Vale Tzvetan Todorov, R.I.P.
Democracy Without the People n+1
Readers mistake Facebook for a news outlet Financial Times. Why is it NOT a news outlet? It publishes what amount to syndicated news stories. Its algos are making what amount to editorial judgments. That is why it needs to act like a real news outlet and have in house fide fact checking
The rise of dark money power begs public scrutiny. It requires public regulation and control of the world’s most powerful corporate institutions. That’s why the Sydney Democracy Network, in cooperation with michaelwest.com.au, is launching an intensive year-long series of seminars, workshops and public lectures at the University of Sydney, and a weekly column, Dark Money, all targeted at the threats to democracy posed by dark money, and how best to hold arbitrary corporate power to account.
Sydney Democracy Network.org
Kim Jong Un's half brother Kin Jong Nam Assassinated in Malaysia
Fake news? Russian spy ship spotted off the coast of United States
Mike Flynn's resignation Trump's nightmare might have just begun
Hilary Clinton tweet Michael Glynn resigns as fake news
Gerrymandering is the biggest obstacle to genuine democracy in the United states so why is no one-protesting
Gruen: detox democracy through representation by random selection
THE problem is as old as mankind. The Roman author Juvenal encapsulated it into a phrase “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes” or “Who guards the guards themselves?” It was neatly illustrated in the classic BBC series “I, Claudius”. The infirm Claudius wants the return of the Republic. But the Praetorian guard, set up by his relatives, needed an Emperor to ensure their special status. So on the murder of Caligula, they drag Claudius from his hiding place behind a curtain, and make him Emperor.
Throughout history, dictators have faced this problem. They can surround themselves with men with swords or guns. But it only takes one guard with a sword or gun to turn into an assassin or to seize power for himself. The Shah of Iran had a huge army in 1979 but it did him no good; the soldiers had more sympathy with the revolutionaries than with the Shah himself.
In business and finance, this is known as the “principal-agent” problem. Shareholders employ managers to run a company; investors use fund managers to look after their savings. That makes sense. It allows us to take advantage of the expertise of others, and of...The problem that links business, finance and politics
MSNBC’S KATY TUR: Like Putin, Trump Might Kill JournalistsRussia’s main opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, has been found guilty of embezzlement, local media report. A judge is still reading the verdict in the city of Kirov, but news agencies said it was clear in his remarks that Mr Navalny had been convicted.Even a suspended sentence would bar him from running for president next year.An outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin, Mr Navalny has denied the accusations, saying the case is politically motivated.
DEMOCRACY is in decline around the world, according to Freedom House, a think-tank. Only 45% of countries are considered free today, and their number is slipping. Liberty is in retreat in the world of business, too. The idea that firms should be controlled by diverse shareholders who exercise one vote per share is increasingly viewed as redundant or even dangerous.
Consider the initial public offering (IPO) of Silicon Valley’s latest social-media star, Snap. It plans to raise $3-4bn and secure a valuation of $20bn-25bn. The securities being sold have no voting rights, so all the power will stay with Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy, its co-founders. Snap’s IPO has echoes of that of Alibaba, a Chinese internet giant. It listed itself in New York in 2014, in the world’s largest-ever IPO, raising $25bn. It is worth $252bn today and is controlled by an opaque partnership using legal vehicles in the Cayman Islands. Its ordinary shareholders are supine
Shareholder democracy is ailing
On Stratfor, Jay Ogilvy lays out the philosophy behind humanity's doubts about truth as a concept. But he still concludes with a hearty endorsement of facts. Must read.
“This problem has nothing to do with freedom of expression. It would be like saying you can sell stale meat or contaminated water because we’re in a free market.” — President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies Laura Boldrini, speaking about fake news to BuzzFeed
There's never a good time for media to make mistakes, but now may be the worst ever. Read about these fake stories and fake tweets journalists recently have fallen for, then fix the problem or "watch your profession go down in flames."
Two Indian engineers are fighting hoaxes on WhatsApp. And here's a roundup of academics around the world and their tech solutions for misinformation.
Here's why humans accept fake news, says a professor writing for Salon. And two marketing professors say the Twittersphere helped Donald Trump win
The Two Kinds of Trump Voters Politico
1) With a new grant, FactCheck.org's "SciCheck" will continue. (2) A South African news organization has launched a pop-up ad against fake news. (4) Fake news: It's bipartisan, says the Christian Science Monitor. (5) If Wikipedia can fight fake news, any news organization can. (6) How fake news is distracting journalists. (7) Dove deodorant has a new ad campaign featuring "alternative facts." (8) A status report on Europe's fight against fake news. (9) Fact-checking job: video producer for BuzzFeed, apply by Feb 13. (10) FactCheckNI is crowdfunding. (11) A meetup in Toronto to design better debunks. (12) Lessons from America's long history of conspiracy theories.