Category: digital

Jered Threatin

Jered Threatin:


Jessica Lussenhop’s article is bloody brilliant, one to mull over with a nice hot drink and ponder – don’t skim good journalistic writing.

Update: 19 December 2018

“The publicity stunt for this is done,” Jered Eames assured me at the end of our interview. “Anything I’ve said to you is factual.”

To prove that he was indeed the one that tipped off the media to the hoax Eames forwarded me 16 different news tips sent from the “E. Evieknowsit” account. Four of them were sent to two different general BBC news tip email addresses, and the earliest of those was dated 4 November – five days before the first stories broke.

My colleagues looked for the emails, but because those inboxes are routinely purged, they had nothing.

After we first published our story, I began reaching out to reporters at the other outlets who had allegedly been sent emails. The earliest one was reportedly sent on 2 November to the “tips” inbox for the entertainment magazine Variety.

“Yes, we got this email,” a helpful Variety reporter wrote back, attaching a copy with the exact same text that Jered had shared with me.

Then I looked closer. The timestamp on Jered’s copy said it was sent on “Fri, Nov 2, 2018 at 12:16 PM”. The copy from the Variety reporter read, “Sat, Nov 17, 2018 at 4:32 PM”.

An editor at MetalSucks, which did some of the earliest breaking stories on Threatin, could not find an alleged 7 November email that Jered shared with me. Instead, he found a different email from Evie in their inbox, pointing him to a YouTube clip from one of Threatin’s empty shows. It was dated 17 November.

As I went down the line, I found that the New York Times, Ultimate Classic Rock and Metal Insider all got the “E. Evieknowsit” email on 17 November. But by this date, these outlets had already extensively covered the Threatin story.

Finally, the BBC’s IT specialists managed to recover two deleted messages from “E. Evieknowsit”.

Both were sent on 17 November, less than an hour apart.

When I texted Jered to tell him what I’d found, he said he would respond.

RICHARD BENTALL: Delusions, Paranoia and Socia…

RICHARD BENTALL: Delusions, Paranoia and Social Identity:

Lunctime lecture for you guys from Professor Richard Bentall. A fascinating breakdown of how social identity and mental health are so closely connected.

Digital Human: Series 16, Episode 4 – Illusion

Jered Threatin: “I Turned an Empty Room into a…

Jered Threatin: “I Turned an Empty Room into an International Headline” | MetalSucks:

“What is Fake News? I turned an empty room into an international headline. If you are reading this, you are part of the illusion. #Marketing #Psychology#SocialMedia #FakeNews #Threatin #BreakingTheWorld #MusicIndustry@NBCNews @BBCNews @JoeRogan @RollingStone @billboard

OMG! Don’t we all feel like assholes now*? JERED THREATIN DID IT ALL TO TEACH US A LESSON ABOUT FAKE NEWS!!! He’s not a failed musician-turned-con artist, he’s a brilliant social critic!!! How did we not understand this all along?!?!?!

Look, I suppose it’s possible that Jered has pulled some genius Andy Kaufman-level performance art stunt here**. It’s also possible Axl Rose is going to call me later today and offer me a million dollars to be his official biographer. It seems improbable, but it’s not impossible.

Meanwhile, this morning’s article sent off a landslide of new sources contacting MetalSucks. Expect this story to somehow get even more bizarre in the next few days.

*Probably still smaller, less stinky assholes than a guy who sent out a graphic of his own quote, though.
**Although I’m not sure what the lesson/point would be; this doesn’t teach us anything about Fake News because it’s not Fake News — the fact that someone was able to trick so many other people using social media is an amazing, very much of-the-moment story. If he taught anyone a “lesson,” it’s the venues I guess? Maybe the lesson here is simply that people who unironically use the term ‘Fake News’ are generally full of Real Shit.

Digital Human: Series 16, Episode 4 – Illusion

Why The Internet Is A Bad Place To Discover Mu…

Why The Internet Is A Bad Place To Discover Music:

1. Music choice is more about personal identity than it is about anything else.

Personal identity is spread through human interaction — that means what your friends listen too, or what your diaspora listens to — you probably listen to as well. Humans look to other humans for the social clues that help them decide what their identity should be, and in that way, that is how music discovery is spread as well.

That’s a long way of saying this: Yes, we are overwhelmed by all the music choices available to us, but we find new music the way new music has always been found — word of mouth.

How do you think Bach got his gigs? Word of mouth. How did Kanye blow up? Word of mouth.

What the music industries needs more of is streaming services with these social cues. Spotify should tell me that 30% of my Facebook friends (or, now, Google+ connections) are listening to the Black Eyed Peas. Or that 70% of listeners from my (hyper-local) area have started listening to Justin Beiber’s new album. I’m much more likely to listen to it is my friends (or merely people near me) are also listening.

Because music creates self-identity — which, in turn, creates something much more valuable: community.

If the music industry decided to start selling “community” instead of “music”, they’d be better off.

.2. Most music discovery platforms are in the wrong place.

Do you know the story of Joshua Bell playing violin in the Washington subway? He, one of the best violin virtuosos in the world, played piece-after-piece of classical repertoire. He played for 45 minutes and made $32.

