ENTRIES TAGGED "links"

Usain Bolt and steroids

I’m guilty of the Original Sin of the Internet: mistaking truthiness for truth.

A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth has its boots on.Abraham LincolnShakespeareWinston ChurchillMark Twain

TL;DR: the Internet is full of myth, truth is buried in truthiness, objective reality may itself be a convenient fiction, we are all lost souls wandering in a desert of fabulation and mystery, but Usain Bolt’s coach is not a steroid pusher. Also, how do you decide which links to share?

Yesterday I tweeted a link which wasn’t true, about Usain Bolt and steroids. This shouldn’t be earth-shattering news, that a factual basis isn’t a prerequisite for virality, but I wanted to deconstruct my mistake to learn from it.

Most of the replies I got to the tweet were of the “ugh, how depressing” variety, because it played to the sense that this man’s abnormal accomplishments were unnatural. However, I was contacted by David Epstein of Sports Illustrated after an umptyzillion people had retweeted the link:

When asked, David was kind enough to provide a citation to an NBC story: Linking of Usain Bolt to Admitted Steroid Dealer Completely False.

(Note that the 4:1 testosterone ratios, the doping cycle, and other background on performance enhancing drugs in the original article are true; it’s the specific claim about Bolt’s coach that’s fiction)

I’m guilty of the Original Sin of the Internet: mistaking truthiness for truth.

A greater sin, however, would be failing to learn from mistakes. So, what did I do, how can I do better next time, and how will I make it right?

Read more…

Comments: 20
O'Reilly Radar 11/29/11: iPhone 4S hardware, ubiquitous computing, HTML5, EPUB3 and the Kindle Fire

O'Reilly Radar 11/29/11: iPhone 4S hardware, ubiquitous computing, HTML5, EPUB3 and the Kindle Fire

Information related to the 11/29/11 episode of O'Reilly Radar.

Access the script and associated links from the November 29, 2011 edition of O'Reilly Radar. Featuring: Alasdair Allan on ubiquitous computing, access vs. ownership, and Peter Meyers on EPUB3, HTML5 and the Kindle Fire.

Comment
Links on the side

Links on the side

A simple solution for including hyperlinks without undermining focus.

Digital documents that help readers focus are the ones that we're most likely to remember. Those that send us scampering around the web will be more easily forgotten.

Comment
Top Stories: October 10-14, 2011

Top Stories: October 10-14, 2011

The obstacles of indoor navigation, "Moneyball" for software engineers, and a call for hyperlinking restraint.

This week on O'Reilly: Nick Farina explained why smartphones have yet to crack the indoor navigation problem, we explored the relationship between "Moneyball" and software engineering, and Pete Meyers looked at the pros and cons of links in ebooks.

Comment
Linking in ebooks: How much is too much?

Linking in ebooks: How much is too much?

Ebook hyperlinks don't always lead to a smooth reading experience.

Ebook producers must decide if the destinations behind embedded links are worth the disruptions they might cause.

Comment

Sifting Through All These Books

We have a massive and growing supply and demand imbalance in the book business. And, as the technologies for creating and distributing books becomes trivial, the supply of books is just going to keep growing exponentially…. How are people going to sift through all these books to find what they want?

Comments: 9