organization:columbia university

  • Columbia University to Support Smart Contract R&D
    https://hackernoon.com/columbia-university-to-support-smart-contract-r-d-c595ec815255?source=rs

    Despite its incredible proliferation in the past two years, the #blockchain is still a relatively novel technology, requiring continual development and maturation before it can attain the prominent role that many expect it to play in the digital age.QTUM, an open sourced public blockchain initiative, is donating $400,000 to academics at the University of Columbia who are advancing blockchain #research in several ways. The grant is being extended to Ronghui Gu, Columbia University’s assistant CS professor who will oversee blockchain research being conducted by post-doctorate and Ph.D. students.As it relates to its original purpose, facilitating cryptocurrency transactions, the blockchain has made incredible cultural inroads, inspiring hundreds of token projects and facilitating the global (...)

    #smart-contracts #columbia-university #qtum


  • The roundabout revolutions

    The history of these banal, utilitarian instruments of traffic management has become entangled with that of political uprising, #Eyal_Weizman argues in his latest book

    This project started with a photograph. It was one of the most arresting images depicting the May 1980 #Gwangju uprising, recognised now as the first step in the eventual overthrow of the military dictatorship in South Korea. The photograph (above) depicts a large crowd of people occupying a roundabout in the city center. Atop a disused fountain in the middle of the roundabout a few protestors have unfurled a South Korean flag. The roundabout organised the protest in concentric circles, a geometric order that exposed the crowd to itself, helping a political collective in becoming.

    It had an uncanny resonance with events that had just unfolded: in the previous year a series of popular uprisings spread through Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, #Oman, Yemen, Libya, and Syria. These events shared with Gwangju not only the historical circumstances – they too were popular protests against military dictatorships – but, remarkably, an urban-architectural setting: many of them similarly erupted on roundabouts in downtown areas. The history of these roundabouts is entangled with the revolutions that rose from them.

    The photograph of the roundabout—now the symbol of the “liberated republic” – was taken by #Na_Kyung-taek from the roof of the occupied Provincial Hall, looking toward Geumnam-ro, only a few hours before the fall of the “#Gwangju_Republic”. In the early morning hours of the following day, the Gwangju uprising was overwhelmed by military force employing tanks and other armed vehicles. The last stand took place at the roundabout.

    The scene immediately resonates with the well-known photographs of people gathering in #Tahrir_Square in early 2011. Taken from different high-rise buildings around the square, a distinct feature in these images is the traffic circle visible by the way it organises bodies and objects in space. These images became the symbol of the revolution that led to the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011 – an event described by urban historian Nezar AlSayyad as “Cairo’s roundabout revolution”. But the Gwangju photograph also connects to images of other roundabouts that erupted in dissent in fast succession throughout the Middle East. Before Tahrir, as Jonathan Liu noted in his essay Roundabouts and Revolutions, it was the main roundabout in the capital of Tunisia – subsequently renamed Place du 14 Janvier 2011 after the date on which President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali was forced to flee the country. Thousands of protesters gathered at the roundabout in Tunis and filled the city’s main boulevard.

    A main roundabout in Bahrain’s capital Manama erupted in protests shortly after the overthrow of Mubarak in Egypt. Its central traffic island became the site of popular protests against the government and the first decisive act of military repression: the protests were violently broken up and the roundabout itself destroyed and replaced with a traffic intersection. In solidarity with the Tahrir protests, the roundabouts in the small al-Manara Square in Ramallah and the immense Azadi Square in Tehran also filled with protesters. These events, too, were violently suppressed.

    The roundabouts in Tehran and Ramallah had also been the scenes of previous revolts. In 2009 the Azadi roundabout in Iran’s capital was the site of the main protests of the Green Movement contesting President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s reelection. Hamid Dabashi, a literature professor at Columbia University and one of the most outspoken public intellectuals on these revolutions, claims that the Green Movement was inspirational for the subsequent revolutionary wave in the Arab world. In Palestine, revolt was a permanent consequence of life under occupation, and the al-Manara roundabout was a frequent site of clashes between Palestinian youth and the Israeli military. The sequence of roundabout revolutions evolved as acts of imitation, each building on its predecessor, each helping propel the next.

    Roundabouts were of course not only exhilarating sites of protest and experiments in popular democracy, but moreover they were places where people gathered and risked their life. The Gwangju uprising is, thus, the first of the roundabout revolutions. Liu wrote: “In all these cases, the symbolism is almost jokingly obvious: what better place to stage a revolution, after all, then one built for turning around?” What better way to show solidarity across national borders than to stage protests in analogous places?

    Why roundabouts? After all, they are banal, utilitarian instruments of traffic management, certainly not prone to induce revolutionary feeling. Other kinds of sites – squares, boulevards, favelas, refugee camps – have served throughout history as the setting for political protest and revolt. Each alignment of a roundabout and a revolution has a specific context and diverse causes, but the curious repetition of this phenomenon might give rise to several speculations. Urban roundabouts are the intersection points of large axes, which also puts them at the start or end of processions.

    Occupying a roundabout demonstrates the power of tactical acupuncture: it blocks off all routes going in and out. Congestion moves outward like a wave, flowing down avenues and streets through large parts of the city. By pressuring a single pivotal point within a networked infrastructure, an entire city can be put under siege (a contemporary contradistinction to the medieval technique of surrounding the entire perimeter of a city wall). Unlike public squares, which are designed as sites for people to gather (therefore not interrupting the flow of vehicular traffic) and are usually monitored and policed, roundabout islands are designed to keep people away. The continuous flow of traffic around them creates a wall of speeding vehicles that prohibits access. While providing open spaces (in some cities the only available open spaces) these islands are meant to be seen but not used.

