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"Journalists, unite and organize." This is the appeal launched by Clio Chang on the pages of The New Republic: according to the journalist, the profound crisis facing the American press can only be countered and overcome through "organized labor."

Internet and the digital world haven't radically changed only the media world. The Web's language is influencing the way we write, as explained in "Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language" by the Internet linguist Gretchen McCulloch. The review, signed by Katy Steinmetz, is on Time.

Influencers and social media are revolutionizing the operations of charitable organizations. Transparency, big data, campaigns on Instagram are some of the tools used by NGOs to address young people in particular. Chloe Malle's analysis for The Wall Street Journal Magazine. And crowdfunding is increasingly used by families to cover healthcare costs, as the case of the GoFundMe platform reveals.

Did the digital revolution begin with the historic Apollo 11 moon landing? Jill Lepore, in the pages of The New York Times, 50 years later, explores the legacy that the conquest of the Moon has left to today's world.

Enjoy your reading

Raffaele Castagno - Platform 9 ¾

11 JULY 2019

The New Republic

How to Save Journalism
Clio Chang
"Last month the News Media Alliance released a report that revealed Google made $4.7 billion from news content in 2018—all while investing barely a cent in producing actual journalism. Tech monopolies, which both accelerate and exploit conditions of extreme economic concentration and wealth inequality, are bleeding media dry. Media companies have responded with adjustments that are painfully modest compared to the scale of the problem, hoping they can somehow scrape by as Google and Facebook gobble up advertising revenue. In the face of a clear and immediate threat from Big Tech, what journalism needs is a bulwark. What it needs is some serious leverage. What it needs, in this annus horribilis and beyond, is organized labor—which, in many instances, is also the very thing media companies fear most". 

01 JULY 2019

The New Yorker

The Hidden Cost of GoFundMe Health Care
Nathan Heller
Crowdfunding, or raising money without pursuing donors individually, isn’t new; consider bake sales, telethons, or the Salvation Army drum. But the endeavor, like sharing photographs and shopping, has gained form and focus in an age of digital connection. On the Internet, crowdfunding is distinguished by its scale. As of 2017, GoFundMe alone had raised five billion dollars. That money has helped many of its users, and it has helped the company's grow.

02  JULY 2019

Medium - MIT Technology Review

Machine Learning Has Been Used to Automatically Translate Long-Lost Languages
Enter Jiaming Luo and Regina Barzilay from MIT and Yuan Cao from Google’s AI lab in Mountain View, California. This team has developed a machine-learning system capable of deciphering lost languages, and they’ve demonstrated it by having it decipher Linear B — the first time this has been done automatically. The approach they used was very different from the standard machine translation techniques.

10  JULY 2019

Wall Street Journal Magazine 

How One Nonprofit Is Using Venture-Capital Tactics to Help Save Africa’s Last 20,000 Wild Lions
Chloe Malle
In an era of Instagram-length attention spans, wildlife conservation philanthropies are trying new tactics to bring urgent attention to threatened species, like WCN, “a venture capital fund for wildlife,” says co-founder Charles Knowles, who thinks that traditionally structured charities can be bloated by overhead. “I saw that there was really a hunger by philanthropists to be able to give money in a way that was very transparent. They wanted to know where it was going and know it’s going to have impact.” Thanks to a handful of donors who cover overhead costs, WCN promises 100 percent of species-specific donations go to on-the-ground programs. It’s an effective fundraising tactic, pioneered by the Robin Hood foundation and also used by organizations such as Charity: Water, as a way of converting donors who desire accountability, efficiency and maximum impact

15  JULY 2019 

What Will Happen When Robots Store All Our Memories
David Ewing Duncan
In an excerpt from his new book Talking to Robots, David Ewing Duncan imagines looking back from a future where memories can be permanently stored with the help of a technology called Memory Bot, based on an actual conversation he had with Ken Goldberg, Tiffany Shlain, and Odessa Shlain Goldberg.

16 JULY 2019

Harvard Business Review

Why Criticism Is Good for Creativity
Roberto Verganti - Don Norman
One of the most popular mantras for innovation is “avoid criticism.” The underlying assumption is that criticism kills the flow of creativity and the enthusiasm of a team. Aversion to criticism has significantly spread in the last 20 years, especially through the advocates of design thinking. "We challenge this approach. It encourages design by committee and infuses a superficial sense of collaboration that leads to compromises and weakens ideas. Our view, the product of years of studies of and participation in innovation projects, is that effective teams do not defer critical reflection; they create through criticism".

18 JULY 2019

The New York Times - Book Review

Fifty Years Ago We Landed on the Moon. Why Should We Care Now?
Jill Lepore
Before July of 1969, a lot of critics thought the whole program was a waste. At no point before Apollo 11 actually landed on the moon did a majority of the American public support the mission. "What was the mission for? And what did it leave behind, here on Earth? After the mind-blowing, Tang-selling, moon-boot trendsetting triumph of the landing, both the general indifference and the specific skepticism were forgotten. They’re forgotten in some of these new books, too, most of which take the form of one kind of boosterism or another".

18 JULY 2019


The Internet Is Changing the English Language. Is That a Good Thing?
Katy Steinmetz
"The title of Gretchen McCulloch’s new book, Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language, is a homage to this kind of linguistic metamorphosis — evolution made possible by the ascendance of the web and the unprecedented explosion of informal writing that has come with it. Her aim is to explain how the Internet has shaped language, as billions of people have become authors and found ways to type out the flirtations and frustrations (aklefj;awkjfdsafjka!!!) and quotidian blurghs that for centuries existed only as informal speech".

22 JULY 2019

The Atlantic

Twitter Needs a Pause Button
Jonathan Rauch
Instantaneous communication can be destructive. We need to tweak our digital platforms to make time for extra eyes, cooler heads, and second thoughts. "For a long time, through the internet’s first and second generations, people naturally assumed that faster must be better; slowness was a vestige of a bygone age, a technological hurdle to be overcome. What they missed is that human institutions and intermediaries often impose slowness on purpose. Slowness is a social technology in its own right, one that protects humans from themselves".

Selections and mappings by iPressLIVE.
Source: Datastampa press reviews, various web sources
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