Goodbye to All That

An all-too-familiar tragedy; a smart city company co-opts the co-op movement; and more.


  • The deadly school shooting in Florida yesterday is believed to be the 239th such event in the United States since the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012, Jugal K. Patel reports for The New York Times. It has disturbingly become an all-too-familiar tragedy. Many of the details reported by The New York Times’ Audra D.S. Burch and Patricia Mazzei are familiar as well: the disturbing content of the shooter’s social media, his obsession with and stalking of a girl at the school, a stockpile of ammo. Videos of the carnage taken by students at the school are circulating on social media.

  • One YouTube comment made by the shooter last fall explicitly stated, “I’m going to be a professional school shooter,” Brianna Sacks reports for BuzzFeed News. The creator of the video where the comment was left alerted the FBI.

  • Tech and politics: House Democrats are trying to shore up elections protections before the 2018 midterms begin in less than three weeks, Lily Hay Newman reports for Wired, but considering Republican apathy towards the problem, the likelihood of successfully implementing all of the changes seems low.

  • And in California, Democrats hoping to flip Republican Representative Darrell Issa’s district are getting nervous that a relatively recent (2010) voting reform that eliminates traditional party primaries could result in a Democratic bloodbath and two Republican candidates going head to head in the general election, Adam Nagourney reports for The New York Times.

  • What sharing economy? The United Diversity network claimed on Twitter that the smart city company Digital Town is falsely describing their products and projects as co-operative when they are anything but. It may be hot to be co-op, but it’s not cool to co-opt.

  • Internet of Shit: Rachel Kaser reports for The Next Web that Facebook is planning on releasing smart speakers to compete with the Amazon Echo as early as July, a product I sincerely hope nobody ever buys.

  • Related: Peter Thiel is moving to L.A. and considering resigning from the Facebook board because he is fed up with Silicon Valley’s intolerance for conservative thinkers like him, Douglas MacMillan, Keach Hagey, and Deepa Seetharaman report for The Wall Street Journal. Goodbye to all that, etc.

  • Media matters: Josh Stearns explains how the Democracy Fund is trying to support local news.

  • Attend: On February 19, the Center for Story-Based Strategy and partners will hold Black Panther #FanActivistCon, “a virtual gathering for justice.” Learn more and RSVP here.

  • New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, with Civic Hall and Progressive HackNight, is organizing a 3-part event to generate solutions for the disposal of prescription drugs and material for educating the general public about the dangers of abuse and addiction. Learn more and find details about the first event, a Pre-hack on February 25, here.

  • Opportunity: The Open Society Foundation is seeking applicants to their fellowship program to address “New and radical forms of ownership, governance, entrepreneurship, and financialization…needed to fight pervasive economic inequality.” Learn more here.