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How Many American Idiots Are There? 73 Million. | by umair haque | Nov, 2020 | Eudaimonia and Co
eand.co
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Not the only interesting piece on Trump viewed from ancient Greece."this election was something like a census of American Idiots... " defined using the classical Greek meaning of “people who are consumed only with self-interest". Any society with too many such idiots would be "consumed solely with self-interest... [and] cease …

The Case for Digital Public Infrastructure | Knight First Amendment Institute
knightcolumbia.org
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Today's social platforms' business models are not inevitable, but because we see them as such we constrain "the solution space we consider for combatting mis-/disinformation, polarization, and promotion of extremism... we need to consider what technologies [and] digital media to have a productive role in democratic societies".H…

To Mend a Broken Internet, Create Online Parks | WIRED
www.wired.com
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"Our digital public sphere has been failing ... [but] History offers a proven template for how to build healthier public spaces."Filter Bubble author Pariser hearkens back to Walt Whitman's creation of NY's Green Park, when "New York City had no public parks ...only walled commercial pleasure gardens for those who could af…

Opinion | Facebook and Twitter Are Still Tinkering With Democracy - The New York Times
www.nytimes.com
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Another analysis - with a lot of useful links - of the way social platforms managed the NYPost story, and what it tells us "about the status of social media companies’ reform efforts, and [how]... they are still failing to safeguard the democratic process?"First some facts:The NYPost article's "sourcing was so dubious that at l…

Facebook Stymied Traffic to Left-Leaning News Outlets: Report
gizmodo.com

Facebook's 2017 newsfeed algorithm tweak intentionally reduced traffic to left-leaning outlets " to avoid adding fuel to critics’ argument that the platform has an anti-conservative bias"... and overcorrected."Mother Jones saw a roughly $400,000 drop in the site’s annual revenue"

David Carroll discovers Trump's 2016 psychographic profile of him
twitter.com

The current Trump campaign, on the record, said they didn't do #psychographic profiling. "Well, why do I have one in my file? It works as a suppression system.., to subvert the will of the people"

Recipe for chaos: 2020 election threatens to snap a US already pushed to the limit | US elections 2020 | The Guardian
www.theguardian.com
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It's 2020 in the US: "a pandemic, economic collapse and a society-wide reckoning over racism [and] an election in which voter suppression, foreign interference, online disinformation and a bitterly contested supreme court vacancy ... an incumbent president who has spent months spreading disinformation and discrediting what he calls “the …

How Donald Trump's Attacks on Mail-In Voting Hurt Democracy | Time
time.com
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"the greatest threat to a credible vote is homegrown... Trump has falsely claimed that mail-in ballots “lead to massive corruption and fraud,” that foreign powers will “forge ballots” and that the “only way we’re going to lose this election is if the election is rigged.” ...Bullshit, of course: he said this in 2016, but now with the weight of…

How Donald Trump Is Killing Politics - The Atlantic
www.theatlantic.com
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if his supporters truly come to believe that the game is rigged, that persuasion is impossible, then his argument acquires a dark and inevitable logic. When politics ceases to function, when the rules governing its practice have been dismissed as a hoax, all that remains is the barrel of the gun.

The 2020 Election, a Race in Which Everything Happens and Nothing Matters | The New Yorker
www.newyorker.com
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Unless Biden stumbles, he'll win, but the amazing thing is that ~40% of Americans will support Trump no matter what. Trump is talking and acting crazy while over 1000 Americans die of covid19 on many days - compared to around half that in the worst week of the Vietnam war. Yet there seems to be no electoral consequence: the Trump-Biden gap ha…

Is Russian Meddling as Dangerous as We Think?  | The New Yorker
www.newyorker.com
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Literature note: “How to Lose the Information War,” ... on disinformation as a geopolitical strategy...Mueller report: I.R.A.-created groups and accounts reached tens of millions... the troll factory found “authentic, local voices,” to foment large-scale distrust in government and democracy... and managed to get into the heads of powerful politici…

Incredible Animation Summarises Noam Chomsky's 5 Filters of the Mass Media Machine
www.filmsforaction.org
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Amazing animation setting out the 5 filters - ownership, advertising, the media elite, flak and the common enemy - used by media and power to Manufacture Consent, as set out in Chomsky's eponymous book on mainstream journalism and its role in the mechanics of power

The 2020 Election Will Be a War of Disinformation - The Atlantic
www.theatlantic.com
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The president’s reelection campaign ... multimillion-dollar ad blitz ... shaping Americans’ understanding of ... impeachment ... micro-targeted ads ... portraying Trump as a heroic reformer ... while Democrats plotted a coup... An alternate information ecosystem was taking shape ... I wanted to see it from the inside...I was surprised by the effec…

Book Review: Sarah Kendzior, ‘Hiding in Plain Sight’
medium.com
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Kendzior pulls no punches... detailed ... a true crime work, with the President ... benefactor of a criminal machine so powerful and immense ... every institution ... and media has, in some way, been compromised...every page brought fresh anguish...Other than Trump... the players? Russians... Israel, and Americans in business and government... all…

30/04/2020
3 Versions of Europe Are Collapsing at the Same Time – Foreign Policy
foreignpolicy.com
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Europe has repeatedly failed ... those failures have been the building blocks of Europe’s success. But ... Today’s noise isn’t simply another invitation for Europe to fail upward again. It’s the sound of Europe threatening to fall apart entirely...Postwar Europe is failing today because, for the younger generations, World War II is ancient history…

