How Algorithm Got Its Name : Image of the Day

Source: How Algorithm Got Its Name : Image of the Day

One of Khwãrezm’s most famous residents was Muhammad ibn Mūsa al-Khwarizmī, an influential 9th century scholar, astronomer, geographer, and mathematician known especially for his contributions to the study of algebra. Indeed, the latinization of his name, which meant ‘the native of Khwãrezm’ in Persian, gave English the word algorithm. He wrote a book in Arabic about Hindu-Arabic numerals; the Latin translation of the book title was Algoritmi de numero Indorum (in English Al-Khwarizmi on the Hindu Art of Reckoning).

The Latin algoritmi became algorithm in English, leaving us with a word now used to describe everything from the way Google searches the Web to how Facebook determines what articles appear in a news feed.

Fire and Fury: More Sleazy Rule Breakers Needed

fire and fury

fire and furyHere’s my take on Fire and Fury: Wolff’s book reads much much better than I expected. To categorize it as tabloidy or gossip-ridden reveals only ignorance and/or envy. He is a graceful and incisive writer who demonstrates true talent in penetrating and explaining the psyche of his subjects.

The specific anecdotes, that can always be disputed (as in the case of every book churned out by Bob Woodward) are exactly that: anecdotal and incidental. The real value of Wolff’s book is his tightly drawn framing narrative and story through line that frighteningly portray a stunning picture of an ignorant, petulant, semi-literate fool that is unfit to be dog catcher let alone president.

The real value of Wolff’s book is his tightly drawn framing narrative and story through line that frighteningly portray a stunning picture of an ignorant, petulant, semi-literate fool that is unfit to be dog catcher let alone president.

One can argue, certainly, that almost all the individual pieces of this mosaic have been previously revealed to some degree or another by the myriad daily and beat reports not to mention some of the deeper investigative pieces of the last year. But therein resides the structural weakness of the mainstream media….its incapacity and it “ethical” unwillingness to take all those jagged pieces of info and data, put them together in a razor sharp picture, and clearly call this most dangerous of presidents for exactly what he is.

As I noted before the whole book came out, Wolff was unbound from the he said/she said View From Nowhere shackles that imprison and retard daily mainstream reporting. And it makes a big difference. It’s the difference between reading a dry Labor Department report on pay inequality and being immersed fully in the lives of the bottom four-fifths of the population by reading, say, Barbara Ehrenreich‘s classic Nickle and Dimed.

Reading Fire and Fury is not a prurient experience. It is an immersive one in which the character of Trump and his bag of courtiers come alive on the page and stink up the whole room. It is the FIRST complete, whole, unvarnished, and no holds barred profile of this president and his administration and it will not and cannot be ignored except by those who are as illiterate as Trump himself.

Now…a few words about methods and sources and, in turn, the truthiness or not of the more salacious anecdotes. I am going to put on my arrogant hat as a career practitioner and retired professor of journalism specialized in interviewing techniques. I learned under fire 30 years ago when I did some Playboy interviews that 10,000 printable words required a minimum of 10-12 hours per interview and news-making content. Get the bombshell or don’t bother sending in the copy, said my editor Barry Golson. And he meant it.

I taught my students that central to interviewing is SEDUCTION (and that is not the same as deceit). Wolff clearly seduced, weaseled, confused and finagled his sources to get them yapping. Just as he should. Can he be trusted? Yes, even if some anecdotes cannot be verified and some sourcing is hazy. I have no idea, but here’s my best guess about how Wolff got so much dirt. I SUSPECT that he was as ambiguous as possible with his sources as to what was and was not on the record. I’m OK with that. I teach that. Going off the record MUST be explicit and mutual otherwise it is fictional. When I talk to somebody who knows I am a reporter I do not say “OK, now we will start the interview.” I get them talking ASAP and unless agreed to otherwise it is ON the record. I also suspect, with no hard evidence, that in some cases Wolff consciously took explicitly off the record material and put it on the record. Tsk tsk.

Ten members of the Society of Professional Journalists and several ethics nannies at Poynter just passed out hearing this. But, I am going to be straight with you and proclaim that if Wolff burned some of his sources, as I suspect, I have ZERO problem—in this case.

