Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Did Goebbels win? Why do female professors get lower ratings? Plus other news and views

Did Goebbels Win? - In 1930s Germany, Nazi Party leaders understood the power of mass communication to disseminate hatred and anti-Semitism. “Propaganda,” Hitler wrote, “is a truly terrible weapon in the hands of an expert.” In their rise to power, the Nazis deployed sophisticated modern communications technologies, including radio and film, to win the battle of ideas – and thus to shape public opinion and behavior – among a well-educated population in a fledgling democracy. The Nazis are gone but propaganda lives on, and its potential is deadlier than ever. As we commemorate the 71st anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau on January 27, extremist groups around the globe wield new technologies to incite hatred and perpetrate new mass killings and genocides. That’s why UNESCO has decided to base this year’s International Day of Commemoration on the theme From Words to Genocide: Anti-Semitic Propaganda and the Holocaust.

Meet Michael McCormack, the potential deputy PM you've probably never heard of

Dennis Atkins: Courier-Mail/Galaxy poll of Fairfax voters reveals how well Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is travelling in Queensland

Paul Krugman Reviews ‘The Rise and Fall of American Growth’ by Robert J. Gordon - Gordon suggests that the future is all too likely to be marked by stagnant living standards for most Americans, because the effects of slowing technological progress will be reinforced by a set of “headwinds”: rising inequality, a plateau in education levels, an aging population and more. It’s a shocking prediction for a society whose self-image, arguably its very identity, is bound up with the expectation of constant progress. And you have to wonder about the social and political consequences of another generation of stagnation or decline in working-class incomes. Of course, Gordon could be wrong: Maybe we’re on the cusp of truly transformative change, say from artificial intelligence or radical progress in biology (which would bring their own risks). But he makes a powerful case. Perhaps the future isn’t what it used to be.

Why Female Professors Get Lower Ratings - A new study argues that student evaluations are systematically biased against women — so much so, in fact, that they're better mirrors of gender bias than of what they are supposed to be measuring: teaching quality.

The Dutch tech whiz who could save journalism - Alexander Klöpping is taking his vision for a journalistic iTunes to the US.

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