For Google, the ‘Right to Be Forgotten’ Is an Unforgettable Fiasco

Marcus Wohlsen

Wired

(…)

Since the beginning, Google has cultivated the idea that its results are—like good journalism—unbiased, complete, and compelling. Nowhere is that message more clearly telegraphed than in the design of Google’s search interface itself. Google isn’t a person. It’s just this little box. Put your search here and the smartest computers in the world will tell you what you need to know—no messy human judgment involved.

In reality, however, teams of living, breathing people are constantly at work behind the scenes at Google tweaking algorithms to juice search results according to subjective standards like “quality.” This is often a good thing. Concerted efforts to cut down on the proliferation of link spam and content-farmed drivel have kept search results truly useful, which is good for users and Google both. But as Facebook has experienced even more strongly in the backlash to its “emotional contagion” study, users prefer not to be reminded that human-crafted filters unavoidably come into play in the dissemination of digital content.

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Les Canadiens français dans le Midwest

bf35fce82f15ca3bc7c43dd9f6c5dbaaNewberry Digital Exhibitions

Starting in the 17th century, French explorers were wandering all over the Midwest looking for navigable rivers, lucrative trading resources, and native people to convert to Christianity. This exhibition from the Newberry Library in Chicago tells the story of French Canadians in the Midwest via maps, prints, and a range of other wonderful ephemera. The materials are divided into six primary sections, including Kaskaskia, Bourbonnais, Emigration to Chicago, and Language. This last area is fabulous as visitors can look at pages of historical documents discussing the French presence in the region and how their interactions with Native Americans were informed by their own linguistic exchanges. The Father Chiniquy area is another gem, as it provides information about this most interesting priest who toured the East Coast in order to fund his work with « starving French Canadian converts.”

« Exit counseling », une méthode discrète pour exfiltrer les adeptes des sectes

Exit-counseling-une-methode-discrete-pour-exfiltrer-les-adeptes-des-sectes_article_main

La Croix

Sortir quelqu’un de l’emprise d’un gourou en cinq minutes après des mois de travail comprenant même des filatures: c’est la méthode dite de « l’exit counseling », importée des Etats-Unis et qui arrive discrètement en France.

«À vendre»

845819François Cardinal
La Presse

(…) Imaginez: on prévoit que les travaux sur le site Glen du CUSM seront terminés l’automne prochain… et on commence à peine à prendre au sérieux le sort du Royal-Victoria qui sera, à même date l’an prochain, complètement vide!

Et après ça, sur une période d’à peine deux ans, ce sont les pavillons de l’Hôpital Notre-Dame, de l’Institut thoracique, de l’Hôpital de Montréal pour enfants et, enfin, la totalité de l’Hôtel-Dieu qui subiront le même sort.

Et on ne sait toujours pas ce qu’on va mettre dans un seul local d’un seul pavillon d’un seul de ces établissements.

The Caliphate Returns

7711788710_iznogoudThe Caliphate Returns

Superbe analyse, comme toujours, de Gwynne Dyer. C’est limpide, bref, et il n’y a pas un seul mot de trop. 

(…) So much for the fantasy. What’s the reality? A group of jihadis have seized a big chunk of eastern Syria and western Iraq, erased the border between them, and declared an Islamic State. As little as ten thousand strong only a month ago, they have been rapidly growing in numbers as ISIS’s success attracts new recruits – but they are obviously never going to reconquer India, Spain or Siberia.

They aren’t going to make a dent in the two powerful states to the north of their Islamic State either. Iran, being overwhelmingly Shia, is immune to their charms and far too big to take by force. Turkey, although now governed by an Islamic party, is still a modern, secular state that is much too strong to attack.
To the west and east ISIS is already at war with regimes that are either very tough (Bashar al- Assad’s war-hardened dictatorship in western and central Syria) or very Shia (the south-eastern slice of Iraq, densely populated and with a large Shia majority). The Islamic State’s central position between its two enemies gives it a strategic advantage, but not a decisive one.

To the south are desert frontiers with more promising territory. Jordan’s population is about two-thirds Palestinian, and even among the Bedouin tribes that are the mainstay of King Abdullah’s rule there was some enthusiasm for ISIS’s victory in Iraq. If Jordan fell, the Islamic State would reach right up to Israel’s borders, with incalculable consequences.

