Saturday, May 20, 2017

An Unsuitable Job for a Chartists

Beyond the window, everything moves [in the storm]: paper trees, toy cars, stick houses, straw dogs. Foam spreads through the streets like a stain…The tide uproots what the wind is unable to demolish. The building withstands the battering. Everyone talks at the same time (twenty scratched records playing at the same time)…an obsession with talking: twelve million scratched records blathering on without stopping. The country is a scratched record (everything repeats itself: every day is a repetition of the day before)….” – the speaker commenting on life in Cuba.

'An Unsuitable Job for a Woman’ is a no-nonsense novel.  By that I mean that the young woman detective at the center of this novel, twenty-two year old Cordelia Gray, has no romantic entanglements distracting her from her detective work. Unlike the heroines of Jane Austen, one of many nineteenth century writers who are mentioned in this novel, she is not actively pursuing a husband.  Instead Cordelia is entirely and determinedly devoted to solving her case

‘An Unsuitable Job for a Woman’ by P. D. James


Workplace distress: 'Most bosses have no clue what they're doing'


"You should be thankful that you're miserable, because that's very lucky, to be miserable." -Annie Hall (1977 as in Charter77)

Covering elections these days means covering misinformation. And for journalists reporting on Kenya's general election, the U.S. media's experiences in 2016 are providing a template 

FOR young hipsters and middle-aged sentimentalists alike, the resurgence of vinyl is cause for celebration. Since 2010 sales of vinyl records in America have tripled. Britain’s vinyl industry saw its biggest gains for 25 years in 2016. Big supermarkets are extending the amount of space that they allocate to the discs and even the turntables that twirl them have found a place on Amazon’s best-seller lists.
Meeting this demand has been tricky. Vinyl accounted for 76% of total album sales in 1973; by 1994 this had dropped to 1.5% as compact discs (CDs) took over. By then the bulk of the world’s vinyl-pressing plants had closed and most of their cumbersome machines had gone to the scrapyard. Only a very few plants that could diversify into new areas of printing and production stayed open. But they did so without any further investment in vinyl, so the few machines that kept on producing often date back to the 1960s. GZ Media, a Czech...Continue reading

If the future belongs to Facebook, it's not going to be pretty. ... The fake-news-fighting tools provided by Facebook don't seem to be working, at least anecdotally. ... Florida police aren’t happy about a fake news story posted on a fake Facebook account that frightened parents and students.

A study reported in Vocativ says that fact-checkers' findings are often in disagreement. But those conclusions are probably overstated. For one, the selected sample of overlapping fact checks is very small. More important still, this conclusion is predicated on "Mostly False" and "Half True" being "total opposites."

Most fact-checking efforts concentrate on post hoc corrections, but what if you could inoculate readers against upcoming misinformation? This study says prebunking shows promise.


In this New Orleans fact check, an official says a false statement by her organization was not misleading — it was simply "a metaphor to help the public understand."


Something for the kids: "The Parent and Educator Guide to Media Literacy and Fake News." ... Quartz collected fact-checking tips from some of the best fact-checkers around. ... A fellow with PesaCheck reports back on what he learned in a year as a fact-checker. 

For fact-checkers, keeping up with online misinformation can be hard. Unlike false claims by public figures, fake news can pop up pretty much anywhere. Trendolizer, a web app, could reduce the head start that fakers enjoy over debunkers.

Seeing an "irresistible opportunity to poke fun at an already ridiculous world," a UK television station launches "The Fake News Show" this week. You can watch the trailer here.

12 quick fact-checking links 
(1) A South African editor blasts “the media” for perpetuating a fake story on “the blue whale suicide game.”  (2) Two experts explain in The Conversation why urban legends just won't go away. (3) This is what happened when a fake news site stole an L.A. Times reporter's story.  (4) Why do we love propaganda and hate experts? Read this Quartz article. (5) Donald Trump's reading list includes fake news. Sad. (6) Automated fact-checking project FactMata has an update on what's coming. (7) Irish journalist Dan MacGuill joined Snopes; his former employer will keep on fact-checking. (8) Swedish fact-checkers Viralgranskaren say they won't let their parent company's controversial new owner influence their work. (9) A fascinating discussion about AI, fact-checking and the British election on the Wired UpVote podcast (10) An "amateur investigator" and restaurant owner in Washington, D.C., has decided to fact-check the Trump-Russian controversy himself. (11) A new report from Data & Society examines how media organizations were ripe for manipulation in 2016. (12) Verificationistas and fact-checkers unite for the British election.