FastCoCreate:

WHY WE CARE: Incorporated is a smart, psychological thriller set in the year 2074 where competing multinational corporations have unlimited power and unilateral control over employee lives. The story centers on Ben Larson (Teale), an ambitious executive who conceals his true identity to survive as a company man until a turn of events forces him to jeopardize his position at great peril. Enhanced by a sleek, inventive production design offering plausible near-future technology, the series tangles with such resonant themes as strictly enforced societal castes and privilege, eroding rights, and lost privacy imposed by digital tracking. It reads more like a cautionary tale than escapist sci-fi, which makes it all the more compelling.

 

trumpputin

The question is not, does Donald Trump feel shame. We know he never has.

The question is, are the journalists who have covered this campaign capable of feeling it?

Todd Gitlin at Bill Moyers.com:

We have plunged into an emergency, and one reason is that journalists who are supposed to supply a picture of the world failed to do so. Not the only reason, but one reason, which is enough to prompt serious rumination.

wrote last week about journalists searching their souls, trying to figure out what they did wrong in this appalling campaign. Like the rest of us — nobody deserves a free pass in an endangered world — they’re obliged to think deeply about what to do better. Is it too impossibly high-minded and do-goody to insist that their reason for being is to offer the American people what they need to know in order to better choose their course? If that is in fact their mission, they have failed abjectly.

Almost half of the voters have just chosen to be led by a profoundly disturbed ignoramus who refuses to understand he has obligations to Americans who are not members of his family. For journalists who persist in believing their leaders are chosen intelligently, the crisis is apparent and urgent. But the so-called learning curve is getting an appallingly sluggish start. Journalists who should know better are busy complaining about their lack of access to the bullshitter-in-chief, as if access were the golden road to truth and not, often at least, a shortcut over a cliff.

According to the conventions of journalism, access is fundamental. But access runs two ways. Access to “newsmakers” can be purchased with what is known in professional parlance as “beat sweeteners” — softball stories and non-threatening meetings that allow sources access to the journalists who cover them, and by extension, to the public. But these are not ordinary times. While journalists persist in playing by old rules, the president-elect has a different plan. Nor is Donald Trump an unknown quantity. By now it should be painfully evident how he rewards sycophants — with a slap across the face.

For evidence, reader, please peruse the transcript of Trump’s on-again, off-again, back-on again meeting in a New York Times conference room last week. Read the whole thing. It’s not that long. Then consider the Times headline the next day: “Trump, in Interview, Moderates Views but Defies Conventions.” The lede: “President-elect Donald J. Trump on Tuesday tempered some of his most extreme campaign promises, dropping his vow to jail Hillary Clinton, expressing doubt about the value of torturing terrorism suspects and pledging to have an open mind about climate change.”

Nothing to worry about, then.

ClimateProgress:

White House chief of staff may be “the second most powerful job in government,” according to James A. Baker III, who had the job under both Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

So it matters that the man Trump named his chief of staff, Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus, embraces Trump’s hard-core climate denial.

Read the rest of this entry »

supportdarksnow

Read the rest of this entry »

shackleton

Climate Deniers were making Fake News before making Fake News was cool.

This from a reliable vector of Fakery.

Telegraph:

Antarctic sea ice had barely changed from where it was 100 years ago, scientists have discovered, after poring over the logbooks of great polar explorers such as Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton.

Experts were concerned that ice at the South Pole had declined significantly since the 1950s, which they feared was driven by man-made climate change.

But new analysis suggests that conditions are now virtually identical to when the Terra Nova and Endurance sailed to the continent in the early 1900s, indicating that declines are part of a natural cycle and not the result of global warming.

Author of said study calls this interpretation “inappropriate and misleading”.
The worthwhile post is excerpted here.

Carbon Brief:

Last week, my colleague Tom Edinburgh and I published an article estimating the extent of Antarctic sea ice in the early 1900s, using sea ice observations recorded by explorers of the time.

It received an overwhelming amount of coverage in the media. This was largely because it combined a human-interest story about the conditions faced by the early Antarctic explorers with an illuminating result regarding the thorny issue of Antarctic sea ice trends.

Despite significant increases in global average temperature, sea ice in the Antarctic hasbeen slightly increasing in extent over recent decades (1979 – present).

Although much of the coverage was very well reported, there were other examples of the results being wrongfully interpreted, perhaps wilfully so. Some of the errors led to confusion, such as conflating sea ice with land ice. Others attempted to cast doubt on the link between greenhouse gases and global mean temperature, which was inappropriate and misleading.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mississippi John Hurt’s playing is a balm.

riftpineisland

Phys.org:

The Pine Island Glacier, part of the ice shelf that bounds the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, is one of two glaciers that researchers believe are most likely to undergo rapid retreat, bringing more ice from the interior of the  to the ocean, where its melting would flood coastlines around the world.

A nearly 225-square-mile iceberg broke off from the glacier in 2015, but it wasn’t until Ohio State University researchers were testing some new image-processing software that they noticed something strange in satellite images taken before the event.

In the images, they saw evidence that a rift formed at the very base of the ice shelf nearly 20 miles inland in 2013. The rift propagated upward over two years, until it broke through the ice surface and set the iceberg adrift over 12 days in late July and early August 2015.

