pierredv + theguardian   55

Never before have I seen blind anger like this on the streets of Paris | John Lichfield | Opinion | The Guardian Dec 2018
"Even if a programme of negotiations emerges, it is unlikely to be accepted by the blindly angry people I saw on the streets of Paris last Saturday. Will Paris burn again? Quite probably."
TheGuardian  politics  Europe  France 
10 days ago by pierredv
The rise of 'pseudo-AI': how tech firms quietly use humans to do bots' work | Technology | The Guardian
"It’s hard to build a service powered by artificial intelligence. So hard, in fact, that some startups have worked out it’s cheaper and easier to get humans to behave like robots than it is to get machines to behave like humans.""In 2016, Bloomberg highlighted the plight of the humans spending 12 hours a day pretending to be chatbots for calendar scheduling services such as X.ai and Clara. The job was so mind-numbing that human employees said they were looking forward to being replaced by bots. "
TheGuardian  AI  employment  start-ups  technology  business 
july 2018 by pierredv
How a tax haven is leading the race to privatise space | News | The Guardian
Luxembourg has shown how far a tiny country can go by serving the needs of global capitalism. Now it has set its sights on outer space
TheGuardian  NewSpace  Luxembourg  space 
september 2017 by pierredv
Space debris must be removed from orbit says ESA | Science | The Guardian, Apr 2017
"7th European Conference on Space Debris, which was held at ESA’s Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany."

"ESA Space Debris Office. His team monitors the 10 satellites that ESA currently operate in low Earth orbit to protect them from the swarm of human-made debris that now surrounds our planet. On average there is a high risk alert of a potential collision every week, and every ESA satellite has to be manoeuvred to avoid a collision once or twice a year."

"The nightmare scenario that space debris experts contemplate is called the Kessler syndrome, after American astrophysicist Donald Kessler. In 1978, while working for Nasa, he published an analysis that showed frequent collisions exponentially increased the amount of space debris, leading to many more collisions, leading to much more debris until we lose the use of certain orbits because anything we put there would certainly be hit."
space-debris  space  space-junk  ESA  TheGuardian 
july 2017 by pierredv
The eyes have it | Books | The Guardian Sep 2004
"Nearly three years on from his death, WG Sebald has become a huge cult figure. His last book, a collaboration with the German artist Jan Peter Tripp, is a haunting testament to his singular and lasting vision"
TheGuardian  books  reviews  WGSebald  Jan-Peter-Trip  art  writing 
february 2017 by pierredv
Lived Brutalism: portraits from Robin Hood Gardens housing estate – in pictures | Art and design | The Guardian
Since its completion in 1972, Robin Hood Gardens estate in east London has garnered much attention, due to its monumental brutalist form and, latterly, its dilapidated condition. Dismayed by the absence of the residents’ views in any coverage of the estate – which is due to be demolished after English Heritage declared that it “fails as a place for humans to live” – London-based photographer Kois Miah and sociologist Nick Thoburn embarked on a project to capture the views of its last inhabitants. “I know the estate generated a lot of negativity,” Miah says, “but it was nothing like its reputation. Of course, it had its problems, but people loved their time there.”
TheGuardian  photography  people  places  architecture 
october 2016 by pierredv
How the education gap is tearing politics apart | David Runciman | Politics | The Guardian
"Education does not simply divide us on the grounds of what is in our interests. It sorts us according to where we feel we belong."

"The education divide is never going to supplant traditional left-right politics. There is not going to be a “Graduate party” taking on a party of “School Leavers”. Instead the divide cuts across left and right, which is why it is proving so disruptive to our politics right now. . . . But the education divide derives from an alternative set of values, which is often characterised as the opposition between libertarians and authoritarians. Authoritarians are looking for order and control, libertarians want greater freedom and tolerance. "

