Daily Bafflements

The BafflerDecember 28, 2015
Jeb? (and some Bushes)./ DonkeyHotey

Jeb? (and some Bushes). / DonkeyHotey

• Research by Microsoft shows that when robots send out tweets about activism, they reap a higher level of engagement than calls to action by actual humans do. According to MIT Review, “Potential volunteers responded negatively when the clearly nonhuman bots took on a more human tone; tweets expressing solidarity with potential volunteers had the lowest reply rate at 21 percent.” The telltale stamp of humanity is off-putting, apparently.

• The application to patent Jeb!, the exclamation, has expired. “In the original application, Bush sought to reserve the high-energy version of his name for stadium cushions, stemware, stuffed toys, hair bands, and leather key chains.” Seems Jeb has since lost his emphatically fun-loving side.

• RIP “Good Eggs,” the egg startup, which, on its meteoric rise, didn’t pause to answer the question of what came first, the job security of employees or the egg. 

• The holiday in billionaires: Welcome to Gstaad, where a 17,000-strong army of temporary workers make winter idyllic for the one percent