From the world pool: December 20, 2014

Socio-political

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen anything this deliberately vile. Takes “despicable” to a whole new level.

Interesting comparative analysis of truth in reporting.  “…a Public Mind survey out of Fairleigh Dickinson University found that “people who said they consumed no news” fared better on a current events questionnaire than people who had been using Fox News to find out what was going on in the world. Let that sink in for a moment. People who categorically don’t watch the news know more than people who watch a network whose primary function is ostensibly to relay the news.” (via Chris Boese @ChrisBoese)

In the spirit of the season: The Doubleclicks: Sexist Bullshit (Christmas song)

Sigh. Feminism, According to Stock Photography.(via Chris Boese @ChrisBoese)

E-Book Legal Restrictions Are Screwing Over Blind People  “My class has just been assigned a project for which we must use information in the class’s textbook. Every student has a Kindle, which has the textbook loaded on to it. All of the sighted students can easily read the material and complete the assignment independently… I, on the other hand, cannot read the book without the assistance of a sighted reader.”

Comment sections are poison: handle with care or remove them. “Comments are often regarded as a right but they can do more harm than good. In the absence of strict moderation, we’d be much better off without them.”  I so very much agree with this. Unmoderated comments quickly devolve into vileness. On the other hand, I regularly read well moderated comments on sites where enthusiastic discussion happens, with people disagreeing about things, and learn a lot.

Local activism

Expert Engineers Deem Trans Mountain Too Dangerous

Interesting

In recent years there’s been a lot of talk about how economic changes are resulting in the “middle” classes disappearing, leaving only the privileged and the disadvantaged. This is an interesting article on how that’s happening to creativity as well. How the Death of Mid-Budget Cinema Left a Generation of Iconic Filmmakers MIA (via Chris Boese @ChrisBoese)

This looks interesting. MIT: From the Archive Friday: “Each Friday, we select an article from the depths of our online archive and make it freely available for one week.” (I think this one came via Chris Bourg @mchris4duke)

Studying society via social media is not so simple.

Just for fun

Hyphen Hate? When Amazon went to war against punctuation.

Stupid gravity. (Don’t know if this video is “real” or not but it’s fun either way.)

Science Explains Why Golden Retrievers Are Awesome  (They are!)

Just cool

Donald Stookey: the joy of glass (obituary)

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