lies & damn lies

Every fortnight I curate some of the observations and insights that were shared on social media. I call these Friday’s Finds.

@white_owly : “Lies, damn lies and people who purport to understand blockchain.”

@zeynep : “Silicon Valley still mostly run like they are legos for grownups; once something cool is assembled, the real business, people, are ignored.”

@alaindebotton : “Academia: an invention of genius to keep the brightest, most enquiring minds from tampering with the status quo. Paddocks for intellectuals.”

“Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.” —Bertrand Russell, via BrainPickings

Against Ride Sharing

“We must recognize that there is no situation in which the ride-sharing companies will be sated, short of total monopoly; and that any impediment to their order they will seek to circumvent or remove, as they already have. To stop even part of their plan from coming to pass, we will have to do much more than delete apps, however bad, and replace CEOs, however loathsome. Regulators have more than enough capacity to destroy ride-sharing, and activists can force the issue. What Uber and its ride-sharing fraternity want cannot exist alongside a democratic society; only one vision can prevail.

Why Bogus News Stories Are So Hard to Stop via @AdrianneLaF

“The lesson that they all seem to have taken from the 2016 election is that fake news works. That is true whether it’s the false claims that Barack Obama is not a citizen, or that millions of illegal votes were cast in the 2016 election, or that Paul Ryan has personally instituted a Gileadean dress code at the Capitol.

It’s hard to draw any encouraging lessons from this episode, except that readers can check which outlets got the story wrong, and which of those corrected their errors. It’s a dispiriting sign that, with social-media platforms aiding the distribution of sensational stories, and readers eagerly consuming them, both fake and sloppy news are likely here to stay. A lie can make it halfway around the world while the truth is still pulling on its jacket to enter the Speaker’s Lobby.”


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