To me, this was a ridiculous exercise. It proves two things to me:

1) The venue is much more important than the music or the musician

2) Never mistake a busy street for a venue

People are walking by. They left their houses because they had somewhere to go. Some middle aged guy with a fancy violin doesn’t change the fact that they need to catch a train to get to work.

How arrogant do you have to be to expect people to stop their lives to listen to your music? Give me a break.

Here is the important part: Facebook, Twitter, and most of the internet is a street. It is not a venue. People are on their way somewhere. They are doing things. They are busy. The internet is, then, not necessarily the best place for people to discover, and fall in love with, a song or an artist.

So if it seems that listeners are overwhelmed, that they are not finding the music they want, or nobody cares about “my” music — it’s because listeners are not in a venue that makes the music matter.

Digital Human: Series 16, Episode 4 – Illusion

threatin Archives | MetalSucks

threatin Archives | MetalSucks:


To be honest, if you want to get a handle on all the twist and turns in this story you’ve gotta go back and read from the beginning. Going backwords works too if you’re that way inclined I guess.

Digital Human: Series 16, Episode 4 – Illusion

Why public spaces in European cities are becom…

Why public spaces in European cities are becoming homogenized:

In addition, these new public spaces often have the brief of breathing new life into locations lacking any major architectural merit, whereas previous projects focused on iconic settings. This brief seems to be prompting certain cities to adopt rather extravagant projects, Curnier found. For example, the cities of St. Gallen, Glasgow, Copenhagen and Berlin have covered ground with red paint in order to distinguish their public spaces (see photos). Having initially been designed to stand out, these different spaces now look alike.

Nobody in Glasgow liked the Red in George Square… glad to say it’s gone now 🙂

Digital Human: Series 16, Episode 1: Gentrification

Robots Should Be Slaves

Robots Should Be Slaves:

Slaves are normally defined to be people you own. In recent centuries, due to the African slave trade, slavery came to be associated with racism and also with endemic cruelty. In the past though (and in some places still today) slaves were often members of the same race or even nation that had simply lost private status. This happened generally as an outcome of war, but sometimes as an outcome of poverty. Excesses of cruelty are greatest when actors are able to dehumanise those in their power, and thus remove their own empathy for their subordinates. Such behaviour can be seen even within contemporary communities of citizens, when a person in power considers their very social standing as an indication of a specialness not shared with subordinates. Our culture has for good reason become extremely defensive against actions and beliefs associated with such dehumanisation.

But surely dehumanisation is only wrong when it’s applied to someone who really is human? Given the very obviously human beings that have been labelled inhuman in the global culture’s very recent past, many seem to have grown wary of applying the label at all. For example, Dennett (1987) argues that we should allocate the rights of agency to anything that appears to be best reasoned about as acting in an intentional manner. Because the costs of making a mistake and trivialising a sentient being are too great, Dennett says we are safer to err on the side of caution.

Dennett’s position is certainly easy to be sympathetic with, and not only because such generosity is almost definitionally nice. As I discuss below, there are many reasons people want to be able to build robots that they owe ethical obligation to. But the position overlooks the fact that there are also costs associated with allocating agency this way. I describe these costs below as well.

But first, returning to the question of definition – when I say “Robots should be slaves”, I by no means mean “Robots should be people you own.” What I mean to say is “Robots should be servants you own.”

There are several fundamental claims of this paper:

Having servants is good and useful, provided no one is dehumanised.
A robot can be a servant without being a person.
It is right and natural for people to own robots.
It would be wrong to let people think that their robots are persons.

Digital Human: Series 15, Ep 5 – Subservience

Fairness, transparency, privacy

Fairness, transparency, privacy:


Every day seems to bring news of another major breakthrough in the fields of data science and artificial intelligence, whether in the context of winning games, driving cars, or diagnosing disease. Yet many of these innovations also create novel risks by amplifying existing biases and discrimination in data, enhancing existing inequality, or increasing vulnerability to malfunction or manipulation.

There also are increasingly many examples where data collection and analysis risks oversharing personal information or giving unwelcome decisions without explanation or recourse.

The Turing is committed to ensuring that the benefits of data science and AI are enjoyed by society as a whole, and that the risks are mitigated so as not to disproportionately burden certain people or groups. This interest group plays an important role in this mission by exploring technical solutions to protecting fairness, accountability, and privacy, as increasingly sophisticated AI technologies are designed and deployed.

Once your smart devices can talk to you, who…

Once your smart devices can talk to you, who else are they talking to? Kashmir Hill and Surya Mattu wanted to find out – so they outfitted Hill’s apartment with 18 different internet-connected devices and built a special router to track how often they contacted their servers and see what they were reporting back. The results were surprising – and more than a little bit creepy. Learn more about what the data from your smart devices reveals about your sleep schedule, TV binges and even your tooth-brushing habits – and how tech companies could use it to target and profile you. (This talk contains mature language.)

Digital Human: Series 15, Ep 1 – Jigsaw

Survival in the digital age Stephanie Hankey o…

Survival in the digital age Stephanie Hankey offers a guide to safe online activism.:

Digital Human: Series 15, Ep 1 – Jigsaw