"When Gove suggested that the experts should not be trusted because they have a vested interest in what they are saying, that was his point: once knowledge becomes a prerequisite of power, then it no longer speaks for itself. It appears to speak for the worldview of the people who possess it. At that point it ceases to be knowledge and simply becomes another mark of privilege."
"The education divide has the potential to break apart the careful ties that hold representative democracy together. Regardless of our different interests, we elect representatives to take decisions on our behalf on the understanding that we share certain basic values, including a respect for knowledge, wherever it comes from. Once knowledge is assumed to be just another one of the perks of power, then the basis to trust others to take decisions for us becomes eroded. Asserting the facts and asserting your privilege grow increasingly difficult to distinguish."
TheGuardian  education  politics  power  longreads 
october 2016 by pierredv
Us v Them: the birth of populism | John B Judis | The Long Read | Politics | The Guardian - Oct 2016
"Populist campaigns and parties often function as warning signs of a political crisis. In both Europe and the US, populist movements have been most successful at times when people see the prevailing political norms – which are preserved and defended by the existing establishment – as being at odds with their own hopes, fears, and concerns. The populists express these neglected concerns and frame them in a politics that pits the people against an intransigent elite. By doing so, they become catalysts for political change."

"During their heyday in the late 19th century, the populists of the People’s Party had a profound effect on American and – as it turned out – Latin American and European politics. It developed the logic of populism: the concept of a “people” arrayed against an elite that refused to grant necessary reforms. In American politics, the organisation was an early sign of the inadequacy of the two major parties’ views of government and the economy."

"In 1976, the Donald Warren published a study of “middle American radicals” (MARs). On the basis of extensive surveys conducted between 1971 and 72 and in 1975, Warren defined a distinct political group that was neither left nor right, liberal nor conservative. MARs “feel the middle class has been seriously neglected,” Warren wrote. They see “government as favouring both the rich and poor simultaneously”."
populism  politics  USA  history  progressivism  TheGuardian  longreads  radicalism 
october 2016 by pierredv
Why bad ideas refuse to die | Steven Poole | Science | The Guardian June 2016
"an idea will have a good chance of hanging around as a zombie if it benefits some influential group of people. The efficient markets hypothesis is financially beneficial for bankers who want to make deals unencumbered by regulation. "
"Few would argue that a commercial marketplace needs fraud and faulty products. But in the marketplace of ideas, zombies can actually be useful. Or if not, they can at least make us feel better. That, paradoxically, is what I think the flat-Earthers of today are really offering – comfort."
"It seems to me that the desire to believe such stuff stems from a deranged kind of optimism about the capabilities of human beings. It is a dark view of human nature, to be sure, but it is also rather awe-inspiring to think of secret agencies so single-minded and powerful that they really can fool the world’s population over something so enormous. "
"As the much more noxious example of Scientology also demonstrates, it is all too tempting to take science fiction for truth – because narratives always make more sense than reality."
ideas  TheGuardian  conspiracy  conspiracy-theories  culture 
september 2016 by pierredv
Everyone recommends flossing – but there's hardly any proof it works | US news | The Guardian
"It’s one of the most universal recommendations in all of public health: floss daily to prevent gum disease and cavities. Except there’s little proof that flossing works."
"When the federal government issued its latest dietary guidelines this year, the flossing recommendation had been removed, without notice. In a letter to the AP, the government acknowledged the effectiveness of flossing had never been researched, as required."
TheGuardian  health  research 
august 2016 by pierredv
View from Wales: town showered with EU cash votes to leave EU | UK news | The Guardian
"In Ebbw Vale, with little immigration and perhaps more EU investment than any other UK small town, the sense of injustice is greater than the sum of the facts"
Brexit  TheGuardian  Wales 
june 2016 by pierredv
Conference rage: 'How did awful panel discussions become the default format?' | Global Development Professionals Network | The Guardian
"With my How Change Happens hat on, the obvious question is, why haven’t things changed already? Using the handy 3i rule of thumb, is it ideas, institutions or interests that are keeping things this way?"
TheGuardian  conferences  opinion 
june 2016 by pierredv
Whatever next? How plot grips us, from Dickens to Line of Duty | Books | The Guardian
"Plot is not just a sequence of connected events ... it is something rarer: the unfolding of a hidden design."
"The hidden design has, we trust, been contrived by an author, so when we enjoy a plot we are enjoying being manipulated by him or her. Perhaps this is why such enjoyment has often been thought suspect."
"Plot is what stops narrative being just one thing after another. Plotless stories threaten to be endless. So those American TV dramas that, if successful, are destined for box sets may have resounding endings but lack the capacity to fulfil a design. "
TheGuardian  plot  writing  reading 
may 2016 by pierredv
Welcome to the robot-based workforce: will your job become automated too? - The Guardian Mar 2016
Good inventory of apps, companies
"On Thursday, Bloomberg reported that Google is selling Boston Dynamics, the inventor of frighteningly agile robots that it acquired in 2013.

