Sunday, December 26, 2021

Thomas Piketty: The Making of a Socialist - How is there no public record of Congressional insider trading?

As a correspondent for the French newspaper Le Monde, world-renowned economist Thomas Piketty has documented the rise and fall of Trump, the drama of Brexit, Emmanuel Macron’s ascendance to the French presidency, the unfolding of a global pandemic, and much else besides, always from the perspective of his fight for a more equitable world

The metaphor “a rising tide lifts all boats” describes this explanation of how capitalism should work.


Stick It to the Man: Get Yourself on Washington’s Terrorist Database. “It’s like something right out of George Orwell’s 1984 — if Oceana had bothered with niceties like buying a woman a drink before intimidating the hell out of her.”

 NiemanLab: “The Washington Post does it. So do The New York TimesCNNUSA Today, and The Daily Caller: fact-checking. In fact (no pun intended), fact-checking is so successful/important/sought after/self-reproducing (take your pick) that in 18 years, the number of fact-checking organizations has grown from one in 2003 to 349 worldwide in 2021, according to the Duke Reporter’s Lab

And while verifying what really happened — discerning between what’s true and what is not — is inherently tied to journalism, it usually occurs beforejournalists file their stories. Fact-checking, however, usually happens after the fact — so after something worthy of fact-checking happened. Fact-checking is often conducted by independent organizations, such as or PolitiFact. But over time, more and more news organizations have also started doing their own formal fact-checks — thinking that this de facto journalistic genre of fact-checking can help keep misinformation at bay. To be clear, my prediction (or hope, rather) is about the news organization genre of fact-checking, not fact-checking as a whole…”

An Expertise In Books Gets You…

Literature professors have often had significant difficulty acknowledging their expertise and corresponding difficulty in justifying their status to skeptics, for broadly two reasons. - Public Books

Poynter: “We live in a time when misinformation is rampant. Politicians lie. Cable news pundits twist the truth to fit their agenda. And citizens use the wild west of social media to either consciously or inadvertently spread conspiracies that simply are not true. For the past 13 years, Poynter’s PolitiFact has sifted through all the lies of the year to come up with the lie of the year. It’s never an easy choice. Sadly, the year is full of them. This year’s “Lie of the Year” has been told for virtually all of 2021. Published just this morning, PolitiFact’s “Lie of the Year” is:

The New York Times: “The coronavirus pandemic has been packed with plenty of nasty tech surprises. We ran into the problem of a perpetual scarcity of hardware, like game consoles and graphics cards. Apple this year announced a major change to its data practices, including a tool to scan iPhones for child pornography, which critics labeled an invasion of privacy. And many of us who tried ordering high-quality face masks to protect ourselves from the coronavirus had to swim through an ocean of fakes. 

Yet there was a silver lining to all this: valuable lessons to improve our relationship with tech for years to come, like becoming savvier online shoppers and taking control of our personal data. Think of it as New Year’s resolutions, but for tech. Here are my top recommendations…”

Britain’s National Lottery Gave Blighted Towns $330 Million To Spend As They Wished. What Did They Do?

While the specifics differ (as do outcomes, somewhat), the common thread seems to be that these towns built gathering places — community centers or gardens, cafes, public squares with seating and playgrounds. And they've made a real difference. - Fast Company