1497
The Nihilism of Julian Assange | by Sue Halpern | The New York Review of Books
The danger of carving off WikiLeaks from the rest of journalism, as the attorney general may attempt to do, is that ultimately it leaves all publications vulnerable to prosecution. Once an exception is made, a rule will be too, and the rule in this case will be that the government can determine what constitutes real journalism and what does not, and which publications, films, writers, editors, and filmmakers are protected under the First Amendment, and which are not.

This is where censorship begins. No matter what one thinks of Julian Assange personally, or of WikiLeaks’s reckless publication practices, like it or not, they have become the litmus test of our commitment to free speech. If the government successfully prosecutes WikiLeaks for publishing classified information, why not, then, “the failed New York Times,” as the president likes to call it, or any news organization or journalist? It’s a slippery slope leading to a sheer cliff. That is the real risk being presented here, though Poitras doesn’t directly address it.
journalism  media 
17 hours ago
The Blathering Superego at the End of History - Los Angeles Review of Books
The most significant development in the past 30 years of liberal self-conception was the replacement of politics understood as an ideological conflict with politics understood as a struggle against idiots unwilling to recognize liberalism’s monopoly on empirical reason. The trouble with liberalism’s enemies was no longer that they were evil, although they might be that too. The problem, reinforced by Daily Kos essays in your Facebook feed and retweeted Daily Show clips, was that liberalism’s enemies were factually wrong about the world.
politics 
yesterday
Power Causes Brain Damage - The Atlantic
The historian Henry Adams was being metaphorical, not medical, when he described power as “a sort of tumor that ends by killing the victim’s sympathies.” But that’s not far from where Dacher Keltner, a psychology professor at UC Berkeley, ended up after years of lab and field experiments. Subjects under the influence of power, he found in studies spanning two decades, acted as if they had suffered a traumatic brain injury—becoming more impulsive, less risk-aware, and, crucially, less adept at seeing things from other people’s point of view.
power  psychology  philanthropy 
yesterday
Can China Really Rein in Credit? - Bloomberg
The central strategy is “kicking the can down the road” or “extend and pretend,” avoiding crucial decisions that would reduce current living standards, eschewing necessary sacrifices, and deferring problems with associated costs into the future.
intergenerational_equity 
6 days ago
'It was quasi-religious': the great self-esteem con | Life and style | The Guardian
Vasco & self-esteem. Social policy.

"How did he rate the academics’ research? “As you read the book,” he said, “it’s a bunch of scholarly gobbledegook.”"
education  psychology  philanthropy  policy  berkeley 
15 days ago
We need a science of philanthropy : Nature News & Comment
Billions of dollars are being donated without strong evidence about which ways of giving are effective.