    Another possible explanation is their symbolic power: they often contain monuments that represent the existing regime. The roundabouts of recent revolutions had emblematic names – Place du 7 Novembre 1987, the date the previous regime took power in Tunisia; “Liberty” (Azadi), referring to the 1979 Iranian Revolution; or “Liberation” (Tahrir), referring to the 1952 revolutions in Egypt. Roundabout islands often had statues, both figurative and abstract, representing the symbolic order of regimes. Leaders might have wished to believe that circular movement around their monuments was akin to a form of worship or consent. While roundabouts exercise a centripetal force, pulling protestors into the city center, the police seek to generate movement in the opposite direction, out and away from the center, and to break a collective into controllable individuals that can be handled and dispersed.

    The most common of all centrifugal forces of urban disorganisation during protests is tear gas, a formless cloud that drifts through space to disperse crowds. From Gwangju to Cairo, Manama to Ramallah, hundreds of tear-gas canisters were used largely exceeding permitted levels in an attempt to evict protesters from public spaces. The bodily sensation of the gas forms part of the affective dimension of the roundabout revolution. When tear gas is inhaled, the pain is abrupt, sharp, and isolating. The eyes shut involuntary, generating a sense of disorientation and disempowerment.

    Protestors have found ways to mitigate the toxic effects of this weapon. Online advice is shared between activists from Palestine through Cairo to Ferguson. The best protection is offered by proper gas masks. Improvised masks made of mineral water bottles cut in half and equipped with a filter of wet towels also work, according to online manuals. Some activists wear swim goggles and place wet bandanas or kaffiyehs over their mouths. To mitigate some of the adverse effects, these improvised filters can be soaked in water, lemon juice, vinegar, toothpaste, or wrapped around an onion. When nothing else is at hand, breathe the air from inside your shirt and run upwind onto higher ground. When you have a chance, blow your nose, rinse your mouth, cough, and spit.


    https://www.iconeye.com/opinion/comment/item/12093-the-roundabout-revolutions
    #révolution #résistance #giratoire #carrefour #rond-point #routes #infrastructure_routière #soulèvement_politique #Corée_du_Sud #printemps_arabe #Egypte #Tunisie #Bahreïni #Yémen #Libye #Syrie #Tahrir

    Du coup : #gilets_jaunes ?

    @albertocampiphoto & @philippe_de_jonckheere

    This project started with a photograph. It was one of the most arresting images depicting the May 1980 #Gwangju uprising, recognised now as the first step in the eventual overthrow of the military dictatorship in South Korea. The photograph (above) depicts a large crowd of people occupying a roundabout in the city center. Atop a disused fountain in the middle of the roundabout a few protestors have unfurled a South Korean flag. The roundabout organised the protest in concentric circles, a geometric order that exposed the crowd to itself, helping a political collective in becoming.

    –-> le pouvoir d’une #photographie...

    signalé par @isskein

    ping @reka


  • How Britain stole $45 trillion from India | Colonialism | Al Jazeera
    https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/britain-stole-45-trillion-india-181206124830851.html

    There is a story that is commonly told in Britain that the #colonisation of India - as horrible as it may have been - was not of any major economic benefit to Britain itself. If anything, the administration of India was a cost to Britain. So the fact that the empire was sustained for so long - the story goes - was a gesture of Britain’s benevolence.

    New research by the renowned economist Utsa Patnaik - just published by Columbia University Press - deals a crushing blow to this #narrative. Drawing on nearly two centuries of detailed data on tax and trade, Patnaik calculated that Britain drained a total of nearly $45 trillion from India during the period 1765 to 1938.

    #colonisation #Inde #Grande_bretagne#civilisés#voleurs


  • Soundings: the story of the remarkable woman who mapped the ocean floor
    Learn more about the book, Soundings, by Hali Felt
    http://halifelt.com/soundings-book
    Tellement inconnue que son nom n’apparait même pas dans le titre du #livre

    Soundings is the story of the enigmatic, unknown woman behind one of the greatest achievements of the 20th century. Before Marie Tharp, geologist and gifted draftsperson, the whole world, including most of the scientific community, thought the ocean floor was a vast expanse of nothingness. In 1948, at age 28, Marie walked into the newly formed geophysical lab at Columbia University and practically demanded a job. The scientists at the lab were all male; the women who worked there were relegated to secretary or assistant. Through sheer willpower and obstinacy, Marie was given the job of interpreting the soundings (records of sonar pings measuring the ocean’s depths) brought back from the ocean-going expeditions of her male colleagues. The marriage of artistry and science behind her analysis of this dry data gave birth to a major work: the first comprehensive map of the ocean floor, which laid the groundwork for proving the then-controversial theory of continental drift.

    When combined, Marie’s scientific knowledge, her eye for detail and her skill as an artist revealed not a vast empty plane, but an entire world of mountains and volcanoes, ridges and rifts, and a gateway to the past that allowed scientists the means to imagine how the continents and the oceans had been created over time.

    #Marie_Tharp #femmes #cartographie #femmes&carto

    • Je viens de vérifier dans mes cours de première année de géographie physique assurés par Etienne Moisssenet et ALain Godard, Marie Tharp est mentionnée une dizaine de fois dans le cours, comme étant à l’origine de la cartographie des fonds marins. Elle a été oubliée par la société, mais pas par certains géographes physiciens apparemment.


  • New studies show how easy it is to identify people using genetic databases - STAT
    https://www.statnews.com/2018/10/11/genetic-databases-privacy

    n recent months, consumer genealogy websites have unleashed a revolution in forensics, allowing law enforcement to use family trees to track down the notorious Golden State Killer in California and solve other cold cases across the country. But while the technique has put alleged killers behind bars, it has also raised questions about the implications for genetic privacy.

