The internet is enabling scientists to understand how 'collective memory' works
The internet is enabling scientists to understand how 'collective memory' works
2 days 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 
14 days 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 
16 days 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.
17 days 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 
17 days 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 
17 days 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 
18 days 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 
19 days 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.
19 days 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 
23 days 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.
24 days 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 
24 days 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 
27 days 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.
4 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.
4 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.
5 weeks ago
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 
5 weeks ago
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.
5 weeks ago
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 
6 weeks ago
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 
6 weeks ago
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 
6 weeks ago
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 
6 weeks ago
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 
6 weeks ago
The Dark History of HathiTrust
Alissa Centivany
Faculty of Information & Media Studies
Western University
6 weeks ago
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 
7 weeks ago
Churchill on Brevity.md · GitHub
To do our work, we all have to read a mass of papers. Nearly all of them are far too long. This wastes time, while energy has to be spent in looking for the essential points.
jargon  plain_english 
7 weeks ago
Solve CoLab
Solve challenge criteria

Reductively, a big problem can only be solved by technology when we understand the problem; when the problem really has a technological solution; when there is political will and significant public support for the problem’s solution; and when our institutions can work together to solve the problem. Solve challenges must meet those fundamental criteria.

Within those parameters, a Solve challenge will have these characteristics:

The challenge should be global in scale, and its solution would be a major breakthrough, expanding human possibilities, growing prosperity broadly, or saving a large number of lives.
One or more plausible technology solutions should either be available now or available soon, even if we don’t yet know how to manufacture or distribute the technologies at scale.
There should be a practical gap that stands in the way of the technology being adopted.
MIT and Solve should have some clear competitive advantage in bridging that gap.

Solve challenge format

These are the components of a Solve challenge:

State the challenge as a question.
Example: How can we build a scalable, safe new nuclear reactor design by 2025?
Identify the associated Solve pillar. 
Example: Fuel
Provide relevant context for why the challenge is vital.
Example: Can we test, build, and deploy at scale new nuclear reactor design
Prizes  Challenges  Competitions 
8 weeks ago
About the Prize - The Roddenberry Prize
We seek bold solutions that are on the cusp of achieving scale. Solutions may cover a range of topics and disciplines. A panel of judges and the prize administrator, who will assess the overall quality of the entry, will review applications. Entries will be evaluated along three criteria: their potential for transformative and lasting impact, demonstration of a feasible and achievable path to implementation, and the boldness of their vision to benefit our shared future.
8 weeks ago
Calling Bullshit
Of course an advertisement is trying to sell you something, but do you know whether the TED talk you watched last night is also bullshit — and if so, can you explain why? Can you see the problem with the latest New York Times or Washington Post article fawning over some startup's big data analytics? Can you tell when a clinical trial reported in the New England Journal or JAMA is trustworthy, and when it is just a veiled press release for some big pharma company?
media  stats  scientism 
8 weeks ago
What We’re Learning About MacArthur’s Philanthropy Powerball Experiment — Inside Philanthropy
But actually, there's a lot to like about this initiative. It’s a refreshing experiment in moving a whole lot of money, which shows that MacArthur really is looking to shake things up under its new president, Julia Stasch, and its big bet-focused revamp. An open and transparent call for proposals, done right, can introduce a breath of fresh air to the philanthropic arena. The recently announced semifinalists are also very impressive, taking on issues from blindness to digital knowledge. Here are a few stray observations—some criticisms and some kudos. 
philanthropy  100c 
9 weeks ago
Diffusion of Novel Healthcare Technologies to Resource Poor Settings | SpringerLink
A new product has completed clinical trials in a distant, resource poor hospital using a few dozen prototypes. The data looks great. The novel medical device solves a widely felt problem. The next goal is to integrate the device into the country’s healthcare system and spread the device to other countries. But how? In order to be widely used, the device must be manufactured and distributed. One option is to license the intellectual property (IP) to an interested third party, if one can be found. However, it is possible to manage the manufacturing and distribution without licensing. There are at least two common means for manufacturing a novel medical device targeted to resource poor settings: (a) formal (contract) manufacturing and (b) informal (local) manufacturing. There are three primary routes to diffusion of novel medical devices in the developing world: (1) local distributors (2) direct international sales and (3) international donations. Perhaps surprisingly, the least effective mechanism is direct importation through donation. The most successful mechanism, the method used by nearly all working medical devices in resource-poor settings, is the use of contract manufacturing and a local distributor. This article is written for the biomedical innovator and entrepreneur who wishes to make a novel healthcar
medical_devices  open 
9 weeks ago
Open-source hardware for medical devices | BMJ Innovations
Open-source hardware is hardware whose design is made publicly available so anyone can study, modify, distribute, make and sell the design or the hardware based on that design. Some open-source hardware projects can potentially be used as active medical devices. The open-source approach offers a unique combination of advantages, including reducing costs and faster innovation. This article compares 10 of open-source healthcare projects in terms of how easy it is to obtain the required components and build the device.
medical_devices  open 
9 weeks ago
Micronutrient Fortification and Biofortification Challenge | Copenhagen Consensus Center
Undernutrition – when the human body does not get the nutrients it needs for health and survival – remains a major issue in developing countries, and is an underlying cause for between 3 and 5 million deaths each year. Eighty percent of the world’s undernourished children live in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
food  micronutrients 
9 weeks ago
Why Invest in Nutrition
Improving nutrition contributes to productivity, economic development, and
poverty reduction by improving physical work capacity, cognitive development,
school performance, and health by reducing disease and mortality. Poor nutrition
perpetuates the cycle of poverty and malnutrition through three main routes—
direct losses in productivity from poor physical status and losses caused by disease
linked with malnutrition; indirect losses from poor cognitive development and
losses in schooling; and losses caused by increased health care costs. The economic costs of malnutrition are very high—several billion dollars a year in terms of lost gross domestic product (GDP). Relying on markets and economic growth alone means it will take more than a generation to solve the problem. But specific investments can accelerate improvement, especially programs for micronutrient fortification and supplementation and community-based growth promotion. The economic returns to investing in such programs are very high.
food  micronutrients 
9 weeks ago
Investing in Nutrition
Every year, malnutrition claims the lives of 3 million children under age five and
costs the global economy billions of dollars in lost productivity and health care
costs. Yet those losses are almost entirely preventable. A large body of scientific
evidence shows that improving nutrition during the critical 1,000 day window
from a woman’s pregnancy to her child’s second birthday has the potential to save
lives, help millions of children develop fully and thrive, and deliver greater economic prosperity.
food  micronutrients 
9 weeks ago
David Byrne | Journal | A Society in Miniature
Here are the basics of the school’s philosophy. John Rice, the founder, believed that the arts are as important as academic subjects:

There was less segregation between disciplines than what might find at a conventional school.
There was also no separation between faculty and students; they ate together and mingled freely.
There were no grades.
One didn’t have to attend classes. During break sessions the faculty trusted the students, and, as a result—without the top down rules—the students worked harder than during normal class times.
Here’s what now seems like a really radical idea—manual labor (gardening, construction, etc) was also key. Try that at Harvard!. No one had outside jobs; they they all chipped in to build the actual school and to help serving meals or doing maintenance. The schools finances were somewhat precarious, so this was an practical economical measure as well as being philosophical. In order to allow for these daytime activities and work, classes were often scheduled at night!
education  interdisciplinary  eutopia 
10 weeks ago
Paik's Virtual Archive
The future of ever-expanding digital memory comes upon us, an immortalization gesture of sorts, directed against forgetting and oblivion.
10 weeks ago
Voice from the Field: Risk Management, Foundation Practice, and the Status Quo - Non Profit News For Nonprofit Organizations | Nonprofit Quarterly
At foundations where board members are determined to contribute to change, leadership can turn to new risk-management tools for guidance. The Commons—a task force organized by Open Road Alliance, Rockefeller Foundation and Arabella Advisors—has produced a set of tools with the overarching goal of encouraging funders to create a deliberate risk profile and integrate risk management best practices into their philanthropic practice. This first-of-its-kind toolkit includes practical steps that can be incorporated into use by both big or small foundations.
risk  philanthropy 
10 weeks ago
Acknowledging and Overcoming Nonreproducibility in Basic and Preclinical Research | Research, Methods, Statistics | JAMA | The JAMA Network
The evidence for nonreproducibility in basic and preclinical biomedical research is compelling. Accumulating data from diverse subdisciplines and types of experimentation suggest numerous problems that can create a fertile ground for nonreproducibility.1 For example, most raw data and protocols are often not available for in-depth scrutiny and use by other scientists. The current incentive system rewards selective reporting of success stories. There is poor use of statistical methods, and study designs are often suboptimal. Simple laboratory flaws—eg, contamination or incorrect identification of widely used cell lines—occur with some frequency.