[reads more like a scientism of philanthropy]
philanthropy 
16 days ago
How Facebook's tentacles reach further than you think - BBC News
"What is most striking is the sense of resignation, the impotence of regulation, the lack of options, the public apathy," says Dr Powles. "What an extraordinary situation for an entity that has power over information - there is no greater power really."
privacy 
26 days ago
Hits-based Giving | Open Philanthropy Project
One of our core values is our tolerance for philanthropic “risk.” Our overarching goal is to do as much good as we can, and as part of that, we’re open to supporting work that has a high risk of failing to accomplish its goals. We’re even open to supporting work that is more than 90% likely to fail, as long as the overall expected value is high enough.
philanthropy  risk 
26 days ago
Black Swan Farming
The two most important things to understand about startup investing, as a business, are (1) that effectively all the returns are concentrated in a few big winners, and (2) that the best ideas look initially like bad ideas.
risk 
26 days ago
How Twitch Learned to Make Better Predictions About Everything
At Twitch, a subsidiary of Amazon, we saw the promise in this research. If an individual can gain a predictive edge, so can a company. We created a program that teaches all our employees to become better forecasters regardless of their quantitative background, organizational role, or area of expertise.
futures  predictions 
26 days ago
Mossberg: The Disappearing Computer - Recode
if we are really going to turn over our homes, our cars, our health and more to private tech companies, on a scale never imagined, we need much, much stronger standards for security and privacy than now exist.
privacy  security 
26 days ago
Morgan Stanley's Impact Investment Fund Raises $125 Million
Morgan Stanley's Impact Investment Fund Raises $125 Million
impact_investing 
4 weeks ago
Indian Election Officials Challenges Critics To Hack Electronic Voting Machine
Indian Election Officials Challenges Critics To Hack Electronic Voting Machine
voting  democracy 
4 weeks ago
Notes From An Emergency
But when it comes to the Internet, Europe doesn't put up a fight. It has ceded the ground entirely to American corporations. And now those corporations have to deal with Trump. How hard do you think they'll work to defend European interests?
EU  BigData 
4 weeks ago
A Story of Slavery in Modern America - The Atlantic
She lived with us for 56 years. She raised me and my siblings without pay. I was 11, a typical American kid, before I realized who she was.
slavery  firstperson 
4 weeks ago
Contribution of Libraries to the SDGs - United Nations Partnerships for SDGs platform
IFLA, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions will work with our members, including library associations and institutions in 150 countries, to ensure their readiness to support implementation of the SDGs in their country and locally through library services and programmes, including public access to ICT. Libraries provide an essential means of reaching the next billion by supporting digital inclusion through access to ICT, and dedicated staff to help people develop new digital skills.
libraries  SDG 
4 weeks ago
SPI - Current Research
Research Goals
The overarching goal of the Science of Philanthropy Initiative (SPI) is to develop a deeper understanding of the types of social preferences that shape philanthropic giving (including altruism, reciprocity, inequity aversion, warm-glow giving, cooperation and generosity) and to apply this knowledge to inform both practitioners and policymakers interested in philanthropy and the private provision of public goods.
philanthropy 
5 weeks ago
Tell the Truth: Do You Secretly Believe That Elites Know Best? — Inside Philanthropy
If you ask a top philanthropist or foundation chief how their influence squares with democracy, they’ll likely say that private giving strengthens civic life by underwriting more robust public debates. They’ll say that a rich tapestry of funders, holding a vast diversity of views, is fueling pluralism in America by backing all kinds of organizations and ideas. Some will also say that smart grantmaking helps to overcome key flaws of democracy—like an aversion to risk taking by elected officials and a lack of long-term thinking by government.

What they’ll never, ever say, at least explicitly, is that philanthropy doesn’t square so easily with democracy—and that this is OK because elites often know best about how to advance the common good. 
philanthropy 
5 weeks ago
A Philanthropist’s Guide to the Future
WE BELIEVE PHILANTHROPY IS CHANGING
The points of entry have grown more diverse, the attitudes more humble and inclusive, the tactics more sophisticated.
philanthropy  futures 
5 weeks ago
Richard Feynman Creates a Simple Method for Telling Science From Pseudoscience (1966) | Open Culture
Without using the new word which you have just learned, try to rephrase what you have just learned in your own language. Without using the word “energy,” tell me what you know now about the dog’s motion.

Feynman’s insistence on ordinary language recalls the statement attributed to Einstein about not really understanding something unless you can explain it to your grandmother. The method, Feynman says, guards against learning “a mystic formula for answering questions,” and Oxenham describes it as “a valuable way of testing ourselves on whether we have really learned something, or whether we just think we have learned something.”

It is equally useful for testing the claims of others. If someone cannot explain something in plain English, then we should question whether they really do themselves understand what they profess…. In the words of Feynman, “It is possible to follow form and call it science, but that is pseudoscience.”

Does Feynman’s ordinary language test solve the demarcation problem? No, but if we use it as a guide when confronted with plausible-sounding claims couched in scientific-sounding verbiage, it can help us either get clarity or suss out
plain_english  evaluation 
5 weeks ago
White Fear in the White House: Young Bannon Disciple Julia Hahn Is a Case Study in Extremism
a strange parallel between far-right radio and television empires presided over by the likes of Ingraham, Sean Hannity, Alex Jones, and Steve Bannon, and fundamentalist mosques and madrassas that manufacture the extremists of the Islamic world
extremism  CVE 
6 weeks ago
Physiognomy’s New Clothes – Blaise Aguera y Arcas – Medium
Rapid developments in artificial intelligence and machine learning have enabled scientific racism to enter a new era, in which machine-learned models embed biases present in the human behavior used for model development. Whether intentional or not, this “laundering” of human prejudice through computer algorithms can make those biases appear to be justified objectively.
A recent case in point is Xiaolin Wu and Xi Zhang’s paper, “Automated Inference on Criminality Using Face Images”, submitted to arXiv (a popular online repository for physics and machine learning researchers) in November 2016. Wu and Zhang’s claim is that machine learning techniques can predict the likelihood that a person is a convicted criminal with nearly 90% accuracy using nothing but a driver’s license-style face photo. Although the paper was not peer-reviewed, its provocative findings generated a range of press coverage. [2]
AI  responsible_innovation 
6 weeks ago
‘I don’t know who I am without it’: the truth about long-term antidepressant use | Society | The Guardian
Prescriptions have doubled in a decade, but very little is known about the effect of taking SSRIs for years and years.
drugs  health 
6 weeks ago
Bradley Files - EXPOSEDbyCMD
THE BRADLEY FILES REVEAL A MAJOR AMERICAN "CHARITABLE" FOUNDATION ENGAGED IN A HIGHLY PARTISAN GAME PLAN
THE BRADLEY FOUNDATION BUILDS "INFRASTRUCTURE" IN THE STATES FOR THE PRIVATE BENEFIT OF ONE POLITICAL PARTY, THE REPUBLICAN PARTY
philanthropy 
6 weeks ago
Why Fiction Might Be Just What Philanthropy Needs | Kris Putnam-Walkerly | Pulse | LinkedIn
Instead, I gained an insight I never expected: fiction can be a bridge for foundations to connect more deeply with the rest of the world.

