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Author Archives: Sabrina I. Pacifici

Truth and Consequences

The Hedgehog Review – Untruth has been spreading with new ease and abandon, and often to undemocratic effect. “Conventional wisdom has it that for democracy to work, it is essential that we—the citizens—agree in some minimal way about what reality looks like. We are not, of course, all required to think the same way about big questions, or believe the same things, or hold the same values; in fact, it is expected that we won’t. But somehow or other, we need to have acquired some very basic, shared understanding about what causes what, what’s broadly desirable, what’s dangerous, and how to characterize what’s already happened.

Some social scientists call this “public knowledge.” Some, more cynically, call it “serviceable truth” to emphasize its contingent, socially constructed quality. Either way, it is the foundation on which democratic politics—in which no one person or institution has sole authority to determine what’s what and all claims are ultimately revisable—is supposed to rest. It is also imagined to be one of the most exalted products of the democratic process. And to a certain degree, this peculiar, messy version of truth has held its own in modern liberal democracies, including the United States, for most of their history…”

Craigslist’s Craig Newmark: ‘Outrage is profitable. Most online outrage is faked for profit’

The Guardian – The founder of the online classifieds site is a survivor from the era of internet optimism. He has given significant sums to protect the future of news – and rejects the idea his website helped cause journalism’s financial crisis …Newmark, who has previously observed “a trustworthy press is the immune system of… Continue Reading

To Break Google’s Monopoly on Search, Make Its Index Public

Bloomberg – The tech giant doesn’t have to be dismantled. Sharing its crown jewel might reshape the internet. ” Recognition is growing worldwide that something big needs to be done about Big Tech, and fast. More than $8 billion in fines have been levied against Google by the European Union since 2017. Facebook Inc., facing… Continue Reading

Donald Trump and the Plot to Take Over the Courts

The Nation – How the 45th president has packed the courts with ultraconservatives—and reshaped the judiciary for a generation. “…Trump’s Court—the collection of judges and justices now swarming our judicial system, nominated and confirmed to lifetime appointments on his recommendation—will linger, like an infected wound poisoning the body politic even after the initial injury has… Continue Reading

French Law Banning Analytics About Judges Restricts Legitimate Use of Public Data

Center for Data Innovation – “Earlier this year, France adopted a law which forbids anyone from analyzing data about judges’ court decisions with violators facing up to five years in jail. Supporters of the ban say it is necessary to protect the privacy of judges because statistical analysis may reveal troubling patterns about how certain… Continue Reading

GSA Offers First Look at Unique IDs to Replace DUNS

NextGov – The General Services Administration gives a first look at the new Unique Entity ID, the validation system that will replace the long-standing DUNS number. [h/t Tom Johnson] “The U.S. government is moving to a new unique entity identifier for federal awards management, including, but not limited to, contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements, which… Continue Reading

European Legislation Identifier (ELI)

European Commission – ELI – Advancing the access, shareability and interoperability of legal information published through regional, national European and global legal information systems – “When is this solution for you?  You represent a governmental legal information system: you seek a tool to facilitate interoperable and inclusive legal information sharing. You are a legal professional… Continue Reading

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues July 13, 2019

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues July 13, 2019 – Privacy and security issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly complex and… Continue Reading

Truth Decay Part 2: News in a Digital Age

WhoWhatWhy – “Eighteen months ago, WhoWhatWhy talked with political scientist Jennifer Kavanagh — a researcher at RAND Corporation — about the think tank’s report titled “Truth Decay.” The report details a set of very specific trends that has reshaped the media landscape. It looks at how, amidst the cacophony of 24/7 news and information that… Continue Reading

Decoupling debunked – Evidence and arguments against green growth as a sole strategy for sustainability

Via – EEB – Europe’s largest network of environmental NGOs, bringing together around 150 civil society organisations from more than 30 European countries (virtually all EU Member States plus some accession and neighbouring countries), including a growing number of European networks. “Is it possible to enjoy both economic growth and environmental sustainability? This question is… Continue Reading

Daily Infographic

“At Daily Infographic we strive to curate the most interesting infographics on the web. We scour the internet for data visualizations [on more than two dozen topics] with the best content and design to bring easily consumed facts and figures to our users. For seven years Daily Infographic has provided the web with knowledge and… Continue Reading