Best Of The Web
“Of all the videos posted to YouTube, there is one that the platform recommends more than any other right now, according to a Pew Research study published Wednesday. That video is called “Bath Song | +More Nursery Rhymes & Kids Songs – Cocomelon (ABCkidTV).” YouTube recommended it more than 650 times among the 696,468 suggestions that Pew tracked, substantially more than the second-place finisher: the video for Maroon 5’s “Girls Like You” featuring Cardi B.
The new study took 174,117 random walks through the YouTube universe. It used software to generate the hundreds of thousands of suggestions by selecting a random video to start and then automatically picking from among the top five videos that were recommended afterward. A recommended video was selected four times in sequence for each YouTube journey. It’s a fascinating, if not complete, methodology for exploring one of the world’s most important algorithmic systems, and one that’s remained largely opaque to researchers, let alone its users.
Kids’ videos dominated the 10-most-recommended posts. “Bath Song” was joined by “Learn Colors with Spiderman 3D w Trucks Cars Surprise Toys Play Doh for Children,” “Wheels on the Bus | +More Nursery Rhymes & Kids Songs – Cocomelon (ABCkidTV),” and “Learn Shapes with Police Truck – Rectangle Tyres Assemby – Cartoon Animation for Children.” All are keyword-salad video titles that, apparently, make sense to the algorithm, if not to parents. Zoomed in close, the recommendations look strange. Why should the algorithm favor these particular videos out of all the kid content on YouTube?”
JJ Best Of The Web
"Trump’s Iran sanctions could work. In the medium term, they’ll make it hard for the country to keep up oil production, satisfy domestic demand, and fund the government."
"CNN dropped the lawsuit when the White House agreed to allow Acosta to regain access, and instituted new guidelines for press conferences. As with of Trump’s other pokes at the Constitution, this one got at the heart of core democratic norms."
"The gulf between liberal U.S. Jews and right-wing Israel now colors our responses to Jews being killed: there's a sliding scale of innocence according to which we rate the victims."
"The Favourite, was a movie I truly wanted to love. Even now, sitting down to write about it a week later, I’m trying in retrospect to make myself love it."
"With lots of money, one can buy special protective technology, hire expensive private guard labor, move to a different place, or simply rebuild one's property if it gets destroyed. But that doesn't mean you will be invulnerable."
"In general, progress has brought about unprecedented prosperity while also making it easier to do harm. But between two kinds of outcomes — gains in well-being and gains in destructive capacity — the beneficial ones have largely won out."
"Some women successfully free themselves from emotional labor, but I don’t want to give up the work of caring. I just want others to care as well."
"In 1930, John Maynard Keynes predicted that, by the end of the century, technology would have become so far advanced that developed economies would have a 15-hour workweek. So how did we get to our current state...?"
"Thanksgiving is the perfect time for you to give it a try. Before the big day, practice discussing a couple of difficult topics with Angry Uncle Bot, a chat program created to help teach you the techniques."
"As a mother, I care about serving nutritious meals to my family. As a dietitian, I know better than to overpay for meaningless "GMO free" labels."
"Under the right conditions, proteins can survive for millions of years. In recent years, proteomic studies of art works and archeological remains have yielded biological information of startling clarity..."
"Last week, Israeli media reported of rioting Haredim onboard an El Al plane. The true story turned out to be very different, and deeply revealing."