“There’s excitement from the tech press, but we’re also starting to see some negative threads about it being terrifying, ready to take humans’ jobs,” wrote one Google employee in internal emails obtained by Bloomberg."
automation  Google  theguardian  employment 
march 2016 by pierredv
Mercedes-Benz swaps robots for people on its assembly lines | Technology | The Guardian Feb 2016
"Bucking modern manufacturing trends, Mercedes-Benz has been forced to trade in some of its assembly line robots for more capable humans. The robots cannot handle the pace of change and the complexity of the key customisation options available for the company’s S-Class saloon at the 101-year-old Sindelfingen plant, which produces 400, 000 vehicles a year from 1,500 tons of steel a day. The dizzying number of options for the cars – from heated or cooled cup holders, various wheels, carbon-fibre trims and decals, and even four types of caps for tire valves – demand adaptability and flexibility, two traits where humans currently outperform robots."
automation  manufacturing  Mercedes-Benz  theguardian 
february 2016 by pierredv
Therapy wars: the revenge of Freud | Oliver Burkeman | Science | The Guardian
Via John Helm "CBT doesn’t exactly claim that happiness is easy, but it does imply that it’s relatively simple: your distress is caused by your irrational beliefs, and it’s within your power to seize hold of those beliefs and change them. Psychoanalysts contend that things are much more complicated. For one thing, psychological pain needs first not to be eliminated, but understood." "... a basic assumption of CBT – that, with training, we can learn to catch most of our unhelpful mental responses in the act." "Yet even this conclusion – that we simply don’t know which therapies work best – might be seen as a point in favour of Freud and his successors. Psychoanalysis, after all, embodies just this awed humility about how little we can ever grasp about the workings of our minds."
psychology  psychotherapy  theguardian  essay  CBT  psychoanalysis 
january 2016 by pierredv
Obfuscation: how leaving a trail of confusion can beat online surveillance | Technology | The Guardian
"One new guide in the handbook tradition – and one that is decidedly on point for 2015 – is the slim, black, cloth-bound volume, Obfuscation: A User’s Guide for Privacy and Protest, published by MIT Press. A collaboration between technologist Finn Brunton and philosopher Helen Nissenbaum, both of New York University, Obfuscation packs utility, charm and conviction into its tightly-composed 100-page core. This is a thin book, but its ambition is vast."
theguardian  surveillance  jamming  obfuscation 
october 2015 by pierredv
Terry Pratchett was a true great, the equal of Swift | Frank Cottrell Boyce | Comment is free | The Guardian
"He’s surely our most quotable writer after Shakespeare and Wilde. Granny Weatherwax’s definition of sin – “When you treat people as things” – is all you need to know about ethics."
Terry-Pratchett  theguardian  obituary 
march 2015 by pierredv
How 1,000 years of Arabic scholarship advanced scientific debate – in pictures | Higher Education Network | The Guardian
"From the 9th to the 19th centuries, scholars and scribes used Arabic as a lingua franca to debate scientific ideas. Arabic-speaking scholars translated classical Greek, Persian and even Sanskrit texts on topics such as medicine, mathematics and astronomy. These scholars went far beyond translation and preservation and fostered a unique and vibrant scientific culture within the Arabic-speaking world. The British Library and Qatar Foundation have joined forces to launch a new bilingual online portal, the Qatar Digital Library, providing free access to 25,000 pages of fascinating medieval Arabic manuscript. Here’s a selection of some of the most influential scientific texts in history"
theguardian  arabic  BritishLibrary  QutarFoundation  QutarDigitalLibrary  scholarship  history  manuscripts 
october 2014 by pierredv
Iranian mother who spared her son's killer: 'Vengeance has left my heart' | World news | The Guardian
"Samereh Alinejad tells the Guardian she had no intention of sparing her son's killer, Balal, until the moment she asked for the noose to be removed from his neck" See also http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/16/iran-parents-halt-killer-execution