This is an exceptional administration that requires extraordinary measures and treatment. Burning sources, IN THIS CASE, is outweighed by the public service of telling the whole truth about this gang of chicken-brained delusional incompetents armed with nuclear weapons. I don’t give a flying fug if Wolff “betrayed the confidence” of Steve Bannon, or Steve Miller, or Dina Powell or Kellyanne Conway or Gary Cohn or Sam Nunberg or any other quisling lowlife that enables this monstrous man. Good for him. Unlike the Peter Bakers, the Maggie Habermans or the Robert Costas of the world, Wolff doesn’t have to worry one minute about placating any of these assholes in order to keep beat access open and not be declared persona non grata by the ruling circle.

I want to be clear: when I taught interviewing as the art of seduction, I forcefully made it clear that there is always an ethical chalk line that should not be crossed (even if it is always not clear where that line was). I told them, do NOT cross the line once you have determined its whereabouts but when you come back to write your story there better goddamn be some chalk on the soles of your shoes as evidence that you at least came right up to the line and squeezed every drop out of your sources.

coops scoopIf I had been Wolff’s editor, I would have said, in this case there is no line. Do whatever you have to bring back the real story. Democracy demands it. And that’s what he did—though I hardly believe that was Wolff’s civic commitment. But he DID perform an invaluable public service no matter what Michelle Kottle wrote about him 13 years ago. He isn’t going to get a job at The New York Times in return nor will he be appointed Ethics Chair at Poynter, but something tells me he really doesn’t give a shit.

Finally, a thought experiment. You know that I do not believe this is a fascist government. Incompetent, arrogant, ignorant, racist, bellicose, and demagogic with authoritarian tendencies but still (barely) within the institutions of the Republic. But here’s my hypothetical: just HOW authoritarian or dictatorial would an American admin have to be for the mainstream media to drop its moth-eaten pose as “objective observers” and declare themselves, outright, to be an oppositional media (at great risk for sure)?

marc cooperMy guess? Never. Wouldn’t happen. The Times, the Post and the networks would continue on, as is, under an openly authoritarian administration; they would comply with state-imposed limits, they would “balance” their reporting with the “side” of the Fuhrer and that is precisely why we need outlaws and maybe even sleazy rule breakers like Michael Wolff.

Marc Cooper

The post Fire and Fury: More Sleazy Rule Breakers Needed appeared first on LA Progressive.

لا نار ولا غضب

No fire, no anger – sadness blankets the land as teens hold the future in their hands.

nadiaharhash

في عملية تفريغ ، احتاجها عقلي بلا أدنى شك، ابتعدت عن وسائل الاعلام خلال الايام الاربعة الاخيرة. كنت قد توقفت عند اخبار، انتهت الى موافقة الكنيست الاسرائيلي وكذلك قرار حزب الليكود على ثلاثة قرارات، قد تكون الاهم في تاريخ الدولة الصهيونية ، او بالاحرى قد تكون قرارت تاريخية ، ستشكل امتلاء لحلقات الاحتلال التي لا تزال فارغة في سلسلة خطة الاستعمار المستمرة.

ضم مستعمرات الضفة الغربية ، والتأكيد على وحدة القدس الجغرافية كعاصمة لاسرائيل ، والموافقة على قرارات الاعدام بالنسبة للاسرى .

للوهلة الاولى يبدو الامر وكأن نتانياهو وحكومته في عملية تسابق مع الزمن. وبالوهلة الثانية انتبهت الى حقيقة ان اسرائيل في تسابق مع الزمن منذ نشأتها. فليس غريبا عن كيان شق طريق وجوده على حساب وجود شعب اخر. ولكن يبقى الغريب هو الشعب الاخر الذي يعيش في سبات، لا تؤرقه او يؤثر به حراك الزمن.

عدت الى الاعلام لأرى ان هناك كتابا “يحرق” الدنيا بعنوان النار والغضب ، لامريكي…

View original post 569 more words

Israel to bar U.S. Jewish group from country over BDS support

The Israeli government is sending a clear message that being Jewish will not protect you from being denied entry into the Jewish State, the one that proclaims to be a safe haven for Jews. This, despite the fact that under Israel’s Law of Return, any Jew (a person with one Jewish grandparent) can move to Israel and become a citizen, and is offered a financial benefits package for doing so. Moreover, the anti-BDS law does not overrule the Law of Return. This means a pro-BDS Jew may not be allowed to enter or visit Israel, but they can still naturalize there and receive money from the state.

