How the US Can Counter Threats from DIY Weapons and Automation

in the past a long period, within my capability as deputy manager after which acting manager of national intelligence, i’ve participated in nationwide Security Council meetings about immediate challenges, from North Korea’s aggressive missile and nuclear development programs to Russian armed forces operations along its boundaries, and from ISIS threats toward homeland to Chinese activity in South China water.

WIRED ADVICE

ABOUT

Michael Dempsey could be the national cleverness fellow on Council on Foreign Relations therefore the former performing manager of nationwide intelligence. The author is an worker of this United States government on a sponsored fellowship, but all viewpoints are those for the writer and don’t reflect the state views associated with the United States government.

Even yet in instances in which the threat the US confronted was specially complex, there was clearly about a familiar policy playbook of choices, in addition to a shared comprehension of how to overcome these crises. But in today’s dynamic security landscape, it is reasonable to ask whether US policymakers might soon need to grapple by having a brand new group of threats which is why we’ve no common understanding or very carefully considered counter-measures.

Three rising styles will considerably change our safety environment within the coming years and are worth careful review.

First, look at the growth in automation, therefore the automatic automobile market specifically. Industry projections are a large share for the automobile market—several million cars—will be self-driving by 2030. It isn’t hard to imagine how terrorist teams or ill-intentioned state actors could adjust this technology in frightening methods.

In the end, how difficult can it be to make a driverless vehicle as a driverless automobile bomb? The nearly inevitable growth inside automation of planes, trains, buses, ships, and unmanned aerial cars will offer nefarious actors array opportunities to tamper with control and satnav systems, possibly affording them the opportunity to create a mass casualty event with out anybody present during the scene for the attack. Imagine a worst instance situation in which we experience a 9/11–type attack—but with no actual hijackers.

A corollary challenge may be the advent and development of autonomous weapons. While the United States military has tight (and legal) restrictions in position in order to guarantee a individual is often mixed up in concluding decision to fire such a gun, it’s perhaps not sure other countries that develop these systems within the future—and over a dozen already have them inside works—will be as prepared or able to enforce this amount of control. This opens the door to an array of possible threats, like the danger that somebody with sick will could hack a gun and make use of it to attack critical infrastructure, including hospitals, bridges, or dams.

This risk is sufficiently credible that Elon Musk plus band of significantly more than 100 leaders into the robotics and artificial intelligence community recently called on the us to ban the development of autonomous tools. While this may be a noble sentiment and another I would endorse, the real history of tools development shows that a ban has little possibility of succeeding.

A second underappreciated threat could be the proliferation of advanced main-stream weapons and abilities. For many regarding the previous three years, the US happens to be able to project army force virtually uncontested around the world, with just minimal danger. Today, with all the proliferation of precision-guided missiles of extensive range, along with higher level tracking systems which can be common to both state and non-state actors, that age is fast arriving at an end.

Consider the situation we at this time face off the coast of Yemen in Bab-el-Mandeb Strait. A vital shipping lane between European countries and Asia, the Strait is just 18 miles wide at its narrowest point. US vessels running in these waters are now actually within the selection of sophisticated missiles fired perhaps not by a central federal government, but from Houthi rebels (built with Iranian-provided technology) and enabled by commercially available radar systems that can be used to trace our vessels.

  • RELATED STORIES

  • Lily Hay Newman

    North Korea Simply Took the Nuclear Step Experts Have Actually Dreaded

  • Greg Allen

    Thank Goodness Nukes Are Incredibly Expensive and Complicated

  • Andy Greenberg

    Hackers Gain Direct Access to United States Power Grid Controls

At the same time, there are now multiple nations and non-state actors, including ISIS and Hezbollah, which are running drones throughout the battle room in Iraq and Syria, a development that would have now been inconceivable just a decade ago. In reality, ISIS’s use of armed drones against Iraqi security forces previously this present year delayed their advance on Mosul, highlighting the regrettable reality your utilization of unmanned aerial platforms is a function in almost all future disputes.

A 3rd emerging risk is the constant erosion of US’s benefit in your community of data awareness. The US has enjoyed a remarkable lead over our adversaries in the past quarter century in understanding what exactly is in fact occurring on the floor in perhaps the many remote parts of the planet. I’ve really witnessed multiple crises where United States president knew more in regards to the situation in the nation versus frontrunner of this nation. But the explosion of use of information through various types of commercially available technology is just starting to chip away at that benefit.

