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benwerd

benwerd

benwerd

ben.werdmuller

ben.werdmuller.blog

ben@benwerd.com

 

Biden has nominated 8 Black women to become appellate judges

“As of Wednesday, with the selection of Arianna J. Freeman for the 3rd Circuit, the president has nominated eight Black women to the 13 U.S. Courts of Appeals. Five have been confirmed, most recently on Thursday, when Judge Holly A. Thomas cleared Senate approval to join the 9th Circuit. If the remaining three are confirmed, Biden would have doubled the total number of Black women to ever serve on federal appeals courts from eight to 16.”

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Joe Rogan and the problem of false balance

“To illustrate this, I want to talk briefly about Joe Rogan, because a Facebook post about him is what inspired this article. Full disclosure, I am, to say the least, not a fan of Rogan. In my opinion he is (to quote a friend of mine), “a dumb person’s idea of a smart person” (which to be clear, does not automatically mean that anyone who likes him is dumb). He frequently makes claims that are nonsense, and he uses his podcast to give a voice to all manner of quacks and conspiracy theorists.”

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How a Married Undercover Cop Having Sex With Activists Killed a Climate Movement

“In 2003, Kennedy had been sent undercover by an elite unit in London’s Metropolitan Police Service to gather intelligence on activists like Wilson. He spent seven years living a double life: He was a fearless organizer who had a shadowy backstory as a cocaine runner, but he was also a cop with a family in Ireland.” I suspect this is more common than we realize. Activists are often targeted for intelligence gathering, and this is a good way to do it over time. It’s morally repugnant, of course.

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What the Discovery of an Extra Artery Means for Human Evolution

“"The study demonstrates that humans are evolving at a faster rate than at any point in the past 250 years," said Teghan Lucas, lead author of the study and an archaeologist at Flinders University, in a press release. In fact, Lucas predicts that the median artery will continue to be a common occurrence in the human forearm far into the future.”

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Backlash as US billionaire dismisses Uyghur abuse

“Billionaire investor Chamath Palihapitiya is under fire for saying that he - and most Americans - "don't care" about abuses against the Uyghur minority in China. [...] Boston Celtics Forward Enes Kanter, who has been outspoken about human rights issues and campaigned on behalf of the forced labour law, was among those condemning the comments. “When genocides happen, it is people like this that let it happen,” he wrote.”

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Over 40 small tech companies just stood up to Apple and Google

“The Act, introduced by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Chuck Grassley, would keep large platforms like Apple and Google from excluding competitor products. Specifically, it prohibits businesses from using a companies’ data to compete against it, biasing search results against competitors, or requiring other companies to buy their own services for preferential placement. It also keeps companies from preventing interoperability.”

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Three words popping up in LinkedIn job listings

“LinkedIn has been watching how different keywords correlate to engagement on company posts, and which words have been appearing more often in job listings on the site. The terms “flexibility,” “well-being” and “culture” all appear in LinkedIn posts more often than they did in 2019, LinkedIn revealed Tuesday in its 2022 Global Talent Trends Report. Company posts that use those terms also attract more engagement, LinkedIn found.” Shocking nobody but important to highlight.

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Black mothers in MLK Jr.'s neighborhood will receive monthly cash payments

“The program, which will launch early this year in King’s neighborhood, will send monthly payments of $850 to 650 Black women over two years, making it one of the largest guaranteed income programs to date. Guaranteed income — the concept of sending people cash payments with no strings attached — was featured in King’s 1967 book, “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?” in which he argued that sometimes the simplest idea could be the most effective in ending poverty.”

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Why companies are hiring sci-fi writers to imagine the future

OK, how do I get to do this for a living?!

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BBC licence fee to be abolished in 2027 and funding frozen

“The culture secretary, Nadine Dorries, is expected to confirm that the cost of an annual licence, required to watch live television and access iPlayer services, will remain at £159 until 2024 before rising slightly for the following three years. She said this would be the end of the current licence fee funding model for the BBC, raising doubts about the long-term financial future and editorial independence of the public service broadcaster under a Conservative government.” This is big news - while the license fee is a regressive tax, the BBC’s status as a public broadcaster has been important. It’s, broadly speaking, a force for good. What happens now?

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