What if Sociologists Had as Much Influence as Economists? - The New York Times
[E]conomics is only a piece of a broader, societal problem. So maybe the people who study just that could be worth listening to.
5 days ago
Don’t normalize George W. Bush | The Outline
Estimates vary, but over the course of his eight years years in office, President George W. Bush was responsible for the murders of roughly 500,000 people. That’s the lowball, too: Cite that stat, and somebody is bound to point out that the reality is probably closer to a million. You’ve never met that many people. Not a million, not 500,000, not the relatively conservative 268,000 that the Iraq Body Count can confirm in that nation alone. Imagine the murders of all of your friends and all of your family, of everyone else you’ve ever known. Imagine them bombed, shot, shelled, and poisoned by depleted uranium. Then imagine everyone they’ve ever known meeting the same fate. Do that a few more times over and you’ve got a sense of Bush’s body count. Then remember how lovely it was to see him on The Ellen DeGeneres Show earlier this month, a charming elder statesman, redeeming himself by talking about how he couldn’t figure out how to wear a poncho on Inauguration Day and his friendship with Michelle Obama.
10 days ago
The Perils of the New, Shiny George W. Bush | Jacobin
The cuddly George W. Bush who paints pictures of dogs and Jay Leno is a war criminal. He doesn’t deserve an inch of rehabilitation.
15 days ago
The iPhone is not a luxury good - The Verge
A certain subset of internet users gets enraged every time a homeless person or refugee shows up with one, or when the government funds them for low-income Americans. But a smartphone is probably one of the most useful and efficient pieces of technology you can buy. [...] [I]t’s practically required to participate in the workforce. Mobile broadband is the only way that many low-income Americans access the internet, where companies are increasingly keeping their job listings. Workplace “bring your own device” policies assume employees already have the equipment to stay in touch at all times.
17 days ago
Uber Uses Ubiquitous Surveillance to Identify and Block Regulators - Schneier on Security
When Edward Snowden exposed the fact that the NSA does this sort of thing, I commented that the technologies will eventually become cheap enough for corporations to do it. Now, it has.

One discussion we need to have is whether or not this behavior is legal. But another, more important, discussion is whether or not it is ethical. Do we want to live in a society where corporations wield this sort of power against government? Against individuals? Because if we don't align government against this kind of behavior, it'll become the norm.
18 days ago
Stupid Hackathon celebrates terrible tech with eyeball pong, a robot porn addict, and more - The Verge
Stupid Hackathon (short for Stupid Shit No One Needs & Terrible Ideas Hackathon) is a consistently brilliant one-day event in which people play around with technology, beer, and fast food to create gadgets and apps with absolutely no value whatsoever.
22 days ago
Le conseguenze dell’Austerity | Left Wing
Si tratta di un articolo recentemente pubblicato dal National Bureau of Economic Research che va ad aggiungersi all’ormai sconfinata letteratura sui disastri prodotti dalle politiche fiscali restrittive in Europa negli anni scorsi. A impressionare sono innanzitutto gli effetti sul pil e sui conti pubblici dei paesi che l’hanno applicata. Prescritta come la cura per rilanciare la crescita e ridurre il debito pubblico di Grecia, Italia, Portogallo, Spagna e Irlanda, l’austerità ha prodotto esattamente l’opposto: il pil si è inabissato di ben 18 punti percentuali e il debito è salito di 16 punti. Se i governi avessero evitato di applicare il ricettario miracoloso, il pil sarebbe calato di solo un punto percentuale e il debito sarebbe salito soltanto della metà.
4 weeks ago
Politica - Non si batte il populismo con la “democrazia differita” | l'Unità TV
Un conto è difendere l’importanza della democrazia rappresentativa, dei corpi intermedi e dei partiti dalle pericolose illusioni della democrazia diretta, un altro è coltivare l’idea che la risposta all’illusione della democrazia diretta possa essere la democrazia differita. Da questo punto di vista, niente è più controproducente del fatto che un qualsiasi insieme di autonominati custodi dell’interesse pubblico – si tratti di tecnocrati usciti dalla Bocconi o di politici di professione cresciuti nel Pci – dia anche solo l’impressione di considerare gli elettori come bambini, troppo piccoli, ignoranti o capricciosi per decidere da soli.

Prima di impegnarsi in tante sofisticate analisi sul montare dell’onda populista in tutto il mondo, sarebbe bene ricordare che in Italia è stato durante il governo Monti che il Movimento 5 Stelle è passato dal 5 al 25 per cento. A trattare gli adulti come bambini, è forte il rischio di suscitare in loro l’irrefrenabile desiderio di farti dei dispetti.
8 weeks ago
9 Signs the Journalism on Africa You've Just Encountered Is Trash | The Huffington Post
It may come as a surprise, but no — wars don’t just happen for the sake of, in Africa. Like everywhere else, they have a context. Colonialism was real. So was apartheid. These phenomenon, imposed from the outside, have had a lasting effect on every thread of the fabric of society, from Morocco to Sudan, Ghana to South Africa. The continent cannot be reported accurately without recognition of these legacies. Any piece of journalism that doesn’t — is not worth trusting.