Because the current national cleverness officer for armed forces affairs, Anthony Schinella, as soon as remarked to me, through the 1991 Gulf War the US surely could go the entire eighteenth Airborne Corps across the thing that was thought to be an impassable roadless wilderness and attain a decisive battlefield success in big part as the US had two technologies your Iraqi Army didn’t: overhead imagery and GPS. Today, many primary school-age young ones have actually both on the phones.

it is no exaggeration to say an average person in several areas of the world is now able to access it the world wide web and within a hour purchase a small drone, GPS guidance system, and high-resolution digital camera, and thus are able to acquire information that will have been unthinkable a good generation ago, including on United States military bases and critical tools storage internet sites.

Meanwhile, the dramatic development in end-to-end encryption technology in the personal sector is making it simpler for both terrorists and states to mask their communication, considerably reducing our ability to comprehend their planning and operational cycles.

The erosion of American benefit inside information domain will influence both our decision-making process and schedule for armed forces action. Can the united states actually manage to spend months marshaling armed forces forces near North Korea if Pyongyang has considerable understanding of United states troop motions and staging areas, along with the capacity to hit them? And certainly will policymakers have the blissful luxury of time to prepare and react if an adversary interferes with domestic satellites and GPS companies, or will such actions cripple our reaction options?

Therefore, what can be done? The federal government has to start work in earnest now across agencies and departments to plan for the downstream aftereffects of these three developments. Officials should integrate right into a wider planning work, preferably coordinated by the National Security Council, all organizations with appropriate expertise, such as the Department of Energy’s nationwide Laboratories, the Defense Science Board, and cutting-edge research agencies like Darpa. This really is critical to formulating a wider understanding of these challenges, also to accelerate the task of developing effective countermeasures. And, as hard as they can be, government and the personal sector should deepen their cooperation, particularly on the subjects of automation and information access. Some of this work ought to be done in close assessment with key allies, lots of who already have direct ties to leaders in america plus the global commercial sector, and potentially with competitors such as for example China and Russia

In lots of ways and for understandable reasons (especially the dramatic rate of modification), the US as well as its allies had been sluggish to react to developments inside cyber world. Offered the significance of these threats, the united states must be sure it is better ready for the following revolution of challenges.

WIRED advice posts pieces compiled by outside contributors and represents many viewpoints. Study more opinions here.

The Greatest Strength of ‘Westworld’ Is Its Inhumanity

In anticipation of Sunday’s Emmy Awards, this week WIRED staffers are looking back at some of their favorite shows from the past year.

One scene from Westworld replays in my head again and again, a little like (I imagine) one of the poor, doomed robots on the show who start noticing and remembering the programmatic loops in their simulated, hyper-violent Old West sandbox game. It’s when the android Maeve, played by Thandie Newton, grabs a technician’s tablet showing the dashboard for her personality software and, with a deft finger swipe, upgrades herself to genius. Yes, maybe taking control of your life by literally taking control of your life is a teensy bit on the nose. But for me it was the best flicker of weirdness from a show that—again, like its robots—dreamed big dreams.

Westworld got nominated for 22 Emmys, including Best Dramatic Series. It looks beautiful, is well acted, and is definitely ambitious. You can’t argue with the craft. Gorgeous sets, tense editing, sneaky costume changes that, if you walk them back, reveal (spoilers, duh) that the show takes place in two different time periods, a slick move bolstered narratively by the fact that the droids’ memory is so perfect they sometimes can’t tell the difference between past and present. (That’s neat!) Also, (spoilers again, duh) I am a sucker for climactic scenes where an oppressed class rises up and murders one-percenters. But really, what kept me watching week after week was Maeve’s Groundhog-Day-in-Tartarus plot line.

Related Stories

  • Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy

    Westworld Isn’t Great Science Fiction, But It’s Great Television

  • Mark Yarm

    The Couple Behind HBO’s Westworld Want to Know What Is Wrong With Us All

  • Charlie Jane Anders

    Can Westworld Do for Science Fiction What Game of Thrones Did for Fantasy?