It is unclear whether JVP is the only explicitly Jewish organization on the blacklist. Since the 2014 Gaza War, JVP has been one of the fastest growing Jewish organizations in America. According to Vilkomerson, it has 15,000 dues-paying members, over 70 chapters, 250,000 supporters and over half a million social media followers.

As part of its anti-BDS campaign, members of Jewish Voice for Peace, one of the fastest growing Jewish organizations in the U.S., will not be able to enter Israel.

Jewish Voice for Peace executive-director Rebecca Vilkomerson in her office in New York, March 2017. (Photo by Maya Levin)

Jewish Voice for Peace executive-director Rebecca Vilkomerson in her office in New York, March 2017. (Photo by Maya Levin)

Israel confirmed on Saturday that the American Jewish organization, Jewish Voice for Peace,* is among 20 organizations from around the world that have been placed on a BDS blacklist, which means its members will be barred from entering Israel. JVP is the only Jewish organization in the U.S. that openly advocates for and identifies with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

As part of its war on BDS, the Strategic Affairs Ministry, headed by Minister Gilad Erdan, has been compiling a list of pro-BDS organizations whose members will be barred from entering Israel. Last March, Israel passed a law preventing those who promote BDS from entering Israel, and in July, it prevented five activists from an interfaith delegation from boarding  plane to Israel –  including Rabbi Alissa Wise, Deputy Director of JVP.

Asked for a response to the decision, JVP Executive Director Rebecca Vilkomerson, whose husband and children are Israeli citizens, told +972:

Israel’s decision to specifically ban JVP leaders from entry is disconcerting but not surprising, given the consistent erosion of democratic norms as well as increasing fear of the BDS movement in Israel.  JVP members are now joining Palestinians, Muslims from around the world, people of color and other activists who are often barred from entry.

Our JVP members have no doubt about the justice of fighting for equality and freedom for all people in Israel/Palestine, and the legitimacy of BDS to bring that closer.  We will not be bullied by these attempts to punish us for a principled political stance that increasing numbers of Jews and all people worldwide support.

As someone with considerable family in Israel, this policy will be a personal hardship. But I also believe it is an indicator of the BDS movement’s growing strength and hope that it will bring the day closer when all people in Israel/Palestine will live together in equality and freedom.

According to the report in Haaretz, the ministry has refused to name the other 19 organizations that are on the list, which will be completed in March of this year. Reports in Israeli media noted that groups on the list are from all over the world, including South America, South Africa and Europe.

Erdan’s decision to include and name Jewish Voice for Peace is noteworthy. JVP is considered by the “pro-Israel” community to be a fringe anti-Israel group at best, and anti-Semitic, at worst. (Jeffrey Goldberg, editor in chief of The Atlantic, recently called JVP “a group that displays a homicidal impulse towards Israel”).

The Israeli government is sending a clear message that being Jewish will not protect you from being denied entry into the Jewish State, the one that proclaims to be a safe haven for Jews. This, despite the fact that under Israel’s Law of Return, any Jew (a person with one Jewish grandparent) can move to Israel and become a citizen, and is offered a financial benefits package for doing so. Moreover, the anti-BDS law does not overrule the Law of Return. This means a pro-BDS Jew may not be allowed to enter or visit Israel, but they can still naturalize there and receive money from the state.

It is unclear whether JVP is the only explicitly Jewish organization on the blacklist. Since the 2014 Gaza War, JVP has been one of the fastest growing Jewish organizations in America. According to Vilkomerson, it has 15,000 dues-paying members, over 70 chapters, 250,000 supporters and over half a million social media followers.

 

*Disclosure: I freelanced for JVP for a few weeks last year.

In Alaska, a Deal Is Made for a Controversial Road Inside a Refuge

Ms. Whittington-Evans said the federal government had already spent about $50 million on alternate means of transportation. She and other opponents say the road would chiefly benefit the business operations of King Cove’s primary employer, a Japanese-owned fish cannery. A land swap between the Interior Department and an Alaska tribal corporation will allow a road in a national wildlife refuge.