information

AI News?

On the frontier of artificial intelligence journalism

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In an era when venerable news publications such as the New York Times and the Washington Post are being maligned by key societal figures accusing them of “leftist” bias, when publications such as Breitbart or similar media sources often deemed “conservative” unabashedly present stories slanted to reflect political views far right of the majority of public sentiment in the country and when a significant portion of the general public acquires its “facts” about the nature of world events from Twitter, Facebook and a network that used to fly a banner emblazoned with the words “fair and balanced”, bias both inadvertent and intentional has become an insurmountable impediment to attaining the “truth” about what is going on around us. In the face of such a large, sprawling situation, we sometimes get lost, failing to understand the meaning of our daily encounters and  the most appropriate intent we should seek regarding any of these events. Enter knowherenews.com.  This website proposes that computer software can filter reports of world events and effectively sanitize them of ideological bias.

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Truth Matters

“Like it or not, people will have to acquire their own news to a certain extent and must therefore learn journalistic techniques and various tricks of the trade”
~Bruce Bartlett

In the current era of “fake news” and a general mood of “alternate fact” inaccuracies and slights of hand, many of us who truly seek the positive in life—“Good” and “Truth”, for instance—we sometimes can feel overwhelmed by a lack of reliable sources of information about the world.  Bruce Bartlett has written a book—The Truth Matters–to partially address this situation.

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Free to Explore

Vixra: A potentially valuable source of stimulating ideasknowledge-exchange

Continuing the “decentralization” theme that was largely the focus of a recent post, consider Vixra.org as a resource you might find useful (or at least entertaining).  Vixra is “an e-print archive set up as an alternative to the popular arXiv.org service owned by Cornell University. Vixra was founded and is maintained by scientists who found they were unable to submit their articles to arXiv.org because of Cornell University’s policy of endorsements and moderation designed to filter articles considered by the editorial staff as “inappropriate.”

Vixra provides free access to well over 20,000 electronic documents which can be read online or downloaded as PDFs.  Access is free, with no subscription required.  Available articles cover a wide range of topics falling under the general categories: physics, mathematics, computational science, biology, chemistry, humanities, and academics.  While the general idea is to present articles on “science and mathematics”, you might be surprised by the wide range of topics that appear. Each of these major categories contains multiple subcategories such as Mind Science, Religion and Spirituality, Quantitative Biology, Education & Didactics, Condensed Matter, Mathematical Physics and Relativity & Cosmology, and many others.  (more…)

Feel Better

We believe in the power of stories to help us learn from and better understand one another and serve as a reminder that there is more that unites us than divides us.

500 Pens

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Last week, we posted a “feel good” story about free medical tuition.  If you could use another dose of feel good, maybe even on a regular basis, check out 500 Pens which describes itself as an “anti hate news project”.  Organized around the values of inclusion, opportunity and respect, 500 pens seeks “to produce honest and compelling content that encourages readers to care, connect and act”.

To get a better sense of who is behind 500 pens, read through their About page.  Even better, if you really want to know what they have to offer, read through some of their articles.  Perhaps you might discover a place of continued rejuvenation.

Exploring Morality

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Multiple times in the since mid-2017, this blog have made reference or presented ideas relative to Moral Foundations Theory (MFT).  While we do not wholly agree with all of the proposals of the theory, while we have found the “universality” of its proposals somewhat wanting and while we have questioned the motivations of its founder, Jonathan Haidt, we do believe the framework presents a worthwhile configuration of morality categories, if only for its heuristic value.  Apparently, a blogger who writes under the moniker “Moral Navigator” shares an interest in this set of ideas.  Check out one of his recent posts called “Which Moral Foundations Do You Value?

The seekingGood blog addresses a wide range of topics.  Out of deference to a known portion of our readers, often, we fall short of the depth we might prefer as well as the academic rigor with which we are more comfortable (the language of which we must actively—sometimes unsuccessfully—resist).  Moral Navigator’s blog appears to reflect no such limitations, focusing on morality topics written in a learned yet very readable style (complete with multiple references).  Take a look at his blog.  You might find a new home.

What if We Owned the Banks?

Economic Inequality: Part 3

In June of 2015, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and Barclays, among other Libor-rigging giants, pleaded guilty to felony charges related to the [Libor] conspiracy and greed to pay more than $2.5 billion in criminal fines to U.S. regulators.

Protesters and Chase(AP Photo / Edouard H.R. Gluck)

Representing only a single instance of a commonplace practice played out the world over, this corporate criminality instigated the outage of Craig Brandt, an attorney from Oakland, California. He set out to enact an audacious plan. With other individuals, Mr. Brandt endeavored to have the Oakland City Council “take radical action to combat plutocracy, inequality and financial dislocation”. Mr. Brandt wanted to create a city-owned “public bank”.

Recent posts on this blog have explored economic inequality and its ramifications. The post this week continues this series, beginning to focus on potential solutions to what some see as a looming economic catastrophe. As Part 3 our Economic Inequality series, consider this article by Jimmy Tobias: “What if People Owned the Banks Instead of Wall Street?

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You Say You Want a Revolution

Economic Inequality: Part 2

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Have you ever heard of a “GINI score”? This “score” is a statistical coefficient used in economics (don’t run away, this gets better). A GINI score measures wealth distribution in a designated area (like a country). Cutting to the chase, the score has been used to predict revolutions. Apples and oranges? Not really. The theory goes like this: the greater the GINI score operative in any given society (that is, the higher the measure of inequality), the greater the likelihood of a violent revolution occurring in that society. The United States has one of the highest GINI scores in the history of the world!

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