This week’s What I’ve Been Reading is going to get inside your brain…

  • Kevin Randall of the New York Times writes about the burgeoning field of neuropolitics, which analyzes facial expressions and other physiological data to determine how people are reacting to candidates and policies. I don’t doubt the accuracy of neuromarketers’ findings, but people change their minds about politics all the time; I don’t know think a snapshot of someone’s physiological data at a certain point in time accurately conveys how people will feel about a candidate come election day.
  • Alana Semuels of the Atlantic writes about a living space in Syracuse, NY called Commonspace. Think of it like a dorm for adults – each tenant gets their own unit with bedroom and bathroom, but there’s a common space for people to socialize and a social engineer who organizes events. It seems like an interesting living arrangement for sure, but I don’t know how well it would be able to accommodate guests.
  • Now for the first of two pieces about Twitter. Also writing for the Atlantic, Robinson Meyer explains one of the social-networking service’s greatest problems: people inside a conversation treat their discussions as more ephemeral than those outside of it; an insider sees what they say as off-the-cuff statements, while an insider sees those statements as strong, carefully-considered political assertions. The result: war between people in different groups. (*cough* GamerGate *cough*)
  • And finally, the second piece. A former Twitter employee explains the firm’s diversity problem, which ultimately led to his leaving the company. This is a broader issue in tech as well. Black people see a lily-white San-Fran tech scene, which discourages them from trying to join it. This perpetuates a cycle where few black people enter tech because few black people are in it.

Alright, get out of here. You’ve spent enough time reading my blog. Go do something productive.