8 weeks ago
Buone leggi contro l'odio online | Le Notizie di Ristretti
Senza un patto tra stati e piattaforme saranno queste, come in parte si sta già avverando, a decidere cosa è e cosa non è corretto pubblicare. La censura si svilupperà per esigenze commerciali se la democrazia, se le democrazie non sapranno far vivere le loro regole anche nella rete.
9 weeks ago
Google Quietly Removes “Fake News” Language From Its Advertising Policy
Google proceeded to leave the ads on the misrepresentative sites, instead quietly removing the reference to “fake news” from its much-lauded "fake news" policy.
10 weeks ago
La pre-verità - Wittgenstein
La prima responsabilità ricade su chi da decenni ha tenuto l’accuratezza e il rispetto della realtà fuori da queste esperienza e competenza, e fuori dalle maggiori priorità del lavoro giornalistico[...] [P]er come sono fatti oggi, i media tradizionali italiani non hanno i titoli per ospitare un dibattito contro la diffusione delle notizie false, meno che mai per proporre delle soluzione [...] [I] protagonisti della questione in Italia sono quattro: i falsificatori online, i falsificatori nelle testate giornalistiche; i falsificatori in politica; i peculiari falsificatori del M5S. Non si capisce chi rimanga con cui discuterne seriamente e con l’idea che possa servire a qualcosa.
11 weeks ago
Political correctness: how the right invented a phantom enemy | Moira Weigel | US news | The Guardian
[M]any pundits have concluded that “political correctness” fuelled the populist backlash sweeping Europe and the US. The leaders of that backlash may say so. But the truth is the opposite: those leaders understood the power that anti-political-correctness has to rally a class of voters, largely white, who are disaffected with the status quo and resentful of shifting cultural and social norms. They were not reacting to the tyranny of political correctness, nor were they returning America to a previous phase of its history. They were not taking anything back. They were wielding anti-political-correctness as a weapon, using it to forge a new political landscape and a frightening future.
america  politics 
12 weeks ago
Il cinico business delle bufale. Prima parte: Liberogiornale.com | Il Disinformatico
Ci sono molti altri elementi che legano e accomunano questi siti: questo è solo l’inizio e ne parleremo nelle prossime puntate. C’è anche, intorno a questi siti, uno stuolo di promotori, di “pompatori” di queste false notizie sui social network: complici consapevoli e inconsapevoli. Ma se nel frattempo volete sapere chi è che fabbrica queste bufale ad alto impatto sociale e politico, chi crea polemiche finte, chi coordina questo spaccio destabilizzante, ora avete un nome. Un nome che ha fatto molto per nascondere le proprie tracce, ma che alla fine è emerso usando proprio le risorse di quella Rete che i bufalari di professione vorrebbero sfruttare come miniera d’oro personale.
december 2016
Il Veneto dei dialetti e i dialetti d’Italia: siamo tutti minoranza - Tempo Libero - Il Mattino di Padova
Come ho sentito dire una volta, tantissimi anni fa, ad Andrea Zanzotto: «non condanniamo il dialetto al triste destino di diventare lingua». Ne va della sua vita, mi viene da aggiungere.
december 2016
Italia sì, Italia no, Italia gnamme – Ciocci Thinks
Non voterò e non avrei votato nemmeno fossi stato in Italia, al massimo forse mi sarei concesso una scheda nulla. Mi sono sentito a disagio a seguire il dibattito degli ultimi mesi. Eppure, non sono riuscito a disinteressarmene, in fondo ci speravo che qualcuno riuscisse a convincermi e invece è stato come osservare morbosamente un lungo incidente sull’altro lato della carreggiata. [...]
A sinistra è stata alimentata una lotta intestina che fa più male che bene: le fratture all’interno di quelle che sono rimaste le maggiori organizzazioni di questo paese (CGIL, ANPI, ARCI, PD) saranno foriere di ulteriori lacerazioni e dolori. Spero che da domani, qualunque sia il risultato che uscirà stasera dalle urne, si possano superare questi scorsi mesi, ricordandosi che intanto il mondo là fuori è diventato più brutto e pauroso e che serviranno le idee e le energie di tutti noi per migliorarlo.
december 2016
What Gamergate should have taught us about the 'alt-right' | Technology | The Guardian
Prominent critics of the Trump administration need to learn from Gamergate. They need to be prepared for abuse, for falsified concerns, invented grassroots campaigns designed specifically to break, belittle, or disgrace. Words and concepts will be twisted, repackaged and shared across forums, stripping them of meaning. Gamergate painted critics as censors, the far-right movement claims critics are the real racists.

