Daily Bread for 6.18.21

Good morning.

Friday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of 92. Sunrise is 5:16 AM and sunset 8:36 PM, for 15h 20m 18s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing gibbous with 53.6% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1815, the Battle of Waterloo results in Napoleon Bonaparte’s defeat by the Duke of Wellington and Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher forcing him to abdicate the throne of France for the second and last time.

Recommended for reading in full — 

 Philip Bump writes Expanding broadband would benefit red America more than blue:

It’s probably inadvertent, but the national map of broadband need published by the White House on Thursday offers an extra layer of information beyond its detailed look at Internet access in the United States. Those areas that are in greatest need of broadband are displayed in red, accidentally elevating another quality most share: They largely voted for Donald Trump in 2020.

The Census Bureau collects data on technology adoption across the country, releasing assessments of how common computer ownership or Internet access is at the state, county and Census tract level. If we compare the density of households without any type of computer (including smartphones) or broadband access to how a country voted in 2020, we see that Trump-voting counties are overrepresented in both groups.

 Valerie Wirtschafter writes How George Floyd changed the online conversation around BLM:

On July 13, 2013, George Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin. Immediately, several Twitter users aired their disappointment and reminded the world of a simple truth: Black Lives Matter. Their tweets marked some of the first uses of a hashtag that would enter the mainstream a year later, on November 25, 2014, when a grand jury declined to indict Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown—and protesters online and off turned to the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag to express their anger and grief. As police violence has persisted and the movement for racial justice continues, the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag has emerged as an enduring feature of online discourse. As of April 30, 2021, it has been used in more than 25 million original Twitter posts, which collectively have garnered approximately 444 billion likes, retweets, comments, or quotes—roughly 17,000 engagements per post.[1]

Since Floyd’s murder, this online activism has only accelerated. In the seven days between his death on May 25, 2020, and the police attack on protesters in Lafayette Square on June 1, the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag generated approximately 3.4 million original posts with 69 billion engagements—or roughly 13% of all posts and 15.5% of all engagements on Twitter in that period. #BlackLivesMatter content peaked on June 8, with some 1.2 million original posts mentioning the hashtag. This marked an astonishing increase in use of the hashtag: Prior to the June protests, the record for posts had been July 8, 2016, following the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, when original content reached 145,631 posts with an average of 7.4 engagements per post.

Figure 1 plots this dramatic increase in use of the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag, alongside markers of milestones in the movement. Following Floyd’s murder, posts increased exponentially and previous spikes in content barely register in comparison. The figure also plots use of #BlueLivesMatter, a hashtag movement expressing support for the police and that, here, illustrates the disparity in interest between the two hashtags. Between 2013 and 2021, #BlueLivesMatter has registered 1.6 million original posts and 1.7 billion engagements (about 1,000 per post), which while smaller in scope than #BlackLivesMatter, is not insignificant. Use of the two hashtag movements appear to rise and fall together.

Figure 1: Total Original #BlackLivesMatter and #BlueLivesMatter Posts
Figure 1 plots the total number of original Twitter posts over time for both the #BlackLivesMatter and #BlueLivesMatter hashtags.

Australia: First a mouse plague, now a spider plague:

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