Showing posts from January 7, 2018

State Racism Meets Neoliberalism

Burma — officially known as Myanmar — celebrated the seventieth anniversary of its independence at a moment when the failures of its incomplete nation-building project have become increasingly evident. Last year saw the almost complete  ethnic cleansing  of the Muslim  Rohingya  minority in the northwestern state of Arakan. More than 600,000 Muslims fled to overstretched refugee camps in Bangladesh. Meanwhile, wars between the  Tatmadaw , as the Burmese Army is known, and several ethno-nationalist armed groups  continued to rage . The government’s civilian wing, led by  Aung San Suu Kyi  and her National League for Democracy (NLD), seems unable to offer a vision for the country that differs from the “discipline-flourishing democracy” envisioned by the military junta that ruled Burma for five decades. The generals who once controlled the nation have accomplished an astonishing feat. Most of the population opposed them, but now a large section of the Buddhist Bamar popula

Google's solution to accidental algorithmic racism: ban gorillas

Google’s ‘immediate action’ over AI labelling of black people as gorillas was simply to block the word, along with chimpanzee and monkey, reports suggest Alex Hern Last modified on Fri 12 Jan 2018  16.05 GMT A silverback high mountain gorilla, which you’ll no longer be able to label satisfactorily on Google Photos. Photograph: Thomas Mukoya/Reuters After Google was criticised in 2015 for an image-recognition algorithm that auto-tagged pictures of black people as “gorillas”,  the company promised “immediate action”  to prevent any repetition of the error.  That action was simply to prevent  Google  Photos from ever labelling any image as a gorilla, chimpanzee, or monkey – even pictures of the primates themselves. That’s  the conclusion drawn by Wired magazine , which tested more than 40,000 images of animals on the service. Photos accurately tagged images of pandas and poodles, but consistently returned no results for the great apes and monkeys – despite accurately finding b

Will America ever have a #MeToo-style reckoning for racism?

We’re in the middle of a reckoning o n the subject of sexual assault and sexual misconduct — especially in the workplace .  Abuses long swept under the rug or covered up are being exposed, the perpetrators punished. But just as women have long endured inappropriate conduct, with no sense that they’d get any justice if they spoke up, so have many people of color. Which led us to wonder: What would a racial “reckoning” in the style of #MeToo look like in our country?    enna Wortham ✔ @jennydeluxe a convo i keep having with friends : now that we know what a sexual misconduct reckoning looks like, when will it be time to figure out what a racial misconduct reckoning looks like? 3:29 AM - Dec 15, 2017 #MeToo is a  tough  social movement to define, but several overarching themes emerge: Perpetrators of sexual harassment are being called out for specific bad behavior, ranging from very explicit to more subtle forms. People are losing their jobs because of it.

Russian military eliminates militants behind Syria air base attack: Video

Russia says its artillery units have wiped out a group of foreign-sponsored Takfiri terrorists, who lobbed a barrage of mortar shells at the Russia-run Hmeimim air base in Syria's western coastal province of Latakia late last year. According to a statement issued by the Russian Defense Ministry on Friday, Russian reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicles tracked down the extremists “near the western border of Idlib province.” “When the terrorists arrived at the facility, where they were preparing to board a minibus, the whole subversive group was eliminated by a Krasnopol high-precision projectile,” the statement pointed out. The Russian Defense Ministry added that all manpower and materiel of Russia’s multi-level military intelligence system in Syria had been involved in the operation. A militant group shelled Hmeimim air base on December 31, killing two Russian military servicemen. Terrorists' drone assembly facility destroyed in Idlib Meanwhile, Rus

Mississippi Burning case: KKK killer Edgar Ray Killen dies

Marianne Todd Killen was sent to prison in 2005 for his role in the triple murder Edgar Ray Killen, the 1960s Ku Klux Klan leader who was convicted over the infamous deaths of three civil rights workers in Mississippi, has died. The 92-year-old was serving a 60-year sentence, after being jailed in 2005, four decades after the 1964 murders. The men's disappearance and deaths shocked the country and helped catalyse the passage of the Civil Rights Act. The triple killing was also the basis for the 1988 Oscar-winning film Mississippi Burning. The movie is a fictionalised take on the events named after the FBI investigation into the case. James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, all in their 20s, were members of the Congress of Racial Equality (Core) and had been working on the 1964 Freedom Summer campaign to register black voters in the southern state. The men were detained by police before being ambushed and shot by Klansmen who were tipped off about their re