News 01.15.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


News 01.15.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 01.15.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 01.15.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Read the rest of this article at: OneZero

News 01.15.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 01.15.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

here was no single moment when I began to sense the long shadow that Cecil John Rhodes has cast over my life, or over the university where I am a professor, or over the ways of seeing the world shared by so many of us still living in the ruins of the British empire. But, looking back, it is clear that long before I arrived at Oxford as a student, long before I helped found the university’s Rhodes Must Fall movement, long before I even left Zimbabwe as a teenager, this man and everything he embodied had shaped the worlds through which I moved.

I could start this story in 1867, when a boy named Erasmus Jacobs found a diamond the size of an acorn on the banks of the Orange river in what is now South Africa, sparking the diamond rush in which Rhodes first made his fortune. Or I could start it a century later, when my grandfather was murdered by security forces in the British colony of Rhodesia. Or I could start it today, when the infamous statue of Rhodes that peers down on to Oxford’s high street may finally be on the verge of being taken down.

But for me, it starts most directly in January 1999, when I was 12 years old. That was when my parents first drove me from our home on the outskirts of the city through the imposing black gates of St George’s College, Harare. Dressed in a red blazer, red-and-white striped tie, khaki shirt and shorts, grey knee-high socks and a cartoonishly floppy red hat, I looked like an English schoolboy on safari. As our car climbed towards the college, I peered up in awe at the granite castle tower, crowned with a full set of crenellations, that dominates the grounds. It was as if I had entered one of the last redoubts of Britain’s global imperium.

Read the rest of this article at: The Guardian


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Each of the big social platforms handled the challenges of the Trump presidency in its own unique way, scrambling to address or neutralize various urgent and contradictory concerns from users, advertisers, lawmakers and occasionally the president himself.

But there was one idea that none of them could resist trying, no matter how little it had done for the last platform to use it: the informational label.

Since 2016, users across platforms have been informed that some things they were seeing or sharing were disputed by outside fact checkers. On Facebook, users were directed to Wikipedia articles to provide information about the publications they were reading. On YouTube, context from Wikipedia was added beneath some videos that dealt with conspiracy theories and conspiracy-theory-adjacent subjects. In contrast to the content they were meant to modify, these labels were inert, uninteresting and frequently absurd.

No platform leaned as heavily on warning labels as Twitter, which spent the year before the election labeling the president’s tweets with evolving disclaimers.

Read the rest of this article at: The New York Times

News 01.15.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 01.15.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The last time Jennifer Freyd saw her parents was in December 1990. At 33, Jennifer was a tenured professor of psychology at the University of Oregon and the mother of two young boys. Her folks, Peter and Pamela Freyd, were coming for a visit over Christmas. In years past, Jennifer’s sister, Gwen, would have been there too. But that fall, a few months before their parents were scheduled to arrive, Gwen had called Jennifer to say she wouldn’t be coming. Something, she said, was deeply wrong with their family.

Jennifer in the fourth grade. Years later, when she accused her father of molesting her, her mother responded by writing an academic article titled “How Could This Happen? Coping With a False Accusation of Incest and Rape.”

Although Pam Freyd believes otherwise, Jennifer wasn’t interested in making her accusations public, much less in taking her father to court. For several months after her disclosure, Jennifer kept up an email correspondence with her mother. She hoped for reconciliation and never expected an admission of guilt from her father. All she wanted was her mother’s love and emotional support.

What we know for sure about memory is that there’s a lot we don’t know. There is no truth serum one can administer to be sure that what a person remembers really happened as they state it; there is no way to look inside a person’s brain and see what they see when they picture something that happened to them. Neuroimaging scans show the same parts of the brain lighting up when a person recounts a true memory as when they recount a false one, so long as the person doing the remembering believes the false memory to be true. Vivid memories and vivid fantasies, it turns out, look very similar: Did you really turn off the oven before leaving the house, or are you just very good at picturing yourself having done it?

Jennifer and Peter in 1965. “No one can know what happened in my childhood,” she says, “given that every single memory I have is me alone with my father.”

Pam and Peter Freyd are husband and wife; they are also stepsiblings. They met as children in Providence, Rhode Island: Pam’s mother married Peter’s father when Pam was 12 and Peter was 14. Their married parents settled in New York while Pam and Peter stayed behind in Providence — she lived with her father and stepmother, and he lived with his mother. They attended the same high school, which is where they began dating.

Read the rest of this article at: The Cut

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News 01.15.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The man on the phone said he worked for the oil company, “In accounting, actually”. His voice was unfamiliar to me. At first, I couldn’t make sense of what he was calling about. It was November 2016, and I had been on unpaid leave from the company since I left China and moved to France 10 years earlier. There was static on the line; I had a hard time hearing him.

“You must come back to Karamay to sign documents concerning your forthcoming retirement, Madame Haitiwaji,” he said. Karamay was the city in the western Chinese province of Xinjiang where I’d worked for the oil company for more than 20 years.

“In that case, I’d like to grant power of attorney,” I said. “A friend of mine in Karamay takes care of my administrative affairs. Why should I come back for some paperwork? Why go all that way for such a trifle? Why now?”

The man had no answers for me. He simply said he would call me back in two days after looking into the possibility of letting my friend act on my behalf.

My husband, Kerim, had left Xinjiang in 2002 to look for work. He tried first in Kazakhstan, but came back disillusioned after a year. Then in Norway. Then France, where he had applied for asylum. Once he was settled there, our two girls and I would join him.

Kerim had always known he would leave Xinjiang. The idea had taken root even before we were hired by the oil company. We had met as students in Urumqi, the largest city in Xinjiang province, and, as new graduates, had begun looking for work. This was in 1988. In the job ads in the newspapers, there was often a little phrase in small print: No Uighurs. This never left him. While I tried to overlook the evidence of discrimination that followed us everywhere, with Kerim, it became an obsession.

Read the rest of this article at: The Guardian

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