The Equality Conundrum–The complexities of egalitarianism are especially frustrating because inequalities are so easy to grasp. C.E.O.s, on average, make almost three hundred times what their employees make; billionaire donors shape our politics; automation favors owners over workers; urban economies grow while rural areas stagnate; the best health care goes to the richest. Across the political spectrum, we grieve the loss of what Alexis de Tocqueville called the “general equality of conditions,” which, with the grievous exception of slavery, once shaped American society. www.newyorker.com
Why Historical Analogy Matters–When it comes to the horrors of the Third Reich, however, trusted habits of historical understanding are often cast aside. Especially in Western Europe and North America, the genocide of European Jewry has taken on the paradoxical status of a historical event beyond history. www.nybooks.com
Montana’s Money Pit–Standing in front of the Berkeley Pit feels like standing at the end of the world. The discolored pit waters churn slightly in the wind, and the bleached terraces of the former mine are eerily bare of vegetation. Perching on the wooden observation deck (and paying three dollars for the privilege) is the easiest way to view the pit. The site has become a minor tourist attraction, sometimes getting three hundred visitors a day. thebaffler.com
Pro-Iran Sources Have Flooded Twitter With Lies — Likely To Prevent A War With The United States–Aviv Ovadya, the founder of the Thoughtful Technology Project and a fellow at the Alliance for Securing Democracy, explained why pro-Iranian propagandists might attempt such a campaign: to avoid war. “Misinformation is also used to de-escalate conflicts,” he told BuzzFeed News, “by saying to a population that you have retaliated in a way that caused the aggressor serious harm.” www.buzzfeednews.com
What Medicare for All Really Looks Like–The familiar and dreaded words “co-pay,” “deductible,” “pre-existing condition,” and “out of network” are meaningless here, in English or French, Canada’s two official languages. Patients don’t waste time chasing pre-authorizations or fighting medical bills, while physicians save thousands of administrative hours. prospect.org
The MTA Is Going After an Etsy Artist Over a New York Subway Map It Didn’t Make–On Tuesday afternoon, Jake Berman got an email from Etsy informing him that one of his listings had been removed from its website for copyright infringement. Berman makes his own versions of transit maps, which he meticulously designs over hundreds of hours of work.
But his New York City subway map, according to Metropolitan Transportation Authority lawyers who filed a takedown request under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, was a violation of the MTA's copyright for its own subway map. Berman, they contended, could not sell his version. www.vice.com
Technology Can’t Fix Algorithmic Injustice–There is a wealth of empirical evidence showing that the use of AI systems can often replicate historical and contemporary conditions of injustice, rather than alleviate them. bostonreview.net