Here in these pages, amid the twists and turns of a murder mystery and an ill-advised professional romance, is a look at the very human struggles that those behind the walls of foundations face every day. The internal conflicts that many program officers struggle with are presented in the character of Katie Nelson, the book’s protagonist, who is extremely frustrated with her board’s grantmaking decisions and the overall pace of change.
philanthropy 
6 weeks ago
The Synergos Approach
Systemic change requires collaboration. Solutions to poverty are often built in silos – and therefore fail.

Synergos creates, promotes, and sustains collaborations among business, government, civil society, and marginalized communities.

We foster successful collaborations by building trust, designing and implementing change processes, and enhancing the effectiveness of bridging leaders and institutions.
philanthropy 
6 weeks ago
Second Thoughts: Why I Changed My Mind About Philanthropy and Public Policy — Inside Philanthropy
One problem, as I see it, is that funding for these groups is basically political giving by another name—which is not what philanthropy is supposed to be about, at least as most Americans understand it. 
philanthropy 
6 weeks ago
The Soviet Union's Scientific Marvels Came From Prisons - The Atlantic
how do you want to get science done? What you need to do is give people a lot of money and leave them alone. And that’s a very difficult sell if you’re dealing with public money. How do you justify handing money over without very obvious returns? When you look at the hoops that today’s researchers have to jump through, in terms of impact of their research, and what this research is likely to achieve, and what the applications of this research are—it astounds you that anything ever gets discovered at all.
science  evaluation 
6 weeks ago
Applying OKRs | Dan North & Associates
Over the last year or two I have been exploring OKRs—Objectives and Key Results—with several organisations, from a few hundred people in size to a couple of thousand. Some are well over a year in, some are just starting out. There doesn’t seem to be much out there in terms of experience reports or hands-on advice so I have tried to capture the advice I wish I’d had when I started out.


As with any tool, OKRs are going to be misunderstood, misapplied, and just plain abused, but when they are framed properly and applied sensibly I’ve seen them bring order and direction to organisations that lacked both.
management 
7 weeks ago
Global Challenges Foundation
Calling big thinkers, from all disciplines, everywhere. The world needs your brainpower and your best ideas as never before. Compete for US$5 million in prizes. Help to reshape our world.
challenges  prizes  competitions 
7 weeks ago
The internet is enabling scientists to understand how 'collective memory' works
The internet is enabling scientists to understand how 'collective memory' works
archives 
7 weeks ago
Emails show how a donation boosted a billionaire's business
STAT reported last month that the university sent $10 million of Soon-Shiong’s $12 million gift right back to NantHealth to pay for genetic sequencing of blood, tissue, and tumor samples. Soon-Shiong, a showy entrepreneur who has vowed to “solve cancer,” denied that the contract had been set up to funnel money to his company or that he had benefited from the arrangement.