Perhaps the true lesson of Gamergate was that the media is culturally unequipped to deal with the forces actively driving these online movements. The situation was horrifying enough two years ago, it is many times more dangerous now.
december 2016
Lezioni tardive | Left Wing
Dice Pier Luigi Bersani, con molte buone ragioni, che il voto americano ci mostra un mondo in cui emerge una nuova destra che «non è una destra liberista, è una destra della protezione», per battere la quale serve una sinistra che metta «tutti e due i piedi fuori dagli establishment e dentro le periferie sociali». E così conclude: «Per dirla in bersanese: la mucca nel corridoio sta bussando alla porta». Essendo stati tra i pochi ad averglielo segnalato anche a suo tempo, ci permettiamo di ricordargli che la mucca nel corridoio ci pascola almeno dal 2011, quando il Pd da lui guidato decideva di appoggiare il governo Monti (e Grillo passava dal 5 al 25 per cento).
november 2016
Leonardo: Sei sicuro di essere più intelligente della senatrice complottista?
Perché lo fai? Perché ogni volta che vado su un social, invece di trovare subito cose interessanti, trovo strafalcioni ridicoli e bufale stantie, messe in giro da te o da altre persone come te, ugualmente intelligenti?
november 2016
Come la scuola rafforza le diseguaglianze - micromega-online - micromega
Evidentemente, nel discorso e nella pratica degli insegnanti si riflette la doppiezza di una istituzione scolastica che afferma di essere fondata su principi di eguaglianza e di pari opportunità mentre in realtà riproduce attivamente la diseguaglianza sociale. E non si tratta solamente di quell’ideologia essenzialista che, nella Milano di Romito come nella Parigi di Bourdieu, ponendo a proprio fondamento le nozioni del “dono” e della “vocazione” non fa altro che misconoscere una realtà socialmente e culturalmente ineguale. La retorica scolastica persiste, paradossalmente, anche nel momento in cui si presentano fatti macroscopici che la smentiscono. Uno degli argomenti più utilizzati dagli orientatori è, infatti, che i licei sono scuole “difficili”, troppo ardue da scalare per gli studenti di origine sociale modesta, mentre più agevole sarebbe la scelta di un percorso di tipo pratico, tipico (ma solo in teoria, visto che la riforma Gelmini ha abbattuto radicalmente le ore di laboratorio) di un professionale. Ma, si domanda Romito, non sono forse proprio i professionali le scuole meno accoglienti, quelle in cui si verificano i più alti tassi di bocciature?
october 2016
How the Soviets invented the internet and why it didn't work | Aeon Essays
There is an irony to this. The first global computer networks took root in the US thanks to well-regulated state funding and collaborative research environments, while the contemporary (and notably independent) national network efforts in the USSR floundered due to unregulated competition and institutional infighting among Soviet administrators. The first global computer network emerged thanks to capitalists behaving like cooperative socialists, not socialists behaving like competitive capitalists.
history  internet  russia 
october 2016
Let me take a selfie: Exploring the psychological effects of posting and viewing selfies and groupies on social media
Taking selfies and groupies and sharing them to social media has become a popular online activity. This study aimed to examine the psychological effects of posting and viewing selfies and groupies on social media by conducting a survey (N = 275). Results indicated frequent selfie viewing behavior led to decreased self-esteem whereas frequent groupie viewing behavior led to increased self-esteem. Frequent selfie viewing behavior led to decreased life satisfaction while frequent groupie viewing behavior resulted in increased life satisfaction. However, neither selfie nor groupie posting behavior was associated with self-esteem or life satisfaction. In addition, individuals high in need for popularity were more likely to be affected by selfie viewing behavior in terms of life satisfaction and self-esteem compared with individuals low in need for popularity.
october 2016
Britain, get real: Brexit means whatever the EU says it means | Joris Luyendijk | Opinion | The Guardian
Whatever the political darlings of the billionaire-owned British press tell themselves and their followers, Brexit will mean what the EU decides it means.
october 2016
Matteo Renzi’s reforms are a constitutional bridge to nowhere - FT.com
Mr Renzi contends that the system of government set out in Italy’s 1948 constitution is a dog’s breakfast that generates recurrent instability. [...] According to the premier, this results in pointless delays that hobble well-intentioned governments, such as his own, that want to pass modernising reforms. Yet the record of postwar governments, including Mr Renzi’s, disproves his argument. Italian parliaments pass more laws year by year than those in France, Germany, the UK and the US. Despite lacking a Senate majority, Mr Renzi’s Democratic party has passed tax cuts and a labour market reform that are centrepieces of his programme.

Neither are the Senate’s powers the reason there have been more than 60 governments in the past 70 years. The chief explanation is the fragmented nature of Italy’s political parties. This reflects the fragmentation of Italian society. Every party, and each faction of every party, stands for a distinctive set of economic, geographical, ideological, religious or social interests — or even for the self-interest of its leader, as when Mr Berlusconi’s Forza Italia ruled Italy.