    According to a pair of studies published Thursday, your genetic privacy may have already eroded even further than previously realized.

    In an analysis published in the journal Science, researchers used a database run by the genealogy company MyHeritage to look at the genetic information of nearly 1.3 million anonymized people who’ve had their DNA analyzed by a direct-to-consumer genomics company. For nearly 60 percent of those people, it was possible to track down someone whose DNA was similar enough to indicate they were third cousins or closer in relation; for another 15 percent of the samples, second cousins or closer could be found.

    Yaniv Erlich, the lead author on the Science paper, said his team’s findings should prompt regulators and others to reconsider the assumption that genetic information is de-identified. “It’s really not the case. At least technically, it seems feasible to identify some significant part of the population” with such investigations, said Erlich, who’s a computer scientist at Columbia University and chief science officer at MyHeritage.

    The Science paper counted 12 cold cases that were solved between April and August of this year when law enforcement turned to building family trees based on genetic data; a 13th case was an active investigation.

    The most famous criminal identified this way: the Golden State Killer, who terrorized California with a series of rapes and murders in the 1970s and 1980s. With the help of a genetic genealogist, investigators uploaded a DNA sample collected from an old crime scene to a public genealogy database, built family trees, and tracked down relatives. They winnowed down their list of potential suspects to one man with blue eyes, and in April, they made the landmark arrest.

    To crack that case, the California investigators used GEDmatch, an online database that allows people who got their DNA analyzed by companies like 23andMe and Ancestry to upload their raw genetic data so that they can track down distant relatives. MyHeritage’s database — which contains data from 1.75 million people, mostly Americans who’ve gotten their DNA analyzed by MyHeritage’s genetic testing business — works similarly, although it explicitly prohibits forensic searches. (23andMe warns users about the privacy risks of uploading their genetic data to such third party sites.)

    “For me, these articles are fascinating and important and we shouldn’t shy away from the privacy concerns that these articles raise. But at the same time, we should keep in mind the personal and societal value that we believe that we are accruing as we make these large collections,” said Green, who was not involved in the new studies and is an adviser for genomics companies including Helix and Veritas Genetics.

    He pointed to the potential of genomics not only to reunite family members and put criminals behind bars, but also to predict and prevent heritable diseases and develop new drugs.

    As with using social media and paying with credit cards online, reaping the benefits of genetic testing requires accepting a certain level of privacy risk, Green said. “We make these tradeoffs knowing that we’re trading some vulnerability for the advantages,” he said.

    #Génomique #ADN #Vie_privée


  • The Architecture of Food Systems

    Spotlighting the #Hudson_Valley Design Lab and Good Shepherd Institute in a conversation with Caitlin Taylor of MASS Design Group.

    Few people recognize the interconnectedness of architecture, social justice, and local food systems; Caitlin Taylor is dedicated to changing that. Between roles as an architect with nonprofit firm MASS Design Group, an adjunct professor of architecture at Columbia University, and a founding member of Four Root Farm in rural Connecticut, she is living her dream of uniting food systems and architecture in her life and work.


    https://medium.com/planet-local/the-architecture-of-food-systems-5145ccc11648
    #alimentation #justice_sociale #architecture #Poughkeepsie #USA #Etats-Unis #design #agriculture


  • Israel is using an online blacklist against pro-Palestinian activists. But nobody knows who compiled it

    Israeli border officials are using a shadowy online dossier as an intelligence source on thousands of students and academics

    The Forward and Josh Nathan-Kazis Aug 07, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/the-blacklist-used-by-israel-against-pro-palestinian-activists-1.6359001

    Last December, Andrew Kadi flew to Israel to visit his mother. As he walked through Ben Gurion International Airport, officials pulled him aside and said that the security services wanted to speak with him.
    Kadi is among the leaders of a major pro-Palestinian advocacy group, and border authorities always question him when he travels to Israel to see his family. This time, however, something was different.

    During his second of what ended up being three interrogations, spanning more than eight hours, Kadi realized that much of what the interrogator knew about him had come from Canary Mission, an anonymously-run online blacklist that tries to frighten pro-Palestinian students and activists into silence by posting dossiers on their politics and personal lives.

    Kadi’s interrogator asked question after question about organizations listed on his Canary Mission profile. A pro-Palestinian organization that Kadi had been involved with but that wasn’t listed on his Canary Mission profile went unmentioned. Hours later, a third interrogator confirmed what Kadi had suspected: They were looking at his Canary Mission profile.

    Canary Mission has said since it went live in 2015 that it seeks to keep pro-Palestinian student activists from getting work after college. Yet in recent months, the threat it poses to college students and other activists has grown far more severe.
    The site, which is applauded by some pro-Israel advocates for harassing hardcore activists, is now being used as an intelligence source on thousands of students and academics by Israeli officials with immense power over people’s lives, the Forward has learned.
    Rumors of the border control officers’ use of the dossiers is keeping both Jewish and Palestinian activists from visiting relatives in Israel and the West Bank, and pro-Palestinian students say they are hesitant to express their views for fear of being unable to travel to see family.
    >> Twitter account of Canary Mission, group blacklisting pro-Palestinian activists, deactivated
    Meanwhile, back on campus, pro-Israel students are facing suspicion of colluding with Canary Mission. The students, and not the operatives and donors who run it from behind a veil of anonymity, are taking the blame for the site’s work.