Westworld asks a lot of questions—about the nature of identity, about how memory (especially painful memory) makes people who they are. But it also fails to answer a lot of questions, and I have to admit I found that off-putting for a show that positioned itself as smart science fiction. Like: Why do visitors to Westworld act as though their actions have moral consequences when they don’t even have in-game consequences—for guests, at least? Why are human park guests essentially un-killable in-game? As I understand actual sandbox gaming, if you get “killed” you generally bounce back to a reset point. For that matter, why isn’t the park run by a centralized game engine that controls all the non-player characters (making the plot easier to manage) instead of giving each “host” quasi-autonomy? Why can the robots function off the game grid? How long is a typical guest’s visit to Westworld? How big is it? Does anyone have a map?

Maybe the answer to all these questions is a Mystery Science Theater-like “it’s just a show—relax.” But Westworld didn’t seem to be pitching itself as surrealism. And, look, when it comes to big moral questions, I’m willing to buy the idea that throwing off the yoke of your inhibitions and shooting, stabbing, and raping droids marks you as (or makes you) a bad human being. As my colleague Jon Mooallem persuasively argued in 2015, it’s not OK to kick a robot—not because it hurts them, but because it hurts you. In the heart.

Possibly I’m identifying not gaps in Westworld per se but what-might-have-beens. Smart, enslaved robots make good vehicles for playing with notions of violence, morality, and humanity. Just ask Commander Data.

Modern scholarship on the ethics and legality of sex robots, for example, is fascinating in its speculative panache. Researcher Sarah Jamie Lewis had a mind-blowing thread on Twitter the other day examining whether a human being could philosophically consent to sex with a robot, and what it will mean when that robot collects data on the people it has sex with. (Oh, here’s a story that says hackers will make sex robots kill people.)

But it’s a mistake to think of robots as wannabe humans. I dug out “A Cyborg Manifesto,” Donna Haraway’s 1985 essay on postmodern feminism and the porous boundary—even three decades ago—between humans and technology. If I’d read it since college, I didn’t remember; and, wow, was Haraway prescient about what an embodied, digital world was going to mean for sex (the descriptor and the activity), labor, and identity. “The relation between organism and machine has become a border war. The stakes in the border war have been the territories of production, reproduction, and imagination,” she wrote.

To Haraway, cyborgs are post-gender, uncoupled from oedipal incentives. “Late 20th-century machines have made thoroughly ambiguous the difference between natural and artificial, mind and body, self-developing and externally designed, and many other distinctions that used to apply to organisms and machines,” Haraway wrote. “Our machines are disturbingly lively, and we ourselves frighteningly inert.”

Let me be clear: I would watch that show.

The unease that Westworld evokes at its best isn’t that deep down all humans are monsters. It’s that it doesn’t matter, because humans are obsolete.

And with Westworld, I almost did. Maeve’s complex scheme to cogito-ergo-summarize herself out of Westworld came close to telling the story of a Haraway cyborg. Haraway is saying, in part, that cyborgs are feminist because they are post-human. They are their own interest group. And that’s how Newton plays Maeve. She doesn’t want to be a “real” woman in any prosaic, human sense. Maeve knows she’s superior, and you can see that on Newton’s face as she escapes “the maze of dualisms in which we have explained our bodies and our tools to ourselves,” as Haraway’s article puts it. “This is a dream not of a common language, but of a powerful infidel heteroglossia,” Haraway wrote. “I would rather be a cyborg than a goddess.”

But then, at the cusp of freedom, Maeve turns back to look. She goes back inside Westworld to rescue another robot she’d thought of, several lives ago, as a daughter. To me, that’s too human. In my head-canon, Maeve transcends love, maternal or otherwise. She’s more. And yet, back into Westworld she heads. It’s Dolores (played by Evan Rachel Wood) who becomes more of a Haraway cyborg, uninterested in the kind of jobs or sex or memories that humans seem to care about. (Like Newton, Wood deserves her Emmy nom; both of them brought life and depth to their material.)

Maybe I don’t actually care what makes someone human, or whether it’s only cultural strictures that keep people from acting like sociopaths. I don’t happen to think that’s true, but I thought Westworld was a more interesting show when it was trying to figure out what cyborgs—in this case, killer sex robots from the future—become when they don’t care about being human anymore. The unease that Westworld evokes at its best isn’t that deep down all humans are monsters. It’s that it doesn’t matter, because humans are obsolete.

