Saturday, December 10, 2016

The Orwellian Media War on Skepticism

“When we start deceiving ourselves into thinking not that we want something or need something … but that it is a moral imperative that we have it, then is when we join the fashionable madmen.”

The age of outrage New Statesman. Edited version of Ian Hislop’s Orwell lecture: Why are we so quick to take offense?

These Toys Don’t Just Listen To Your Kid; They Send What They Hear To A Defense Contractor Consumerist 

A Slate writer went 5,000 years back in time to find out if the old days were really all that good. He finds, for instance, that many people suffered from "neurasthenia" and that is not a good thing. Old Days

After his book Moneyball became a best-seller, Michael Lewis learned that many of the ideas it presented to the general public had actually been introduced decades earlier by a pair of Israeli psychologists: Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. In an adaptation from his new book, Lewis investigates their story, and the intense bond between these radically different men How Two Trailblazing Psychologists Turned the World of Decision Science Upside Down 

Thousands of snow geese die in Montana after landing on contaminated water Guardian 

A Feathered Dinosaur Tail with Primitive Plumage Trapped in Mid-Cretaceous Amber Current Biology. Cool images tail of a feathered dinosaur found in amber from Myanmar
Some 99 million years ago, a juvenile dinosaur got its feathery tail stuck in tree resin, a death trap for the small creature. But its misfortune is now giving scientists unique insight into feathered dinosaurs that prospered during the Cretaceous Period...

"The feathers definitely are those of a dinosaur, not a prehistoric bird."
EARTH could be burnt to a crisp with all humanity wiped out in about five billion 
years, scientists in Belgium have predicted ...

Simply thinking about past challenges in which you came out on top -- or at the very least unscathed -- is a reminder that you will do so this time as well. There's also that old linguistic chestnut that the Chinese word for "crises" is also "opportunity." (It's true, by the way.) Sometimes our greatest difficulties become our greatest moments of triumph.

… The Soviet Gulag – Evidence, Interpretation, and Comparison

The System Failed

 Populist Wave Makes Merkel Go All-Out Conservative: Calls for Burqa Ban in Germany

The Orwellian War on Skepticism Robert Parry, Consortium News
“Fake News” Fizzles on Arrival Unz Review

The New Red Scare Andrew Cockburn, Harpers ...


Harvard research suggests that an entire global generation has lost faith in democracy Quartz

How Kissinger Won Jacobin
Great Barrier Reef progress report: We have to do better on water quality, says Australia Guardian

By What Authority? The Baffler

Everybody into the (labor) pool Medium (Plutonium Kun). By the Minneapolis Fed. Translation: employers need to get real about pay

New data show just how important Facebook is for websites that publish fake news and hyperpartisan news. Meanwhile, Zuckerberg's post outlining his company's strategy to address the problem vanished mysteriously for a couple of hours on Tuesday, while some argue that Facebook has no business fact-checking

On Thursday, a group of international law enforcement agencies announced that it had completed an ambitious takedown of an extensive online criminal infrastructure called “Avalanche.” It’s one of the largest botnet takedowns ever, a four-year effort that turned up victims in 180 countries worldwide. Which is to say, nearly all of them. The scale of Avalanche is overwhelming, as was that of the effort to unwind it. Criminals have been using the platform since 2009 to mount phishing attacks, distribute malware, shuffle stolen money across borders, and even act as a botnet in denial of service attacks. It specialized in targeting both financial institutions and people’s personal financial data, to great success. The Department of Justice pegs the monetary losses associated with Avalanche’s malware attacks as “in the hundreds of millions of dollars worldwide.”