News 27.08.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


News 27.08.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 27.08.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 27.08.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

There was nothing magical about the care I saw that day. Herrera wasn’t a saint. But he may have been something better than that: he was the point of contact between a national system and a great many individual lives, seeing to every small detail required for the broader demands of community health.

Salas and I returned to the central clinic, where we met with the medical director of the Atenas Health Area, Carolina Amador. She is in her late forties, with long auburn hair and a quiet, observant air, and she oversees all seven EBAIS teams. Like Salas, she had wanted to be a doctor since she was in high school. And she, too, took the opportunity offered to Costa Rican medical graduates to spend a year working in an isolated community. It was around the time the EBAIS system was being launched, and she spent that year helping to provide primary care for an island fishing village, where basic supplies had to be delivered by boat. “I did Pap smears with a flashlight,” she recalled, sitting in her office behind a large wooden desk.

Read the rest of this article at: The New Yorker

News 27.08.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

SAN FRANCISCO — When Alice Zhang set out in 2018 to raise funding for her drug discovery start-up, investors kept asking her about Theranos, the blood testing start-up led by the entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes that had collapsed in scandal.

Others asked, too. At a Stanford University event, the organizers wanted Ms. Zhang to talk about Theranos. One adviser told her that when her start-up came up in conversation, people responded by cracking jokes about Ms. Holmes.

Ms. Zhang was initially confused. Her start-up, Verge Genomics, uses artificial intelligence to aid the discovery of therapeutic drugs. That was completely different from Theranos’s business of marketing blood testing machines as a diagnostic tool. Ms. Holmes had also been accused of criminal fraud. Ms. Zhang had not.

But the pattern was clear. When Verge Genomics raised funding later that year, a prominent industry columnist penned an article that compared Ms. Zhang to Ms. Holmes. Although the comparisons dissipated as her start-up has grown, Ms. Zhang, 32, said she hears the same stories from other female founders today, even though “I could see no similarity besides the fact that we’re both women in the hard-science space.”

A generation of female entrepreneurs — particularly those in life sciences, biotechnology and health care — is still operating in the shadow of Ms. Holmes. Though Theranos shut down in 2018, Ms. Holmes continues to loom large across the start-up world because of the audacity of her story, which has permeated popular culture and left behind a seemingly indelible image of how female founders can push boundaries.

The tabloid-like saga began when Ms. Holmes started Theranos at the age of 19. She was soon lauded as the next Steve Jobs, crowned the world’s youngest billionaire and lionized on numerous magazine covers. But after a 2015 investigation by The Wall Street Journal raised questions about Ms. Holmes’s claims about Theranos, she spectacularly fell from grace. Her implosion captured the public’s imagination, leading to a documentary, a book, a podcast and an upcoming mini-series starring Amanda Seyfried.

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

News 27.08.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

​​At the very start of his career, Jonah Hill met Adam McKay over tacos at a Mexican spot in Hollywood. This was back in 2004, just after Hill appeared in his first movie—I Heart Huckabees. McKay, a former head writer for SNL who was just beginning a streak of comedies that would define the aughts, loved his performance. They riffed for hours.

Hill would go on to star in his own run of raunchy, coming-of-age comedies that captured a generation. Then he pivoted: first to more serious roles in movies like Moneyball and The Wolf of Wall Street and then to the other side of the camera, directing his coming-of-age skate drama, Mid90s. McKay, too, would go on to more dramatic fare, writing and directing The Big Short and Vice. But until they made Don’t Look Up, a dark comedy about two astronomers trying to warn mankind of impending doom that Netflix will release later this year, the two had somehow never worked together.

“I’ve gotten to work with all these great directors now,” Hill says, “and Adam is one of the ones I’ve wanted to work with forever, and we finally found the right thing.” He’s speaking from his backyard in Malibu amid a riot of greenery, a smoothie and a pack of American Spirits by his side. (McKay Zooms in while lying on his couch at home.) “What I love about Adam,” Hill continues, “is he started in comedy like I did, and he’s directed comedic masterpieces, and then he’s also gone on to direct masterpieces outside of that very specific genre. But he’s still the funniest guy.”

Read the rest of this article at: GQ

News 27.08.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

‘My preconceptions about trans people came from the media, and I certainly hadn’t heard of trans children. So it just flummoxed me having an assigned male child who didn’t have especially ‘feminine’ interests and yet was saying consistently, ‘I’m a girl.’”

