Weekend Thoughts - 4.2.16

Image  by  Narayan G. Maharjan , courtesy of  Creative Commons  licensing.

Image by Narayan G. Maharjan, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

Happy Saturday y'all! Below, I have rounded up some things for you to think about this weekend:

1. Fellow Mario fans and technology nerds rejoice! This amazing Mario glitch allows the game to be turned into Flappy Bird. The technical jargon may be a bit much for you, as it was for me, but it's a pretty cool to watch nonetheless.

2. I was slightly disturbed by the actions of a black student at San Francisco State University who earlier this week assaulted a white teen because he has dreadlocks. The black student insisted that dreadlocks are a hair style that are only culturally-allowed to be worn by black folks, and that the white student was stealing her culture by choosing to wear them. First of all, following up an accusation of cultural appropriation with violence is poor form. But perhaps most importantly of all, dreadlocks are not exclusively part of black culture. It turns out that dreadlocks have roots in places like Greece, Egypt, India, and more. So not only was the black student out of line with her violent actions, but she was also perpetuating a false myth. The article and video are certainly worth a look.

3. In a previous edition of Weekend Thoughts from earlier this year, I linked to an article describing a court case that the FBI brought upon Apple in an effort to obtain information located on a suspect's iPhone. It turns out that the FBI has officially dropped its case against Apple after finding a way into the phone. There is a ton of excellent analysis in the tech community and media about this case and the FBI's true motivations, so I won't get into that here. I will simply say that although this particular battle is over, the war will certainly see another day.

4. You may find yourself wondering why the feds usually try to unlock phones. It turns out that it's to fight the War on Drugs, not the War on Terrorism. The article explains how the FBI has repeatedly lied about its intentions for breaking into locked or encrypted devices and provides evidence showing that a majority of times the FBI has requested help for obtaining information has been related to drug cases, not dangerous or violent crimes like terrorism, financial crime, child pornography, or counterfeiting. The War on Drugs has clearly our government the precedent to invade our privacy and the apparent belief that lying to its citizens is acceptable.

That's all for this week's edition of Weekend Thoughts. Until next week, keep thinking wilder.