Joel Finkelstein

Santa Cruz, CA, United States

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Comments & conversations

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Joel Finkelstein
Posted almost 4 years ago
What is the importance of building transparency in news media, and what would like to see? Any risks?
This is a really good point, but don't you think its a bit naive to argue that it will solve itself? Take Wikileaks for example: here you have unconstrained (or arbitrarily constrained) horizontal and forced transparency and it runs up against all kinds of non-trivial issues from rampant abuse and misinformation to legitimate national security threats... Now that isn't to say Wikileaks hasn't been useful, but let's not pretend there isn't a clear tension here between constructive transparency and the legitimate exercise of privacy. For these reasons, we can't ignore the standard bearers like the CNN's and the NPR's of the world: we need some threshold criteria and groups for vetting (and obtaining) information responsibly but we also have a right to transparency regarding the criteria on which that vetting takes place.
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Joel Finkelstein
Posted almost 4 years ago
Justin Hall-Tipping: Freeing energy from the grid
He is clearly passionate and commendable, but the devil lives dispassionately in the details here. Do you any idea how expensive it is to sort and align nanotubes? How about mass productions of consistently aligned nanotubes in polymer? These messianic ideas and technological miracles are really important, but we need a road map we can believe to see something like this turn real. The numbers have got to work or this ends up a stillborn promise in the graveyard of other brilliant ideas that couldn't get off the ground.
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Joel Finkelstein
Posted almost 4 years ago
What is the importance of building transparency in news media, and what would like to see? Any risks?
I'm not sure transparency will help if news is ingested by a readership that is uneducated in the history and underpinnings of any given news story in general. Saturating people with information in the name of transparency makes no difference if they aren't sufficiently motivated to seek out a critical understanding of international affairs. I sometimes wish that news articles contained better narrative resources and analysis that actually made reference to the historical framework and context of the article. Otherwise, the news comes off as: "This totally crazy thing just happened", each time a new story breaks and our attention breaks with it. The news can't be a feeding frenzy on behalf of our shallow hunger for stimulating spectacles. This is a recipe for schizophrenia, not educating people.