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30 August 2014
   How a Tsunami of Information Inspired the Revolt of the Public - Part 3
   Martin Gurri

The story I want to tell is simple but has many conflicting points of view. It concerns the slow-motion collision of two modes of organizing life: one hierarchical, industrial, and top-down, the other networked, egalitarian, bottom-up. I called it a collision because there has been wreckage, and not just in a figurative sense. Nations which a little time ago responded to a single despotic will now tremble on the edge of disintegration. I described it as slow motion because the two modes of being, old and new, have seemed unable to achieve a resolution, a victory of any sort. Both engage in negation – it is as a sterile back-and-forth of negation that the struggle has been conducted.
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29 August 2014
   Repeated and Uncontrollable Failures
   Tim Blair

The United Nations was about to hold its 2009 climate change conference in Copenhagen, and Thornton felt she had a personal investment in it. She, like many thousands of activists and scientists and green campaigners, had high hopes that a new and robust version of the Kyoto agreement would be created in Denmark.

“But the reality was a massive, epic failure of political will. It broke me,” she says. “The trigger point was actually watching grown men cry.”

I don’t mean to diminish anyone’s pain or suffering, but it is impossible to read those two paragraphs without laughing.

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28 August 2014
   How a Tsunami of Information Inspired the Revolt of the Public - Part 2
   Martin Gurri

Uncertainty is an acid, corrosive to authority. Once the monopoly on information is lost, so too is our trust. Every presidential statement, every CIA assessment, every investigative report by a great newspaper, suddenly acquired an arbitrary aspect, and seemed grounded in moral predilection rather than intellectual rigor. When proof for and against approaches infinity, a cloud of suspicion about cherry-picking data will hang over every authoritative judgment.
more more» 

27 August 2014
   The way the police have treated Cliff Richard is completely unacceptable
   Due process has been subverted in a case that raises urgent questions about civil liberties
   Geoffrey Robertson

Last year, apparently, a complaint was made to police that the singer had indecently assaulted a youth in Sheffield a quarter of a century ago. The police had a duty to investigate, seek any corroborating evidence, and then – and only if they had reasonable grounds to suspect him of committing an offence – to give him the opportunity to refute those suspicions before a decision to charge is made.

But here, police subverted due process by waiting until Richard had left for vacation, and then orchestrating massive publicity for the raid on his house, before making any request for interview and before any question could arise of arresting or charging him.

more more» 

26 August 2014
   How a Tsunami of Information Inspired the Revolt of the Public - Part 1
   Martin Gurri

The idea of an information explosion or overload goes back to the 1960s, which seems poignant in retrospect. These concerns expressed a new anxiety about the advance of progress, and placed in doubt the naïve faith, which I originally shared, that data and knowledge were identical. Even then, the problem was framed by uneasy elites: as ever more published reports escaped the control of authoritative sources, how could we tell truth from error? Or, in a more sinister vein, honest research from manipulation?
more more» 

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by L. Neil Smith

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