I quite enjoyed these articles and shared them on my link-a-day newsletter. I know not everyone is subscribed to that newsletter, and I tend to pick my favorites and publish them over the weekend here. I hope you enjoy reading these.
Data Stealers (not named Facebook)
We think Google and Facebook do shitty things with data. But let’s not forget about unnamed abusers of our data and privacy, like this company, which is spending big bucks lobbying the politicians. The Markup has a good report on this. (Not really a long read, but a worthy read.)
The Voice of wrongness
Derek Thompson, a writer for The Atlantic, took the time and old-fashioned gumshoe reporting to prove that former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson is the Voice of wrongness when it comes to the COVID-19 Pandemic. His lies and half-truths are enabled and abetted by traditional media outlets. Social media platforms only spread this misinformation rapidly. Berenson is another example of what I have been writing about for nearly a year — lies cost lives. “The case for the vaccines is built upon a firm foundation of scientific discovery, clinical-trial data, and real-world evidence,” writes Thompson. “The case against the vaccines wobbles because it is built upon a steaming pile of bullshit.” Read The Pandemic’s Wrongest Man.
The gangster, the general, and the prime minister of Bangladesh
One of the most jaw-dropping articles you can read today is about how Bangladesh’s prime minister, the army chief, and a couple of gangsters are all in cahoots. Political corruption, crime, and gangland are part of the inconvenient truth in South Asia.
When reading this investigative report, I couldn’t help but notice similarities between this story and many Bollywood movies from my youth. It is a gripping story of four brothers and their blind ambition. They may have started as local thugs but knew precisely how to plot their future. They took the long view. They are now more than crime lords. They are power brokers and enforcers for Bangladesh’s political elite, including the country’s prime minister Sheikh Hasina. Kudos to the investigative team at Al-Jazeera for taking the time to piece it all together. What a story! Please put it on your reading list.
PS: If you want to know more about Bangladesh, which turns 50 this year, the Economist has an excellent overview of the country, its successful foray into the world of clothing manufacturing, and its political mess. It is worth a read as context to the link I shared above: If you don’t want to read, listen to this podcast.