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Big Revolution - A shorthand for reality

Welcome to Tuesday's Big Revolution newsletter, and there's lots going on in the world... – Martin fr
January 29 · Issue #332 · View online
Big Revolution
Welcome to Tuesday’s Big Revolution newsletter, and there’s lots going on in the world…
– Martin from Big Revolution

Big things you need to know today
  • Apple has disabled Group FaceTime, after a bug was discovered that allowed users to call another FaceTime user and listen in to the audio on the other end before the person even answered the call. Apple has promised a fix later this week.
  • Apple is planning a ‘Netflix for games’ service, Cheddar reports. Apple is seriously ramping up its services business right now, as growth in iPhone sales dies off.
The big thought
Who has time to read a book these days, anyway?: Credit: Alfons Morales on Unsplash
A shorthand for reality
The tweet below from James Ball got me thinking about how the future of the UK is currently being decided via a series of hastily arranged deals, sometimes based on spurious understandings of how the world works.
This tweet is pretty ‘in the weeds’ of Brexit, but don’t worry, you won’t need to have a deep understanding of it to get my wider point…
James Ball
Only just noticed the “Malthouse compromise” relies on the mad ERG idea that Article 24 magically gets you an FTA that lasts for a decade. They have not read the paragraph where every WTO member has a veto over it, have they?
7:41 AM - 29 Jan 2019
As the Brexit deadline looms, just two months away, and with some important votes set to take place in Parliament today, the pressure is on politicians to deliver any kind of certainty about what happens next.
And as we’ve seen over the past few years of the Brexit process, it’s clear many of them simply don’t have a deep understanding of just how globally connected the world is today.
The importance of global supply chains eluded many of the most influential Brexiters for far too long, many refuse to take the Irish border seriously, and ideas to smooth over problems with Brexit are often so poorly thought-through that you can poke holes in them like they were tracing paper.
But while we clearly need more from our politicians, on one level I’m not at all surprised, because most of us scrape through life on a thin understanding of issues that affect us.
The internet has a funny way of distilling knowledge and twisting it in unexpected ways…
  • One person reads a book on an issue new to them, and writes a blog post about it
  • A hundred people read that post and think they’re experts now because they suddenly know 100% more about the issue than they did before.
  • They all tweet about their interpretation of what they read in the blog about the book
  • Thousands of people read those tweets and a distilled, twisted version of the information in the original book becomes something ‘everyone knows.’
  • As everyone 'knows’ it, it becomes sound basis to base a political policy idea around.
And that’s before we consider people willfully throwing misinformation into the mix.
With politicians of all stripes racing to 'deliver’ their version of Brexit, it’s understandable they’re resorting to shorthand versions of reality, even if it would be rational for them to call the whole thing off for now and take a few years to get the next steps right. Forget the referendum result, and public expectations – it’s simply too complicated to rush and expect a positive outcome.
If Brexit is the disaster many predict, the UK will have a lot of reflecting to do. How people get their information in the modern world, and to what level of depth, may well be something we’ll want to understand. Deeply.
One big read
Deepfake videos: Inside the Pentagon’s race against disinformation Deepfake videos: Inside the Pentagon’s race against disinformation
Deepfakes get a lot of attention here in the Big Revolution newsletter, but that’s because they matter! Here, CNN takes a really good deep dive on the issue, with plenty of video to illustrate the problem.
One big tweet
Simon Pursehouse
IDEA. A smart microwave that’s connected to Spotify so instead of having to wait in silence waiting for a ding, it plays a song that’s exactly the cooking length of the food.

Heating a pouch of rice? Teenage Kicks it is.

Going for a jacket potato? Then enjoy Bat Out Of Hell.
6:33 PM - 28 Jan 2019
That’s all for today...
Back tomorrow with more. And if you ever want to send me some feedback, you can just hit reply to this email.
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