Systemic vs. systematic (for example, “systemic racism”)

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When you read about the protests about race and policing, you are sure to encounter the phrase “systemic racism.” Why that word “systemic?” Why not “systematic,” which, at one time, was a much more common word? What is the difference between “systematic” and “systemic?” I don’t even recall hearing the word “systemic” until about 15 … Continued

Barack Obama and George W Bush inspire in this sad and angry moment

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George W. Bush knows we’ve failed black America. Barack Obama wants to fix things. Together, they point the way forward from this moment of crisis. George W. Bush acknowledges the pain of black Americans While I disagreed with the presidential policies of George W. Bush, I believed that he made decisions based on what was … Continued

As you read news, be hyper-aware of passive voice headlines

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The New York Times tweeted this over the weekend: At this moment in time, there are hidden stories in the choices that headline writers write. An active voice headline tells who did what. Two of these headlines are passive. A passive voice headline tells what happened, but hides the who. Minneapolis: A photographer was shot … Continued

A sober analysis of Trump’s executive order regarding social media

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President Trump signed an executive order yesterday that would change the government’s stance on social networks. Let’s look at the portions that make sense, and the portions that are unhinged raving. I’ll start with this. Social networks need regulation. Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube are spreading disinformation and dividing America. Now that Twitter has added content … Continued

Policing Trump’s (or anybody’s) tweets: the problem is context

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Donald Trump tweeted that mail-in ballots in California would lead to fraud. Twitter added a content warning on his tweets. If you think this is the start of Twitter fact-checking tweets, you’re wrong. It can’t. The problem is context. Let’s review what actually happened. Here’s what Trump tweeted: Twitter did something it rarely does: included … Continued

Because of this terrible chart in Georgia, people could die

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Data is crucial in making decisions about reopening states. So is the visualization of that data. And the state of Georgia may have just published the most misleading and dangerous chart about virus infections ever. Here’s the chart. Take a close look. (You can see it bigger here.) The vertical axis is infections. The horizontal … Continued