Markham Nolan: How to separate fact and fiction online
- Managing Director of Storyful.com
- “The job of the journalist [during Hurricane Sandy] was filtering. … Instead of going and finding the information and bringing it back to the reader, you were holding back the stuff that was potentially damaging.”
- Twitter, Youtube, real-time database for journalists;
- “Algorithms are rules; they’re binary. [But] truth is never binary. Truth is a value.”
- “Truth is emotional, it’s fluid, and above all, it’s human. No matter how quick we get with computers, no matter how much information we have, you’ll never be able to remove the human from the truth-seeking exercise.”
Ryan Smith: The Reality That Awaits Women in Combat
- former marine infantryman in Iraq;
- introducing women: more or less effective?
- hygiene, watch the opposite sex in awkward position, humiliating enough to relieve yourself in front of your male comrades;
- societal norm is reality and is important to the maintenance of society; unit cohesion could be harmed by violation of societal norms.
Jet Bush and Clint Bolick: Solving the Immigration Puzzle
- their book “Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution”
- fixing border security is shortsighted, intertwined with other aspect: current immigration system is fair and workable?
- not only law enforcement, but law itself: patched over since 1952;
- evolved border-security problem: Mexicans leaving (U.S. bad economy), now threat is drug cartels, human smuggling;
- “chain migration” — family preference, does not promote nation’s economic interests;
- roughly 250 applicants for one visa each year, absence of meaningful avenue of access increase pressure for illegal immigration;
- need all types workers, especially high-skilled; other countries are luring away students, workers, and entrepreneurs;
- immigration replenish American spirit.
Bjorn Lomborg: Climate-Change Misdirection
- book “The Skeptical Environmentalist”
- scary examples in Obama’s inaugural address is wrong: droughts, wildfires, hurricanes, have been declining, despite global warming;
- exaggerating the threat concentrates the resources in wrong areas.
- hurricane: better building codes, ending subsidiaries for hurricane insurance to discourage building in vulnerable areas;
- high cost of climate policies, $250 billion annually, but reduce temperature only by immeasurable one-tenth Fahrenheit by the end of this century;
- existing green energy is inefficient, should stop subsidizing it and pour money to discover more efficient, future solar panels;
Nicholas Eberstadt: Yes, Mr. President, We Are a Nation of Takers
- author of “A Nation of Takers: America’s Entitlement Epidemic”.
- government transfer increase twice as personal income; welfare spending account for nearly two-thirds of federal spending; this leap is not due to the aging of population;
- moral hazard embedded in the explosion of social-welfare program: become transfer programs, not insurance program (meant to pay for themselves);
- dramatically increase in reliance of Social Security’s disability programs: “musculoskeletal problems” and mental disorders are among the most;
- Complex (always favors seller) restructured products, like “naked” put options but not obliged to be pre-approved by specialist in brokerage firm, sold to retail investors;
- 8.03% annual rate, eight times what the average short-term bonds offer at the time; no such thing with high yield and low risk;