Reading Suggestion-1

Article Name: Are Women More Emotionally Expressive Than Men?
Author Name: Cindi May
Source: Scientific American
Category: Behavior & Society

Summary for this article :

The Article is telling us about the results of an experiment carried out by researchers a no. of people.
-Hollywood movies have usually portrayed women as more expressive and men mildly expressive, stiff and stoic.
-The recent research carried out by McDuff, suggest slightly different things.
-Women are more expressive when it comes to happiness or sadness. Men are more expressive when it comes to anger.
-This might have something to do with the things that are expected by the society from different genders.
-The Paradigm developed by the researchers had a much larger sample space for the research and had several other features which make it the most accurate research done in the field so far.
-Even though the research confirmed many beliefs, there are yet a lot of things that are yet to be unearthed.

Words to learn from this article :

Smirk: Smile affectedly or derisively
Replete: Filled to satisfaction with food or drink
Reveal: Make visible
Stereotype: A conventional or formulaic conception or image
Disgust: Strong feelings of dislike
Gratitude: A feeling of thankfulness and appreciation

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Reading Suggestion-2

Article Name: The Fake-news Fallacy
Author name: Adrian Chen
Source: The New Yorker
Category: Politics/Society

Summary for this article:

The article starts by saying, how a millworker, named Bill Dock had been duped by an announcement given through a radio broadcast about aliens rampaging through the countryside; which turned out to be an adaptation of a fiction.

The next day, various newspapers reported the viral effect the fake news had on people. While some were planning to evacuate, some died of heart attack and the others had nearly ended their lives. Panic had taken a serious toll on the residents of the locality.

But Schwartz said that the news did not go viral to the extent as exaggerated by the newspapers. In fact he even doubted that the mill maker had even heard the broadcast.

Newspapers had exaggerated the news as they were fearful of the radio’s popularity on the breaking news segment in the thirties and they wanted to prove a point that the radios had to be responsible and learn a lot from their older siblings in the print media.

The FCC (Federal Communications Commission)was asked to be more stricter and active in its role of reviewing what had to be aired by the radios before they went live. But there were many who did not want a government breakdown in this. Few like Thompson feared the transfer of control to the state would create more issues than the minor ones created by rogue thespians.
For eg, Hitler’s rise to power and popularity could be credited to the radio. The authoritarian rise was seen because of media control being passed on to the state. Thompson said that Wells was infact right – he had made a point and demonstrated the power of radio. No political party should infact be given the control over radio. And the thirties proved the consequences of doing so. Most of the hate, the differences and the chaos are the result of the state using this medium to spread lies and bring the people under their control.

So here, we can relate this to today’s times. Mr. Trump, had used Twitter not much for communication but more as a battlefield of words, where his 140 character limit would attack opponents and embrace his supporters; peddling lies was all too normal for him and twitter had made it possible. Most of his lies were being manifested amongst the public and hence in the process one could definitely assume that most of his supporters were duped by lies. Even news media(the unreliable ones) supporting him took to such lies while ignoring the trusted sources.

Indeed the social media is hyper-democratizing our system. The post-truth was hence born where rules were made, leaders elected and facts marred – thanks to people’s emotions and prejudices.

Facebook and Google the regulators of the net who define what has to be done and how, supposedly claiming themselves as neutral platforms have been criticised lately for becoming a platform of fake news polarisation. Their supposedly mysterious algorithms, cut one’s critical thinking and engulf them in a combination of filters, thereby showing up everything and anything meeting the individuals filtered selection.

The start of the internet, had many promising benefits, for one, it had brought down the typical top down hegemony thereby promoting people across the globe to come together on a level playing field by providing access to all kinds of information and hence democratizing the information world.

But from being a platform that had brought about openness and revolutionsed democracy, it has become a platform of spreading hate news, terror and more dangerously being a medium that has so successfully been used to recruit members into the world’s most wanted terrorist organisation.

It now has become the responsibility of the social media to stop the barrage of fake news from reaching the end users.

The solutions that had been proposed to stop the spread on misinformation, the writer says that humans in fact do not really trust social media for news anymore. A statistics reported only 4 percent of Americans who use the social media to access information

The author is now being critical and negative about the algorithms these social media platforms use that indirectly dictate the users what has to be done

The trump supporters by using the “folk stuff” of the web – memes, slang etc has tried to prove that the web is to be more human than factual. People don’t want only facts, a mixture of entertainment, news etc. is the sort of life that would be move away from the monochrome.

What’s happening with the so-called leaders of these social media platforms – the Facebook and the Google. In the name of neutral- medium, they in fact are trying to suppress conservative voices and are being more power- driven. The scandals surrounding these stand as a proof. By developing algorithms with their many to-do policies, it had been seen how the anti-racist activism was being seen afoul by the Facebook rules and hence were banned, but on the other hand a post that calls the slaughter of radicalized Muslim was deemed acceptable.

The recently posted manifesto by Mark Zuckerberg was seen as a blueprint for his future political campaign. Wait! Why would someone who heads Facebook run for the white house in the digital era?

Words to learn from this article:

Terrifying: Causing extreme terror
Rampaging: Act violently, recklessly, or destructively
Upstart: Characteristic of someone who has risen economically or socially but lacks the social skills appropriate for this new position
Reprimand: Rebuke formally
Demagogues: A political leader who seeks support by appealing to popular passions and prejudices
Empowering: Give or delegate power or authority to
Propagandists: A person who disseminates messages calculated to assist some cause or some government
Vulnerable: Susceptible to attack
Utopian: An idealistic (but usually impractical) social reformer

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Reading Suggestion-3

Article Name: Why the rise of the robots could allow humans to flourish again
Author name: Giles Fraser
Source: The Guardian
Category: Society

Summary for this article:

Main Idea: The machines will take our jobs but lead to a better quality of life for humans

1. Machines are getting smarter and capable of taking on more jobs traditionally done by humans every day
2. Optimists argue that more jobs will be created somehow while others say that economies will have enough money to pay citizens a basic income
3. The author doesn’t know the feasibility of a universal basic income but does know that a stipend system works
4. Stipend has been differentiated from salary as not being directly for any tasks completed but rather for maintaining a decent standard of life while carrying out more important work
5. Under capitalism, people find it hard to establish self-worth without paid employment but the possibility of a citizen’s income will cause a return to pre-capitalist sources of value
6. This means earlier measures of value which placed importance on quality of life, helping others and working on something for the pleasure, rather than the pay associated with it

Words to learn from this article :

Distractible: Capable of being drawn aside or distracted
Existential: Derived from experience or the experience of existence
Fob: A vest pocket to hold a pocket watch
Ordained: Fixed or established especially by order or command

Reading Suggestion-3: Click to read full article




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