I decided to finally build it! I’m pretty sure almost everyone of you has already seen a world clock, even if most of you have just seen them on pictures. For everyone else: It’s one of these clever clocks that do not display the exact time, but display a sentence, approximating the time instead, composed from different words that light up:
Figure 1: A word clock
As these clocks can be pretty expensive, I decided to build some cheap ones myself. Three of them will be given to two friends of mine and one is for me. This article will be a description of the steps needed to create such a thing, so you can build your own one at home!
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Makes me smile every time. https://twitter.com/ProBirdRights
Saw an angel, saw an angel
Arched wings of black fully removed
Red articles of life hard and dry
Soft, dreamsome feathers pressed into the ice
It’s talons reach still, preserved in last night’s snow
The ebony guardian sang and said “hello”
Undignified violence, and an audience that carries on
No proper burial for a messenger of the sky
No respect in this frozen grave.
Two decidedly opposite opinions on The Internet’s effects emerged in it’s early days, and persist even now. These criticisms and praises of the net are only becoming more relevant each day. Folks from futurists, to anarchists cherish the web’s ability to make information available worldwide. Conversely, many people are concerned about the spread of disinformation at everyone’s fingertips.
Facebook rose to popularity in the early 2000s, and has since seen younger users drift away from their site. Facebook, as a business, has an interest in keeping a large user-base. Secret algorithms used by Facebook, and perhaps every social media platform, control what content users are shown. These algorithms exploit Confirmation Bias, among other biases, to keep users coming back to their site. Products of Facebook, Twitter, and Google present you with what you want to see. One reason, is so that users aren’t discomforted by cognitive dissonance and other “negative” emotional responses to their site. This isn’t any one user’s fault. These algorithms promote content that is similar to things you’ve liked, viewed, or searched for previously. This is a systemic problem that happens behind-the-scenes of your favorite websites, and is mostly beyond your control.
That being said, The Internet is a powerful tool, which can be used for good. It’s easier than ever to expose corruption by putting information online where everyone can see it. When a website is cited, you can easily click to check any claims without even getting out of your seat. Additionally, you can use search engines to instantly find facts and trustworthy sources.
“For true democracy to work, people need easy access to independent, diverse sources of news and information.” —democracynow.org/about
With claims from both sides that the media is unfairly for/against Trump or Hillary, these key ideas are incredibly relevant. While we are all vulnerable to the virus of misinformation, advertisement, and propaganda, there are also ways to protect ourselves:
- Seek out a wide variety of content: This is something I strive for every time I am reading the news or researching something. If you normally get all your news from John Oliver, try watching videos made by people who have different views and backgrounds than you. This is important for seeing both sides of every argument, and then coming up with your own balanced views. Also, it sort-of messes with some website’s algorithms, because then you’ll get recommended content that isn’t just an echo of what you want to hear, but a broad collection of ideas.
- Check it: see an allegation without any sources to back it up? Look for more info on that topic. Just because a rich/high profile person said-so, doesn’t make it true. Honestly, I don’t even trust so-called fact-checkers and fact-checking websites–I’d rather find out on my own than being assured something is true with little explanation.
- Follow the money: Newspapers, tv programs, websites, even documentaries all get funding somehow, from somewhere. Newspapers are almost always owned by a larger company, and they have a bottom line. Always consider how money could be influencing the content these sources, which citizens rely on to be well-informed, put out there. One site I like for getting my news is Democracy Now, although I do get information from elsewhere(see no.1), because they are a non-profit organization.
The wild internet is a tricky place. Citizens of the internet need to protect themselves(and everyone else) from, and for, information.
A year ago, I made this blog post about free trials, offers, samples, contests, etc. Since then, I have spent an embarrassing chunk of my time finding others ways to “get free stuff” online. Affiliate links are marked with a “*”
- Mintvine is one of those websites you’ve probably heard of where users are paid to take surveys. Of all the websites I’ve tried, Mintvine is the best. Users can reliably earn points every day by taking their daily poll. I’ve already earned more than enough for a payout! mintvine.com*
- Insta GC complete tasks for points towards redeeming a gift card of your choice. www.instagc.com*
- Amazon Mechanical Turk: I’m not currently using this program, although it looks like it could be relatively lucrative for working at home. www.mturk.com
Like any good incremental/clicker game, things start out logical end then turn… potatoe-y.