-Max Fisher New York Times reporter Max Fisher’s book is a scathing account of the manifold ills wrought by social media. He explores toxic misogyny, recounting the unsavory particulars of “GamerGate,” in which a woman video game developer was subjected to “collective harassment” after false allegations that she slept with a journalist in exchange for a positive review of her game. Other examples of the dark side of social media include anti-Muslim hate speech in Myanmar proliferating on Facebook, the spread of anti-vaccine rhetoric during the pandemic, and efforts by Russia to interfere with U.S. elections. Fisher also breaks down the tactics used by social media companies to get users to spend more time online, among them notifications that are meant to set off feel-good dopamine releases in the brain, a tactic similar to the “intermittent variable reinforcement” used by casinos. There’s no shortage of books lamenting the evils of social media, but what’s impressive here is how Fisher brings it all together: the breadth of information, covering everything from the intricacies of engagement-boosting algorithms to theories of sentimentalism, makes this a one-stop shop. It’s a well-researched, damning picture of just what happens online.
(Part I) -Cariola Carabel, Spain There is a point when even the most obtuse might notice that our leaders are not on our side. Many did not have access to the paperwork that allowed for their mortgage or rent to be postponed. Those who continued working in situ, such as healthcare workers, were forced to get the jab, irrespective of their personal wishes. Their health is almost certainly worse as a result. Two days ago (at the time of writing), Pfizer executive Janine Small admitted to the EU Parliament that the Covid vaccine was never tested for transmission. Given that it does not, even officially, stop infection either – but perhaps reduces symptoms -, whatever this is, it is NOT a vaccine! But I am not going over that issue. The lies, contradictory statements, unscientific balderdash, relentless fearmongering and propaganda are an undisputable fact. Additionally, there is a wealth of official statistics that, once we remember that for two weeks after the “vaccine” one was counted as unvaccinated, show an alarmingly high rate of bad health and excess death from all causes among the injected. An enlightening moment might be when one looks carefully at The Economist’s “The World in 2019”, on sale in December 2018 (a full year before the onset of the surprise pandemic that was itself so eerily predicted in Event 201 one month before), and sees how amazingly prescient it was, with its Leonardo da Vinci-type drawings of a panda, a pangolin, the gene helix on an arm, a stork carrying a barcoded baby, facial recognition, a cannabis leaf, “Putin’s pipes”, the Four Horsemen – one masked, Pinocchio’s long nose… (in no particular order). Another moment might be caused by the anomaly of a government encouraging, to the point of compulsion, its population to get the […]
McKinsey & Company is the most prestigious consulting company in the world, earning billions of dollars in fees from major corporations and governments who turn to it to maximize their profits and enhance efficiency. McKinsey’s vaunted statement of values asserts that its role is to make the world a better place, and its reputation for excellence and discretion attracts top talent from universities around the world. But what does it actually do? In When McKinsey Comes to Town, two prizewinning investigative journalists have written a portrait of the company sharply at odds with its public image. Often McKinsey’s advice boils down to major cost-cutting, including layoffs and maintenance reductions, to drive up short-term profits, thereby boosting a company’s stock price and the wealth of its executives who hire it, at the expense of workers and safety measures. McKinsey collects millions of dollars advising government agencies that also regulate McKinsey’s corporate clients. And the firm frequently advises competitors in the same industries, but denies that this presents any conflict of interest. In one telling example, McKinsey advised a Chinese engineering company allied with the communist government which constructed artificial islands, now used as staging grounds for the Chinese Navy—while at the same time taking tens of millions of dollars from the Pentagon, whose chief aim is to counter Chinese aggression. Shielded by NDAs, McKinsey has escaped public scrutiny despite its role in advising tobacco and vaping companies, purveyors of opioids, repressive governments, and oil companies. McKinsey helped insurance companies’ boost their profits by making it incredibly difficult for accident victims to get payments; worked its U.S. government contacts to let Wall Street firms evade scrutiny; enabled corruption in developing countries such as South Africa; undermined health-care programs in states across the country. And much more. Bogdanich and Forsythe have penetrated the veil of secrecy […]