This is so messed up, especially considering the concept of British culture is inherently multicultural.
Evidence that racism or anti-refugee sentiment is correlated with Facebook use.
Wherever per-person Facebook use rose to one standard deviation above the national average, attacks on refugees increased by about 50 percent.
It’s a radical idea — interviewing extremists without pandering to their extremist ideas. It turns out that by asking them about their policy positions instead of just letting them bang on about their racist ideas, you can quickly show them up.
German television viewers found out Sunday night when the broadcaster ZDF ran a major interview with Alexander Gauland, a co-leader of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which capitalized on anti-refugee sentiment to earn its first-ever seats in the German Parliament last fall. Ahead of the interview, ZDF’s Twitter feed teased the interview as dealing with “climate change, retirement, digitalization—and without refugees.”
The resulting 19-minute interview, in which Gauland struggles to answer basic questions about his party’s positions on such issues, has been lauded by opponents of the AfD as masterful.
I had sort of missed this story while I was on holiday, but this from Torcuil Crichton seems to be a useful summary.
Salmond’s fight for “fairness”, as he labels it, only serves to telegraph to them, and us, what forces are stirred when women choose to cross a powerful man, as he undoubtedly is.
Are you a fascist? Have you been throwing your toys out the pram because some digital platforms have finally grown a pair and removed you? If so, Bruce Lawson has some advice for you on how the open web works.
Of course, it’s perfectly possible no-one will visit your website to read how Bin Laden faked the moon landings in order to draw attention from the fact that Marilyn Monroe was a CIA-funded muslim who invented income tax and fluoridated water in order to seize your guns and pollute your precious bodily fluids. But that’s freedom.
It’s always good to read/see/hear Stephanie Flanders. Here she asks why politicians no longer have a favourite economist, in the way that Margaret Thatcher liked Milton Friedman and John F Kennedy admired John Kenneth Galbraith.
In one sense, this feels like a concern I have been reading about for a decade or two. But it also feels like an extension of the more recent phenomenon of refusing to listen to experts.
Nevertheless, there are some real questions for economics to answer. Why does it not have the influence today that it enjoyed in previous decades?
We’re also hearing mainstream economists talk more loudly about the possibility of shifting the balance back toward labor with wealth taxes and reduced taxes on earned income. That’s a big shift for a profession that seemed to think until recently that reducing the tax on capital was always and everywhere a good thing. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for an elected politician to decide that any of this advice is worth listening to.
Very interesting analysis of how people perceive what probability is meant by phrases such as “likely” or “real possibility”. It turns out there is a lot of scope for misinterpretation.
However I would quibble with the following:
You are trying to assess the probability that the [product launch] doesn’t happen. The way to frame your bet might be: “If the product fails to launch, I receive $1 million, but if it does launch, I get nothing.”
Now imagine a jar full of 25 green marbles and 75 blue marbles. You close your eyes and select a marble. If it’s green, you receive $1 million, and if it’s blue, you get nothing. You know you have a one in four chance (25%) to get a green marble and win the money.
Now, which would you prefer to bet on: the launch failure or the draw from the jar?
An interesting thought experiment, but not quite true. People prefer to receive an amount of money sooner rather than later. So you’d still rather place the bet on the jar, even if you thought the probability of product failure was 25% — because you wouldn’t receive the money until the unspecified future date.
Thanks to my colleague Lauren Tormey for the tip.
How architecture is used to place poorer people in harsher environments.
Texture is a class thing. The more money you have, the more texture you get. The reverse is true of lighting and sound: the more money you have, the less of both of those you get.
These are not universal rules, but a return from a month spent in Europe to the United States, which is always much harsher in its economic realities than the countries over there, made it evident to me how prevalent the reality of texture discrimination is. Let’s call it walmartism: the transformation of the spaces used by those with the least means into boxes devoid of texture.
A more extreme example of a similar phenomenon is where a tower block such as Grenfell is re-clad to make it more pleasant for the rich people outside the building to look at, but more dangerous for the poor people living inside it.
For an issue that has (rather rarely in politics) been one of sustained public interest, with many twists along the way, it’s perhaps surprising that there hasn’t been greater movement, not even in the form of bouncing back and forth between pro and anti.
Mark Pack concludes:
…you need to move people at a deeper level than a recitation of facts about a technical policy detail.
Sadly, as much as we would like it to be, people’s minds aren’t changed by facts. Particularly on emotive topics like Scottish independence and Brexit.