Pace Mr Renzi what Italy needs is not more laws more rapidly passed, but fewer and better laws. They must be written with care, and actually en­forced, rather than blocked or circumvented by Italy’s public administration, special interests and the public.
october 2016
The left in Europe needs to change political course - FT.com
My expectation is that politics will adjust to economic needs, as it did in the 1980s, this time in the other direction. There is a chance that it may end up like the 1930s. This is hard to foretell. What I am certain of is that the overwhelming consensus in favour of centrist libertarian economic polities is breaking down, and that will have an impact on how we come to regard leaders like Mr Corbyn.
october 2016
Coding is not ‘fun’, it’s technically and ethically complex | Aeon Ideas
In an ever-more intricate and connected world, where software plays a larger and larger role in everyday life, it’s irresponsible to speak of coding as a lightweight activity. Software is not simply lines of code, nor is it blandly technical. In just a few years, understanding programming will be an indispensable part of active citizenship. The idea that coding offers an unproblematic path to social progress and personal enhancement works to the advantage of the growing techno-plutocracy that’s insulating itself behind its own technology.
september 2016
The idea of a 'post-truth society' is elitist and obnoxious | Science | The Guardian
So why is a post-truth, evidence-rejecting public so beguiling? Because, I’m afraid, it flatters timidity and easy populism. Big decisions are hard. Policymaking is not straightforward. There are always trade-offs, mitigating factors and politics to contend with and these are difficult to communicate. Facts and evidence are disruptive too. They don’t always fit easily with scoring points or appealing to prejudices in debates about immigration, drugs or prison sentences. Sometimes they’re just hard work to explain. The idea of a post-truth public is an excuse to run from all this.
september 2016
Perché non è stato il web a uccidere Tiziana Cantone – Medium
Per questo è inaccettabile leggere queste filippiche moralizzanti provenire proprio dai giornalisti. Per questo è da vigliacchi ipocriti scaricare la morte di una ragazza sul “web”. [...] Il paradosso è che continuando con la retorica del è colpa del web e della società chi vorrebbe aiutare le ragazze come la Cantone aiuta in realtà chi distrugge le loro vite. Perché permettono di spostare il mirino dell’attenzione pubblica da chi diffonde il revenge porn, insomma da delle persone vere che potremmo punire e fermare, a dei concetti [...] È quello che accade quando a difenderci non abbiamo i “cani da guardia del potere”, ma i social media manager della Ceres.
september 2016
The 9/11 Conspiracists: Vindicated After All These Years?
There are plenty of real conspiracies in America. Why make up fake ones?
september 2016
Apple ordered to pay up to €13bn after EU rules Ireland broke state aid laws | Business | The Guardian
Apple has been ordered to pay up to €13bn (£11bn) in back taxes to Ireland [...] paid an effective tax rate of 1% in 2003 on profits of Apple Sales International. The rate dropped to 0.005% in 2014.
guardian  apple  europa  tasse 
august 2016
When Billionaires Rule | Jacobin
As the long history of failed media reform efforts attests, the commercial media system was never well-suited for democracy. But we’re now facing a perfect storm of concentrated corporate power, an overclass of billionaires, and an eviscerated press that’s desperate for ever-diminishing revenues.
august 2016
Why scientists are losing the fight to communicate science to the public | Occam's corner | Science | The Guardian
Most science communication isn’t about persuading people; it’s self-affirmation for those already on the inside. Look at us, it says, aren’t we clever? We are exclusive, we are a gang, we are family.

That’s not communication. It’s not changing minds and it’s certainly not winning hearts and minds.

It’s tribalism.
science  comunicazione  divulgazione 
august 2016
The Nauru files: cache of 2,000 leaked reports reveal scale of abuse of children in Australian offshore detention | Australia news | The Guardian
More than 2,000 leaked incident reports from Australia’s detention camp for asylum seekers on the remote Pacific island of Nauru – totalling more than 8,000 pages – are published by the Guardian today. The Nauru files set out as never before the assaults, sexual abuse, self-harm attempts, child abuse and living conditions endured by asylum seekers held by the Australian government, painting a picture of routine dysfunction and cruelty.
august 2016
Medicina e comunicazione scientifica
Chiedere a un lettore di controllare le fonti, di approfondire, di recuperare e leggere l’articolo scientifico originale che presenta lo studio di cui si parla in prima pagina non è né praticabile né sensato. Sarebbe come chiedere, a chi si rivolge al meccanico che deve riparare l’automobile, di analizzare il progetto del motore studiando un po’ di ingegneria meccanica. Invitare il lettore a non credere alle “bufale” che si leggono sui giornali, oltre a essere una lotta impari, è assolutamente inutile, una speranza vana, impraticabile e inascoltata.
august 2016
Rio 2016: The Refugee Olympic Team doesn’t need your cheers. They need countries to fix their crisis. - Vox
In 2012, the year of the last Summer Olympics in London, there were only 11 million global refugees. Four years later, that number has increased by nearly three-quarters — both because of new and worsening crises and because, more than ever, longtime refugees are unable to go home. Instead of stepping up to face the challenge, many of the world’s richest countries are resigned to inaction at best, and closing their doors at worst. The Olympians represent millions of people for whom "refugee" has become a semipermanent status.