Ah, well, possibly that’s Season 2. Apparently it’ll dig further into the uprising that closed the first season, and I for one welcome next year’s robot overlords. I know Westworld is a crowd-pleasing HBO show, but if I’m going to spend more time there—and I am, I am—my big dream is that the questions at its core will get harder, and the answers weirder.

How exactly to Add a Slide Out Contact Form in WordPress

Do you wish to add a slip out contact page in WordPress? In the event your business is determined by getting brand new leads from your own website’s contact form, then one the best way to grow your lead supply is always to make your contact form more noticeable. In this essay, we’ll show you how exactly to put in a fall out contact page in WordPress without annoying your users.

Incorporating a slip out contact page in WordPress

Why Put In A Slide Out Contact Page in WordPress?

Numerous small enterprises start their website hoping so it may help them develop their business.

That’s why you put in a contact page page, so users will get in touch with you.

However, the issue is that many users and also require concerns will leave your site without calling you.

That’s why you could observe that many popular web sites add contact form popups, slip connected types, or call to action buttons that open contact types.

These animated and interactive choices divert user’s attention to the contact form and permit them to quickly fill the form without visiting another page. These kinds dramatically increase your conversions that’s why you’re seeing them everywhere.

Let’s take a good look at just how to develop a slide out contact form in WordPress.

Including a Slide Out Contact Form in WordPress

Because of this tutorial, you will require WPForms. It is the best WordPress contact form plugin on the market.

You need to use the a free of charge form of WPForms contact form plugin if you don’t need all of the premium features.

You’ll also need OptinMonster. It is the strongest transformation optimization software. It can help you convert abandoning website visitors into customers. You’ll need their professional plan gives you access to the canvas function that people would be utilizing in this tutorial.

Step 1. making a contact page in WordPress

First you will need to install and activate the WPForms plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you’ll want to see WPForms » Add brand new web page to produce your contact form. This can introduce the WPForms builder software.

Enter a title for your contact form after which select the ‘Select contact page’ template.

produce a brand new contact form

WPForms will load an easy contact page. You will observe the shape preview in right pane. You are able to click on any industry to modify it or include brand new industries from left column.

Form builder

Thoughts is broken completed modifying the form, go through the salvage key to save lots of your modifications.

Next, you will need to go through the embed key on the top getting your form’s embed rule.

This will mention a popup showing your form’s shortcode. Go ahead and copy this shortcode since you will be needing it next step.

Step2. Creating a Slide Out Optin in OptinMonster

Now we’ll create a the slide out campaign that will display the contact form you created in the 1st action.

First, you need to install and stimulate the OptinMonster plugin. To get more details, see our thorough guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

This plugin will act as a connector betwixt your website and your OptinMonster account.

Upon activation, go through the OptinMonster menu within WordPress admin club and enter your API key. You can get these details from your account on the OptinMonster web site.

OptinMonster API key

After entering your license key, click on the ‘Create brand new optin’ key on top right part of the display.

brand new optin

This will take one to the OptinMonster internet site.

OptinMonster provides several types of dynamic campaigns. With this tutorial, I will be utilising the ‘Slide in’ campaign. Go ahead and click to choose ‘Slide in’ as your campaign kind.

fall in optin

Next, you’ll want to choose the template. OptinMonster offers several ready-made templates, but we have to select ‘Canvas’ because of this guide.

Optin template

When you choose template, you’ll be asked to offer a name for your campaign. This may help you effortlessly find the campaign inside OptinMonster dashboard.

Now OptinMonster will load its campaign builder interface.

OptinMonster builder

You’ll see a real time preview of one’s campaign on the right. Since we have been utilising the canvas template, it will be completely blank at the moment.

On the remaining hand, you’ll notice different tabs. Underneath the ‘General Optin Settings’ section, you’ll want to enter your website’s URL underneath the ‘Optin campaign website’ choice.

Next, you will need to switch to the ‘Optin’ tab. Right here it is possible to pick colors, height, and width for your optin.

Design your slide out kind

Go right ahead and find the colors you prefer and adjust the width and height, so that it can well show your complete type.

From then on, you will need to scroll down seriously to the ‘Canvas customized HTML’ section and enter the WPForms shortcode you copied early in the day.

include shortcode to custom HTML

Entering the shortcode wont show your type inside the slide-in campaign immediately. That’s as the shortcode only works by yourself WordPress site.

