“But since 2008, London has been run as a twee austerity nostalgia theme park, with an almost ostentatiously negligent attention to the city’s problems. Worst of all, it doesn’t even work on its own terms, as we now find a mayor addicted to allegedly cheap, corporate-sponsored stunts suddenly, if unsurprisingly, turning to public money to bail them out.”

Boris Johnson has run London like a twee nostalgia theme park

“I remember being in story sessions, and so many times, I would have an idea and I would talk about it. Then the convener of the meeting would say, “And as Jerry was just saying …” and they would remember the idea as coming from a male colleague.”

Jill Abramson:

“Sometimes the CIA or the director of national intelligence or the NSA or the White House will call about a story. You hit the brakes, you hear the arguments, and it’s always a balancing act: the importance of the information to the public versus the claim of harming national security. Over time, the government too reflexively said to the Times, “you’re going to have blood on your hands if you publish X,” and because of the frequency of that, the government lost a little credibility. But you do listen and seriously worry. Editors are Americans too. We don’t want to help terrorists.”

Jill Abramson:

“I taught at Yale for five years when I was managing editor and what I tried to stress for students interested in journalism, rather than picking a specialty, like blogging or being a videographer, was to master the basics of really good storytelling, have curiosity and a sense of how a topic is different than a story, and actually go out and witness and report. If you hone those skills, you will be in demand, as those talents are prized. There is too much journalism right now that is just based on people scraping the Internet and riffing off something else.”

Jill Abramson:

One thing that makes this possible is that truck drivers are explicitly exempted from the Fair Labor Standards Act, so they aren’t legally entitled to overtime pay or other protections designed to prevent their labor from being exploited.

Economist Michael Belzer has compared trucks to ‘sweatshops on wheels’ because of the low rates of pay, long working hours and unsafe conditions. -   Trucking firms today operate on razor-thin margins in a highly competitive industry, and many of them, according to the truckers I’ve interviewed, put tremendous pressure on their employees to break the law by staying on the road too long. Federal safety rules are frequently ignored in service of on-time delivery to the customer.

To fight trucker fatigue, focus on economics, not electronics

“This insurer also exemplifies how algorithmic biases can become regressive social forces. From its name to its site design to how its telematics technology is implemented, Drive Like a Girl is essentializing what “driving like a girl” means — it’s safe, it’s pink, it’s happy, it’s gendered. It is also, according to this actuarial morality, a form of good citizenship. But what if a bank promised to offer loan terms to help someone “borrow like a white person,” premised on the notion that white people were associated with better loan repayments? We would call it discriminatory and question the underlying data and methodologies and cite histories of oppression and lack of access to banking services. With automated, IoT-driven marketplaces there is no room for taking into account these complex sensitivities.”

The Lights Are On but Nobody’s Home

“Through the dispersed system of mass monitoring and feedback, behaviors and cultures become standardized, directed at the algorithmic level. A British insurer called Drive Like a Girl uses in-car telemetry to track drivers’ habits. The company says that its data shows that women drive better and are cheaper to insure, so they deserve to pay lower rates. So far, perhaps, so good. Except that the European Union has instituted regulations stating that insurers can’t offer different rates based on gender, so Drive Like a Girl is using tracking systems to get around that rule, reflecting the fear of many IoT critics that vast data collection may help banks, realtors, stores, and other entities dodge the protections put in place by the Fair Credit Reporting Act, HIPPA, and other regulatory measures.”

The Lights Are On but Nobody’s Home

“The ideological premise of the Internet of Things is that surveillance and data production equal a kind of preparedness. Any problem might be solved or pre-empted with the proper calculations, so it is prudent to digitize and monitor everything.”

The Lights Are On but Nobody’s Home

“As my MegaBus (25 quid, bought the night before) sank into the darkness of Calais, I realised that I never, ever want to be an islander. The world is bigger than that, even if you hate flying. Britain is a great country, but alone, it’ll drift away into the Atlantic. In getting lost in Europe, I rediscovered my own dream of a continent, and in doing it by coach, I was reminded that this is a place people still take great risks to be a part of. I saw the sadness in the eyes of those yanked off by border control, and elation in others when Reina Sofia, or the Eiffel Tower, or Westminster Bridge, eased into view. These are the people who want to be part of this continent, and they probably deserve to be. Much more than the miserable fucks who’d be happier living above a Nag’s Head in the Falklands or some other egg ‘n’ chips stalag state.”

Britain’s Miserable Islanders Don’t Get the European Dream | VICE United Kingdom

“I headed north, where I’d arranged to stay with a friend who’d also decided to sink into that new, austerity-enforced definition of transient continental life, the weird modern-day decadence of endless AirBnBs and Desperados”

Britain’s Miserable Islanders Don’t Get the European Dream | VICE United Kingdom

“This comfort with group assessment of femininity in turn reminds me of the ease with which women’s choices regarding their bodies, futures, health, sex, and family life are up for public evaluation. Women are labeled as good or bad, as moral or immoral, by major religions and “closely held corporations,” whose rights to allow those estimations to dictate their corporate obligations are upheld over the rights of the women themselves by high courts.”

I Don’t Care If You Like It

“The accuracy of the Times analysis was then formally assessed, using a random set of 385 points—enough for a 95 percent confidence level with a plus or minus 5 percent confidence interval where the distribution of the data is unknown—generated in ArcGIS through Hawth’s Analysis Tools. The points were visually inspected to ensure spatial randomness, and further tested using spatial density analysis. Overall accuracy of the analysis was around 80 percent for both image years. However, wetlands accuracy for both years was around 66 percent, and errors were largely of commission—calling something a wetland that wasn’t. Errors were primarily misclassifications of certain kinds of agriculture—i.e. sugar—and misclassifications of wetlands forest types that share similar spectral characteristics of non-wetlands forest types. Relying on only the Times analysis would be a mistake, based on several factors. Using single date imagery for wetlands change detection has been found many times over to be less accurate than using multi-date imagery, owing partly to seasonal changes in wetlands (Lunetta and Balogh (1999), Ozesmi and Bauer (2001), Reese et. al (2002)). And, the two image years use different sensors—Landsat 5 TM for one, and Landsat 7 ETM+ for another—which creates some sensor-based differences that can’t be extracted or accounted for.”

True Facts, Maybe - Learning - Source: An OpenNews project

“For a story, I spent 10 months analyzing Landsat imagery of the state of Florida”

True Facts, Maybe - Learning - Source: An OpenNews project

Now, take a picture of that tree from space and do the same thing. Given a powerful enough sensor, you will be able to see it. You’ll be able to describe it in meaningful ways. You can say things about the leaves, or the size of the tree. But, there are thousands of feet of atmosphere between the tree and the sensor. There are changes in the air density and makeup, in particulate matter in the air, in cloud cover. All of those things—and more—can alter the data recorded by the sensor and analyzed by you. Greens aren’t as bright, infrared radiation values get skewed, what you know about the tree changes, if only slightly. You will perceive the tree differently than you will standing next to it. Those descriptions may be true in the light of the data you have, but they are not True in the way being able to touch the tree makes them True. They will not match the sensor values you got standing next to it. It’s the consequence of the remote part of remote sensing.

In other words, remotely sensed data will tell us things about the world that are broadly true, but they will never be True. They can’t be. There’s too much distance between the object and the sensor. Too much to go wrong. But that doesn’t make what the sensor tells us wrong. It makes it something else. It introduces doubt.

True Facts, Maybe - Learning - Source: An OpenNews project

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