august 2016
Dan Savage on Jill Stein: Just No. - Slog - The Stranger
How do we build a viable third party to the left of shitty Democrats in the United States? "You run people not just for fucking president every four fucking years," says Dan Savage.
july 2016
Caro fratello musulmano di Gramellini
Gramellini ormai ragiona così, un Vittorio Feltri dal volto umano, e tu ancora ci parli
july 2016
How Uber secretly investigated its legal foes — and got caught | The Verge
Schmidt and his client were being investigated by a secretive research firm, staffed by veterans from the CIA and the National Security Council, conducting an investigation on behalf of Uber’s top executives
july 2016
This Guy Keeps Getting Killed in Terrorist Attacks
If this face seems familiar, it’s probably because you’ve seen it associated with any number of recent terror incidents. This man has apparently died at least three times since January, most recently in the terrorist attack at Atatürk Airport in Istanbul.
july 2016
Airbnb, Just Pay Your Taxes and Follow the Law and Shut Up
irbnb doesn’t necessarily have to be the enemy to housing advocates. Their tax revenue can pay for a lot of housing. And, whether you like it or not, their business model is here to stay. They just have to stop acting like they don’t operate according to the rules of planet Earth.
june 2016
Leonardo: Muhammad Ali non è andato in Vietnam perché analfabeta, dice Riotta che se intende (di analfabeti)
Se per caso vi stavate chiedendo: è possibile scrivere un brutto pezzo su Muhammad Ali? Un combattente incredibile, un attore nato, uno che sembra non aver mai lasciato un microfono senza aver detto qualcosa di buffo o interessante? [..], ebbene, sono ovviamente domande retoriche. Ecco il buon Gianni Riotta.
june 2016
Strikes Still Work
As much as workers need wages, businesses need labor even more. The free market has not raised your wages in decades. The government has not raised your wages in decades. You need to raise your own wages. Organize. Then strike. It’s always good to be reminded that it works.
may 2016
I Cani, tra Kafka e Checco Zalone - Prismo
Un'intervista interessante.
«[...] tanti progetti di cui si parla come “la vera musica italiana underground che dovrebbe ricevere più attenzione ecc” mi sembrano totalmente modaioli, derivativi e schiavi di logiche puramente promozionali, anche se “piccole”.»
«Io per molti anni sono stato convinto che la musica e tutto ciò che ha una nomea “artistica” dovessero essere una cosa molto seria, sofferta, invece più vado avanti e più penso che le cose veramente belle abbiano dentro una forte componente ludica o comunque diano una forma di soddisfazione molto tangibile a chi le fa.»
may 2016
Leonardo: Il consulente che cambiò l'Italia (per sapere com'è andata CLICCA QUI!!!)
Quando parliamo di C. come di un grande innovatore digitale, in sostanza stiamo provando a rivendere il pacco che è riuscito a rifilarci. Alla fine della fiera faceva dei siti - neanche molto belli, considerato che erano già gli anni in cui i blog si cominciavano a dichiarare morti. Nessuno che io sappia ha mai trovato particolarmente innovativo il blog di Antonio Di Pietro: certo, faceva notizia che ne avesse uno. Quello di Grillo sembrò sin dall'inizio un pasticcio pesante: però era Beppe Grillo. Bastava il suo nome a portare on line milioni di utenti mai visti prima, la blogosfera italiana diventò un piccolo villaggio alla periferia del centro commerciale beppegrillo.it. Nel frattempo gli early adopters passavano ai social network, e Casaleggio nemmeno ci faceva caso. Come innovatore digitale era straordinariamente lento di riflessi, spesso ancorato a software o piattaforme già vecchie nel momento in cui le adottava (Movable Type, i MeetUp).
april 2016
Leonardo: Senza Pannella (avremmo fatto schifo lo stesso?)
Qualche risultato bisogna anche portarlo a casa e Pannella è sempre stato molto accorto nell'intestarsi i risultati altrui. Senza di lui avremmo divorziato e abortito lo stesso, più o meno con le stesse difficoltà; forse non avremmo banchetti referendari tutti i sabati in centro, partiti ridotti a liste elettorali stilate da personaggi più o meno carismatici che hanno registrato il marchio e cacciano chi vogliono. Vorrei poter dire che Pannella non è stato soltanto questo, ma onestamente non posso. Diciamo che sono arrivato tardi, e anche voi, se non volete litigare, fate finta di crederci.
march 2016
Ma Trump non è Berlusconi
Detto questo, chi paragona Trump a Berlusconi mostra di non aver capito qual era il vero problema con Berlusconi […]
C'è bisogno di ricordarlo? A quanto pare sì. Berlusconi possedeva quasi metà dell'etere televisivo, in spregio della normativa (Rete4 avrebbe dovuto finire sul satellite); e quando vinse le elezioni modificò la normativa e mise le mani anche sull'altra metà, quella pubblica. Nel frattempo era uno dei principali editori italiani, e uno dei principali concessionari di pubblicità, che raccoglieva sul mercato e rivendeva alle sue aziende.