    The dossiers
    Canary Mission’s profiles, of which there are now more than 2,000, can run for thousands of words. They consist of information about the activist, including photographs and screenshots, cobbled together from the internet and social media, along with descriptions of the groups with which they are affiliated.
    The phrase, “if you’re a racist, the world should know,” appears on the top of each page on the site.
    In addition to the thousands of profiles of pro-Palestinian students and professors, Canary Mission has also added a smattering of profiles of prominent white supremacists, including 13 members of Identity Evropa and a handful of others.
    The site’s profiles appear to be based entirely on open source intelligence that could be gathered by anyone with a computer. But the researchers are thorough, and some of what they post is exceptionally personal. Canary Mission’s profile of Esther Tszayg, a junior at Stanford University whose profile went online in May, includes two photographs of her as a young child and one taken for a campus fashion magazine.
    “It feels pretty awful and I really wish I wasn’t on that website,” said Tszayg, the president of Stanford’s chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace, a pro-Palestinian group.
    Canary Mission’s profile of Rose Asaf, a leader of the local chapter of JVP at New York University, includes nearly 60 photographs of her and screenshots of her social media activities. It went online in November of 2017, when she was a college junior.
    Liz Jackson, a staff attorney at the legal advocacy group Palestine Legal, said that she was aware of one case in which Canary Mission posted old photographs a student had deleted a year before. The student believes that Canary Mission had been tracking her for over a year before they posted her profile.
    Some of what Canary Mission captures is genuinely troubling, including anti-Semitic social media posts by college students. But often, the eye-catching charges they make against their subjects don’t quite add up. A profile of an NYU freshman named Ari Kaplan charges him with “demonizing Israel at a Jewish event.” In fact, he had stood up at a Hillel dinner to make an announcement that was critical of President Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.
    “It’s really weird when they’re trying to have someone who looks like me [as] the face of anti-Semitism,” said Kaplan, joking that he looks stereotypically Jewish.
    The border
    It’s these profiles that Israeli border control officers were looking at when they interrogated Kadi, who is in his 30s, and is a member of the steering committee of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights. Kadi is a U.S. citizen, but his mother and her family are Palestinian citizens of Israel.
    Kadi’s case is not unique. In April, before deporting Columbia University Law School professor Katherine Franke and telling her she will be permanently banned from the country, an Israeli border control officer showed her something on his phone that she says she is “80% sure” was her Canary Mission profile.
    The officer, Franke said, had accused her of traveling to Israel to “promote BDS.” When she said that wasn’t true, the officer accused her of lying, saying she was a “leader” of JVP. He held up the screen of his phone, which appeared to show her Canary Mission profile, and told her: “See, I know you’re lying.”
    Franke, who had previously sat on JVP’s academic advisory council steering committee but at that time had no formal role with the group, told the officer she was not on JVP’s staff. The officer deported her anyhow.
    “Canary Mission information is often neither reliable, nor complete, nor up to date,” said Israeli human rights attorney Emily Schaeffer Omer-Man, who represents activists and human rights advocates denied entry to Israel. Schaeffer Omer-Man says that the site, as such, shouldn’t legally qualify to be used as the basis for a deportation decision by border control officers, as it doesn’t meet reliability standards set by Israeli administrative law.
    Yet incidents like those experienced by Franke and Kadi are on the rise. Schaeffer Omer-Man said that clients for years have said that they suspected that their interrogators had seen their Canary Mission profiles, based on the questions they asked. More recently, she said, clients have told her that border control mentioned Canary Mission by name.
    Rumors of these incidents are spreading fear among campus activists.
    “I have family in Israel, and I don’t expect I will be let in again,” said Tszayg, the Stanford student.
    Palestine Legal’s Liz Jackson said that a large majority of people who get in touch with her organization about their Canary Mission profile are mostly worried about traveling across Israeli borders. “That really puts the muzzle on what people can say in the public sphere about Palestine,” Jackson said.
    Israel’s Ministry of the Interior, which oversees the country’s border control agency, did not respond to a question about whether it is ministry policy for its interrogators to use Canary Mission as a source of information on travelers. It’s possible that the officers are finding the Canary Mission dossiers on their own, by searching for travelers’ names on Google.
    But absent a denial from the interior ministry, it’s also possible that the dossiers are being distributed systematically. When Schaeffer Omer-Man reviews her clients’ interrogation files, as attorneys have the right to do under Israeli law, she has never seen a mention of Canary Mission. What she has seen, however, in summaries of the interrogations, are references to material provided by Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs, the arm of the Israeli government tasked with opposing the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement worldwide, largely through a secret network of non-governmental organizations that help it defend Israel abroad.
    The Israeli connection
    When Gilad Erdan, the strategic affairs minister, took over his agency in 2015, the Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy, as it is officially known in English, had a tiny staff and a small budget. In just a few years, he has turned it into a major operation with a budget of over $100 million over two years, according to reporting by the Israeli investigative magazine the Seventh Eye.
    At the core of the MSA’s operation is a network of more than a hundred non-governmental organizations with which it shares information and resources. “A key part of the strategy is the belief that messaging by ‘real people’ is much more effective than plain old hasbara [propaganda] by official spokespersons,” said Itamar Benzaquen, an investigative journalist at the Seventh Eye, who has done extensive reporting on the MSA.
    The Forward has learned that the people who run Canary Mission are in direct contact with the leadership of Act.il, a pro-Israel propaganda app that is a part of the network, and has benefited from a publicity campaign funded by the MSA, according to Benzaquen’s reporting.
    The founder and CEO of Act.il, Yarden Ben Yosef, told the Forward last fall that he had been in touch with the people who run Canary Mission, and that they had visited his office in Israel.
    Neither Canary Mission nor the MSA responded to queries about their relationship to each other.
    The operators
    Canary Mission has jealously guarded the anonymity of its operators, funders, and administrators, and its cloak of secrecy has held up against the efforts of journalists and pro-Palestine activists alike.
    Two people, granted anonymity to speak about private conversations, have separately told the Forward that a British-born Jerusalem resident named Jonathan Bash identified himself to them as being in charge of Canary Mission.
    The Forward reported in 2015 that Bash was the CEO of a pro-Israel advocacy training organization, Video Activism, that appeared to have numerous ties to Canary Mission. At the time, Bash denied there was any relationship between the organizations.
    Neither Canary Mission nor Bash responded to requests for comment.
    The response
    As Canary Mission has become an increasingly prominent feature of the campus landscape, students have adapted to its threat. Increasingly, student governments vote on divestment resolutions by secret ballot, partly in an attempt to keep Canary Mission from profiling student representatives who vote in favor.
    Student activist groups, meanwhile, strategically mask the identities of vulnerable members. Abby Brook, who has been a leader in both the Students for Justice in Palestine and JVP groups at George Washington University, said that her fellow activists had strategized about who would be a public-facing leader of the group, and shoulder the risk of appearing on Canary Mission. When her profile went up last year, she was ready.
    “We made strategic decisions within our organization about who would be out-facing members and who would be in-facing members, knowing that Canary Missionwould have different consequences for different people,” Brook said. She said that the names of members of her chapter of SJP who are Palestinian are not listed publicly, and that those individuals have stayed off of Canary Mission.
    “We deliberately keep those people private,” Brook said. “I’m not Palestinian; I won’t be prohibited from being able to go home if I’m listed on Canary Mission. It has a lot less consequences for me as a white person.”
    While Brook’s Palestinian colleagues have been able to hide their identities while being active on the issue, others have chosen not to take the risk. Palestine Legal’s Jackson said that she has fielded questions from students who want to take political action in support of Palestinian rights, but have been afraid to do so because of what being listed on Canary Mission could mean for their families. One student activist told Jackson she wanted to be a leader in SJP, but asked Jackson if getting a Canary Mission profile could damage her family’s naturalization application.
    “I said I don’t know, honestly,” Jackson said.
    Another student told Jackson that she had wanted to write an op-ed about the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, a controversial piece of federal legislation that critics say could limit free speech, but that she was afraid to be published because she wanted to be able to go visit her grandparents in the West Bank, and couldn’t risk being profiled on Canary Mission.
    For students who do find themselves on Canary Mission, there is little recourse. Canary Mission has posted a handful of essays by “ex-canaries,” people who have written effusive apologies in return for being removed from the site. Jackson said that some profiles have been temporarily removed after the subjects filed copyright complaints, but that they were reposted later with the offending images removed.
    There do not appear to have been any defamation suits filed against Canary Mission. The authors of the profiles are careful about what they write, and pursuing a lawsuit would place a heavy burden on the plaintiff. “Students who are naturally concerned about the reputational damage of being smeared as a terrorist usually don’t want to go through a public trial, because that only makes it worse,” Jackson wrote in an email. “It’s tough to take on a bully, especially in court. But litigation is not off the table.”
    Campus spies
    In the meantime, Canary Mission’s utter secrecy has created an atmosphere of suspicion on campuses. While the operatives behind Canary Mission hide behind their well-protected anonymity, pro-Israel students take the blame for its activities, whether or not they were involved.
    A number of students listed on the site who spoke with the Forward named specific pro-Israel students on their campuses who they suspected of having informed on them to Canary Mission.
    Tilly Shames, who runs the local Hillel at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, said that Canary Mission has led to suspicion of pro-Israel students on her campus. “It has created greater mistrust and exclusion of pro-Israel students, who are assumed to be involved in Canary Mission, or sharing information with Canary Mission, when they are not,” Shames said.
    Kaplan, the NYU sophomore, said that he’s now wary talking to people who he knows are involved in pro-Israel activism on campus.
    “I’ll want to be open and warm with them, but it will be, how do I know this guy isn’t reporting to Canary Mission?” Kaplan said. He said he didn’t intend to let the suspicions fomented by Canary Mission keep him from spending time with other Jewish students.
    “I’m not going to live in fear; I love Jews,” he said. “I’m not going to not talk to Jewish students out of fear of being on Canary [Mission], but it would be better to have some solidarity from the Jewish community of NYU.”
    For more stories, go to www.forward.com. Sign up for the Forward’s daily newsletter at http://forward.com/newsletter/signup