But those denials are contradicted by more than a dozen documents STAT obtained from critics of the deal, including email chains and internal memos that circulated at the university and at NantHealth as the deal was being planned and executed.
philanthropy  criticism 
9 weeks ago
T100 Reports – Toniic
The T100: Launch – Insights from the Frontier of Impact Investing makes public for the first time the aggregated portfolios of more than 50 investors, ranging in size from less than $2 million to more than $100 million, successfully targeting and achieving both impact and financial returns across the same asset classes available to traditional investors
impact_investing  philanthropy 
9 weeks ago
Transcript of Reboot 11 speech by Bruce Sterling, 25-6-2009 | WIRED
For people of your generation and especially for your children, objects are print-outs.
rants 
9 weeks ago
Statement by Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on the Removal of Chemical Weapons Materials from Syria | 2009-2017-usun.state.gov
Today, consistent with United Nations Security Council resolution 2118 and the relevant Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Executive Council decisions, the final eight percent of chemical weapons materials in Syria's declaration were removed from the country. This represents a significant step.
Syria  prop 
9 weeks ago
The Price of Obama’s Mendacity - WSJ
In July 2014 Secretary of State John Kerry claimed “we got 100% of the chemical weapons out.” In May 2015 Mr. Obama boasted that “Assad gave up his chemical weapons. That’s not speculation on our part. That, in fact, has been confirmed by the organization internationally that is charged with eliminating chemical weapons.” This January, then-National Security Adviser Susan Rice said “we were able to get the Syrian government to voluntarily and verifiably give up its chemical weapons stockpile.”
syria  propaganda 
9 weeks ago
A revolt against deference | Books & Essays | spiked
When political commentators talk of the emergence of a post-truth world, they are really lamenting the end of an era when the truths promoted by the institutions of the state and media were rarely challenged. It’s a lament that’s been coming for a few years now. Each revolt of sections of the public against the values of the elites has been met with the riposte that people are no longer interested in the truth. What the elites really mean is that people don’t care about their version of the truth. So when the French celebrity philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy asserted that people have ‘lost interest in whether politicians tell the truth’, he was venting his frustration at an electorate that no longer shares his values.
media  PR  propaganda 
10 weeks ago
Hidden in Plain Sight | Bill Gates
By nearly every measure the world is a better place to live than ever before. Global poverty is going down, childhood deaths continue to drop, and literacy rates and women’s empowerment are improving.
philanthropy  optimism 
10 weeks ago
The Surveillance Paradigm: Be the friction
That the dream is old and runs deep reminds us that it is not a product of any technology, and certainly not of computers or the Internet. Rather, it is a human constant that hovers in the shadows waiting to pounce on opportunities as they arise, century after century.
surveillance 
10 weeks ago
Dora - ASCB
There is a pressing need to improve the ways in which the output of scientific research is evaluated by funding agencies, academic institutions, and other parties.
metrics  science  evaluation 
10 weeks ago
Casebook for The Foundation: A Great American Secret | Philanthropy Central
Casebook for The Foundation: A Great American Secret consists of 100 brief case studies of extraordinary foundation impact. The cases were written as part of the research for Professor Fleishman's book The Foundation: A Great American Secret—How Private Wealth Is Changing the World and serve to illustrate many of the strategies and tactics foundations use to try to achieve their objectives. The authors of the cases are J. Scott Kohler and Steven Schindler.
Philanthropy 
10 weeks ago
You and Your Research
The title of my talk is, ``You and Your Research.'' It is not about managing research, it is about how you individually do your research. I could give a talk on the other subject - but it's not, it's about you. I'm not talking about ordinary run-of-the-mill research; I'm talking about great research. ... Now, how did I come to do this study? At Los Alamos I was brought in to run the computing machines which other people had got going, so those scientists and physicists could get back to business. I saw I was a stooge. I saw that although physically I was the same, they were different. And to put the thing bluntly, I was envious. I wanted to know why they were so different from me. I saw Feynman up close. I saw Fermi and Teller. I saw Oppenheimer. I saw Hans Bethe: he was my boss. I saw quite a few very capable people. I became very interested in the difference between those who do and those who might have done.
science  advice  reflections 
10 weeks ago
Home - Burning the Man, Academically - FIU Libraries: research at Florida International University
This guide consolidates various formats of information either created by the academic community of Burning Man or publications created by the Burning Man Organization.
arts  burning_man  Social_Science 
11 weeks ago
Frostbox Automated Social Media Backup
Social Networks You Can Backup With Frostbox
From storing a copy of your Flickr, Instagram and Facebook photos, backing up your friends and contacts from LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook to securing your videos and pictures for posterity, we have got it all covered.
archives 
12 weeks ago
digi.me | our mission
Our mission is to help you take back control, by enabling you to get your personal data from all over the web, see it in ways you couldn’t before and then (soon) share it if you wish.
archives 
12 weeks ago
Why More And More Philanthropies Are Choosing To Put Themselves Out Of Business | Fast Company
The limited-life foundation–where big donors pledge to spend all their money in a certain short period of time–offers the potential for a bigger immediate impact at the expense of longevity.
philanthropy 
march 2017
The craft of incentive prize design: Lessons from the public sector | Deloitte University Press
Incentive prizes, deceptively simple in concept, are often challenging to construct in a way that drives the desired outputs and supports the desired outcomes. How can prize designers get it “right”?
prizes  competitions  challenges 
march 2017
What Your Therapist Doesn’t Know - The Atlantic
Unfortunately, in profession after profession, metrics have not been received with open arms. The history of the thermometer provides a classic example. In the mid-19th century, 250 years after the thermometer’s invention, Carl Wunderlich analyzed patient temperature data from more than 25,000 cases. He found that the average normal temperature of a healthy person ranged from 98.6 to 100.4 degrees. Going further, Wunderlich proposed the radical idea of tracking an illness by reading the patient’s temperature at regular intervals.
metrics 
march 2017
U of California, Berkeley, to delete publicly available educational content
The University of California, Berkeley, will cut off public access to tens of thousands of video lectures and podcasts in response to a U.S. Justice Department order that it make the educational content accessible to people with disabilities.
video  education  open_access 
march 2017
Harvard Library gets slammed for its earnest fake news guide: Updates from the fake news world » Nieman Journalism Lab
Harvard librarians probably didn’t guess the blowback they were in for when they published this innocent online guide to “Fake News, Misinformation, and Propaganda”. The guide, which includes otherwise useful/basic tips like “using library databases is a near-foolproof way to find credible information”, also links to Merrimack College professor Melissa Zimdars’ sprawling and much-debated list of “False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and/or Satirical ‘News’ Sources,” which currently includes 921 sites tagged in a number of categories including “fake,” “satire,” “conspiracy,” “unreliable,” and “political.” Sites like Fusion, National Review, and The Onion are listed alongside actual fake news sites like denverguardian.com and David Duke’s website. (Also on the list: IJR, the only site that got a reporter on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s plane to Asia, and which had a retracted-article snafu just yesterday.)
media  propaganda  harvard 
march 2017
TOMORROWS
How will everyday life evolve in the cities of tomorrow? What kind of changes will smart systems, technologies of automation and constant connectivity bring? Which new economic models might emerge and what will the role of the particularities of different geographical areas be? How will the development of the future cities affect the environment and the natural resources of the planet?
 