march 2016
The Myth of the Barter Economy - The Atlantic
But various anthropologists have pointed out that this barter economy has never been witnessed as researchers have traveled to undeveloped parts of the globe. “No example of a barter economy, pure and simple, has ever been described, let alone the emergence from it of money,” wrote the Cambridge anthropology professor Caroline Humphrey in a 1985 paper. “All available ethnography suggests that there never has been such a thing.”
february 2016
Antonin Scalia Won
So, yes, Scalia lost on the big issues where he was just too backwards to grind out a victory. He lost on sodomy laws and same-sex marriage, and was forced to live to see a world where gay people went mainstream. That can give us some satisfaction. But on nearly every question related to the power of money and people who have it to do as they see fit, Scalia won, and his victories appear pretty safe.
february 2016
If there is another economic crash, Europe’s far right is ready for it | Owen Jones | Opinion | The Guardian
The left – including the British left – has a lot to learn. A convincing, coherent alternative to slash-and-burn economics, not least if another economic crisis is on the way, is desperately needed too. But there should be much greater urgency in leftwing ranks, for the far right is stronger, better organised, and well-positioned to benefit from any impending crises. The history of Europe should be warning enough. Time to prepare, and quick.
february 2016
Uber is no better than an old-fashioned gangmaster – so London’s cabbies are striking | Trevor Merralls | Opinion | The Guardian
Yet any criticism of Uber’s business model is treated as an attack on the new digital economy. This could not be further from the truth, as far as I’m concerned. There are huge numbers of digital companies doing great things for the economy. I use a few of them in my cab. Uber’s profitability, however, seems to be based on replacing decent work that provides stable employment for a council estate boy from Bermondsey like me with highly insecure jobs that pay poverty wages. This is not the kind of “innovation” that will help us create a sustainable economy for future generations.
february 2016
Le unioni civili accerchiate da spettri e pregiudizi - Claudio Rossi Marcelli - Internazionale
Perché la questione della maternità surrogata irrompe sulla scena politica solo quando si parla di coppie omosessuali, che rappresentano una casistica molto limitata? Semplice: le associazioni religiose e i movimenti omofobi hanno capito molto presto che la gestazione per altri era l’unico argomento su cui si poteva fare leva per generare il panico tra l’opinione pubblica e istigarla contro una legge che invece si occupa di rapporti affettivi tra due persone e, in alcuni casi specifici, di dare tutela giuridica ai loro figli, facendo in modo che quei bambini godano del riconoscimento giuridico della propria condizione familiare e vita affettiva.
january 2016
David Bowie and the Rise of the Grief Police - The Atlantic
The outcry of love and sadness after the news of Bowie’s death—that heavy sense that the world had been permanently dented—was, on top of everything else, evidence of the new way of mourning. Taking to the Internet to share and cry and commiserate is now part of how we cope with a loss. It is what we do. But it is also, just as importantly, what is done.
january 2016
Leonardo: La satira del razzismo è comunque razzismo?
Che differenza c'è tra un messaggio stupido e razzista e la parodia di un messaggio stupido e razzista? Nessuna.
january 2016
The Website Obesity Crisis
Let’s commit to the idea that as computers get faster, and as networks get faster, the web should also get faster.
january 2016
The problem with science journalism: we’ve forgotten that reality matters most | Media | The Guardian
To me, this showed a twisted view of science journalism. Should political journalists stick to positive profiles of politicians? Should business writers only consider the positives from a company’s actions? Should those who write about literature ignore the intent of the pieces they cover?

Of course not. And the same goes for science.
science  journalism 
december 2015
Why so many of the health articles you read are junk - Vox
One new study, published in the British Medical Journal, assigns a large fraction of blame to the press shops at various research universities. The study found that releases from these offices often overhype the findings of their scientists — while journalists play along uncritically, parroting whatever showed up in their inbox that day.
december 2015
Uber's Labor-Free Fantasy Won't Last Forever
A business model based on paying workers too little to live—a business model in which a company must fight viciously against workers’ attempts to unionize, because unions are considered an existential threat—is not a real business model at all. It is arbitrage of poor regulation. It is a con job. And it can’t last forever.
december 2015
Hitler Wasn’t Inevitable | Jacobin
Instead of submitting to this analytical double-bind, we should reclaim a view of history that acknowledges the conflictual and contested nature of social change. Fascism is never inevitable, but is rather the outcome of a confrontation between radically opposed social forces. Wherever there are fascists, there will likely be socialists and other leftists fighting against them. This was true of Germany in 1933 when the Left lost and Nazi barbarism won, and continues to be true in today’s Europe of renewed economic crisis and political polarization.