  • Center for Constitutional Rights Executive Director and Board Chair Both Denied Entry into #Israel | Center for Constitutional Rights
    https://ccrjustice.org/home/press-center/press-releases/center-constitutional-rights-executive-director-and-board-chair

    May 1, 2018, Tel Aviv and New York – Vincent Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), and Katherine Franke, chair of CCR’s board and Sulzbacher Professor of Law, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Columbia University, were detained Sunday, April 29, for 14 hours and interrogated at Ben Gurion International Airport, then denied entry into Israel and deported, arriving back in New York early Monday morning.  Warren and Franke were questioned about their political association with human rights groups that have been critical of Israel’s human rights record.

    “The Israeli government denied us entry, apparently because it feared letting in people who might challenge its policies. This is something that we should neither accept nor condone from a country that calls itself a democracy,” Warren said. “Our trip sought to explore the intersection of Black and Brown people’s experiences in the U.S. with the situation of Palestinians, and Israel could not have made that connection clearer.”

    #villa_dans_la_jungle


  • CppCast Episode 151: sol2 and std::embed with JeanHeyd Meneide
    http://isocpp.org/feeder/?FeederAction=clicked&feed=All+Posts&seed=http%3A%2F%2Fisocpp.org%2Fblog%2F2

    Episode 151 of CppCast the only podcast for C++ developers by C++ developers. In this episode Rob and Jason are joined by JeanHeyd Meneide to discuss the sol2 library and his proposal for std::embed.