For those of us who are rather keen on reality, it’s disturbing. So how can we influence people another way?
The theory that women are paid less because they are less likely to ask for a pay rise appears to be nonsense.
The bottom line of our study is that women do “ask” just as often as men. They just don’t “get.”
Even we were surprised by the results. We had expected to find less asking by the females. Instead, we found that, holding background factors constant, women ask for a raise just as often as men, but men are more likely to be successful. Women who asked obtained a raise 15% of the time, while men obtained a pay increase 20% of the time. While that may sound like a modest difference, over a lifetime it really adds up.
Economic studies are one way to measure the impact of immigration.
Personally, I like to measure it another way. I like to look at my son — the great-grandson of a Mexican immigrant — while he plays cricket with his friends, nearly all of whom are second-generation Indian immigrants.
When I watch my son play cricket with his friends, I come to the same conclusion the economists at Wharton do:
Our new immigrant friends are enriching our lives and making our economy better…
It’s time to say this sort of thing more loudly. There are clear and well-understood economic benefits of immigration. But people who dislike immigration don’t do so for economic reasons (even if they kid on that they do).
We should be clearer about the ways in which immigration and diversity enrich our lives as a whole. And just how sad and pathetic our lives would be if people didn’t move around and mix with others.
When going for a run gets you arrested. Border bollocks.
A young French woman who went for an evening jog along a Canadian beach spent two weeks in US immigration detention after straying across the border.
I have only just discovered this article by Danah Boyd from 2010 (and I can’t remember how). But reading it today, it feels very prescient.
I hate all of the utilities in my life. Venomous hatred. And because they’re monopolies, they feel no need to make me appreciate them. Cuz they know that I’m not going to give up water, power, sewage, or the Internet out of spite. Nor will most people give up Facebook, regardless of how much they grow to hate them.
How many people — like me — hate Facebook, but find themselves unable to give it up?
According to this article, these buildings have just failed tests that have been in place since the aftermath of the Ronan Point collapse in 1968.
…but the problems at Broadwater Farm were only uncovered in the last 12 months.
If I’m reading this article correctly, that means that these buildings have been unsafe for 40 years — but that has only just been discovered.
“It’s disgusting and it is very stressful,” said one woman who has lived in the same flat in Tangmere for 38 years. “Ain’t it funny this has just come out after Grenfell?”
Whilst cycling the other day, I crossed the Leicestershire-Rutland border. And I was shocked to see…nothing. No border controls, no passport checks, no customs officials. Here in Rutland we have an open borders policy.
Chris Dillow makes the point that most of the debate around immigration and borders does not relate to economics.
This is part of the reason why it’s futile to try to argue with Brexiteers or Scottish independence fanatics around the economics of creating new borders. When it comes down to it, they just don’t care.
Economicky arguments for migration controls are just distractions and, I suspect, often dishonest ones.
Feelings around immigration boil down to feelings about the other.
Jeremy Hunt’s scheme to create a network of low-budget local TV stations was absurd from the get-go. Seven years on, it is clear that the scheme is a complete flop, with many of the stations unable to make ends meet.
In Scotland, STV2 — which was made up of five local licenses — is being closed down. The licenses appear to have been sold to the largest local TV company, That’s TV.
This BuzzFeed article outlines exactly how delightful this operation appears to be.
In summary, this is a company that seems to have been set up with the intention of exploiting the local TV model to extract license fee payers’ cash from the BBC in exchange for unusable local news reports made by inexperienced and poorly-paid reporters.
As Western firms have begun to desert Fifa due to the corruption scandal, Chinese firms have seized the opportunity to “to get their brands in front of billions of global eyeballs”.
It has been noted that companies are more willing these days to take a stand (see also ABC cancelling a sitcom because its star is racist). But this appears to be a western phenomenon.
Chinese firms seem to have no qualms around being associated with Fifa. Perhaps this is a dimension to keep an eye on as China becomes more and more important on the global stage.
This year’s Fifa World Cup provides a unique opportunity for little-known Chinese companies to get huge amounts of exposure to global consumers.
Why Jamie Oliver’s stunts like trying to ban two-for-one pizza offers are counter-productive and damaging to the poor.
…there’s a deeper and nasty question here: if we can’t trust the poor to feed themselves properly, what can we trust them to do?…
The problem is capitalism, not the poor.
Some of you might have an inkling as to why the millionaire Jamie Oliver and old Etonian Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall don’t choose this route.