The scientific community needs to recognize and respond effectively to these problems. Survey data suggest that the majority of scientists acknowledge that they have been unable to replicate the work of other scientists or even their own work.2 The National Institutes of Health have struggled to improve the situation.3 However, whatever improvements are needed to enhance science, they must not worsen an already daunting bureaucracy. Some scientists suggest that reproducibility is not a problem, confusing the high potential value of this research with immunity to bias.
retractions  reproducibility  science  scientism 
10 weeks ago
6 Nuclear Energy Companies Building Molten Salt Reactors - Nanalyze
we’re a long way from retail investors being able to participate in MSR technology as an investment. A big investment round for any of these companies would signal a departure from the concept stage onto the building stage.
10 weeks ago
The Advanced Nuclear Industry - Third Way
Third Way has found that there are nearly 50 companies, backed by more than $1.3 billion in private capital, developing plans for new nuclear plants in the U.S. and Canada
10 weeks ago
What if? Navigating the uncertainties of our potential futures - Knight Foundation
Beginning in late 2015, Knight Foundation began a journey to get a better handle on how the conditions surrounding our work could change. We started by asking: “How will people be informed and engaged in our democracy between now and 2026?”
We were not trying to predict the future. Rather, we sought to develop plausible stories about what alternative futures might look like to facilitate discussion over critical questions on how to best fulfill our mission today and tomorrow.
scenarios  futures 
10 weeks ago
IDC Unveils its Top 10 Predictions for Worldwide Robotics for 2017 and Beyond - prAP42000116
SINGAPORE, December 07, 2016 – IDC Manufacturing Insights Worldwide Commercial Robotics program published its latest report titled “IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Robotics 2017 Predictions " and highlights the key drivers for robotics and how these are likely to shape the development of robotics in the planning horizon of 2017 through 2020.

"Technological development in artificial intelligence, computer vision, navigation, MEMS sensor, and semiconductor technologies continue to drive innovation in the capability, performance, autonomy, ease of use, and cost-effectiveness of industrial and service robots," says Dr. Jing Bing Zhang, Research Director, Worldwide Robotics and Asia Pacific Manufacturing Insights, IDC Asia/Pacific.
AI  robots 
11 weeks ago
Robots will destroy our jobs – and we're not ready for it | Technology | The Guardian
Data from the Robotics Industries Association (RIA), one of the largest robotic automation advocacy organizations in North America, reveals just how prevalent robots are likely to be in the workplace of tomorrow. During the first half of 2016 alone, North American robotics technology vendors sold 14,583 robots worth $817m to companies around the world. The RIA further estimates that more than 265,000 robots are currently deployed at factories across the country, placing the US third worldwide in terms of robotics deployments behind only China and Japan.

In a recent report, the World Economic Forum predicted that robotic automation will result in the net loss of more than 5m jobs across 15 developed nations by 2020, a conservative estimate. Another study, conducted by the International Labor Organization, states that as many as 137m workers across Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam – approximately 56% of the total workforce of those countries – are at risk of displacement by robots, particularly workers in the garment manufacturing industry.
robots  ai 
11 weeks ago
Harnessing automation for a future that works | McKinsey & Company
A new McKinsey Global Institute report finds realizing automation’s full potential requires people and technology to work hand in hand.
Ai  robots 
11 weeks ago
Are robots coming to take investor jobs on Wall Street? | New York Post
Robo-advisory, less than a decade old, may expand much faster than experts originally forecast. Consultancy A.T. Kearney earlier estimated that by 2020, robo-advisers will manage $2 trillion in the US, or roughly 5.6 percent of the country’s investment assets, up from 0.5 percent about 12 months ago.
11 weeks ago
Not just Toshiba - the global nuclear industry is in crisis everywhere - The Ecologist
Global nuclear power capacity grew slightly in 2016, writes Jim Green, but it was more a dead cat bounce than the promised 'nuclear renaissance'. The collapse of Toshiba, the direct result of its failing nuclear ventures, is indicative of the crisis faced by nuclear contractors and utilities worldwide. Another sign of the industry's poor outlook: no major commodity had a worse 2016 than uranium.
12 weeks ago
New Data Shows 85% of Humans Live Under a Corrupt Government
New Data Shows 85% of Humans Live Under a Corrupt Government
january 2017
ARCHIVAL ACCOUNTABILITY GAP | is there a democratic deficit in archives?
The conference will begin by looking at the needs of the future generation of users, it will then discuss the vital issues of records management in developing countries. It will consider the importance of records in the investigation of tragedies and transgressions. It will explore how new ideas about the way records and archives should be created, including co-creation and memory boxes have emerged from tragedies and transgression. It will also consider the impact of recent government initiatives in addressing shortcomings in record creation and disposal – Sir Alex Allan’s review of digital records and the independent cross-party review of Freedom of Information. Finally it will turn to the question of how we can apply democracy to the creation and selection of records and what happens when things go wrong.
archives  memory 
january 2017
Facebook Shouldn’t Fact-Check - The New York Times
I’m not comfortable trusting the truth to one gatekeeper that has a mission and a fiduciary duty to increase advertising revenue, especially when revenue is tied more to engagement than information.
january 2017
On “Fake News” – emptywheel
there has never been a time in media where not-true stories didn’t comingle with true stories,
january 2017
Maybe it looks like I’ve gone mad, so some context: – Medium
But after spending a day attending sessions and talking to people, I felt sick and depressed, and decided I couldn’t stay.
january 2017
A Tool Kit for the Donor Eager to Grasp All the Risks of Donation - The New York Times
donors often fail to dig deeply enough to discuss the obstacles a project may encounter. Among donors, 76 percent don’t ask recipients about the risks they face, while 87 percent of nonprofit leaders said grant applications had no questions about risks, according to Open Road Alliance.

