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genius dispatch

genius dispatch

Mahbod Moghadam: Who’s Really Benefiting When We Censor Terrorists (and Ourselves)?

mahbod moghadam genius dispatch

On the day of the news of James Foley’s beheading, I was very sad. I thought he looked so brave, and I have a lot of respect for Americans who take an interest in the Middle East. I felt I could relate to him, and his death struck me on a personal level.

Naturally, I wanted to see the video the terrorists had released of his beheading. But every link I would click — there was nothing. All sites had removed the video.

When I told my friends that I wanted to watch the video, I got little sympathy. Nobody else wanted to watch it, they seemed to think it would be an act of disrespect to Foley to watch the video. Everybody seemed to think that I’m a sicko. Read More

genius dispatch

Response to Michael Brown Shooting Proves the Internet Is More Powerful Than Police

mahbod moghadam genius dispatch

How is the Michael Brown case different from Trayvon Martin? Superficially, the cases are quite similar, so why is the outcry – in Ferguson and on the internet – more amplified this time around?

The difference is that the Internet has become a far more powerful tool for social change in the past two years. While there is no video of Michael Brown being shot, the story is the climax of a series of instances of police brutality that have been caught on film thanks to ubiquitous iPhones. Read More

genius dispatch

Novelty Rules: Inside China’s Startup Culture with George Ruan

George Ruan.

My homie George Ruan is a serial entrepreneur with experience in China. Both of us are passionate about Bitcoin. China is my favorite country, and – especially with the advent of Bitcoin – the Chinese Internet intrigues me. Chinese people do everything better than us, so I am pretty sure someday the Chinese Internet will be much better than our crappy Internet. The Chinese version of Genius is going to be way better, for sure, since the entire website is a Confucian concept…

George was kind enough to sit me down and school me to the memes. He is currently the CEO of Honey, dope startup in Pasadena. Read More

genius dispatch

Disputed Monkey Pics Do Not Belong in the Public Domain

Screen shot 2014-08-06 at 5.51.50 PM

So, imagine you are a photographer and you are taking some cute monkey pics. Suddenly, the monkey takes your camera away and – rather than getting perturbed – you allow the monkey to do his thing, takes some selfies. You finally get your camera back and go home to develop the footage, and it turns out to be really cute! (see above)

Now imagine that Wikipedia tells you that the photo doesn’t belong to you, because you didn’t click the button, the monkey did. What kind of bullshit is that? So does this mean that photos taken with a “selfie stick” don’t belong to me, but rather, to the public domain? I didn’t push the button, after all…

This is what happened to photographer David Slater’s photos of a monkey in Indonesia. Wikimedia has denied his repeated requests for the photo to be taken down, and Slater is forced to take the matter to court, even though going to court is going to be costly and time-consuming. Read More