My semi-regular Sunday piece of interesting, longer, deeper stories I found during the week. It’s also a chance for you to share what you found this week too. Those stimulating links you wanted to share, but just didn’t fit in anywhere (no linkwhoring). This week: science vs the internet, the UK public is wrong about everything, Russell Brand, feminism and austerity from a golden throne.
The magazine Popular Science has shut comments on its website after scientific studies showed they were bad for science. A fractious minority of commenters with personal insults makes readers take the downsides rather than the upsides. Something to think about for all of us in our tone of writing…
Staying with Science, and that most political of science topics, climate change: a look at computer geek and hockey stick creator Michael Mann and how politics came to him. It’s still personal even though there’s now a whole hockey team. And could even Carl Sagan have saved climate science from partisanship?
The BBC looks at how we can save the planet with Share Tactics.
The Independent in the Uk reveal that the British public is wrong about almost everything.
Benefit fraud: the public think that £24 of every £100 of benefits is fraudulently claimed. Official estimates are that just 70 pence in every £100 is fraudulent – so the public conception is out by a factor of 34. [...]
Among the other surprising figures are that 26 per cent of people think foreign aid is in the top three items the Government spends money on (it actually makes up just 1.1 per cent of expenditure), and that 29 per cent of people think more is spent on Jobseekers’ Allowance than pensions. In fact we spend 15 times more on pensions – £4.9 billion on JSA vs £74.2 billion on pensions.
The public’s opinions also differ vastly from the facts on immigration, ethnicity and crime. Who’s to blame? The media and politicians.
The Guardian have a great piece from Russell Brand in the wake of his “don’t vote” Newsnight interview:
When I was poor and I complained about inequality people said I was bitter, now I’m rich and I complain about inequality they say I’m a hypocrite. I’m beginning to think they just don’t want inequality on the agenda because it is a real problem that needs to be addressed.
He sees the political parties in the UK as interchangeable: “Whatever party they claim to represent in the day, at night they show their true colours and all go to the same party.” And wants revolution.
Which one can understand when you see David Cameron preaching austerity from a golden throne.
And the British State, despite multiple scandals on everything from undercover policing to GCHQ, still trying to spy on those who ask questions of it.
A good worker should blame his tools: not only have wages not remotely kept up with productivity improvements in the last 30 years, the blame for most poor productivity should go on the lack of capital investment, not on labour. Employers need to look at themselves, not blame their workers.
Whilst employers are looking at themselves, they may also want to look at Helen Kelly’s excellent speech to the Labour Party Conference.
While we have continuing fall-out around the so-called “Roast Busters” gang, the BBC looks at a study reported as showing that 1 in 4 Asian men admit to rape. It’s probably an overstatement, but the facts are still scary enough.
Meanwhile our own stuff looked at how women are made over – into disney princesses and into magazine covers. They also mentioned Swedish cinemas starting to use the Bechdel feminist test for film ratings.
google, twitter, yahoo lobbying against usa: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/11/nsa-bills-google-facebook-yahoo-twitter-lobbying