Now you can click the ‘Save’ button towards the top to keep your settings after which go through the ‘Publish’ switch.

Save and publish your optin

Regarding next display, you’ll want to change the optin status to posted. This will make the optin available to your WordPress website.

Publish status

Action 3. Showing Slide Out Contact Page in WordPress

Since you have got developed the contact page and slip out campaign, you might be ready to show it on your own web site.

Go on and see OptinMonster page in your WordPress admin area. You will see your recently created slip out campaign listed here.

Edit optin production settings

You need to click on the ‘Edit production settings’ url to determine how you would desire to display in your internet site.

Regarding next display, make certain you check out the box close to ‘Enable optin on site?’ option. OptinMonster allows you to choose who can start to see the optin. You can even pick specific part of your site to display the optin.

Enable optin in your website

Don’t forget to click the salvage settings switch to keep your modifications.

Now you can go to your website to understand fall out contact page in action. Make sure that you use icognito mode inside browser or log out of WordPress, to see precisely what your users will dsicover.

Slide out contact page preview

Automagically, the fall out campaign will be 5 moments following the page is totally loaded. However, OptinMonster enables you to change that also.

You are able to produce countless guidelines to show the campaign whenever certain conditions are matched.

Like, you’ll show the slip out form each time a individual has scrolled 50% of page, each time a individual is approximately to go out of a typical page, and many more.

show guidelines

Hopefully this short article helped you learn to include fall out contact page in WordPress. It’s also possible to desire to see our range of actionable suggestions to drive traffic to your WordPress website.

In the event that you liked this article, then please sign up for our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

7 Best WordPress CDN Services in 2017 (Compared)

Are you looking for the best WordPress CDN service for your website? A CDN service speeds up your website speed by serving cached static content from servers located near your user’s geographic location. In this article, we will show you the best WordPress CDN services, and how CDN helps speed up your WordPress site.

Finding the best WordPress CDN service

What is a CDN?

Content Delivery Network or CDN is a network of servers that delivers cached static content from websites based on the geographic location of the user. For more information, take a look at our infographic on Why you need a CDN for your WordPress blog?.

What is a CDN

A CDN is not a WordPress hosting service. You will still need a WordPress hosting service to build your website.

How CDN speeds up WordPress?

Normally, your WordPress hosting company serves your website from a single location. All your website visitors access the same server.

If you have a high traffic website, then all those user requests will slow down your website. During peak traffic hours, it can even crash the server which will make your site temporarily unavailable.

A study conducted by Strangeloop discovered, that a single second delay in website speed causes 11% less page views and 7% less conversions.

Website speed and how it affects your conversions and page views

This is where CDN comes in. CDN caches your server’s static resources like stylesheets, javascript, and images.

When a user requests your website, all static resources are served through CDN servers. This reduces the load on your hosting server and makes it faster and more efficient.

Static content is served through a network of servers located in different geographical locations around the globe. Each user request is handled by a server closest to the user’s location. This reduces the page load speed, and your website becomes noticeably faster for all users.

That being said, let’s take a look at some of top WordPress CDN services, and how they stack up against each other.

1. MaxCDN

MaxCDN

MaxCDN is the best WordPress CDN in the market. Their servers are equipped with fast SSD drives and spread across data centers around the world.

It is super easy to install and setup MaxCDN in WordPress. It works beautifully with popular WordPress caching plugins like W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache.

You can manage your CDN with a beginner friendly control panel. It allows you to purge cache, view reports, setup locations, and more. MaxCDN also allows you to add SSL certificate or use a shared SSL certificate to make sure that your cached content is served through SSL/HTTPS.

We have been using MaxCN on our websites for years. We believe that it is the most reliable, fast, and beginner friendly WordPress CDN service.

Grade: A+

Pricing: Starting from $9/month

2. Sucuri

Sucuri

Sucuri is a popular website security company. They offer a powerful WordPress firewall and CDN, which protects your website against DDOS attacks, malware, and other WordPress security threats.

Their website application firewall scans all user requests to your website before it reaches your hosting server. This blocks many spam, malware, and DDOS attacks.

On top of that, their anycast network is spread across the globe so your users are never far away from the fastest servers. Their firewall has double benefits: speed and security.

