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What’s an environmental issue? — Gus Speth

I don’t know the provenance of this quote attributed to Gus Speth, which affirms the role of the humanities in a STEM-obsessed world, but I did find this interview, conducted by Steve Curwood. “You know, what’s an environmental issue?” And if the answer is air pollution, water pollution, climate change…then we’re really right where we’ve been. But what if an environmental issue is something that has a big effect on…

Sobering data; stunning visualization.

This NYT story on the effects of race on the economic future of American citizens offers chilling findings. Come for the data visualization; stay for the thoughtful analysis. Another example of why journalism matters. Black boys raised in America, even in the wealthiest families and living in some of the most well-to-do neighborhoods, still earn less in adulthood than white boys with similar backgrounds, according to a sweeping new study…

The science of fake news: Addressing fake news requires a multidisciplinary effort

The rise of fake news highlights the erosion of long-standing institutional bulwarks against misinformation in the internet age. Concern over the problem is global. […] Our call is to promote interdisciplinary research to reduce the spread of fake news and to address the underlying pathologies it has revealed. Failures of the U.S. news media in the early 20th century led to the rise of journalistic norms and practices that, although…

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Chilling analysis of organized, anonymous disinformation campaign against Parkland survivors (impressive journalism from The Washington Post)

Forty-seven minutes after news broke of a high school shooting in Parkland, Fla., the posters on the anonymous chat board 8chan had devised a plan to bend the public narrative to their own designs: “Start looking for [Jewish] numerology and crisis actors.” The voices from this dark corner of the Internet quickly coalesced around a plan of attack: Use details gleaned from news reports and other sources to push false information…

One Teacher’s Brilliant Strategy to Stop Future School Shootings

Every Friday since Columbine, one schoolteacher has asked her students to to submit a list. Who would they like to sit next to next week? Who has been an exceptional classroom citizen this week? Chase’s teacher is not looking for a new seating chart or “exceptional citizens.” Chase’s teacher is looking for lonely children. She’s looking for children who are struggling to connect with other children. She’s identifying the little…