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Showing posts from January 24, 2021

Is free speech incompatible with the internet?

Crikey Sunday Read Should the internet be a place where people are free to insult each other? BY  LESLIE CANNOLD In a democracy people can speak their minds without fear or favour. But hate speech cuts deep. What's the right balance? In  Both Sides Now , author and ethicist Leslie Cannold presents two sides of an argument and then it’s over to you: what do you think is true, and what do you think Cannold really believes? Today she asks :  as the yearly debate around Australia Day flares up in the press and on social media, do traditional ideas about free speech and censorship still make sense? Yes case:  free speech should be enforced everywhere, it’s the lifeblood of society.  No case:  hate speech creates hates — and besides, it’s high time privileged white males were called to account. Yes Former US Supreme Court justice William O Douglas coined the metaphor that has dominated public policy in Western democracies like Australia for centuries: “Publishers … bid for the m

Jeff Bezos’s Master Plan

Rendering by Patrick White; Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg / Getty Story by  Franklin Foer NOVEMBER 2019 ISSUE TECHNOLOGY 1.0 where in the pantheon  of American commercial titans does Jeffrey Bezos belong? Andrew Carnegie’s hearths forged the steel that became the skeleton of the railroad and the city. John D. Rockefeller refined 90 percent of American oil, which supplied the pre-electric nation with light. Bill Gates created a program that was considered a prerequisite for turning on a computer. To hear more feature stories,  see our full list  or  get the Audm iPhone app. At 55, Bezos has never dominated a major market as thoroughly as any of these forebears, and while he is presently the richest man on the planet, he has less wealth than Gates did at his zenith. Yet Rockefeller largely contented himself with oil wells, pump stations, and railcars; Gates’s fortune depended on an operating system. The scope of the empire the founder and CEO of Amazon has built is wider. Indeed, it is witho

Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets, by Peter Schweizer

POLITICS & RIGHTS ,  REVIEWS Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets , by Peter Schweizer Michael Dahlen   February 21, 2017 Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets ,  by Peter Schweizer. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013. 250 pp. $27 (hardcover). Many people, from all sectors of the political spectrum, believe our government is bought and paid for by corporations. Fat-cat businessmen, in this view, bribe politicians. They donate cash to politicians’ campaigns, and in return politicians grant them special favors: bailouts, subsidies, protection from competition, and the like. Money, according to this line of thinking, corrupts politics. This view contains an element of truth. Some businessmen  do  seek special favors from government. But that is only a small part of the story. In  Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets , Peter Schweizer poi