Saturday, June 16, 2018

I Was Fired for Making Fun of Trump; The New York Times, June 15, 2018

Rob Rogers, The New York Times; I Was Fired for Making Fun of Trump

"After 25 years as the editorial cartoonist for The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, I was fired on Thursday.

I blame Donald Trump.

Well, sort of.

I should’ve seen it coming. When I had lunch with my new boss a few months ago, he informed me that the paper’s publisher believed that the editorial cartoonist was akin to an editorial writer, and that his views should reflect the philosophy of the newspaper.

That was a new one to me.

I was trained in a tradition in which editorial cartoonists are the live wires of a publication — as one former colleague put it, the “constant irritant.” Our job is to provoke readers in a way words alone can’t. Cartoonists are not illustrators for a publisher’s politics...

The paper may have taken an eraser to my cartoons. But I plan to be at my drawing table every day of this presidency."

Friday, June 15, 2018

Risotto, robotics and virtual reality: how Canada created the world's best libraries; The Guardian, June 15, 2018

Linda Besner, The Guardian; Risotto, robotics and virtual reality: how Canada created the world's best libraries

"“Access to information and pathways to learning were the great equalisers of the 20th century,” says Vickery Bowles, Toronto’s head librarian. “In the 21st century, we’re increasingly dependent on access to online services, and understanding of and comfort with that technology.”

 Bowles sees a vital role of the public library in strengthening civic discourse and enabling political participation. Right now, the library is offering workshops on how to run for office or get involved in an election campaign (disclosure: I will be a paid panellist on a planned event in the library’s On Civil Society series). “We’re seeing more and more challenges to our democratic values and principles,” she says."

The only way is ethics: emphasises moral compass amid deluge of data plans; The Register, June 14, 2018

Rebecca Hill, The Register; The only way is ethics: emphasises moral compass amid deluge of data plans

"The UK government has released a guide to help civil servants figure out how to use and procure data science tools ethically as public opinion on slurping continues to circle the drain...

The Data Ethics Framework is one of the ways the government hopes to demonstrate it is taking the issue of proper use of data seriously, aiming to act as a sanity check for civil servants who work with data, either directly or indirectly.

The idea is for the framework to act as a guide to the limitations of data and data science; it sets out questions and issues to consider, such as bias or errors in data sets, algorithmic bias, fairness and accountability, and the need for transparency.

The decision to create the framework is partly down to the increasing number of non-data scientists working with data in one way or another...

In parallel with this is the government's supposedly independent Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation, which was first mooted in November 2017 and aims to act as a bridge between regulators, academia, the public and business."

Leave the Bible out of it, child separation is not ‘Christian’; The Washington Post, June 15, 2018

The Washington Post; Leave the Bible out of it, child separation is not ‘Christian’

"We should point out that invoking this Biblical passage has a long and sordid history in Sessions’s native South. It was oft-quoted by slave-owners and later segregationists to insist on following existing law institutionalizing slavery (“read as an unequivocal order for Christians to obey state authority, a reading that not only justified southern slavery but authoritarian rule in Nazi Germany and South African apartheid”).

I’m no expert in Christianity, but the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was when he drafted his letter from the Birmingham jail:
Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court’s decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, at first glance it may seem rather paradoxical for us consciously to break laws. One may well ask: “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that “an unjust law is no law at all.”

Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.
Sessions perfectly exemplifies how religion should not be used. Pulling out a Bible or any other religious text to say it supports one’s view on a matter of public policy is rarely going to be effective, for it defines political opponents as heretics."

Sessions cites Bible passage used to defend slavery in defense of separating immigrant families; The Washington Post, June 15, 2018

The Washington Post; Sessions cites Bible passage used to defend slavery in defense of separating immigrant families

"“I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained the government for his purposes,” Sessions said during a speech to law enforcement officers in Fort Wayne, Ind. “Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves. Consistent and fair application of the law is in itself a good and moral thing, and that protects the weak and protects the lawful.”

Government officials occasionally refer to the Bible as a line of argument — take, for instance, the Republicans who have quoted 2 Thessalonians (“if a man will not work, he shall not eat”) to justify more stringent food stamps requirements.

But the verse that Sessions cited, Romans 13, is an unusual choice.