Paul Taylor argues that the professional class will bring about its own demise. He notes that organisations appear to be becoming more, not less, siloed (“whole sectors are still just talking to themselves”). Moreover, this “disconnection” is visible to the general public, who catch glimpses of this behaviour on social media.
A couple of weeks ago I was on holiday flicking through Instagram. By complete chance, the algorithm had placed two photographs directly above each other.
- Firstly was the imposing black husk of Grenfell Tower – a monument to the dead and ignored.
- Next to it was a picture from a sector awards ceremony, with a champagne bottle placed in front of some happy smiling ‘professionals’, celebrating how good we are at engaging communities.
The root of TSB's IT disaster comes from the very beginning of its life.
The Senate hearing into Facebook has come to be seen as a bit of a sideshow, partly because the questioning was so inadequate. But this article outlines why it was a bigger deal than it might seem at first glance.
[T]here was a significant amount of agreement amongst the Senators… that something needed to be done about Facebook. Forget the specifics, for a paragraph, because this is a notable development: while these hearings usually devolve into partisan cliches with the same talking points — Democrats want regulations, and Republicans don’t — yesterday Senators from both sides of the aisle expressed unease with Facebook’s handling of private data; obviously Democrats tried to tie the issue to the last election, but that made the Republicans’ shared concern all-the-more striking.
How regulation came to be in railways, engineering and cars — and what this tells us about how digital services may be regulated.
Trigger points for regulation have varied depending on the field, the period of history and the country. However, the thing all these triggers have in common is a change in attitudes. People need to demand change to incentivize companies to make their products and services safer.
I find it strange that so much attention is being put on centrism at the moment. I definitely do not identify with either the left or the right. But I have rarely used the word centrist to describe myself. Partly because I find it quite meaningless, and perhaps also because it assumes I am seeking a middle ground (which is sometimes true, but not always).
In an increasingly polarised political landscape, the idea of centrism is actually beginning to appeal to me more — even as it is becoming exceptionally unfashionably in certain quarters.
This article makes the argument for the need of “a rational approach to politics”, not a centrism that is simply “stuck in the middle”.
I simply want a term that adequately describes the need to shout “leave me out of this insane squabbling” or “I want no part of this imbecilic narrative”. What we are perhaps crying out for is a new term for politics that isn’t defined by the end points but by the process; defined not by the beliefs but the rational steps the lead us to those beliefs.
What happened after United violently removed a passenger against his will from an overbooked flight? What do you think…?
Flyers may have said in that survey that they’d avoid United, but they really kept choosing whichever airline offered the best price and itinerary. And often that was United. In the month that followed the Dao incident, United flew more passengers than a year earlier, posted its biggest gains in months in passenger-miles flown, and had its fewest cancellations in its history (and fewer than any of its main competitors). A month after the incident, United’s share price hit an all-time high.
A reminder of just how recently it seemed plausible that Mark Zuckerberg could be a future US President. That seems highly unlikely now.
This is one of those moments where we’re really fascinated because this huge PR machine has sort of cracked and we can see through, and what we can see is someone way over his head
Some home truths for remainers from Jonathan Calder.
In the Remain camp we constantly remind ourselves how good we are and how evil and ridiculous Leavers are. (Leavers do the precise opposite of course.)
If insulting Leavers were the key to victory we would have won the first referendum. But we didn’t and there is no reason to believe that calling people “gammons” will help us more than calling them “fruitcakes” did.
I am no fan of Facebook. But I am less than impressed with the media’s coverage of Facebook as well.
Should you refuse to argue with someone who is very wrong, in case it accidentally lends their argument some legitimacy? Katja Grace argues that this could be damaging.
In short: we don’t want to give the new generation the best sincere arguments against V [a terrible view], because that would be admitting that a reasonable person might believe V. Which seems to get in the way of the claim that V is very, very bad. Which is not only a true claim, but an important thing to claim, because it discourages people from believing V.
But we actually know that a reasonable person might believe V, if they don’t have access to society’s best collective thoughts on it. Because we have a whole history of this happening almost all of the time.
Thought-provoking, especially in the context of my recent posts about not feeding the trolls.
Facebook have described the idea that they influence election results as “crazy”. It’s funny that they used to actually brag about their ability to help people win elections.
Their entire business model depends on them allowing advertisers to get results. It is absurd for them to claim they can help get results for advertisers, but not if they are political advertisers.
There are certain things you’re not allowed to say these days. Well it is time to put an end to all this political correctness. People have been frightened to speak openly. We should call a spade a spade.
70% of over 65s voted for Brexit.
