Definitely worth making a user account (for free) to read Scratch’s roundtable on publishing while black (you could also subscribe, it’s a great magazine):
Do publishers just not think there’s an audience for work by writers of color?
Jackson: No, I don’t think that’s true. I would say what’s happening in some of the larger publishing companies is that they’re publishing fewer books generally than they have in the past, and so they’re trying to publish those to audiences that they think they have mastered, they’ve already identified. And there’s a lot of data now in the way there wasn’t in the past, which can cut two ways. The olden days of “gut feelings” is passing away, and that’s not such a bad thing—gut feelings are often laced with implicit and untested biases. But my fear about more data-driven publishing is that it leads to companies engineered to sell books to people they’ve already identified.
Julia Carrie Wong on conflict between public spaces and the tech industry in San Francisco:
Kai told me that he had heard over the summer that pickup-soccer players were regularly being kicked off the field in the evening by adults who had paid to reserve the field through the city’s Recreation and Park Department. Having grown up playing soccer on that field, Kai decided to try to help the neighborhood kids make a stand for the existing rules. “I’ve also felt kind of exiled from the community, because of my eviction, and I didn’t want to see the same thing happening,” he said.
go fuck yourself, u are a repulsive monster:
I live in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the country, but on one of the more “modest” streets—mostly doctors and lawyers and family business owners. (A few blocks away are billionaires, families with famous last names, media moguls, etc.) I have noticed that on Halloween, what seems like 75 percent of the trick-or-treaters are clearly not from this neighborhood. Kids arrive in overflowing cars from less fortunate areas. I feel this is inappropriate. Halloween isn’t a social service or a charity in which I have to buy candy for less fortunate children. Obviously this makes me feel like a terrible person, because what’s the big deal about making less fortunate kids happy on a holiday? But it just bugs me, because we already pay more than enough taxes toward actual social services. Should Halloween be a neighborhood activity, or is it legitimately a free-for-all in which people hunt down the best candy grounds for their kids?
On the victim of Wednesday’s shooting in Ottawa, Corporal Nathan Cirillo:
Because the role is considered a ceremonial, albeit prestigious one, he said, Mr. Cirillo’s gun likely would not have been loaded.
“He was not responsible for protecting the memorial – the RCMP, the Ottawa police would’ve still been responsible for that,” he said.
Luvvie on Renee Zellweger:
Apparently, we are all servants of the patriarchy by talking about how odd it is that Renee Zellweger pulled a FACE/OFF and now looks like Claire Underwood’s cousin twice removed. But these are the same people who write pieces about whether Beyonce’s a feminist just because she chooses to wear onesies. I don’t have time.
But we shouldn’t say nothing about Renee. We should ignore the giant pink elephant that is throwing glitter in the middle of the room. OK, girl. Thankfully, I’m an equal opportunity roaster. So it makes you feel better, I also think Kenny Rogers looks like the Ghost of You Should Have Left Your Face Alone Present.
On the men and women working in the content moderation trenches:
Given that content moderators might very well comprise as much as half the total workforce for social media sites, it’s worth pondering just what the long-term psychological toll of this work can be. Jane Stevenson was head of the occupational health and welfare department for Britain’s National Crime Squad—the UK equivalent of the FBI—in the early 2000s, when the first wave of international anti-child-pornography operations was launched. She saw investigators become overwhelmed by the images; even after she left her post, agencies and private organizations continued to ask for her help dealing with the fallout, so she started an occupational health consultancy, Workplace Wellbeing, focused on high-pressure industries. She has since advised social media companies in the UK and found that the challenges facing their content moderators echo those of child-pornography and anti-terrorism investigators in law enforcement.
“From the moment you see the first image, you will change for good,” Stevenson says. But where law enforcement has developed specialized programs and hires experienced mental health professionals, Stevenson says that many technology companies have yet to grasp the seriousness of the problem.
Nicole is an Editor of The Toast.