    CppCast Episode 151: sol2 and std::embed with JeanHeyd Meneide by Rob Irving and Jason Turner

    About the interviewee:

    ThePhD — known in meatspace as JeanHeyd — is a Computer Science undergraduate at the Fu Foundation School of Engineering in Columbia University. They are currently working on Open Source C++ and C++ Standardization projects, as well as exploring graphics programming. They are currently dabbling with Haskell and Elm for fun, and are attempting to wrangle their biggest open source project — sol2 — into a newer, better version of itself. The nickname is a (...)

    #News,Video&_On-Demand,


  • sol2 and std::embed with JeanHeyd Meneide
    http://cppcast.libsyn.com/sol2-and-stdembed-with-jeanheyd-meneide

    Rob and Jason are joined by JeanHeyd Meneide to discuss the sol2 library and his proposal for std::embed. ThePhD — known in meatspace as JeanHeyd — is a Computer Science undergraduate at the Fu Foundation School of Engineering in Columbia University. They are currently working on Open Source C++ and C++ Standardization projects, as well as exploring graphics programming. They are currently dabbling with Haskell and Elm for fun, and are attempting to wrangle their biggest open source project — sol2 — into a newer, better version of itself. The nickname is a std::promise on their std::future. News Superconstructing super elider, Pt2 Matthew Butler’s C++Now 2018 Trip Report Ben Deane’s C++Now 2018 Trip Report A CPPNow Travel Guide Matt Godbolt’s C++Now Trip Report ThePHD’s C++Now (...)

    http://traffic.libsyn.com/cppcast/cppcast-151.mp3?dest-id=282890


  • The Sackler family made billions from OxyContin. Why do top US colleges take money tainted by the opioid crisis? | US news | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jan/27/universities-sackler-family-purdue-pharma-oxycontin-opioids

    Purdue Pharma pleaded guilty in 2006 in federal court to marketing OxyContin “with the intent to defraud or mislead”. At the time, the company paid a $600m fine – widely seen as a slap on the wrist – while executives paid additional fines of $34.5m.

    Over the years, some of America’s leading universities have accepted large sums of money from the Sacklers for science research and the Sackler name is prominently attached to their institutions. So, in light of recent revelations about the origins of the Sackler wealth, will these universities attempt to somehow hold the Sacklers to account?

    For now, they are not saying.

    Four universities contacted declined requests for an interview. “We will not be able to offer anyone for an interview,” said Weill Cornell Medicine, home of the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Center for Biomedical and Physical Sciences.

    “At this time, we do not have any comment,” replied Tufts University, which is home to the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences.

    Questions to Columbia University about its Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology went unanswered.

    Among the universities contacted, the one that did respond was Yale, which has a professorship funded by the Sacklers at its Cancer Center and which is also home to the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Institute for Biological, Physical and Engineering Sciences.

    While Yale would not agree to an interview, nor would it answer specific questions about its decision to accept Sackler funds, it did provide a written statement which said in part: “The Sackler family has provided generous gifts to support research at Yale in service of our mission to improve the world today and for future generations.”

    The statement also acknowledged the toll of opioids and catalogued the broader work the university is doing to combat the epidemic. “Yale faculty members, staff, and students – particularly those in the departments of psychiatry, internal medicine, and emergency medicine – are working tirelessly to determine the causes of and treatments for addiction.”

    As for OxyContin, universities may find it increasingly difficult to champion their research under the Sackler banner

    But do Yale’s good works justify its decision to accept Sackler funds?
    Advertisement

    Reich says the answer is complicated. “The relevant question is not just a utilitarian one about whether or not tainted money can be used to produce some aggregate social benefit,” he says. “There’s the question about whether Yale or any other university wants to be complicit in the reputation laundering of the donor. And at the very minimum there is that negative to put on the ledger of whatever good could be done with the gift.”

    For a long time, the Sacklers flew under the radar. Forbes concedes that when it launched its initial list of wealthiest US families in 2014, it missed the Sacklers entirely, but their 2015 edition notes that their wealth exceeds that of famed families like the Mellons and the Rockefellers.

    It was only last October, when investigations into the origins of the family’s wealth were published by the New Yorker, Esquire and others, that the spotlight began to shine intensely on them.

    #Opioides #Universités


  • Israel denies entry to four American civil rights leaders
    +972 Magazine | By Mairav Zonszein |Published May 3, 2018
    https://972mag.com/israel-denies-entry-to-prominent-american-civil-rights-leaders/135059

    Four members of an American human rights delegation to Israel and the West Bank, were detained at Ben Gurion Airport, denied entry, and deported by Israeli authorities on Sunday. The rest of the delegation was allowed through.

    Two of the four deported are Vincent Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), and Katherine Franke, chair of CCR’s board and Sulzbacher Professor of Law, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Columbia University. The two others who were deported did not want to be named or interviewed. Franke was accused of being affiliated with the BDS movement; Warren appears to have been deported simply by association.

    #expulsion #BDS

    • Interpellés puis expulsés : des juristes américains défenseurs des droits humains se voient interdire d’entrer en Israël
      8 mai | Amy Goodman, Juan Gonzalez, Katherine Franke, Vincent Warren pour Democracy Now |Traduction SM pour l’AURDIP
      http://www.aurdip.fr/interpelles-puis-expulses-des.html

      Deux juristes américains, défenseurs des droits humains, ont été retenus pendant 14 heures dimanche (29 avril) à l’Aéroport international de Tel Aviv-David Ben Gourion avant d’être renvoyés aux États-Unis. Katherine Franke, de l’université Columbia, et Vincent Warren, directeur général du Centre pour les droits constitutionnels, ont été interrogés à plusieurs reprises au sujet de leurs relations avec des groupes qui critiquent Israël. Ils faisaient partie d’une délégation de militants américains des droits civiques qui se rendaient en Israël et en Palestine pour s’informer de la situation des droits humains et rencontrer des militants locaux. Dans la matinée de lundi (30 avril), ils étaient de retour à New York.


