Unliking Facebook

Aug 26 2014 @ 8:31pm
by Sue Halpern

Dislike Facebook

Anyone who has ever read Facebook’s privacy policy–and that probably would not include you–understands that it is not meant to protect your privacy, but provide Facebook and its clients with access to you, your habits, your contacts, your life. This kind of access is the lifeblood of Facebook (read: money), so attempting to indemnify itself against any claims of invasiveness is crucial. This, of course, has not exempted the company from lawsuits, as well as from less formal but no less vociferous user discontent. A quick search on the website of the Electronic Frontier Foundation is a lesson in the thrust and parry around privacy that’s accompanied Facebook’s remarkable insinuation into the culture.

Earlier this summer, a young Austrian law student named Maximilian Schrems filed a class action lawsuit against Facebook which has draw an unprecedented number of claimants.

As Malarie Gokey writes, 60,000 people have now joined young Schrems:

Read On

by Dish Staff

Juan Cole finds the US response to yesterday’s revelation that Egypt and the UAE had carried out airstrikes in Libya pretty ironic:

According to the BBC, “the US, France, Germany, Italy and the UK issued a joint statement denouncing “outside interference” in Libya.” Seriously, guys? Except for Germany, these are the NATO countries that intervened in Libya in the first place, in large part at the insistence of an Arab League led by Egypt and the UAE! It is true that the UAE and Egypt don’t have a UN Security Council Resolution, which authorized NATO involvement (I supported the then no fly zone on those grounds). But the newly elected Libyan House of Representatives has openly called for international intervention against Libya’s out-of-control militias and it is entirely possible that the Libyan government asked, behind the scenes for these air strikes. In any case, “outside interference” isn’t the issue!

Claims that the airstrikes caught us unawares are also beyond belief:

“With as many Aegis-class ships as the U.S. Navy has in the Persian Gulf and Mediterranean, there is no possible way the UAE could pull this off without the U.S. knowing it,” said Christopher Harmer, a former Navy officer and an analyst with the Institute for the Study of War.

Read On

Face Of The Day

Aug 26 2014 @ 7:23pm
by Dish Staff

China's Face-kini Becomes Unlikely Global Fashion Hit

A Chinese woman wears a face-kini while swimming on August 22, 2014 in the Yellow Sea in Qingdao, China. The locally designed mask is worn by many local women to protect them from jellyfish stings, algae and the sun’s ultraviolet rays. By Kevin Frayer/Getty Images.

Parental Whoa-vershare, Ctd

Aug 26 2014 @ 6:49pm
by Phoebe Maltz Bovy

A reader writes:

Bless your heart, Phoebe, for attempting to curb the tide of parental overshare. I am a parent of young children, and I post pictures of them and the occasional adorable quip they make on Facebook. Honestly, I post more than I should of them, but I try very hard to limit it to only the nicest photos of my kids, and not too frequently, for the exact reasons you discussed. I do not want my kids to be searching for jobs and have a potential employer know about their childhood doctors appointments. I appreciate having someone out there pointing out the long term effects if parental oversharing, so thanks for… sharing.

The two genres of parental sharing you mentioned really only account for the high-end posts (I.e., the Times and the Atlantic are the publishers). There is a plethora of other parental overshares on the so-called mommy blogs. So many kids with digestive problems and mothers trying to help their kids understand God and stay-at-home dads trying to be clever and funny. And the larger blogs have sponsored content (albeit often clearly labeled). I once read a post by a woman whose blog received a sponsorship from a razor company, and she talked about the first time her tween daughter shaved. Ugh. And that doesn’t even begin to get to the quick shares on Facebook of potty training successes and failures. Please keep up the good work of reminding people not to start embarrassing their children until they are a little older, like our parents did.

Even with my limited knowledge of colloquial American English from places outside the Northeast, I know that “bless your heart” implies that my cause here is a futile one. Which, alas, it probably is. But this response is reminding me of an important clarification regarding just what that cause, as I see it, involves.

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The View From Your Window

Aug 26 2014 @ 6:20pm
by Dish Staff

Warwick Camp Bermuda 10am

Warwick Camp, Bermuda, 10.00 am

by Dish Staff

Reactions to the Obama administration’s latest move to promote contraceptive accessibility keep coming. Jonathan Cohn elaborates on why free birth control is worth fighting over:

Late last week, lots of people were talking about a story by Sarah Kliff, of Vox, on why teen pregnancy has been declining in just the last few years. It’s a great article, well worth your time, but the part that jumped out at me was the much bigger decline in teen births that occurred many decades agoin the 1960s, when the teen pregnancy rate fell by about 25 percent. What changed? The big factor, as social scientists (and friends of QED) Harold Pollack and Luke Shaefer reminded me over the weekend, was birth control. The Food and Drug Administration first approved the pill in 1960.

It wasn’t just teenagers on whom the introduction of cheap, highly effective medical contraception had profound effects. It was also older women, including married women, who gained the ability to control the timing of pregnancy and child rearing.

James C. Capretta, meanwhile, says the HHS “non-accomodation” isn’t a real solution:

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Hair–And World–On Fire

Aug 26 2014 @ 5:17pm
by Bill McKibben

Statewide Drought Takes Toll On California's Lake Oroville Water Level

This afternoon a draft of the next report from the world’s climate scientists to the world’s political leaders leaked to a few reporters. In the words of Justin Gillis at the NYT, it showed those scientists using even “blunter, more forceful” language than ever before to warn that

Runaway growth in the emission of greenhouse gases is swamping all political efforts to deal with the problem, raising the risk of “severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts” over the coming decades,

and that

Global warming is already cutting grain production by several percentage points, the report found, and that could grow much worse if emissions continue unchecked. Higher seas, devastating heat waves, torrential rain and other climate extremes are also being felt around the world as a result of human emissions…The world may already be nearing a temperature at which the loss of the vast ice sheet covering Greenland would become inevitable, the report said.

Short of actually engaging in self-immolation (with resulting carbon emissions), it’s hard to imagine what more scientists can do at this point to warn us. The report apparently lays out the math of climate in just the terms I described in this morning’s post about the fossil fuel divestment campaign:

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by Dish Staff

Noah Millman jumps in on Elizabeth’s sex-workers-as-daughters discussion:

You could call [Elizabeth's take] a “moral libertarian” version of Rawls’s veil of ignorance. We don’t know what our daughter might decide to do when she is of age. She might decide to have sex for money. Therefore, we should examine our political (and moral) attitudes with a view to who would be most harmed by them – and the person most harmed by a morally condemnatory attitude is the daughter who decides to have sex for money, and would be condemned for it.

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Mental Health Break

Aug 26 2014 @ 4:20pm
by Dish Staff

Viewfinding a path around Paris:

Find out how the film was shot here.

A Bit Of Good News From Syria

Aug 26 2014 @ 4:00pm
by Dish Staff

In contrast to the brutal murder of James Foley, another American journalist held captive in Syria since 2012 was released over the weekend by al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra:

Peter Theo Curtis was handed over to UN peacekeepers in the village of al-Rafid, Quneitra, on Sunday. He has since been turned over to representatives from the US government after undergoing medical check-up, the UN said. Curtis’ family thanked both the governments of the US and Qatar, as well as others who helped negotiate his release. According to a statement from his family, Curtis was captured in October 2012 and was reportedly held by the al-Nusra Front or by splinter groups allied with the al-Qaeda-affiliated group.

Elias Groll takes a closer look at Qatar’s role in securing Curtis’s release, which he calls part of the Gulf kingdom’s “double game”:

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