Read : 2019-03-25
Today’s selection of articles:
- “It’s official: Russiagate is this generation’s WMD“, by Matt Taibbi (Hate Inc., 2019-03-23). A sobering if politically charged reminder to think critically and demand evidence. The article raises several points. (1) Slippery slope of echo chambers. If people receive news exclusively from one side of the political spectrum, and news sources do not admit to errors (or bury such admissions where few will see them), mistaken and warped understanding accumulates. (2) Accusation versus conviction. The media, and the general public, have equated accusation with conviction. Not surprising, if people’s opinions are determined by beliefs, not facts. (3) Think critically! Don’t blindly accept what you hear or read. Follow up on your own. (But following up takes time. Who has that?) (4) Choosing sides versus seeking and vetting facts. The filters through which we perceive the world make being objective even harder. When we choose sides, we agree to ignore these filters.
- “The beaches are nice. The inequality? Not so much“, by Justin Higginbottom (OZY, 2019-03-11). According to a Credit Suisse report (not linked — these data appear in their 2018 Global Wealth Databook: 2018 Gini index, page 117), in 2018, the richest 1% of Thailand’s population owned 67% of the country’s wealth. The hook story seems a staggering real-life instance of the fictional account in “A tale of two cities”.
- “Another Parkland student has died by apparent suicide“, by Alejandro de la Garza (Time, 2019-03-24). “Stories” quickly fade from the media and the public’s memories, but not from those who (were forced to) live them. Note: “Police have not confirmed if the deceased student was enrolled at the high school last year…They have also not confirmed the cause of death,” currently calling it an “apparent suicide”.