people  stories  Iran  murder  revenge  theguardian  interviews 
april 2014 by pierredv
Male and female brains wired differently, scans reveal | Science | The Guardian Dec 2013
"Scientists have drawn on nearly 1,000 brain scans to confirm what many had surely concluded long ago: that stark differences exist in the wiring of male and female brains. Maps of neural circuitry showed that on average women's brains were highly connected across the left and right hemispheres, in contrast to men's brains, where the connections were typically stronger between the front and back regions."
gender  brain  neuroscience  psychology  TheGuardian 
december 2013 by pierredv
Paul Klee at Tate Modern: More! More! More! | Art and design | The Guardian
Wonderful piece of writing - each paragraph a bit like a Klee painting. Quotes: "I often feel, looking at Klee, that he watched himself as he worked, just to see where his mind would lead him" via Madelaine Maior: "You need to sidle up to things, let your eye snag on a detail, get sucked in then turn away again, allowing yourself to look while your mind is elsewhere. Being inattentive is as important as close inspection."
TheGuardian  art  writing  painting  Tate  Modern  quotations 
october 2013 by pierredv
How to remain secure against NSA surveillance - Bruce Schneier, Aug 2013
"The primary way the NSA eavesdrops on internet communications is in the network. That's where their capabilities best scale. They have invested in enormous programs to automatically collect and analyze network traffic. Anything that requires them to attack individual endpoint computers is significantly more costly and risky for them, and they will do those things carefully and sparingly." " I have been using GPG, Silent Circle, Tails, OTR, TrueCrypt, BleachBit, and a few other things I'm not going to write about."
NSA  TheGuardian  surveillance  encryption  BruceSchneier  cybersecurity  schneier 
september 2013 by pierredv
Cities Without Ground: a guidebook to Hong Kong's elevated walkways | Art and design | guardian.co.uk
"In Hong Kong, your feet need never touch the ground. But now, for the first time, a book can help you navigate the high-rise web of bridges, tunnels and lobbies that make up the city's fabric"
HongKong  theguardian  architecture  urbanism 
february 2013 by pierredv
Occupy Wall Street's 'occucopter' – who's watching whom? | Noel Sharkey and Sarah Knuckey | World news | guardian.co.uk
"Pool has modified the software to stream live video to the internet so that we can watch the action as it unfolds."
surveillance  interference  drones  theguardian 
january 2013 by pierredv
Can anyone kill Gangnam Style? | Music | The Guardian
"For the time being, it is the cringe-proof meme, the zombie meme, the meme that knows no shame. Quite possibly, it will be danced by grannies at weddings in 2030 – the 21st-century equivalent of the conga line; the new macarena."
music  Korea  memes  culture  theguardian 
november 2012 by pierredv
Pew's religion survey reveals a secular shift away from the religious right | Sarah Posner | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
"According to Pew, there are now as many people who identify themselves as 'none' in religious affiliation as identify as 'evangelical'."
Pew  religion  theguardian  usa 
october 2012 by pierredv
The statistical error that just keeps on coming | Ben Goldacre - The Guardian Sep 2011
"The same statistical errors – namely, ignoring the "difference in differences" – are appearing throughout the most prestigious journals in neuroscience"
via:scottwallsten  *  theguardian  research  geospatial  statistics 
september 2011 by pierredv
Being bilingual may delay Alzheimer's and boost brain power | Science | The Guardian
"Learning a second language and speaking it regularly can improve your cognitive skills and delay the onset of dementia"
cognition  alzheimers  brain  health  theguardian 
february 2011 by pierredv
With Buzz, Google takes another giant step towards turning into Microsoft | Technology | The Observer
"Google Buzz is a new social-networking tool developed by the search giant and designed to undermine Twitter and Facebook. It's breathtakingly crass and intrusive and takes astonishing liberties with your privacy"
theguardian  opinion  google  privacy 
february 2010 by pierredv

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