Too many were driven by a nostalgia for a world where passports were blue, faces were white, and the map was coloured imperial pink.
He is only saying what we’re all thinking.
Conspiracy theorists purported that young anti-gun activists are crisis actors. It turns out that those outraged about the theory did more to promote it that the theorists themselves.
Frank Luntz… tweeted in protest of the Gateway Pundit story, becoming one of four non-right-wing amplifiers of the story with verified accounts… The other three are the New York Times’ Nick Confessore, MSNBC producer Kyle Griffin, and former first daughter Chelsea Clinton. Each of them quote-tweeted the Gateway Pundit story to denounce it, but in doing so gave it more amplification.
This is what I meant when I said don’t feed the trolls.
There is a class of professional conversationalists who have realised how this works and have taken advantage. These people express outrageous and offensive opinions specifically because it is a super-efficient way for them to get the publicity they need.
A dangerous man became US president because he understood this, and millions of his opponents didn’t.
The next time someone says controversial, ask yourself why, rise above it, deny them the publicity and move on.
YouGov have released an interesting study on where people draw the boundary between youth, middle age and old age.
As a grumpy millennial, I couldn’t help but notice that a certain generation’s attitude on where old age begins appears to be selective.
A very lengthy, but entertaining and informative, read about how everything went wrong for Facebook in the past two years, and why it is a mess of their own making.
While Facebook grappled internally with what it was becoming—a company that dominated media but didn’t want to be a media company—Donald Trump’s presidential campaign staff faced no such confusion. To them Facebook’s use was obvious. Twitter was a tool for communicating directly with supporters and yelling at the media. Facebook was the way to run the most effective direct-marketing political operation in history.
Jonathan Calder has a very interesting theory about what TV quiz shows tell us about the way people vote.
Britain grows increasingly hostile to EU citizens A German perspective on what's going on in Britain right now. Whenever Agnieszka Pasieczna opens the curtains of her children's bedroom, she finds herself facing four electronic eyes staring at her. The cameras, each around the size of a fist, are mounted on a gray wall around eight…
Woman's English too good for UK entry A pregnant Indian woman has been refused entry to live in Scotland with her Fife husband because her language qualification for entry to the UK is too advanced. Disgusting! When is this country going to stop being so hostile to people?
Woman reports rape to police -- and is arrested on immigration charges The woman, who was five months pregnant at the time of her arrest, attended a London police station in March to report that she had been kidnapped and raped in Germany between September 2016 and March 2017. Officers took her to the Havens…
Why is British public so ignorant on Brexit? An Irish perspective on Brexit. It paints a bleak picture about the quality of political debate in the UK just now.
Nick Clegg meets Richard Thaler: ‘All it would take to stop Brexit is a couple of dozen brave Tories’
Nick Clegg meets Richard Thaler: ‘All it would take to stop Brexit is a couple of dozen brave Tories’ The Guardian set Nick Clegg up for a Skype interview with Richard Thaler, who has recently been awarded the Nobel economics prize. Thaler was a big influence on the Conservative–Liberal Democrat coalition and it is clear…
Grim images of the last days at an English public housing estate A photographic story of the final days of Lion Farm Estate, which faced demolition in the 1991 following the Margaret Thatcher government's right to buy legislation.
We often think of commuting as wasteful and inconvenient. But is it entirely negative?
Johnstown never believed Trump would help. They still love him anyway - Michael Kruse, Politico Magazine In a depressed former steel town, the president’s promises don’t matter as much as they once did.
The pendulum swings against privatisation -- Tim Harford Does privatisation work? The evidence is mixed, according to Tim Harford.
Here's Leave.EU's foul-mouthed denial of using Twitter bots to influence the Brexit vote Asked Leave.EU if they used bots during the Brexit vote. Got an…interesting…email back. So we published it in full.
Universities deplore ‘McCarthyism’ as MP demands list of tutors lecturing on Brexit Tory whip writes to every vice-chancellor to ask for syllabus and any online material.
The six tribes of Brexit revealed Since last year’s EU referendum, many political analysts have placed Britons neatly into one of two tribes: Leavers or Remainers. But a new piece of research paints a more nuanced picture of the lines along which British society is divided.
Time to remove the Lib Dem invisibility cloak On all these people trying to set up moderate, pro-EU political parties. Like it or not, if you want a pro-EU, pro-business, pro-tech UK political party, there is already one that has over 100,000 members, 12 MPs, thousands of councillors, and an internal democracy that compares favourably…