Monday, November 07, 2016

How the Internet Is Loosening Our Grip on the Truth

Bra lunch with blasts from the parliamentary past today ...

monkey described as the “king of prophets” has tipped Donald Trump for the US presidency, a tourism park said, after the creature successfully predicted the winner of football’s European Championship final earlier this year t RUM p ...

We are still days away from finally knowing the winner of one of the ugliest elections in modern history, but we already have the biggest loser: the media...

Trump (2016-3)Slate:  Keep Harping Over Trump’s Tax Returns, by Adam Chodorow (Arizona State):
His refusal to release them no longer feels like a first-order concern. But it’s one more broken norm that Americans will rue.
It’s fairly evident by now why Trump wouldn’t want his returns to be public—as I’ve writtenseveral times throughout the election cycle. There’s no reason to think he’ll reverse course and finally release them in the next week. But this goes far beyond Trump. Every major candidate for the past 26 years has released his or her tax returns, and we risk undermining this important tradition if we allow Trump’s refusal to get lost amid his other scandals and outrageous statements or concerns about Clinton’s emails. Just as candidates now release medical records to assure voters that they are fit for office, tax records are critical because they reveal a candidate’s potential conflicts of interest and commitment to honesty and integrity.

EU Briefing What Think Tanks are thinking...

“The United States choses its next president on 8 November, with implications for international relations, security, trade and fight against climate change. The vote follows an acrimonious campaign, which analysts say points to a deeply divided nation on issues such as the US international role, immigration, social protection, taxation as well as trade and industrial policies. This note offers links to recent commentaries and reports published by major international think tanks and other research centres on the US elections.”

Farhad Manjoo, New York Times: “Next week, if all goes well, someone will win the presidency. What happens after that is anyone’s guess. Will the losing side believe the results? Will the bulk of Americans recognize the legitimacy of the new president? And will we all be able to clean up the piles of lies, hoaxes and other dung that have been hurled so freely in this hyper-charged, fact-free election? Much of that remains unclear, because the internet is distorting our collective grasp on the truth. Polls show that many of us have burrowed into our own echo chambers of information. In a recent Pew Research Center 
survey, 81 percent of respondents said that partisans not only differed about policies, but 
also about “basic facts.”…

King County (Seattle) uses grocery loyalty card data to figure out who owns pets, according to a new report from local station KOMO. It then sends them letters warning of a $250 fine if they do not license the animals. The “county said they pay the company who pays stores such as Safeway …for access to customer data contained in every one of those reward card swipes.” And “the mailers work. Just last year they brought in more than $100,000 in new pet licenses.”

But remember, government needs access to Big Data to fight terrorism. [cross-posted from Cato at Liberty]

MuckRock’s Leaks and FOIA FAQ

Everything You Wanted To Know About Transparency (But Were Afraid to Ask Twitter): “With so many hot takes being offered on Wikileaks these days, we thought it would be good to clear the air with a simple primer on the difference between information obtained via the Freedom of Information Act and information obtained from leaks… Broadly, FOIA releases are government records that have extensively and exhaustively reviewed as part of the FOIA process, to prevent the release of information considered too sensitive or dangerous to be reasonably considered as part of the public record. Think nuclear access codes, social security numbers, and geological information on wells for some reason. Leaks are not. There’s no official process to vet leaks, and they don’t have to be government records, for that matter…”