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This Must Be The /r/Place

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On April Fool’s Day, when the rest of the internet devolves into a cesspool of unfunny press releases and fake product launches, Reddit becomes the most interesting place online by unleashing a social experiment on its enormous community.

In past years, Reddit’s mods started a color war, an exponential chatroom, and a countdown button that ran for over two months, inspiring its own cult-like religions.

This year, it was Reddit Place, a collaborative canvas of one million pixels. You can color any pixel, but only one pixel every 5-10 minutes. It ended 72 hours later.

This is what happened.

The end result is about as aesthetically pleasing as Million Dollar Homepage, but even a full-screen 4K timelapse can’t fully convey what happened over those 72 hours.

Every tiny patch of the Place is a story. Every piece of real estate represents a hard-fought battle, drawn from the collective activity of hundreds of smaller communities teaming together, and often against each other.

Communities were formed solely to rally people to various causes: painting the bottom-right corner blue, making a patch of green lattice, a rainbow road, a series of interlocking hearts, a Windows 95 start menu. The Starry Knights and the Mona Lisa Clan formed to paint pixel art renditions of famous paintings. Another just wanted to tell the the tragedy of Darth Plagueis The Wise.

Each community created strategies, locations, and grid-based templates — tools to help make sure their work found its place. And all of them had a common enemy: The Black Void, a group of nihilists repeatedly defacing artwork with a growing, spreading maw of black pixels, only to be repeatedly fought back and incorporated into new pieces.

The Place couldn’t have gone on much longer: automated tools were developed to maintain pixel colors, making it more of a technological arms race. So, 72 hours later, the experiment was over.

There’s a heatmap timelapse of activity for all 72 hours, and a static heatmap of all activity. (Full data dumps are available, if you like.)

One person made a live-updating Minecraft server to visualize all Place activity, stacking blocks as pixels change. The final result is browsable as a static render.

Reddit can be hard to love. There’s so many wonderfully creative corners of that community, but it’s often drowned out by a noisy minority of hateful scumbags and trolls, emboldened by haphazard management.

But on April 1, when the internet is at its most annoying, it’s nice to have an annual reminder of what makes it great — even for a short time.

Or, as Reddit’s Josh Wardle wrote in the Place announcement, “Individually you can create something. Together you can create something more.”

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kerray
23 days ago
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Brno, CZ
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Chat Systems

13 Comments and 31 Shares
I'm one of the few Instagram users who connects solely through the Unix 'talk' gateway.
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popular
43 days ago
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kerray
45 days ago
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Brno, CZ
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11 public comments
fmeggers
19 days ago
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Chaos communications

iPhone: 47.398945,8.541090
tante
45 days ago
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The Internet will connect us all ... just not really
Oldenburg/Germany
bitofabother
45 days ago
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Too real.
francisga
45 days ago
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I love that AIM users are not reachable any other way.
Lafayette, LA, USA
adamgurri
45 days ago
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THIS
New York, NY
mrobold
45 days ago
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The struggle is real.
Orange County, California
JayM
45 days ago
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No bubble for: Email-SMS-Jabber-iMessage-Skype-IRC-TwitterDM-LinkedIn-PrivateForums-NewsBlurComments
Atlanta, GA
mindspillage
45 days ago
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Also, NewsBlur comments.
Mountain View, California
jth
45 days ago
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POST /inbox/new&msg=Hi!%20How%20have%20you%20been%3F%20It%27s%20been%20years%20since%20I%27ve%20seen%20you%20around.
Saint Paul, MN, USA
drchuck
45 days ago
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Nobody uses Wikipedia talk pages?
Long Island, NY
alt_text_bot
45 days ago
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I'm one of the few Instagram users who connects solely through the Unix 'talk' gateway.
HarlandCorbin
45 days ago
I found me on the diagram, i seem to be in a lonely group.

EFF Border Search Pocket Guide

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From our friends at EFF: "A handy guide designed to be printed, folded, and carried in your pocket while traveling."

See also:EFF presents: a guide to protecting your data privacy when crossing the US border

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kerray
48 days ago
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Brno, CZ
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seriouslyamerica: I hate this idea that I’m supposed to meet my...

1 Comment and 11 Shares


seriouslyamerica:

I hate this idea that I’m supposed to meet my opponents in the middle. The middle of what?

Denying my trans friends their humanity?

Debating whether my mothers should have had the right to marry?

Whether my terminally ill neighbor should access healthcare?

Whether my black friends should have to fear for their lives just for existing in their own neighborhoods?

I’m supposed to compromise with people who would send an immigrant child back to certain death in their country of origin?

That’s not respect, or compromise. It’s fascism. It’s violence. And it’s abhorrent.

When you ask fascists to meet you in the middle, you compromise your morals for nothing.

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kerray
65 days ago
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Brno, CZ
popular
65 days ago
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1 public comment
moonlit
65 days ago
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Even if they actually would, we can't meet in the middle when it's our existence being threatened.

Google X engineer writes a bot that turns Trump's tweets into money for Planned Parenthood

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Max Braun is the software lead for robotics at Google X. In his spare time he's written a bot that buys and shorts stocks based on Trump's tweets about publicly traded companies. The gains go to the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Resources Defense Council, and Planned Parenthood.

From his Medium post:

What if you wrote some code that constantly monitors Trump’s feed and analyzes each tweet for mentions of publicly traded companies? Then, you’d immediately trade the affected stocks based on the detected sentiment: buy if positive and short if negative. The whole thing could be 100% automated.

I just finished writing a bot which does exactly that. For your convenience, it also tweets out a summary as @Trump2Cash each time it springs into action.

Overall, the algorithm seems to succeed more often than not: The simulated fund has an annualized return of about 59% since inception. There are limits to the simulation and the underlying data, so take it all with a grain of salt.

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kerray
76 days ago
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Brno, CZ
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How “deep canvassing” works to change people's minds on issues

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How do you change someone's mind on contentious issues like gun control, Obamacare, and military spending? It's not easy, but it is possible to slightly shift people's political attitudes. You must use arguments that resonate with the person you are trying to convince, use their morals against them, and listen to them.

Above, a real-life example of "deep-canvassing" by the Los Angeles LGBT Center. From Vox:

In the video above, notice how the voter starts to come around on the issue when the canvasser asks if she's ever been on the receiving end of discrimination. She talks about being picked on at work and feeling different. He responds by telling his own story of being discriminated against for being gay. It's a real heart to heart between strangers.

And in that moment, the canvasser points out that a transgender nondiscrimination law would help people who feel discriminated against at school or work.

"Oh, okay, that makes a lot of sense," she says.

This technique has only been proven to work with identity issues, like transgender rights. It’s hard to say how to adapt it for talking a relative out of their support for gun control.

But the main message of the strategy couldn’t hurt to try: Listen to people, get them to think about their own experience, and highlight your common humanity.

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kerray
78 days ago
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Brno, CZ
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