The European Union’s Double Crisis of Legitimacy - The Atlantic
www.theatlantic.com
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The union faces a double crisis of legitimacy... it is hard to sustain the fiction that ordinary citizens have a meaningful say over what happens in Brussels... If many voters don’t believe that they have much sway over what happens in their national capitals, the feeling of impotence is even more profound when it comes to Brussels.... the EU ... …

09/02/2020
A ‘Conference on the future of EU’, what next? EU elections 2024 – EURACTIV.com
www.euractiv.com
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‘Conference on the Future of Europe’ will open this spring... will not be enough... also... a real democratic debate on the final text, so that it can be followed up... if there is to be a reform of the Treaties... to be ratified in all Member States...Referenda are ... not suitable for the ratification of a new treaty... not allow a debate on its…

Policy Brief: Future of Democracy (pdf)
www.bertelsmann-stiftung.de
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to make participatory democracy a reality, it is essential to avoid only paying lip-service to the idea of participation — and give citizens a real say...European federalists are hoping to gain momentum for treaty change. Many member states are afraid of that very outcome...Citizens’ participation is being tested out far more commonly across Europ…

DECiDe Feldtest European Alternatives | HIIG
www.hiig.de
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Europeans feel disenfranchised ... alternative forms of active citizen engagement in democracy must be experimented with... Our approach combines ... random sample voting (RSV) with secure digital identities... if anyone in Europe, from the European parliament to a local government or NGO, wants to find out how people in a certain region feel abou…

Improving Constituent Engagement – POPVOX
medium.com
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a system that could bring some structure to the legislative advocacy ecosystem — listing all bills online; organizations and constituents would create accounts and post input in a structured, transparent way with outward anonymity but real names and addresses sent with messages to lawmakers in a way that could be easily processed by offices... th…

Does it make sense to refer to EU officials as “unelected bureaucrats”? - The Economist explains
www.economist.com
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Every government has bureaucrats, who are by nature unelected. The EU, with about 33,000 civil servants, is dwarfed by the British ... 400,000. ... many senior ones are appointed rather than elected; yet this, too, is true of all governments.... the 28 commissioners ... are nominated by member countries and approved by the European Parliament, whi…

23/10/2018
How can the EU support its superheroes?
medium.com
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“So I and fellow Australian-in-Brussels Richard Medic decided to ask some friends to help answer a couple of questions: How can the EU support its superheroes, without destroying their credibility in the process? And under what conditions should it even try?”

Some thoughts on the crisis of liberalism—and how to fix it - Liberalism
www.economist.com
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The most powerful engine of elitism is the European Union... Founding Fathers of Europe deliberately removed a great deal of decision-making from the hands of the (nation-bounded and short-sighted) public... Confronted with popular revolts against the rule of experts they have simply dug in their heels... For the EU, technocratic decision-making …

‘I made Steve Bannon’s psychological warfare tool’: meet the data war whistleblower
www.theguardian.com
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Wylie ... the gay Canadian vegan who somehow ended up creating “Steve Bannon’s psychological warfare mindfuck tool”.... In 2014 Steve Bannon ... was Wylie’s boss. And Robert Mercer... Republican donor, was Cambridge Analytica’s investor... to bring big data and social media to an established military methodology – “information operations” – then t…

Crowdfunding and Civic Society in Europe: A Profitable Partnership?
papers.ssrn.com

CFPs also have the capacity to help foster and strengthen non-parliamentary democratic structures and practices. As such, they should be supported and encouraged as part of a framework of further European democratization and civic integration.

‘Does it improve democratic quality?’
www.linkedin.com

give ourselves the following assignment: Government engagement must contribute to the quality of democracy.... provides a solid foundation for the design and execution of ... communication and participation forms and processes... an angle to critically review ... collaboration formats and tools. Participation is not an end in itself; reinforcing …

The sixth scenario and Juncker’s white paper
www.martenscentre.eu
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6th Scenario – More EuropeanismDemocracy needs an identity foundation that binds individuals into the demos... Europe does not have that. The proof?... There are no successful pro-European populists!The local and particular cannot be based on the general and universal.... There has to be something more ...

31/08/2017
I Studied the Alt-Right So You Don’t Have To – Form and Resonance – Medium
medium.com
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The “inclusiveness” of Kekistan and groups like Patriot Prayer... lures people who might not have been traditionally part of the GOP ... into the welcoming bosom of far-right causes. ... mainstreaming the more extreme versions of white nationalism and overt racism by making them appear more friendly and just about “free speech”... the “free speech…

Disentangling Democracy From Geography - The Atlantic
www.theatlantic.com
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rather than asking “Is the internet good for democracy?”... explore whether the human characteristics ... amplified or diminished by the internet support a functioning democratic system... The internet... collapses geography, greatly amplifies people’s ability to make connections ... However, the American democratic system is structured in a wa…

The Storytellers of Democracy - The Atlantic
www.theatlantic.com
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Interactive and participatory media allows viewers to get involved, to become expressive, and give voice. It is inviting and contagious for those who share views—seeing enough notes and posters in public makes it more welcoming to add your own... civic action... moves from digital support to public support only when it is clear that such actions h…

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