“There are two dominant places in American history when Romans 13 is invoked,” said John Fea, a professor of American history at Messiah College in Pennsylvania. “One is during the American Revolution [when] it was invoked by loyalists, those who opposed the American Revolution.”

The other, Fea said, “is in the 1840s and 1850s, when Romans 13 is invoked by defenders of the South or defenders of slavery to ward off abolitionists who believed that slavery is wrong. I mean, this is the same argument that Southern slaveholders and the advocates of a Southern way of life made.”"

Sanders says it's 'biblical to enforce the law' when asked about separating families at the border; The Los Angeles Times, June 14, 2018

Colleen Shalby, The Los Angeles Times; Sanders says it's 'biblical to enforce the law' when asked about separating families at the border

"Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions cited the Bible on Thursday in defense of the Trump administration's criminal prosecution of adults who cross the border illegally, effectively separating them from their migrant children. 
“Persons who violate the law of our nation are subject to prosecution. I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13 to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order," he said.
When CNN’s Jim Acosta asked White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to elaborate on the attorney general’s comments, the conversation turned tense.
“Where does it say in the Bible that it’s moral to take children away from their mothers?” Acosta asked.
Sanders said she wasn’t aware of Sessions’ comments, but said, “I can say that it is very biblical to enforce the law."

Trump is often depressing. This week, he was sickening.; The Washington Post, June 14, 2018

Ruth Marcus, The Washington Post; Trump is often depressing. This week, he was sickening.

"Trump’s consistent, unnecessary, escalating praise for Kim merits the word “sickening.” Diplomacy may entail saying nice things to bad people for good ends, but Trump’s language about Kim represents a nauseating betrayal of American values — and a telling exposure of Trump’s own.

“Hey, he’s a tough guy,” Trump told Fox News’s Bret Baier. “When you take over a country — a tough country, tough people — and you take it over from your father, I don’t care who you are, what you are, how much of an advantage you have. If you can do that at 27 years old, I mean, that’s 1 in 10,000 that could do that. So he’s a very smart guy. He’s a great negotiator.”

Baier persisted: “But he’s still done some really bad things.”

 Trump: “Yeah, but so have a lot of other people have done some really bad things. I mean, I could go through a lot of nations where a lot of bad things were done.”

Shades of Trump’s moral equivocating on Russian President Vladimir Putin (“There are a lot of killers. We got a lot of killers,” Trump told Fox’s Bill O’Reilly last year. “What, you think our country is so innocent?”), but so much worse. Consider Trump’s own words less than five months ago: “No regime has oppressed its own citizens more totally or brutally than the cruel dictatorship in North Korea.”"

An American editorial cartoonist has been fired for skewering Trump. He likely won’t be the last.; The Washington Post, June 15, 2018

Ann Telnaes, The Washington Post; An American editorial cartoonist has been fired for skewering Trump. He likely won’t be the last.

"...[W]ith the firing of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette cartoonist Rob Rogers, we now see that suppressing a free press can be accomplished without an authoritarian president’s orders. Michael Cohen isn’t the only “fixer” Trump has at his disposal.

Rogers has been the editorial cartoonist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for more than 25 years. Most working cartoonists have had an occasional idea spiked by his or her editor. But in the past few weeks, editorial director Keith Burris and publisher John Robinson Block have refused to publish six of Rogers’s cartoons, all criticizing Trump or his policies. Block and Burris have also rejected many of Rogers’s rough sketch ideas for several months.

This wasn’t the first time Block has used his position to defend President Trump’s actions; in January he demanded an editorial run in the Post-Gazette and the Toledo Blade (where he is also the publisher) supporting Trump’s use of the term “shithole countries.”"

Thursday, June 14, 2018

10 million patents: A celebration of American innovation; Director's Forum: A Blog from USPTO's Leadership, Thursday, June 14, 2018

Andrei Iancu, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Director's Forum: A Blog from USPTO's Leadership
10 million patents: A celebration of American innovation

"On June 19, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will issue patent number 10 million—a remarkable achievement for the United States of America and our agency. More than just a number, this patent represents one of ten million steps on a continuum of human accomplishment launched when our Founding Fathers provided for intellectual property protection in Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8 of our Constitution.

