Clearview AI said its facial recognition tool was only for law enforcement, but Buzzfeed News reports they gave accounts to former Trump staffer Jason Miller, as well as various Republican political operatives and a figure known to be a Holocaust denier.
Betsy DeVos is the religious fanatic whose access to two unearned fortunes — one from the Amway Ponzi scheme, founded by her husband's father; the other from her own father's machining business — has allowed her to project her ideas about eliminating secular public education in favor of Christian indoctrination schools over millions of peoples' lives, especially the lives of poor people.
Propublica has obtained a tranche of leaked internal communications between the Sackler family's Purdue Pharma, makers of the lethal opioid Oxycontin, and Dezenhall Resources, known as "The Pitbull of Public Relations," whose previous client roster includes Enron CEO Jeff Skilling, Exxon and other "beleaguered corporations," who masterminded a "blame the victim" strategy that apportioned responsibility for Oxycontin's mounting death toll on the people who became addicted to it — not the Sacklers and Purdue, who falsified science, bribed doctors, and made billions from an epidemic that has now claimed more American lives than the Vietnam War.
Google and the other big tech companies are some of the most lavish funders of climate denial "think tanks" and lobbying groups, something they've been at continuously for more than six years, without interruption.
Between 2010 and 2016, the FDA approved 210 new medicines and every single one was produced at public expense, part of a $1T US government investment project in medical research. Despite this massive public subsidy, the pharma industry has only grown more concentrated and rapacious, raising prices and diverting the profits to their execs and investors, who now pocket 99% of industry profits: the industry made $500B in profits between 2006 and 2015, and during that time, the US government pumped $33b/year into pharma research.
The American "productivity paradox": technology keeps marching, but the amount of profit generated by the average worker's average hour is stagnant.
Trump campaigned on "draining the swamp" of the industry insiders who enjoy a revolving door relationship with the regulatory branch, moving from industry to government and back again. But his actions speak louder than his words.
There's a widespread understanding that the vaccine-autism link and climate denial are bullshit, but there are plenty of widespread science myths that are repeated by people who should know better, from the idea that early screening lowers cancer mortality to the idea that the human population is growing exponentially.
In Institutionalizing delay: foundation funding and the creation of U.S. climate change counter-movement organizations, a scholarly article published in the current Climatic Change , Drexel University's Robert J. Brulle documents a billion-dollar-per-year climate-change denial network, underwritten by conservative billionaires operating through obfuscating networks of companies aimed at obscuring the origin of the funds. — Read the rest
Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience is a smart and sometimes devastating critique of "neurobollocks" — the propensity for using brain-science (and, particularly, brain imaging) to reductively explain human motivation. The authors, Sally Satel and Scott O. Lilienfeld, are a psychiatrist and a psychologist (respectively) and so it's hard not to suspect that there's a little professional rivalry at play here, but they present a compelling argument nonetheless — a picture of promising science oversold in the name of winning grants, winning court cases, and, at the worst, duping the gullible.