  • The Problem with Mindfulness - Facts So Romantic
    http://nautil.us/blog/the-problem-with-mindfulness

    The mindfulness movement’s heavy focus on positive, health-related perks, like stress or anxiety reduction, turns meditation into a mere tool for mental hygiene.Photograph by DrewHeath / WikicommonsShould we be mindful of how popular “mindfulness” now is? Carl Erik Fisher says we should. Fisher is a professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University and a practicing psychotherapist who integrates meditation in his practice, and meditates himself. But he worries some popular meditation practices, which stress salvation through a clear mind, undermine the genuine benefits of meditation. Recent studies in psychology show mindful meditation has been detrimental to practitioners.“The overselling of mindfulness can lead to this idea that we should always be rigidly focused on what’s in (...)


  • Surgical Resident Breaks Down 49 Medical Scenes From Film & TV | WIRED
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCftwRNsjfRo08xYE31tkiyw

    Annie Onishi, general surgery resident at Columbia University, takes a look at emergency room and operating room scenes from a variety of television shows and movies and breaks down how accurate they really are. Would the adrenaline scene from Pulp Fiction actually play out that way? Is all that medical jargon we hear in shows like Grey’s Anatomy and House true-to-life? Is removing a bullet really a cure-all for a gunshot wound?

    #film #chirurgie


  • “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”
    https://hackernoon.com/the-greatest-enemy-of-knowledge-is-not-ignorance-it-is-the-illusion-of-k

    Stephen HawkingI have used the concept of ‘Rumsfeldian Space’ — the unknown unknowns — in many of my presentations and workshops. It’s about the exploratory nature of testing and innovation — and exploiting all the continually branching outcomes of your decisions, towards those that select higher quality areas of ignorance!I keep returning to this area — to ask good questions in research, to explore uncomfortable or seemingly counter intuitive future directions or to test them and explore them before commitment.So when I heard This BBC Programme, it was very interesting — about ‘not knowing’ — ignorance and how it drives science and exploration of the unknown.This quotation, from Professor of Biology at Columbia University, Stuart Firestein, is absolutely brilliant, and worth 2 minutes of your time:“We all (...)

    #education #tech


  • Bjarne Stroustrup receives Draper Prize, engineering’s top U.S. honor
    http://isocpp.org/feeder/?FeederAction=clicked&feed=All+Posts&seed=http%3A%2F%2Fisocpp.org%2Fblog%2F2

    A few months ago, Bjarne Stroustrup received one of the most distinguished engineering prizes in the world: the Faraday medal.

    Last night, the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE) presented Stroustrup with the United States’ top engineering honor, the Charles Stark Draper Prize, for his work designing and implementing the C++ programming language.

    From the announcement:

    Stroustrup’s development of C++ has helped bridge the gap between a problem and its computing elements through the use of visualization for engineers and members of varying disciplines, such as biologists, medical doctors, mathematicians, economists and politicians. Stroustrup, a visiting professor in computer science at Columbia University, was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2004. (...)

    #News,Articles&_Books,




  • Go with the flow: the hypnotic beauty of public transport – mapped | Cities | The Guardian

    https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/oct/04/hypnotic-beauty-public-transport-mapped

    Public transit maps are a testament to the power of visual communication. They reduce the task of navigating hundreds or even thousands of miles of transport routes to simply glancing at an image. However, understanding a city’s transit frequency – how often the trains and buses run along those routes – is not nearly as easy, and typically requires scanning through pages of timetables.

    How can cities make their transit frequencies as simple and intuitive to understand as their routes? Columbia University grad student Will Geary offers a solution: TransitFlow, an experimental set of tools for building animated transport frequency maps.

    #mobilité #circulation #transport #transports_publics


  • Uber and Lyft limit personal car use, study says - Business Insider Deutschland
    http://www.businessinsider.de/uber-and-lyft-limit-personal-car-use-study-2017-8

    Ride-hailing giants have said for years that their services will start to kill car ownership by giving urban dwellers a cheaper and more efficient way of getting around.

    A recent study from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, Texas A&M Transportation Institute, and Columbia University supports that notion.

    Uber and Lyft left Austin, Texas in May 2016 after servicing the city since 2014. The ridehailing giants called it quits after voters upheld strict regulations on the companies, like issuing fingerprint-based background checks.

    Uber and Lyft returned in May after lawmakers passed a bill overriding the strict regulations.

    The departure offered a unique window of opportunity for researchers to investigate how people changed their habits after growing accustomed to ride-hailing services.

    The study surveyed 1,200 Austin locals and asked what trips they typically took using an Uber or Lyft. It then asked how they were making those same trips now that the ride-hailing services weren’t available.

    The study found that 41% switched back to their own cars to fill the void left by Uber and Lyft. Among the people who turned back to their own vehicles, 9% bought an additional car strictly for the purpose of getting around without the ride-hailing giants.

    From there, 42% of people surveyed switched to another ride-hailing company in the area. A flurry of community-based services and smaller apps entered Austin in the wake of Uber and Lyft’s departure, such as Arcade City Austin.

    Only 3% of participants surveyed said they turned to public transit.

    The takeaway isn’t so much that Uber and Lyft reduce the need to own a car, but rather they limit how often people use a car they already own, Robert Hampshire, lead author of the study, said in an interview.

    “A large faction of these people already had a car and just weren’t using it as much,” he said. “Then when Uber and Lyft left, they began to use it more often.”