The future today seems to be closer than ever. A new way of living has already emerged based on the constant aggregation and processing of data. Nonhuman factors, like the algorithms, have been introduced in models for smarter cities and smarter homes, promising the constant optimization of a city’s functioning and of citizens’ everyday life. While the mediation of technology is, indisputably, of central importance when discussing the future of the urban environment, at the same time the following needs to be pointed out: Projections to the future usually refer mostly to economically advanced metropolises or to urban centers with no local features attributed to them. The different geographical particularities, the local economies and the dynamic of citizens’ involvement are, for instance, often left out, shaping an image for tomorrow’s cities, which is inevitably generalized and idealized.
 
The exhibition “Tomorrows” will aim to capture the urban future through different u
cities  eutopia 
march 2017
20,000 Worldclass University Lectures Made Illegal, So We Irrevocably Mirrored Them - LBRY
Today, the University of California at Berkeley has deleted 20,000 college lectures from its YouTube channel. Berkeley removed the videos because of a lawsuit brought by two students from another university under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

We copied all 20,000 and are making them permanently available for free via LBRY.
education  video  open_access 
march 2017
The Taking Economy: Uber, Information, and Power by Ryan Calo, Alex Rosenblat :: SSRN
Sharing economy firms such as Uber and Airbnb facilitate trusted transactions between strangers on digital platforms. This creates economic and other value and raises a set of concerns around racial bias, safety, and fairness to competitors and workers that legal scholarship has begun to address. Missing from the literature, however, is a fundamental critique of the sharing economy grounded in asymmetries of information and power. This Article, coauthored by a law professor and a technology ethnographer who studies the ride-hailing community, furnishes such a critique and indicates a path toward a meaningful response.
economics  income_inequality  Internet 
march 2017
The Dark History of HathiTrust
Alissa Centivany
Faculty of Information & Media Studies
Western University
acentiva@uwo.ca
digitization 
march 2017
The Complete Plain Words - Wikipedia
The Complete Plain Words, titled simply Plain Words in its 2014 revision, is a style guide written by Sir Ernest Gowers, published in 1954. It has never been out of print. It comprises expanded and revised versions of two pamphlets that he wrote at the request of HM Treasury, Plain Words (1948) and ABC of Plain Words (1951).
jargon  plain_english 
march 2017
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