november 2015
L'attentato di Parigi ha mostrato il vero livello dell'informazione in Italia | VICE | Italia
L'importante, la cosa da sottolineare, è che quel giornalista della RAI era approssimativo, capzioso e anche arrogante. I giornalisti sportivi di Rete Sport stavano fornendo un servizio alla comunità incommensurabilmente migliore, nonostante (o forse proprio per il fatto che) ad ogni piè sospinto ci tenessero a sottolineare di non essere specialisti in materia.
november 2015
The Phony Islam of ISIS: A Response to The Atlantic's ISIS Story - The Atlantic
The group's interpretation of the religion is not literal. It is not serious. And saying otherwise puts Muslims in an impossible situation.
november 2015
La sessualità nelle carceri italiane - SexTelling
Lo scopo del carcere nella sua completa applicazione è l’infantilizzazione del detenuto. Una sorta di condizione minorile artificiale che si attua anche con la negazione della sua sfera sessuale, esattamente come la negazione della sfera sessuale ha connotato per secoli l’educazione dei minori
november 2015
The Mormon Church has officially banned same-sex couples and their children - Vox
That's right: The children of same-sex couples will have to disavow their own parents to join the Mormon Church, according to a new ban quietly put in place this past week.
november 2015
Even ISIS Guys Have Twitter Drama
I think that we can all agree that, while the views and actions of ISIS are repugnant, “May Allah humiliate you so much that you wont even dare to come on twitter ever again” is an incredible line that I will be using to shut down all trolls in the future.
november 2015
We can’t allow the tech giants to rule smart cities | Comment is free | The Guardian
Smart cities represent a genuine and potentially massive new market for the private sector, breathing economic life into the old structures and patterns of cities. But if faced with somnolent and uninformed local governments, the results are going to be chaotic and unwieldy systems, and an erosion of democracy. If the movement is to generate a new vigour and vision, city governments must stop being patsies to the IT giants and start to think, from first principles, what technology would look like if it served the people.
october 2015
Here's Why You Shouldn't Panic Over Processed Meats Causing Cancer
Yes, processed meats and smoking both cause cancer, but to dramatically different degrees.
october 2015
ADNKronos, il suicidio di un’agenzia di stampa. A colpi di Nibiru e “respirianesimo” | Il Disinformatico
A me dispiace per i giornalisti che cercano ancora di fare giornalismo con serietà e si vedono travolti da questa tendenza sempre più diffusa a vendere la propria credibilità di testata pur di accaparrarsi i soldi dell’inserzionista. Mi dispiace per quelli che vorrebbero fare informazione ma vengono spinti alla prostituzione. E mi fa pena chi è disposto ad affossare la dignità di una testata per dei rapidi guadagni oggi, senza pensare al domani o all’effetto che ha questa scelta sull’opinione pubblica: come sarà possibile fidarsi di qualunque altra notizia pubblicata da ADNKronos dopo questo carosello di balle?
october 2015
If you're reading about an internet boycott, it probably doesn't exist | The Verge
But treating every terrible opinion on the internet as newsworthy is an exercise in refuting arguments that barely exist. It legitimizes the most extreme, poorly conceived, and easily dismantled ideas, whether they're bait for "social justice warriors" or completely sincere. The web is boundless. Our time is not.
october 2015
Democrats are in denial. Their party is actually in deep trouble. - Vox
But instead of a dialogue about how to obtain that success, Democrats are currently engaged in a slightly bizarre bidding war between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders to see whether Congress in 2017 will reject a legislative agenda that is somewhat to the left of Obama's or drastically to its left. The differences between them are real, of course, and at least somewhat important.
october 2015
Bernie Sanders Has a Secret Weapon, and the Media Elites Just Don’t Get It
Maybe the reason today’s media elites miss this aspect of Sanders’s appeal is that they’ve been on the inside of the political carnival looking out for so long that they’ve forgotten that debates, campaigns, and elections are not for them, they’re for the public. Most media elites are so distanced from ordinary people, and have been rubbing shoulders with conventional politicians for so long, that they don’t really get how alien and off-putting most politicians sound to the average person.
october 2015
The James Brown Theory of Black Liberation | Jacobin
But the politics enacted in those venues is by and large an ersatz politics, and the controversies that sustain them are by and large ephemeral, vacant bullshit — the “feud” between Iggy Azalea and Azealia Banks, whether black people were dissed because Selma wasn’t nominated for/didn’t win enough Oscars, and so on.
october 2015
The Pointless Cowardice of John Boehner - The New Yorker
And what did Boehner’s cowardice in the face of the Tea Party stalwarts get him? They forced him out anyway. Boehner built his career around keeping his job, and he still failed. If Boehner had allowed the passage of immigration reform, it’s entirely possible that the Tea Party would have rebelled and evicted him—but at least he would have had a substantial accomplishment to his credit. Instead, Boehner tried nothing, accomplished nothing, and lost his job anyway. It’s the legacy he deserves.
