Fake News feeds Post-Truth Politics

Now that Oxford Dictionary has named post-truth as word of the year for 2016, Politifact has followed up with “Fake News” as “Lie of the Year”.  Post-truth and fake news work hand in hand, as fake news is the fuel in post-truth politics.

NEWWorthy is not just a blog about what’s new.  It’s a blog about what’s new and worthy of your time.  Fake news and post-truths are rarely if ever NEWWorthy, except in this instance where Oxford and Politifact have pointed these terms out.

Speaking of post-truths and fake news, here’s an example from President Trump’s new pick, Monica Crowley for senior director of strategic communications for the National Security Council.  She claimed in 2011 that “Man-Made Climate Change Science Is Totally Bogus.

Facebook will start putting warning labels on some news that has been deemed fake news by fact checkers such as Politifact and others.  http://money.cnn.com/2016/12/15/media/facebook-fake-news-warning-labels/index.html.

World’s first cognitive website

VolumeGlobal.com claims to be the world’s first cognitive website (made with IBM Watson).  While many of us are growing used to asking questions of various smartphone assistants, it feels a bit strange to come to a website that immediately starts talking to you.  That said, since they claim to be the first made with IBM Watson, I decided to ask it a few questions to decide if it is NEWWorthy.  Based on the responses below, I’m not ready to give it the NEWWorthy stamp.

“What is your name?” [my question]

“My name is Lusy but you can call me whatever you like. Apart from Siri. Or Cortana.” [I guess Lusy or Lucy doesn’t know about Google or other assistants]

“Are you really the first?” [my question]

“Sorry, I don’t know what you mean.” [a disappointing answer]

“Name another cognitive website.”

“…” [Lusy offered a definition of cognitive website, but gave no competitor names]

“Who are your competitors?”

“We don’t believe it’s our place to comment on other companies, but if you ask me some questions about Volume, you’ll soon discover what sets us apart.” [a sales person response]





80 years to witness = 80 years to process?

According to Science Alert, it took 80 years to witness the first real evidence of a quantum distortion in empty space.  Very exciting news to those who enjoy studying distortions around the magnetic fields of neutron stars.

But it may take another 80 years or more before most of us learn to appreciate the consequences on physics and society of this discovery.

AI and diagnosis

MIT Technology review recently published an article about “Many genetic conditions come with clues in a person’s face, and new technology can help doctors diagnose them…”  Face2Gene is relatively new facial recognition software that “compares pictures of a patient’s face with those of disease composites and returns a series of potential diagnoses, from most plausible to least.”

In another article in MIT Technology review, “Google researchers trained an algorithm to recognize a common form of eye disease as well as many experts can…”

As technology continues to revolutionize the future of medical diagnosis and healthcare, look for AI, Deep learning, and image processing to get many more mentions on NEWWorthy in 2017 and beyond.

Will Wind and Solar be NEWWorthy in 2017?

According to an April 2016 article on Bloomberg.com, Solar and Wind are already making a significant impact on cost and usage of coal and gas.  There’s also reason to believe that this trend will not only continue, but also heat up.  Google recently announced it will be entirely on renewable energy by 2017.

New president Trump campaigned that he would bring the coal industry back to life.  But at what cost and for whose benefit?  The oil industry has urged Trump to support the building of the Dakota pipeline, in spite of continued protests in North Dakota.  If the Trump administration decides to allow the pipeline path as originally planned, what will be the cost and for whose benefit?

Solar Tracker clip art

Wind Turbine clip art

Post-Truth is OED’s international word of the year 2016

The Oxford English Dictionary declared post-truth the international word of the year for 2016.  Wonder what it means?  Look it up.  If more people looked things up that they didn’t understand, and read about them in detail, perhaps post-truth wouldn’t be the word of the year.

And, no, it’s not truth on a post.


Science emojis

The journal Nature recently discussed an Emojicon draft proposal to introduce more science emojis to the keyboard.  With any luck, in a year or so we’ll be seeing and using these new science-related emojis.

Anyone who’s ever taken Chemistry knows what a flask is.  Hopefully the new flask emoji will look like the one on the top (below).  Depending on our new President and his administration, as well as Congress, it’s too early to know how science research will fare over the next four years.  If things do not go well for science (and NASA, for that matter) research funding, however, the new flask emoji may look more like the one on the bottom.