Developer Chris Wetherell built Twitter’s retweet button. And he regrets what he did to this day.
“We might have just handed a 4-year-old a loaded weapon,” Wetherell recalled thinking as he watched the first Twitter mob use the tool he created. “That’s what I think we actually did.”
Good article on the unintended consequences of technological decisions. Developed at a time when Twitter was still viewed as a good place to be, the true impact of the Retweet button wasn’t able to be predicted.
“Only two or three times did someone ask a broader and more interesting social question, which was, ‘What is getting shared?’” Wetherell said. “That almost never came up.”
Nowadays, hopefully at least, the broader ramifications of a technical or user-interface decision should be considered. Of course, we still end up with email companies thinking that tracking where people open emails is a good thing.
On the evening of November 20, 2014, Bobby Livingston, the executive vice president of RR Auction, was working late. The Boston auction house, a boutique firm that focused in part on objects that had been flown into space, was hosting one of its regular seven P.M. sales. Lot 477, an innocent-looking envelope with several inked notary circles and three stamps, and emblazoned with the vibrant Emilio Pucci–designed insignia of the Apollo 15 mission, had a minimum bid of $1,000 on it.
Great story in the first issue of Gradyon Carter’s new venture, Airmail.
Obviously there’s a fair amount of negative commentary about cricket in Australia at the moment: ball tampering, playing bans, sledging, win-at-all-cost attitudes and the effect that this has on up and coming players. It makes it very easy to succumb to a pretty negative feeling about the sport, and it’s future. However, there are bright spots that need to be celebrated.
My daughter, Evelyn, has been playing cricket for a few years, and even made the U15 Western Australian State Team. She’s progressing through the early stages of her cricket journey, and is coming into contact with many different players and attitudes.
Recently she was playing in a trial league that the WACA has been experimenting with, as a bridge for young girls between the relatively calm community cricket games and the more demanding Grade Cricket matches. The teams in this league are made up of 13-16 year old girls, gaining experience playing on turf.
In a recntt game, the opposition were quite aggressive in their “sledging”, using very strong language, and attacking some of the girls personally while they were batting. It would have been preferrable for the umpires to stop this behaviour outright. That didn’t happen however, and so Evelyn’s team were discussing how to react.
There were some girls that were suggesting to fight fire with fire, but the captain, Olivia, made a strong point to everyone that no team she played in would play cricket that way, that it wasn’t how she wanted to play, and that it wasn’t part of the “Spirit of Cricket”.
As a parent, and a cricket lover, it was great to hear that sentiment coming from a 15 year old girl. Remembering it now, in light of recent events, gives me some hope that the game can reclaim some of it’s more sedate roots.
An attempt to be less reliant on twitter. Probably more development focussed than anything, but not exclusively so.