Weekend ahoy! Here’s some worthwhile reading, if you can find the time.
You’ve probably been following the rumbling fallout from George Oborne‘s departure from the Telegraph and the questions this has raised about the thickness of the walls between editorial and advertising in media organisations. In all the column inches that have been and are yet to be generated about that, I hope we don’t lose sight of the smaller picture: the importance of adherence to the house style guide. Tom Chivers, another ex-Telegraph writer noted that the “Telegraph style guide explicitly bans the use of “refute” to mean “deny” but the paper’s statement on Osborne uses it”. Other eagle-eyed folks noticed that the BBC had carefully corrected this oversight on the part of the Telegraph in a story published later in the day. Nothing quite like a good usage spat, eh?
Of course these days you have to be careful not just what you do and don’t publish in an extremely well known broadsheet newspaper, but even what you tweet.
In the beginning, Twitter was supposed to be a vessel for fleeting thoughts. People posted about their lunches, their sports teams, the news of the day. But because tweets are public and permanent by default, all of those ephemeral tweets congealed over the years into a kind of global permanent record. Now, everything the vast majority of Twitter’s 288 million monthly active users have ever tweeted is searchable, indexable, and usable against them in courts of law or public opinion.
The air was muggy and smelled faintly of cedar. Japanese commuters glided past on bikes. A flock of girls dressed in school uniforms and frilly knee socks passed us going the other way. Nobody stared, because that would be rude, but they definitely looked. We were not just foreign, but we were also accidentally louder than everyone else, if only because everyone else seemed utterly silent.
A first, essential step toward progress is to stop the bad practices that lead to misinforming and misleading the public. I offer several practical recommendations to that effect, drawing upon research conducted for this report, as well as decades of experiments carried out in psychology, sociology, and other fields.
Yet my aim here is to offer a window into my view of a repugnant European capitalism whose implosion, despite its many ills, should be avoided at all costs. It is a confession intended to convince radicals that we have a contradictory mission: to arrest the freefall of European capitalism in order to buy the time we need to formulate its alternative.
Finally, the British Library has digitised over four million endangered photos. Much more of this please.
Yours etc., @loughlin
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