Iserotope Extras - Issue #54
There was a small brouhaha last week when Extras didn’t materialize (due to a massive Kindle deployment in Oakland). My apologies for the anxiety it caused. But all is well now! This issue, please enjoy articles on Bryan Stevenson (again and again), snopes.com, artificial intelligence, and Sandra Day O’Connor. And while you’re at it, wish happy thoughts to the nation’s teachers and students, who began going back to school this week.
The Legacy of Lynching, on Death Row
Extras is a huge fan of Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, which provides legal representation for defendants on death row. This article by Jeffrey Toobin focuses on Mr. Stevenson’s stance that the death penalty in Southern states is an extension of slavery and Jim Crow. It also highlights EJI’s plan to build a national lynching memorial, the country’s first, in Montgomery. (Mr. Stevenson speaks in Berkeley on 9/7. If you’d like to join me, let me know!)
Can mythbusters like Snopes.com keep up in a post-truth era?
Everyone likes to check snopes.com to see if something we find online is true. But the website was founded in more honest times, and now, particularly after 9/11 and years of burgeoning “truthiness,” there is too much work to do, says co-founder David Mikkelson. My favorite part of this article analyzes the four main sources of misinformation: satire, regurgitation, distortion, and fabrication.
High up in the sky. Sonoma, CA.
Will Reading Romance Novels Make Artificial Intelligence More Human?
I keep reading this article over and over, and I still don’t quite get it, but it’s still fascinating. It’s about the latest trends in artificial intelligence, moving computers away from “making decisions” and encouraging them to “be more human.” The answer, apparently, is to feed them thousands of romance novels. After all, when the robots take over, we want them to know Harlequin.
When Sandra Day O’Connor Broke Into the Men’s Club
Three reasons to read this excellent article: (1) It’s about the Supreme Court, (2) it’s about Sandra Day O’Connor, who is an inspiration (plus I got to meet her!), (3) it’s written by Linda Greenhouse, my favorite Court reporter. Rule of life: One must read everything by Ms. Greenhouse.
Which article was your favorite? Email me with your answer, or share your thoughts over at the FB Iserotope page! As always, thank you very much for being a loyal Extras reader! See you next Thursday.
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