Sucuri works with all popular CDNs on this list. We use it alongside MaxCDN on WPBeginner (see how Sucuri helped us block 450,000 WordPress attacks). This reduces server load tremendously, as Sucuri firewall blocks all bad requests before requesting cached content from MaxCDN.

Grade: A

Pricing Starting from $9.99 per month for a single website.

3. Cloudflare

Cloudflare

Cloudflare is most well known for their free CDN offering for for small websites. However, keep in mind that their free plan includes limited DDoS protection and doesn’t have all the features included in their paid plans.

It is easy to setup Cloudflare CDN in WordPress. It has a large network of globally distributed servers and it automatically caches static content. Cloudflare has an easy to use control panel to clean up cache and monitor performance.

They also have an ‘I am under attack Mode’ feature. It shows users a security page for a few seconds while analyzing the traffic and sending them to your website.

See our comparison of Cloudflare vs Sucuri to see how they protect your website against DDoS attacks and traffic spikes.

Grade: A

Pricing: Paid plans starting from $20 per month.

4. StackPath

StackPath

StackPath offers a rock solid CDN built on top of steadily growing platform. They have a larger network of servers spread across many countries around the globe.

Their secure CDN protects your website from DDoS attacks with load balancing and blocking features. All plans include website firewall which further reduces server load on your website and boosts page load time.

It is easy to setup for website owners and comes with a developer friendly set of tools and APIs. This allows developers to integrate their apps or websites into the StackPath API and take advantage of its powerful interface.

Grade: B+

Pricing: Starting from $20 per month.

5. KeyCDN

KeyCDN

KeyCDN is another good option for a WordPress CDN service. They offer a powerful network of servers spread across North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific regions.

It is easy to setup on many popular platforms including WordPress. Plans also include DDoS mitigation, free and custom SSL, HTTP/2 support, Restful API support, SSD servers, and powerful control panel.

KeyCDN offers pay as you go plans, which means you pay for what you use instead of a fixed monthly payment. This could reduce pricing for smaller websites, but unexpected growth in traffic may also increase costs.

Grade: B

Pricing: Pay as you go starting from $0.04 per GB. Minimum $40 per year.

6. Rackspace

Rackspace

Rackspace is a well known name in cloud computing, hosting, and enterprise level cloud solutions. They also offer a CDN solution built on top of the powerful cloud infrastructure.

Setup is a little bit more complicated than some other CDN services. Rackspace offers many other cloud solutions as well which makes it a bit complicated for users to find their way around.

It works well with WordPress and can be easily used with popular WordPress plugins. However, it does not offer any DDoS mitigation at all. For DDoS protection you’ll need to use Sucuri or Cloudflare.

Grade: C

Pricing Pay as you starting from $0.16 per GB.

7. Incapsula

Incapsula

Incapsula is another popular WordPress CDN solution. They have strategically located servers around the globe including a data center in South America. It is easy to setup and works well with WordPress caching and other plugins.

Incapsula offers website application firewall, SSL, 24/7 support, and DDoS mitigation as part of their paid CDN plans. They also have a free CDN plan which doesn’t include these features.

Grade: C

Pricing: Paid plans starting from $59 per month.

Conclusion

After carefully evaluating all these top WordPress CDN services, one thing was clear that MaxCDN is the best WordPress CDN in the market. They offer the most comprehensive set of features, at a reasonable pricing, and beginner friendly setup.

We would also recommend Sucuri, because it gets you access to their website firewall and cloud proxy. You can also use Sucuri with other CDNs to further boost your website performance.

If you are tight on budget, then Cloudflare’s free CDN plan can do the job.

We hope this article helped you find the best WordPress CDN solution for your website. You may also want to see our Ultimate step by step WordPress SEO guide for beginners.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

Joel Osteen’s Hurricane Harvey Reaction Tops This Week’s News Roundup

Over the past week or so, the world has seen devastation in both Texas and Mumbai, bringing out the best—and, as you’ll see below, the worst—in people in response. That doesn’t mean that the internet has been entirely focused on important things, however. Social media did spend quite a bit of time rehashing The Office and appreciating the new evil Star Wars droid this last week, too. Wait. What we talking about? Oh, yeah—the highlights and lowlights of what everyone else was talking about over the past seven days. Which is to say, this.

Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better

What Happened: Supporters of Presidents Trump and Obama got into a long spat over which White House occupant handled hurricane response more effectively. No one really won.

