Fake news sells because people want it to be true

A mural of Orwell: why do we still go in for fake news?

The rise of bullshit, from George Orwell to Donald Trump.

When is a lie not a lie? Recently, the Daily Telegraph reported that university students had demanded that “philosophers such as Plato and Kant” be “removed from [the] syllabus because they are white”. Other outlets followed suit, wringing their hands over the censoriousness of today’s uninquiring young minds. The article generated an extraordinary amount of consternation click bait. Angry responses were written and hot takes were quick-fried and served up by outlets anxious to join the dinner rush of ad-friendly disapproval.

It’s a story that could have been designed to press every outrage button of the political-correctness-gone-mad brigade. It has students trying to ban things, an apparent lack of respect for independent thought and reverse racism. It seemed too good to be true.

And it was. In reality, what happened was far less interesting: the student union of the School of Oriental and African Studies (Soas) at the University of London had proposed that “the majority of philosophers on our courses” be from Asia and Africa, and that the Western greats be approached from a “critical standpoint”. Some might consider this a reasonable request, given that critical analysis is a component of most philosophy courses, and Soas has a long tradition of promoting the study of the global South. Yet a story about students declaring Kant irrelevant allows the Telegraph to despair for the youth of today and permits advertisers to profit from that despair.

People didn’t start pumping out this stuff because they decided to abandon journalistic ethics. They did so because such principles are hugely expensive and a hard sell. Even those of us who create and consume news can forget that the news is a commodity – a commodity with a business model behind it, subsidised by …read more

Source:: New Statesman

SpaceX is back to launching rockets again, but pressure is still high after last year’s failure

SpaceX celebrated the first flight of its Falcon 9 rocket in over four and a half months on Saturday, with a remarkably smooth launch of the vehicle from California. The Falcon 9 had previously been grounded since September, after one of the rockets exploded on a launchpad in Florida during a routine fueling procedure. Though the stakes were high for Saturday’s launch, the mission’s success doesn’t relieve the pressure on SpaceX.

Questions about the accident’s cause have been circling the company for months, and the company only disclosed the probable source of the explosion two weeks ago. The failure was apparently complex, involving an elaborate interplay of materials in an extremely cold propellant tank. That’s not all: SpaceX uses…

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Source:: The Verge – All Posts

Margot Robbie looks dramatically different in Tonya Harding costume for film biopic of former figure skater

Margot Robbie looked far from her usual self on the set of I, Tonya[Getty]

But Margot looked nothing like the sexy characters she’s previously played in the likes of Sucide Squad, The Legend of Tarzan and The Wolf of Wall Street.

Instead, the actress looked to be wearing padding under drab Eighties clothes to make her look more like the muscular size Tonya was during her heyday.

Margot’s hair also looked different, far thicker and frizzier, which suggests she was wearing a ring or … …read more

Source:: Ok – Celebrity news

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Source:: USA Online news – Entertainment

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