Appropriately, patent number 10 million will be the first issued with a new patent cover design, which we unveiled in March at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. It was created by a team of USPTO graphic designers including Rick Heddleston, Theresa Verigan, and led by Jeff Isaacs."

“We rely on a quilt of rights”: inside Starbucks’ trademark strategy"; World Trademark Review, June 14, 2018

World Trademark Review; 

We rely on a quilt of rights”: inside Starbucks’ trademark strategy"

"To counter rampant infringement, the company relies on “a quilt of rights”, including trademark, patent, copyright and design rights, and will often initiate claims that include more than one type of intellectual property. However, before initiating claims, a number of factors are considered. “The team is good about checking in with each other, to ensure consistency in our approach across the globe,” Oktay explains. “We have developed a reputation as vigilant enforcers of our brand rights, but we temper our enforcement with soft approaches in most cases. Most infringement can be resolved amicably in our experience, and a soft approach helps.”

The team comprises four lawyers and eight paralegals, all of whom are based in Seattle, with the exception of one lawyer in Shanghai. “Nearly half of our global enforcement – nearly 1,200 matters – occurs in China, so having a lawyer there is necessary.” As to the characteristics of the team, Oktay is proud that the company hires bright people who are dedicated to its mission. “The paralegals, who handle an enormous volume of work, are truly outstanding at what they do. And, a sense of humour is paramount to success in this group!”"

Expert in Native American intellectual property joins ASU Law Indian Legal Program; Arizona State University, June 11, 2018

Arizona State University; Expert in Native American intellectual property joins ASU Law Indian Legal Program

"In 2007, [Trevor Reed] moved to New York and enrolled at Columbia, beginning a decade-plus of music-inspired study that would result in three master’s degrees, a PhD and a Juris Doctor. He initially went to Columbia hoping to break into the music industry, figuring his best shot at a career in the arts would require being in either New York or Los Angeles.

“When I got there, it opened up so many new issues for me,” Reed said. “It just so happens that Columbia owns this massive archive of Native American musical recordings that I don’t know if anybody had really ever heard about. When I learned about that, it sparked an interest in wanting to return music and other types of archival collections, artifacts and other types of intellectual property back to Native American tribes.”

That led to the Hopi Music Repatriation Project, a joint project of the Hopi Tribe and Columbia University, which Reed began leading as a master’s degree student. Think Indiana Jones, the fictitious archaeologist and university professor, but the complete opposite. Instead of “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” plundering wondrous works from indigenous cultures, it was “Returners of the Lost Art.” The project focused not only on returning recordings and rights, but also working with tribal leaders, educators and activists to develop contemporary uses for the materials.

“I stayed on at Columbia well after my business degree had finished, and I joined the PhD program in ethnomusicology, which is essentially the anthropology of music,” Reed said. “And we just set to work on this project, and it carried through law school, and I was able to refine my work in copyright and cultural property. It’s been an interesting ride.”"

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Fred Rogers’s Life in 5 Artifacts; The New York Times, June 5, 2018

Robert Ito, The New York Times; Fred Rogers’s Life in 5 Artifacts

"“I needed artifacts to figure out who [Fred Rogers] was as a man,” [Academy Award-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville] said. With the help of the archivist Emily Uhrin, Mr. Neville looked at fan letters, interviews, annotated scripts and more housed at the Fred Rogers Center in Latrobe, Pa. Then there were all those episodes from the show that began in 1968: the host arguing against isolationism during the height of the Vietnam War, or explaining the word “assassination” to children after the death of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy.

Now Rogers, who died in 2003, is the subject of two film projects, one starring Tom Hanks and due next year, and the other, Mr. Neville’s documentary, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?,” opening June 8. Here are five of Mr. Neville’s favorite items from the center...

Senate Testimony 

On May 1, 1969, Rogers went before the Senate Subcommittee on Communications to argue against a proposed funding cut to PBS. Sen. John O. Pastore, the subcommittee chairman, had clearly never heard of the host or seen any of his shows, but after only six minutes of testimony by Rogers (including one song, recited from memory, about anger management), the politician went from a gruff, dismissive foe to a lifelong fan. “Many people would call Fred a wimp, but what you realize in that moment is that Fred was the most iron-willed person out there,” Mr. Neville said. “It’s Mister Rogers goes to Washington. It’s the perfect example of somebody speaking truth to power, and winning.” (Pastore blocked the proposed cut.)"