Saudi Arabia would be a much tougher nut to crack, but the salafi religious ideology that animates ISIS is very close to the fundamentalist Wahhabi version of Islam that is the Saudi state religion. That’s why the Saudis gave arms and money to ISIS jihadis in the early days of the Syrian civil war, although they have subsequently recognised the threat that the organisation poses to the Saudi state.

 

hqdefaultAussi pour le contexte:

Le 3 mars 1924, le parlement abolit le califat. A Istanboul, le gouverneur Adran Bey se rend au palais du calife Abdülmecid II et exige de le rencontrer dans la salle du trône. Dès son arrivée, le gouverneur lui ordonne de s’assoir sur le trône, lui lit la décision du parlement puis lui ordonne de descendre du trône et de faire ses bagages. Une heure plus tard, le calife, sa femme, sa fille et deux membres de son harem quittent le pays pour la Suisse.

 

Depuis treize siècles, le caliphe est un symbole important de l’unité et même de l’identité musulmane. Aussi, le choc est ressenti à travers tout le monde musulman. Un jeune instituteur égyptien de 22 ans est particulièrement ébranlé. Il s’appelle Hassan al Banna.

Hassan-al-Banna

Hassan al Banna

Les Frères musulmans

Il enseigne dans la région de Suez là où, chaque jour,  Il peut constater la misère noire des Égyptiens qui s’occupent de la maintenance du canal.

Un petit groupe de jeunes prend l’habitude de se réunir chez lui après leurs classesAu début ils sont comme des scouts, ils s’entraident, aident les autres etc. et écoutent Hassan expliquer que la société égyptienne est malade, infectée parles Occidentaux, le cinéma n’est que le dernier exemple.

 

Puis des parents viennent faire un tour; le groupe grossit, devient un mouvement religieux qui s’occupe beaucoup des pauvres. On les appelle les Frères musulmans.

Ils sont séduits par la grande idée d’Hassan: créér un État islamique, avec, pour le diriger, un calife comme dans le temps des Ottomans et des grandes dynasties de l’âge d’or arabe. Le calife n’ayant de compte à rendre à personne, le parlement perd son intérêt, la liberté de la presse devient inutile.

 

C’est une première dans le monde arabe. Pour la première fois, un groupe populaire, organisé a comme but, très clair, de s’emparer du pouvoir afin de créer un État islamique.

Danemark: la majorité de la population veut des règles plus strictes pour la réunification des familles immigrantes.

The Local

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A majority of Danes think it should be harder to come to Denmark under family reunification rules, according to a new Epinion poll for Danmarks Radio.

Fifty-four percent of poll respondents were in favour of tighter family reunification requirements, while only 25 percent were against making the rules harder.

The Financial Crisis: Why Have No High-Level Executives Been Prosecuted?

Jed S. Rakoff, The New York Review of Books

rakoff_1-010914_jpg_600x684_q85Five years have passed since the onset of what is sometimes called the Great Recession. While the economy has slowly improved, there are still millions of Americans leading lives of quiet desperation: without jobs, without resources, without hope.

Who was to blame? Was it simply a result of negligence, of the kind of inordinate risk-taking commonly called a “bubble,” of an imprudent but innocent failure to maintain adequate reserves for a rainy day? Or was it the result, at least in part, of fraudulent practices, of dubious mortgages portrayed as sound risks and packaged into ever more esoteric financial instruments, the fundamental weaknesses of which were intentionally obscured?

If it was the former—if the recession was due, at worst, to a lack of caution—then the criminal law has no role to play in the aftermath. For in all but a few circumstances (not here relevant), the fierce and fiery weapon called criminal prosecution is directed at intentional misconduct, and nothing less. If the Great Recession was in no part the handiwork of intentionally fraudulent practices by high-level executives, then to prosecute such executives criminally would be “scapegoating” of the most shallow and despicable kind.

But if, by contrast, the Great Recession was in material part the product of intentional fraud, the failure to prosecute those responsible must be judged one of the more egregious failures of the criminal justice system in many years. Indeed, it would stand in striking contrast to the increased success that federal prosecutors have had over the past fifty years or so in bringing to justice even the highest-level figures who orchestrated mammoth frauds. Thus, in the 1970s, in the aftermath of the “junk bond” bubble that, in many ways, was a precursor of the more recent bubble in mortgage-backed securities, the progenitors of the fraud were all successfully prosecuted, right up to Michael Milken.

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