“This isn’t anecdotal evidence,” said Laurie Michaels, Open Road’s founder. “This is donors and funders reporting that 20 percent of the projects need more money. Yet no one ever asks about this.”
philanthropy  risks 
january 2017
A New Fund Seeks Both Financial and Social Returns - The New York Times
bad deals done by good people
...Rise, the $2 billion fund is being developed by William E. McGlashan Jr., a partner at the private equity firm TPG, who more resembles a Buddhist monk than a cigar-chomping banker in pinstripes. He left his home in San Francisco in 2013 and moved his family to India for a year so he could be closer to the firm’s investments in Asia....
december 2016
A proliferation of ‘unthinkable’ events over the previous two years has revealed a new fragility at the highest levels of corporate and public service leaderships. Their ability to spot, identify and handle unexpected, non-normative events is shown not just to be wanting but also perilously inadequate at critical moments. The overall picture is deeply disturbing.
futures  scenarios 
december 2016
Welcome to 2030. I own nothing, have no privacy, and life has never been better | World Economic Forum
Welcome to the year 2030. Welcome to my city - or should I say, "our city". I don't own anything. I don't own a car. I don't own a house. I don't own any appliances or any clothes.
futures  scenarios 
december 2016
Want to make a visual timeline, but don't have the time to draw one manually? Or maybe you have some documents, but you're not sure if the events they depict form a compelling timeline?
tools  visualization  pda 
december 2016
George Orwell's Politics and the English Language Guide to Writing | New Republic
Objective consideration of contemporary phenomena compels the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account. [I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.]
plain_english  jargon  philanthropy 
december 2016
The Moral Character of Crytogrpaphic Work
Cryptography rearranges power: it configures who can do
what, from what. This makes cryptography an inherently political tool,
and it confers on the field an intrinsically moral dimension. The Snowden
revelations motivate a reassessment of the political and moral positioning
of cryptography. They lead one to ask if our inability to effectively
address mass surveillance constitutes a failure of our field. I believe that
it does. I call for a community-wide effort to develop more effective means
to resist mass surveillance. I plead for a reinvention of our disciplinary
culture to attend not only to puzzles and math, but, also, to the societal
implications of our work.
ethics  cryptography  responsible_innovation 
december 2016
Current Affairs | Culture & Politics
Every one of the three major candidates in this election (Trump, Clinton, and Sanders) was hounded by fake or exaggerated news stories. Trump was accused of being a secret Russian agent. Clinton’s email scandal was blown out of all reasonable proportion. And Bernie Sanders was hounded by malicious and unrepresentative stereotypes about “BernieBros.” Yet none of these stories were from fringe blogs and conspiracy sites. They were all produced by the mainstream press, which gave this nonsense primacy over stories about climate change, nuclear proliferation, Syria, health care, poverty, and every other conceivable issue of consequence.

Concerns about fake news are justified. But instead of begging our Silicon Valley overlords to crack down on the free sharing of information, we might start by building a mainstream press that has credibility of its own.
media  propaganda 
december 2016
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