Kate was telling me about her eldest daughter, Alex. (Names of all trans young people, and of their parents, have been changed for their privacy.) It was a warm July evening, and we were sitting in the kitchen of their family home, in a comfortable British suburb populated by middle-class couples with young families. Alex, still at primary school, is trans. A few years ago, her mum assumed she was a boy who was clumsily trying to ask for typically feminine things. “I remember I used to have conversations with her at a very young age in the car because she’d get really upset. I’d say: ‘But I don’t understand what would be different if you were a girl? What can’t you do that you could do if you were a girl?’ I’d ask: ‘Do you want a doll?’ She’d just reply: ‘I don’t like dolls!’”

Sitting next to me at her home, Alex seemed like a typical kid of her age, who accepted me casually as a stranger at the table. As Alex’s parents later pointed out, there wasn’t anything especially feminine about her dress sense; she wasn’t what people call a “girly girl”.

“She was very into books from a really young age, and still is,” Joe told me. “We have to tell her to stop reading to sleep.” He and Kate described their daughter proudly as “someone with a strong sense of herself and a sense of justice – what’s right and wrong. She thinks very deeply about things.”

Alex was about three years old when she began to correct her mother if she called her a boy. “I’d try to encourage her good behaviour, as any parent does, by saying things like ‘good boy’,” Kate explained. “She began to reply, ‘No. Good girl.’”

Joe and Kate soon felt a little out of their depth. “Like a lot of parents with young kids, I thought there was something I was meant to teach her that I had missed,” said Kate. “I just didn’t get it.” Joe told me how Alex soon started to tell other children and the staff at nursery that she was a girl – but would regularly be corrected. Soon she started to become frequently upset, particularly before bed. The source of her distress, said Joe, was always clear. “It was: ‘Why can’t you call me a girl?’, ‘Why won’t you call me a girl?’, ‘I’m a girl’, ‘I’m a girl’, ‘I’m a girl’, ‘Why can’t I be a girl?’” Joe was careful to stress how fixated his daughter had become on being regarded as female by those around her. It wasn’t long before Alex had convinced half her nursery class to refer to her with female pronouns; the staff, meanwhile, were as unsure as her parents about how to respond to this unusual situation. Children are known for being more accepting of difference than adults, after all. One thing, though, was clear to everyone around her: Alex was really unhappy.

Read the rest of this article at: The Guardian

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News 27.08.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

In the beginning, there were ABC, NBC, and CBS, and they were good. Midcentury American man could come home after eight hours of work and turn on his television and know where he stood in relation to his wife, and his children, and his neighbors, and his town, and his country, and his world. And that was good. Or he could open the local paper in the morning in the ritual fashion, taking his civic communion with his coffee, and know that identical scenes were unfolding in households across the country.

Over frequencies our American never tuned in to, red-baiting, ultra-right-wing radio preachers hyperventilated to millions. In magazines and books he didn’t read, elites fretted at great length about the dislocating effects of television. And for people who didn’t look like him, the media had hardly anything to say at all. But our man lived in an Eden, not because it was unspoiled, but because he hadn’t considered any other state of affairs. For him, information was in its right—that is to say, unquestioned—place. And that was good, too.

Today, we are lapsed. We understand the media through a metaphor—“the information ecosystem”—which suggests to the American subject that she occupies a hopelessly denatured habitat. Every time she logs on to Facebook or YouTube or Twitter, she encounters the toxic byproducts of modernity as fast as her fingers can scroll. Here is hate speech, foreign interference, and trolling; there are lies about the sizes of inauguration crowds, the origins of pandemics, and the outcomes of elections.

She looks out at her fellow citizens and sees them as contaminated, like tufted coastal animals after an oil spill, with “disinformation” and “misinformation.” She can’t quite define these terms, but she feels that they define the world, online and, increasingly, off.

Everyone scrounges this wasteland for tainted morsels of content, and it’s impossible to know exactly what anyone else has found, in what condition, and in what order. Nevertheless, our American is sure that what her fellow citizens are reading and watching is bad. According to a 2019 Pew survey, half of Americans think that “made-up news/info” is “a very big problem in the country today,” about on par with the “U.S. political system,” the “gap between rich and poor,” and “violent crime.” But she is most worried about disinformation, because it seems so new, and because so new, so isolable, and because so isolable, so fixable. It has something to do, she knows, with the algorithm.

Read the rest of this article at: Harper’s Magazine

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M.