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The Important Global Selfie Study We’ve All Been Waiting For is Here

SelfieCity analyzes selfies from five cities around the globe and theorizes the way we present ourselves to people online.

Here is a fatal blow to all your grandfather’s theories about the demise of civil society at the hands of this generation of self-involved millenials: people don’t actually take as many selfies as we think they do. SelfieCity is an ongoing research project that analyzes thousands of selfie photos from five cities around the world and organizes the resulting data points city by city, as well as by age groups and gender. Using the data, SelfieCity researchers attempt to theorize cultural and social meanings from their findings. After randomly selecting 120,000 photos from Instagram, they found that only about 3-5 percent of them were selfies. The rest of the photos depicted images from users’ everyday lives: animals, food, clothes, artwork, etc.


Some of the more interesting data was geo-specific. Studying how people looked in their selfies, SelfieCity finds that people in Sao Paulo and Bangkok tend to smile more often in their photos than people Berlin, Moscow and New York. Women in Sao Paulo also tend to pose more aggressively, tilting their heads in greater angles, than people in other cities.

The SelfieCity researchers acknowledge some weaknesses in their study, one of which is their reliance on Mechanical Turk workers to sift through the photos and label and tag them with appropiate gender and age markers. The gender-related findings, in particular, are imperfect, because they depend on the rigidity of the gender binary and the flawed human judgement of what they refer to as an “alienated labor pool”. These flaws considered, the findings would suggest that women tend to take more selfies than men; they also tend to smile more across the board.

Does this data indicate what our future selfies will look like? It’s not totally clear, although the project leaders have some ideas. Speaking to the Creators’ Project, Moritz Stefaner, who worked on the team, said: “If the selfie is more like a visual 'ping' to the people we socially feel connected to, the idea of the photographic selfie might get replaced by other forms of technological self-documentation and sharing one 'selfie-state' through other self data representations than the purely photographic.”

What that means is that selfies are just ways to regulate our online identities and that, in the future, we’ll find ways to do that differently. Take the #shelfie, for example, which is just a photo of your personal library. Think about how people use coffee table books to communicate ideas about who they are to people who are in their home; #shelfies perform the same function on the web. Outside of photographic representation, you can already see this process taking place with the promulgation of the identity-specific “listicles” popularized by Buzzfeed.

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via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

If you are totally ready to move on from Donald Trump, you're not alone. According to a report last April from the Wason Center National Survey of 2020 Voters, "President Trump will be the least popular president to run for reelection in the history of polling."

Yes, you read that right, "history of polling."

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Politics
via Around the NFL / Twitter

After three years on the sidelines, Colin Kapernick will be working out for multiple NFL teams on Saturday, November 16 at the Atlanta Falcons facility.

The former 49er quarterback who inflamed the culture wars by peacefully protesting against social injustice during the national anthem made the announcement on Twitter Tuesday.

Kaepernick is scheduled for a 15-minute on-field workout and an interview that will be recorded and sent to all 32 teams. The Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, and Detroit Lions are expected to have representatives in attendance.

RELATED: Joe Namath Says Colin Kaepernick And Eric Reid Should Be Playing In The NFL

"We like our quarterback situation right now," Miami head coach, Brian Flores said. "We're going to do our due diligence."

NFL Insider Steve Wyche believes that the workout is the NFL's response to multiple teams inquiring about the 32-year-old quarterback. A league-wide workout would help to mitigate any potential political backlash that any one team may face for making an overture to the controversial figure.

Kapernick is an unrestricted free agent (UFA) so any team could have reached out to him. But it's believed that the interested teams are considering him for next season.

RELATED: Video of an Oakland train employee saving a man's life is so insane, it looks like CGI

Earlier this year, Kaepernick and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid reached a financial settlement with the league in a joint collusion complaint. The players alleged that the league conspired to keep them out after they began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.

Before the 2019 season, Kaepernick posted a video of himself working out on twitter to show he was in great physical condition and ready to play.

Kaepnick took the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012 and the NFC Championship game in 2013.

He has the 23rd-highest career passer rating in NFL history, the second-best interception rate, and the ninth-most rushing yards per game of any quarterback ever. In 2016, his career to a sharp dive and he won only of 11 games as a starter.

Culture

In the category of "claims to fame nobody wants," the United States can now add "exporter of white supremacist ideology" to its repertoire. Super.

Russell Travers, acting director of the National Counterterrorism Center, made this claim in a briefing at The Washington Institute in Washington, D.C. "For almost two decades, the United States has pointed abroad at countries who are exporters of extreme Islamist ideology," Travers said. "We are now being seen as the exporter of white supremacist ideology. That's a reality with which we are going to have to deal."

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Between Alexa, Siri, and Google, artificial intelligence is quickly changing us and the way we live. We no longer have to get up to turn on the lights or set the thermostat, we can find the fastest route to work with a click, and, most importantly, tag our friends in pictures. But interacting with the world isn't the only thing AI is making easier – now we can use it save the world, too.

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