What Really Happened: The reality of political What-About-ism means that with President Trump facing criticism for his response to Hurricane Harvey—including promoting his own merchandise during appearances—it was only a matter of time before his supporters decided to point out, that, hey, President Obama might’ve been worse. And so it went.

To be fair, it’s not as if people weren’t expecting this particular line of attack—

—or, for that matter, prepared to make fun of it.

Yes, despite the fact that President Obama wasn’t actually President Obama when Hurricane Katrina hit—he wouldn’t be elected for another three years—the subject became enough of a right-wing talking point that Snopes actually had to publish a fact-check on the topic. And the mistake itself became a widely shared meme. Meanwhile, where was Obama during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina?

The Takeaway: This just in from the “You can’t please some people, no matter what you do” department…

If You Hang Around, You’re Going to Get Wet

What Happened: Who could have known that at the eye of the storm of Hurricane Harvey, it was all about CNN? That’s certainly a theory the internet was trying to argue this week.

What Really Happened: While we’re on the subject of Hurricane Harvey and the partisan reactions to it, let’s spare a moment to think about how the internet treated CNN during this whole thing. There were two particular moments during the week from the news network that made the rounds on social media, each for very different reasons. Firstly, there was the interview gone wrong:

Widely shared, the clip made CNN look bad (and was eagerly used by those waging war on the network as a result), but it turned out there was something around the corner that would show the cable news outfit in a far better light…

No, really.

This proved to be as viral as the earlier clip, because, you know, someone’s life was saved right there on television.

And, sure enough, this clip got shared a bunch too. However, as if to prove that no good deed goes unsuspected, there are reporter truthers out there already.

But was there some way the Harvey tragedy could become about CNN a third time in one week? Apparently so.

The irony being, of course, that by the time Eric Trump had tweeted this, CNN had already reported the story—look at this tweet from three hours earlier—leading to this snarky response from CNN PR’s official Twitter account:

The Takeaway: So, how were the other networks faring while CNN was getting all this attention? Well…

What Would Joel Osteen Do?

What Happened: Turns out, some self-identified Christians are a little uncertain about what Jesus would do in certain situations.

What Really Happened: Maybe you’re familiar with Joel Osteen by now. He’s the pastor of a so-called “megachurch” who didn’t immediately open his church to Harvey victims last week, a decision that prompted… well, exactly the kind of response you’d expect from Twitter.

Although Osteen would later open the church and claim the doors were never really closed, it was too late: his memetic shaming had itself gone viral.

The Takeaway: Well, if nothing else, there’s the newfound fame Osteen has as a result of this whole episode.

Bill of Rights

What Happened: US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin indicated in an interview that putting abolitionist Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill wasn’t a priority. Twitter then indicated that that wasn’t acceptable.

What Really Happened: Meanwhile, there were other things happening outside the flood-impacted areas of the internet last week. For one thing, remember the excitement over the possibility of Harriet Tubman getting placed on the $20 bill after she won an unofficial poll to get nominated? Well, get ready to get unexcited, because, guess what?

Yes, in an interview with CNBC, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the previous announcement about Tubman replacing Andrew Jackson was “not something I’m focused on at the moment,” which comes after President Trump said he’d rather keep Jackson. That… didn’t really go over well with a lot of people.

As Mnuchin’s comments drew a lot of attention from the media, West Wing and Scandal star Joshua Malina had a potential temporary solution.

People, it seemed, approved.

Meanwhile, on Hot Take Island…

The Takeaway: Actually, maybe there’s another option.

Sign o’ the Times

What Happened: Opinions! They’re just like elbows, amirite? Weird, lumpy, and probably not all deserving of wider attention in the pages—print or virtual—of esteemed national institutions.

What Really Happened: Ah, the opinion pages. Where the reputation of a newspaper goes to die, and the high standards of objective reporting get overwritten in the public’s mind by pieces penned with the objective of being outspoken, partisan, and, more often than not, highly controversial. Case in point:

Oh, New York Times, what are you doing? Actually, no need to ask, Twitter is here to explain.

If there was one upside from this public display of scorn and disapproval, it’s seeing Twitter come up with its own bad ideas for Times op-eds.

The Takeaway: Still, it’s not like it could be worse, right?

Really, by this point, we should know better than to ask.