september 2015
Is Silicon Valley in Another Tech Bubble? | Vanity Fair
All across the Valley, the majority of big start-ups are actually glorified distribution companies that are trying, in some sense, to copy what Domino’s Pizza mastered in the 1980s when it delivered a hot pie to your door in 30 minutes or less. Uber, Lyft, Sidecar, Luxe, Amazon Fresh, Google Express, TaskRabbit, Postmates, Instacart, SpoonRocket, Caviar, DoorDash, Munchery, Sprig, Washio, and Shyp, among others, are really just using algorithms to deliver things, or services, to places as quickly as possible. Or maybe it’s simpler than that. As one technologist overheard and posted on Twitter, “SF tech culture is focused on solving one problem: What is my mother no longer doing for me?”
september 2015
Why the Rich Love Burning Man | Jacobin
The top-down, do what you want, radically express yourself and fuck everyone else worldview is precisely why Burning Man is so appealing to the Silicon Valley technocratic scions.
facebook  culture 
august 2015
Jeremy Corbyn is the curator of the future. His rivals are chasing an impossible dream | George Monbiot | Comment is free | The Guardian
Labour’s inability to provide a loud and proud alternative to Conservative policies explains why so much of its base switched to Ukip at the last election. Corbyn’s political clarity explains why the same people are flocking back to him.
Are they returning because he has tailored his policies to appeal to the hard right? Certainly not. They are returning because he stands for something, something that could help them, something that was not devised by a row of spadbot mannikins in suits, consulting their clipboards on Douglas Alexander’s sofa.
labour  politics 
august 2015
Europe shouldn’t worry about migrants. It should worry about creeping fascism
The greatest threat to our “way of life” is not migration. Migration does change society, although far less so than, for example, technology, economic austerity, escalating inequality, globalisation or climate change. But the greatest threat to our “way of life”, if there has ever been such a thing on this vast and varied continent, is not that someday you or I might be sitting on a bus and hear someone speaking Pashto or Tigrinya. The threat is that we will swallow the public narrative that immigrants, people from non-European countries are less human than the rest of us, that they think and feel less, that they matter less.
august 2015
Un casino immenso : minima&moralia
C’è poi la destra, quella vera. In generale, lì vanno di moda gli anticonformisti, i cani sciolti, ma anche i ribelli di jungeriana memoria, gli intellettuali dissidenti, i presunti punk aristocratici e dulcis in fundo i fascio-hipster.
Sempre convinti di essere scandalosi e controcorrente, proclamano di combattere il “pensiero unico” eppure hanno di fronte una sinistra frammentata come in quel vecchio sketch dei Monty Python sul Fronte Popolare di Giudea. “Questa è la sinistra italiana!” è il loro credo e anche il nome di un sito molto seguito dagli orfani del berlusconismo. Le loro sembrano spesso invettive contro un nemico immaginario, caratterizzato dai seguenti attributi mitologici: cene equo-solidali, film d’autore, teoria gender ecc. Scrivono talvolta sul Foglio (come Camillo Langone o Adriano Scianca di CasaPound) e sul Giornale, su Libero, su Panorama, pubblicano per Mondadori e sembrano concepire la scrittura più come sfogo catartico dei loro traumi che come strumento di analisi.
august 2015
Selfie sticks are fine and the people who hate them are broken - SBNation.com
This is all to lament that people out to feel good about themselves can never seem to do that in peace. The rest of us reject their behavior like it's a virus. We go to great lengths to argue (to ourselves, because they don't care) that they are sick and ruined. Selfies are great because they make people feel nice, and selfie sticks are great because they let people take better selfies.

Further, I would like to add that bacon tastes boring, Spaceballs was more thought-provoking than every Star Wars film combined, and Kim Kardashian seems like a cool enough person.
august 2015
The Myth of the CEO
Mary Barra, the CEO of GM, spent yesterday being grilled by Congress for her company's years-long failure to fix a known safety defect in its cars. Barra's lack of answers is being blamed on the size of the organization she leads. Which is a great argument against the salaries that CEOs earn.
august 2015
La storia della ragazza annegata a Dubai non è proprio come l'avete letta - Il Post
[L]a storia sembra essere vecchia di quasi vent’anni – quindi non proprio una “notizia” – e i fatti non sono mai stati realmente verificati.
august 2015
Qual è il problema? - Il Post
Ecco perché “sul mercato” non si trova un sostituto al software di Hacking Team. È illegale. Punto.
Come ha potuto Hacking Team produrre e commercializzare sul libero mercato un (unico) prodotto destinato a violare sistemi, dati e identità? C’era una autorizzazione oppure, visto che era un’eccellenza italiana e a utilizzare il micidiale software erano (anche) Carabinieri, Guardia di Finanza e chissà quali altri poteri dello Stato, si è scientemente deciso di fregarsene della Convenzione di Budapest, degli obblighi internazionali e del nostro codice penale?
august 2015
If Blairism was the Man Utd of politics, why is its youth policy so rubbish? | Marina Hyde | Comment is free | The Guardian
If Blairism was essentially a pragmatic sort of progressivism, you’d have thought it would have been pragmatic and progressive enough to perpetuate itself better.
july 2015
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