They report their discovery in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

“It’s generally accepted that it’s no longer a question of whether the West Antarctic Ice Sheet will melt, it’s a question of when,” said study leader Ian Howat, associate professor of earth sciences at Ohio State. “This kind of rifting behavior provides another mechanism for rapid retreat of these glaciers, adding to the probability that we may see significant collapse of West Antarctica in our lifetimes.”

While this is the first time researchers have witnessed a deep subsurface rift opening within Antarctic ice, they have seen similar breakups in the Greenland Ice Sheet—in spots where ocean water has seeped inland along the bedrock and begun to melt the ice from underneath

Read the rest of this entry »

Columbia Journalism Review:

DEAR FRIENDS IN AMERICAN JOURNALISM,

Ordinarily, it is you who offer the rest of the world advice about press freedom, and the accountability architecture of democratic societies, so I understand that it may be strange to hear it coming back at you, but this will not be the last inversion that the election of Donald Trump delivers.

You have some deep resources to draw on for the battle that is closing around you. For starters there is your Constitution, which offers stronger protections than just about any comparable legal framework. And your money, greatly diminished, and unevenly distributed to be sure, but orders of magnitude more plentiful than what your counterparts elsewhere have to call upon. You also have reserves of talent, creativity, and commitment far larger than you are given credit for by your critics, and right now by angry, bewildered, and wounded friends.

But one thing you don’t have, is experience of what to do when things start to get genuinely bad.

Take it from those of us who have worked in places where the institutional fabric is thinner, the legal protections less absolute, and the social license to operate less secure. Not outright dictatorships, but majoritarian democracies where big men—and they are usually men—polish their image in the mirror of state media or social media, while slowly squeezing the life out of independent institutions.

When Donald Trump ditched his press pool twice within days of being elected, and launched a series of Twitter attacks on The New York Times, a lot of you sounded surprised. As if you expected him to become a different person once the anointing oil of the Electoral College had touched his brow. Of course there was nothing surprising about his conduct. Rule number 1 of surviving autocracy, as Masha Gessen reminds us, is “Believe the Autocrat.”

Read the rest of this entry »

daplburning

Dazed:

Demonstrators at North Dakota’s Pipeline protest have spoken out about the amount of white people who have turned up to “colonise” the camp.

The concerns have been raised by protestors in a series of tweets and Facebook posts. According to them, people have turned up to the Standing Rock demonstration to soak up the “cultural experience”, and are treating the camp like it is “Burning Man” festival or “The Rainbow Gathering”.

“White people are colonising the camps. I mean that seriously. They are coming in, taking food, clothing… and occupying space without any desire to participate in camp maintenance and without respect of tribal protocols,” said protestor Alicia Smith on Facebook. “I even witnessed several wandering in and out of camps comparing it to festivals. Waiting with big smiles expectantly for us to give them a necklace or an ‘indian’ name while our camp leader was speaking.”

She added that many protestors appeared to be living off the native Americans, and were taking full advantage of the donations that people had been sending in for the cause. This was a trend noticed by another Twitter user, who witnessed one protestor turn down tap water to spend donations on “fluoride free” water.

daplburn2

“They are literally subsisting entirely off of the generosity of the native people… who are fighting to protect their water just because they can,” Smith wrote. “Some literally will not even prepare food but will take food that is prepared, again, having not done anything else all day.”

The situation has reportedly got so bad that an open letter detailing the camp’s ground rules has started trending on Twitter. Responding to the new influx of support, it reminds demonstrators that the camp is “not a vacation.”  It also says that protestors should avoid drugs and alcohol, engage with the elders, and refrain from playing “guitar or drums” around the fires

 

boot

Anytime you questioned the election coverage priorities, media elites would retreat to their default position, “Since everyone hates us, we must be doing the right thing.”

It’s a perfectly seamless, impenetrable logic loop.

Sometimes people hate you because you are destroying humanity’s last, best hope.

Liz Spayd, Public Editor, NYTimes:

LAST winter, as primary voters in Iowa and New Hampshire headed to the polls, a covert and cunning Russian plot was underway to disrupt the American political process. With aliases like Guccifer 2.0and Fancy Bear, Russian hackers were targeting critical computer systems.

In June, they struck, hitting the Democratic Party, and by July its chairman was ousted in the fallout. Soon embarrassing emails were spilling from the computers of Hillary Clinton and her staff. Republican officials were hit, too. So was the National Security Agency. Now, hackers are meddling with the voting systems in several states, leaving local officials on high alert. Come Election Day, they’ll find out what, if anything, the cyberspies have in store.

This is an act of foreign interference in an American election on a scale we’ve never seen, yet on most days it has been the also-ran of media coverage, including at The New York Times.

The emails themselves — exposing the underside of the Democratic political machinery, and the conflicts, misjudgments and embarrassing communications of its top ranks — have received bountiful attention. What rarely makes the main narrative is the spy-versus-spy cyberwarfare: the tactics, the players and the government efforts to tame it. In a calamitous campaign unlike any in memory, it’s not surprising that other story lines get squeezed out. But one of the most chilling chapters of this election is the role of Russian intelligence and the growing threat of digital espionage. With days to go, readers have been shortchanged on this part of history.

Read the rest of this entry »