Discover more from Anchor Change with Katie Harbath
What I’m Reading - 8/13/2023
Plus some pictures from my vacation in Wyoming
Happy Sunday from Washington, DC. I made it back last night from my week in Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons, and now I am working on the dreaded transition from vacation mode into everyday mode.
We had a great time exploring these two national parks. The scenery was just breathtaking. I’ve included more photos at the end of this newsletter if you want to see some pretty pictures. If you’ve never been, I highly recommend it.
Snake River overlook - Grand Teton National Park. This is where Ansel Adams took his famous photograph of the mountains.
I keep a running document on vacation for all the random things I think of. These can be anything from errands I want to run to ideas for this newsletter or other things I want to do.
Last Tuesday, I was sitting in our cabin at Yellowstone, and I read another excellent newsletter from, where she recounts overhearing a surfer say to a friend, “Man, fuck the list. Live in the bucket.”
Live in the bucket. That phrase has crept into my mind several times this week, and I named my vacation document “bucket list.” On it, I have things like:
Going camping alone
Living a month in Paris
Renting a few nights in an Airstream
Taking a multi-day rafting trip
Back in 2007, when I was working in New York on the Giuliani campaign, I took a notebook and wrote down everything I wanted to do when the campaign was over, and I had time to have a life.
I did the same while I was at Facebook.
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about where and how I’m living my life now that I can work from anywhere. One of my new projects will be about living more in the bucket. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.
Before we get to the links, I ask that you support the independent journalism and analysis I’m doing with this newsletter. As a paid subscriber, you make it possible for me to bring you in-depth analyses on the most pressing issues in tech and politics. I’m just short of 200 paid subscribers, and your support can help me reach that milestone!
What I’m Reading
Taylor Swift: 1989 Taylors Version out October 27
Did I stay up late Wednesday night to see her announce this album? Definitely.
US News: FEC Moves Toward Potentially Regulating AI Deepfakes in Campaign Ads
In June, the FEC rejected a petition to consider regulating the use of AI in political ads. The petition was refiled, and now the FEC has agreed to take public comment and consider this issue. Public comments will be open for 60 days.
Project Syndicate: Kelly Born - Will Generative AI Make or Break Democracy?
Kelly Born has been long involved in technology and democracy issues. Previously at the Hewlett Foundation and now at Packard, she takes a look at how AI will impact democracy.
Courthouse News: Red states accuse Biden administration of censorship before Fifth Circuit
The Fifth Circuit heard arguments about whether the injunction against the government from engaging social media companies should stay in place. The court hasn’t ruled yet, but they will rule to keep it. This means it will likely be appealed to the Supreme Court - perhaps as early as this week.
Kara Swisher: Burn Book: A Tech Love Story - Release date March 5, 2024
Kara Swisher announced the release date of her long-anticipated memoir about covering tech. I love that she’s using Taylor Swift’s song “Look at what you made me do” with the social media posts.
Debate Andreessen Horowitz Article
A group of folks created a shared doc to debate the points Marc Andreessen made in his recent post about how AI will save the world.
Scroll.in: How Modi government's new bill aims to wrest control of Election Commission appointments
Keep a close eye on this new legislation that would give the government the power to appoint people to the election commission.
The Wall Street Journal: Meta, Alphabet and Other Tech Firms Face New Data Rules in India
The bill, called the Digital Personal Data Protection Act, says that companies must get consent from users before collecting their personal data and that they must use it for the stated purposes. It allows the government to limit the transfer of data outside India and penalizes companies for breaking the rules.
Reuters: Pakistan prime minister to advise president to dissolve parliament
An election needs to be held in the next 90 days, though it could be delayed several months with the election commission set to start redrawing hundreds of constituencies based on a fresh census.
BBC News: Onlyfans, Twitch and Snapchat rules 'impenetrable'
The British regulator Ofcom looked at how easy it is for people to read and understand various platform rules. They found Onlyfans, Twitch, and Snap to be particularly hard.
The Washington Post: Stanford University just schooled Congress on AI
Stanford University held a three-day workshop for Congressional staffers to learn more about artificial intelligence.
Ian Axford Fellowships in Public Policy: Rachel Wolbers - The Future of the Christchurch Call to Action: How to Build Multistakeholder Initiatives to Address Content Moderation Challenges
Rachel took a leave of absence from the Oversight Board to work on this project in New Zealand. It’s well worth a read about how efforts by companies and governments aren’t enough to tackle the challenges online platforms pose to society.
Politico: Special counsel obtained search warrant for Donald Trump's Twitter account
This is another first for public figures and their online accounts - especially since X/Twitter couldn’t tell Trump the government asked for this information. It’s worth considering how we would all feel if this happened in a less democratic country.
Oxford University: No evidence linking Facebook adoption and negative well-being: Oxford study
Research continues to be mixed about social media’s impact on society. It probably always will be. I liked Casey Newton’s newsletter about this, where he makes a good point: “We should also resist the temptation posed by the question that opens this column: to give a definitive, self-contained answer to a question that seems to have wide variation at the level of the individual.”
Digiday: Podcast networks report Q2 revenue growth with positive signs for continued improvements in 2023
Regular readers will know I’m obsessed about the impact of podcasts and this Q2 news shows they aren’t going anywhere.
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: What Makes an Influence Operation Malign?
Some of the smartest people on malign influence operations provide three criteria to help democratic governments assess whether an influence operation is acceptable or unacceptable.
Axios: Exclusive: OpenAI funds new journalism ethics initiative
OpenAI continues to invest in efforts to help responsibly integrate use of AI into journalism.
Brennan Center for Justice: Artificial Intelligence Legislation Tracker
A handy resource to keep track of all the AI bills in Congress.
Wired: The Internet Speech Case That the Supreme Court Can’t Dodge
Free speech expert Jeff Kosseff takes a look at the Texas and Florida bills the Supreme Court will likely have to take up next year.
MIT Technology Review: AI Language Models Are Rife with Political Biases
How AI models are trained and learn is the next frontier of content moderation. It will force us to continue trying to define what it means to be unbiased - if it’s possible.
West Thumb Geyser Basin
Dad and I at the lower falls in Yellowstone.
My mom, sister, and I at the upper falls.
Mammoth Hot Springs
Grand Prismatic Spring
The big kahuna rapids on the Snake River. I’m in the
pink and grey hat in the upper left.