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Here’s How Higher Education Dies; The Atlantic, June 5, 2018

Adam Harris, The Atlantic; Here’s How Higher Education Dies

"It’s not a difficult future to imagine—largely because most of it is already happening. Some institutions will be shielded from the decline—most obviously the major players and media darlings such as Ivy League institutions and major public institutions like the University of Texas at Austin. But most colleges will not be so fortunate, he says. They will either have to adapt or die out.

Perhaps this is just a blip driven by declines in the for-profit sector that will correct itself, or the consequence of a growing economy in which more people choose jobs over school. More optimistically, maybe higher education as an enterprise finds a way out of this rut. State legislatures could reverse course and shift more funding to higher education, though with the polarized political environment around views of higher education and its chief purpose, particularly among Republicans, that seems unlikely. Maybe colleges will wind up taking a proactive approach and innovate their way out, shifting, as some have already, to serve more adult students alongside recent high-school graduates, and moving more of their coursework and programs online to serve a wider audience of students and reduce campus costs. (Alexander also points out that moving more programs online could help with international enrollments, as students wouldn’t have to worry about potential political issues in the U.S.)"

4 Big Takeaways from Satya Nadella's Talk at Microsoft Build; Fortune,, May 7, 2018

Jonathan Vanian, Fortune; 4 Big Takeaways from Satya Nadella's Talk at Microsoft Build

"Microsoft Believes in AI and Ethics

Nadella briefly mentioned the company’s internal AI ethics team whose job is to ensure that the company’s foray into cutting-edge techniques like deep learning don’t unintentionally perpetuate societal biases in their products, among other tasks.

 He said that coders need to concentrate on building products that use “good A.I.,” in which the “the choices we make can be good choices for the future.”

Expect more technology companies to talk about AI and ethics as a way to alleviate concerns from the public about the tech industry’s insatiable appetite for data."

Stanford makes a startling new discovery. Ethics; ZDNet, June 4, 2018

, ZDNet; Stanford makes a startling new discovery. Ethics

"Now, in a glorious moment of chest-beating and head-bobbing, Stanford University president Marc Tessier-Lavigne has admitted that his university -- which spawned so many young, great tech titans, such as the founders of Google, Instagram and LinkedIn -- failed to make titanic efforts in the area of ethics. 

In an interview with the Financial Times, he revealed that the university now intends to explore the teaching of "ethics, society and technology."

As we survey the political and social carnage that seems to have been enabled by technology over the last few years, it's remarkable that this wasn't thought of before."

Monday, June 4, 2018

Stanford to step-up teaching of ethics in technology; Financial Times, June 3, 2018

Financial Times; Stanford to step-up teaching of ethics in technology

"The university at the heart of Silicon Valley is to inject ethics into its technology teaching and research amid growing criticism of the excesses of the industry it helped spawn.

The board of Stanford University, one of the world’s richest higher education institutions with an endowment of $27bn, will meet this month to agree funding and a plan to implement the findings of an internal review that recommends a new initiative focused on “ethics, society and technology” and improved access to those on lower incomes."

Sunday, June 3, 2018

How A Cleaning Lady Inspired Awesome Leadership; Forbes, June 2, 2018

Laura Rittenhouse, Forbes; How A Cleaning Lady Inspired Awesome Leadership

"In an interview with Adam Bryant of The New York Times, Charles Schwab CEO Walt Bettinger shared a lesson he learned in college during a business strategy final exam.  Bettinger needed to ace the test so he could graduate with a 4.0.  He spent hours reviewing formulas and case studies.  On the day of the exam, his professor handed out just one sheet of paper and asked the class to turn it over.   It was blank.  He explained, “I’ve taught you everything I can teach you about business in the last 10 weeks, but… the most important question is this: What’s the name of the lady who cleans this building?” Bettinger was stunned.  It was the only test he ever failed.

 He told Bryant, “…I got the B I deserved. Her name was Dottie, and I didn’t know Dottie. I’d seen her, but I’d never taken the time to ask her name. I’ve tried to know every Dottie I’ve worked with ever since.”  The experience taught him “…you should never lose sight of people who do the real work.”  Bettinger’s lesson in humility impressed me.  By revealing his failure to Bryant, he chose to be vulnerable.  Instead of pounding his chest in the interview, he opened his heart...

