News & Politics

Through an algorithm, darkly?

Two recent news stories – about the “right to be forgotten” by Google and Facebook’s surreptitious newsfeed study - have me thinking about what technology enables us to know about each other. In May, the European Union affirmed a “right to be forgotten,” under which people are asking for news…  [more]

Burnt offerings and incinerated ivory

Hong Kong is in the midst of incinerating 29.6 tons of confiscated ivory, a process that could take a year or more, according to National Geographic. The move is part of a global attitude shift toward the killing of animals for their tusks and also, it seems, a striking parallel…  [more]

Death without hope in Japan’s valley of dolls

There's a village in Japan where there are more dolls than people. Fritz Schumann's short documentary Valley of Dolls, embedded below, tells the story. Nagoro, a small town situated in the Shikoku valleys, once was prosperous and lively, thriving off of the local industry connected to the nearby dam. Hundreds…  [more]

We’re no longer No. 1! We’re no longer No. 1!

Earlier this spring, the New York Times reported that the American middle class is no longer the richest in the world, having been surpassed by Canada. Although those at the top end of the income brackets remain well ahead of other nations, those at median income and below are being…  [more]

When genocide takes a back seat to a giraffe

Earlier this year the Copenhagen Zoo made headlines around the world when workers killed and dismembered a giraffe named Marius in front of a crowd of onlookers, including schoolchildren. (The meat was then fed to the zoo’s lions.) Although officials defended their decision by explaining that Marius’ genes didn't add…  [more]

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