Awesome leaders who act with integrity are more likely to be smart risk-takers.  To be adaptive, authentic and accountable means to keep one’s eye on the prize and lead with integrity.  The word “integrity” means to be whole.  To be whole means to care about others, even those who may be different from us.  This leads to awesome empathy – the ability to stand in someone else’s shoes and see what their world looks like.

For Walt Bettinger, it meant learning the name of the woman who cleaned his classroom."

Artist Tom Beland’s Heartfelt BLACK PANTHER piece becomes a variant cover; The Beat: The News Blog of Comics Culture, March 15, 2018

Taimur Dar, The Beat: The News Blog of Comics Culture; Artist Tom Beland’s Heartfelt BLACK PANTHER piece becomes a variant cover

[Kip Currier: I just chanced upon and got a copy of this moving Black Panther variant comic book cover by cartoonist Tom Beland, which Marvel Comics commissioned, following his original cartoon that went viral.
It's inspiring to see the diverse leadership roles that people can take to communicate messages and ideas that move individuals and societies forward in affirming ways.]

Black Panther variant comic book cover by cartoonist Tom Beland.
James "Kip" Currier (c) 2018

"As gratifying as it is to see Black Panther obliterating the myth that films with a predominately black cast can’t find mainstream success, perhaps its greatest achievement is the strong reaction among black girls and boys. If this 7-year old kid taking up the M’Baku challenge doesn’t melt your heart, then it’s probably made out of vibranium!

To say that Black Panther is a watershed moment for superhero films and representation is an understatement. Less than a week after Black Panther smashed box office records on opening weekend in February, cartoonist Tom Beland (True Story, Swear to God) drew this poignant piece. Despite taking Beland less than 15 minutes to draw, to his amazement it was shared over 10K times on social media!"

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Marvel Comics editor-in-chief on company's diversity push, using a Japanese pen name; CBS News, June 2, 2018

CBS News; Marvel Comics editor-in-chief on company's diversity push, using a Japanese pen name

""We're 100 percent committed to diversity...Marvel is the world outside your window and we want not only our characters but our creative talent to reflect that world and it hasn't been an easy road to be honest with you. Going back to the 60s when Marvel were created it was created by a number of white men here in New York City who were working in our studio… But now, we do not have any artists that work in Marvel. All our writers and artists work -- are freelancers that live around the world so our talent base has diversified almost more quickly than our character base has."

One of the people in charge of making Marvel more inclusive is vice president of content and character development Sana Amanat. She created Kamala Khan -- Marvel's first Muslim superhero -- who helped sell more than half a million Ms. Marvel books to date."

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Issue Brief: The General Data Protection Regulation: What Does It Mean for Libraries Worldwide?; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill via Association of Research Libraries, May 2018

Anne T. Gilliland, Scholarly Communications Officer, University Libraries, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill  via Association of Research Libraries; Issue Brief: The General Data Protection Regulation: What Does It Mean forLibraries Worldwide?

"Although GDPR is an EU regulation, it has implications for businesses and institutions that collect data even outside the EU. Anne T. Gilliland, scholarly communications officer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Libraries, explains some of the key provisions of GDPR and why its impact reaches worldwide. Gilliland notes that the research library community has ties to Europe and EU citizens. Libraries must therefore consider the implications GDPR will have on their own privacy policies and how to ensure compliance with these new rules. As staunch defenders of privacy rights, libraries have an opportunity to ensure robust protection of users’ rights. Because GDPR has not yet gone into effect, there is no case law or other binding guidance regarding GDPR compliance.

The Association of Research Libraries will continue to monitor developments on GDPR and will publish a follow-up piece focusing on implementation. In the meantime, the following resources may be useful:

• EU’s GDPR Information Portal 

• Library of Congress, “Online Privacy Law: European Union” 

• LIBER, Webinar Video: “GDPR & What It Means for Researchers”"

Time To Refocus Our Advocacy Approach; Library Journal, May 21, 2018

Rebecca T. Miller, Library Journal; Time To Refocus Our Advocacy Approach 

"If you haven’t yet read From Awareness to Funding: Voter Perceptions and Support of Public Libraries in 2018, please put it on the top of your to-do list. Released in March by the Public Library Association (PLA) and the American Library Association Office for Library Advocacy, in partnership with OCLC, it updates the findings of the initial Awareness to Funding report done in 2008 with startling insights into how voters connect to libraries or—more concerning—increasingly don’t.

EveryLibrary’s John Chrastka (a 2014 LJ Mover & Shaker [M&S]) tunes us in to some of the conclusions and reflects on a primary takeaway in “Reversing the Slide in Voter Support.” He urges a tactical shift in library advocacy...

It’s critical to articulate and convey just what is at stake. Writing on her library’s blog, Vailey Oehlke, director of the Multnomah County Library, OR, and a past PLA president, notes the report’s findings “call for urgent action.” Exploring a number of factors in play, she arrives at a proposal to update an “equation” she argues libraries have depended on for a long time, shifting from “if books = important; and library = books; then libraries = important” to “if libraries = democracy; and democracy = important; then libraries = important.”"

Reversing the Slide in Voter Support; Library Journal, May 18, 2018

John Chrastka, Library Journal; Reversing the Slide in Voter Support

"We need a significant shift in our tactics to turn around voter attitudes about the core work of libraries

The 2018 “From Awareness to Funding” study should inspire deep reflection within the library community about how we have been doing public outreach, voter engagement, and everyday advocacy over this past decade.
As a founder and executive director of EveryLibrary, the only national political action committee for libraries, I am deeply concerned by the top-line loss of voter support for libraries. To see the drop from 73% “possible yes” voters in OCLC’s 2008 report of the same name to the new reality of 2018’s 58% was crushing. At EveryLibrary, we have seen the erosion of voter support and respect for libraries in polls and surveys from dozens of towns, cities, and counties over our short time working on library campaigns. We have worked on 77 election days since early 2013. In some places, the old 73% held, and the library had a smooth drive. But in several areas, campaigns crashed."

New Institute Aims for Global Leadership in Computer Modeling and Simulation; PittWire, May 30, 2018

PittWire; New Institute Aims for Global Leadership in Computer Modeling and Simulation

"At Pitt, the plan is to pair AI and machine learning researchers with individuals from academia, industry, nonprofits and the government to develop algorithms designed to address their specific problems and to use modeling experiments to provide concrete solutions.

“One day, presidents and cabinet officers, C-suites and lab directors will say, ‘Don’t tell me what your gut says, tell me what the evidence says; show me your models, show me the possible futures and the best interventions,’” said [Paul] Cohen."

How a Pentagon Contract Became an Identity Crisis for Google; The New York Times, May 30, 2018

Scott Shane, Cade Metz and Daisuke Wakabayashi, The New York Times; How a Pentagon Contract Became an Identity Crisis for Google

"The polarized debate about Google and the military may leave out some nuances. Better analysis of drone imagery could reduce civilian casualties by improving operators’ ability to find and recognize terrorists. The Defense Department will hardly abandon its advance into artificial intelligence if Google bows out. And military experts say China and other developed countries are already investing heavily in A.I. for defense.

But skilled technologists who chose Google for its embrace of benign and altruistic goals are appalled that their employer could eventually be associated with more efficient ways to kill."

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

ABC just took a moral stand on Roseanne. Spoiler alert: Donald Trump won't.; CNN, May 29, 2018

Chris Cillizza, CNN; ABC just took a moral stand on Roseanne. Spoiler alert: Donald Trump won't.

"ABC's decision to cancel Roseanne Barr's eponymous show following a racist comment she made about former Obama administration official Valerie Jarrett on Twitter was shocking for two reasons.

First, because it amounted to a TV network drawing a moral line in the sand -- insisting that no amount of money or ratings gave Roseanne the right to express views that ABC described in a statement as "abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values."

Second, because that decision to take a moral stand represents a stark contrast from the moral relativism preached by the president of the United States.

Donald Trump is different from anyone who has held the office before him in all sorts of ways. But, to my mind, the biggest -- and most critical -- difference between Trump and his predecessors is his total abdication of the concept of the president as a moral leader for the country and the world."