    Still, it’s noteworthy that roughly 100 people felt the need to buy a car without the presence of a major ride-hailing service. Additionally, people who switched to their personal vehicle were 23 times more likely to report making more trips than those who switched to a community-based service like Arcade City Austin.

    “What I thought stood out the most was for those who did switch to their personal vehicle, they drove considerably more often,” Hampshire said.

    Having to weigh the cost of each individual ride may encourage people to take fewer trips, Hampshire said. Most people don’t think about how much they drive after purchasing a vehicle outright.

    That could be good news for major cities, which are grappling with worsening congestion. If people feel compelled to only take a Lyft or Uber when it’s absolutely necessary, that reduces the number of cars on the road. In a small number of cases, the services’ presence could compel someone to forego purchasing a car altogether.

    Hampshire said he was surprised by how few people opted to take public transportation.

    “In Austin, their public transit system is not as built out as other cities. It may not be seen as a viable option,” he said.

    Automakers are preparing for the death of car ownership in cities. General Motors launched in 2016 its car-sharing service called Maven. Maven is primarily used by millennials who may be reluctant to own a car in expensive cities like New York and San Francisco.

    Although the study bodes well for traffic relief, it’s worth taking it with a grain of salt.

    Ditching a personal car in favor of ride-hailing apps can help alleviate traffic if done on a wide enough scale. But unless more people start to rely on carpool services like Lyft Line or UberPOOL, ride-hailing still contributes to more single-occupancy cars on the road.

    Hampshire said of the people surveyed who used Uber and Lyft as their primary method for getting around, only 12% elected to use the companies’ carpool options.

    The study’s results may also vary in cities that have better access to public transportation.

    Either way, the study shows ride-hailing can make it easier to ditch personal cars in large cities.

    #Uber #disruption #USA


  • Critical Theory in Critical Times
    http://02mydafsoup-01.soup.io/post/631302328/Critical-Theory-in-Critical-Times

    Critical Theory in Critical Times

    Transforming the Global Political and Economic Order  Ed. by Penelope Deutscher & Cristina Lafont(Columbia University Press, 2017)304 pages

    Description In Critical Theory in Critical Times, eleven of the most distinguished critical theorists offer new perspectives on recent crises and transformations of the global political and economic order. Sharpening the conceptual tools of critical theory, the contributors reveal new ways of expanding the diverse traditions of the Frankfurt School in response to some of the most urgent and important challenges of our times.Contents Introduction: Critical Theory in Critical TimesPart I. The Future of Democracy1. An Exploration of the Meaning of Transnationalization of Democracy (video) - Jürgen HabermasPart (...)

    #regular #snth01


  • History of the Color Wheel | Lines and Colors :: a blog about drawing, painting, illustration, comics, concept art and other visual arts

    http://linesandcolors.com/2008/05/12/history-of-the-color-wheel

    Grâce à l’excellent @freakonometrics je découvre ceci sur twitter

    It’s been the subject of much discussion, some suggesting that it is misleading enough that it should be rethought entirely, but the color wheel remains the most common and convenient method for visually understanding and comparing the relationships of different hues.

    As part of the Gutenberg-e project by the American Historical Association and Columbia University Press, Sarah Lowengard has written a scholarly treatise on The Creation of Color in Eighteenth-Century Europe, the third chapter of which, Number Order, Form, delves into the history of color wheels and other visual systems of ordering and visualizing the relationships of colors.

    #couleur #sémiologie


  • Liu Xiaobo, We Miss You - The New York Times
    https://kristof.blogs.nytimes.com/2017/07/13/liu-xiaobo-we-miss-you

    The Mandela of our age is dead, and Liu Xiaobo will at least now find peace after decades of suffering outrageous mistreatment by the Chinese authorities.

    Liu, 61, is the first Nobel Peace Prize winner to die in custody since the Nazi era, and his death is an indictment of China’s brutal treatment of one of the great figures of modern times.

    Even as Liu was dying of cancer, China refused to allow Liu to travel for treatment that might have saved his life. In a move that felt crass and disgusting, the Chinese authorities filmed the dying Liu without his consent to make propaganda films falsely depicting merciful treatment of him.

    For those of you who don’t know Liu, a few glimpses of him:

    1. He was a brilliant professor who in the spring of 1989 was a visiting scholar safely ensconced at Columbia University. But when the Tiananmen student democracy protests began, he rushed back to China to support the protesters. When the troops opened fire on protesters on the night of June 3-4, 1989, he could have fled but stayed to negotiate with the Army and arrange a safe exit for students from the center of Tiananmen Square. In the 1990’s as well, he could have moved to the West, but instead he stayed to fight for freedom in his own country

    2. His was also a great love story, and the Chinese brutalized his wife, Liu Xia, to put pressure on him. Liu Xia was emotionally fragile, and although she was never even charged with any crime she was confined to house arrest. The Chinese government knew that Liu Xiaobo would never crack, so it deliberately inflicted great isolation and suffering on his wife to gain leverage over him. Yet the couple persevered, and he once wrote a beautiful tribute to her: “Your love is the sunlight that leaps over high walls and penetrates the iron bars of my prison window, stroking every inch of my skin, warming every cell of my body … and filling every minute of my time in prison with meaning.

    3. Dissidents are often unreasonable people, for it takes something special to risk everything and challenge an oppressive state. Liu Xiaobo started out his career unreasonable, as an enfant terrible academic, but steadily became more moderate and reasonable in his career. His call for democracy, Charter 08, is a model of reasonableness, and he periodically complimented his persecutors on their professionalism to make clear that he did not resent them—and that is one reason I compare him to Mandela.

    4. It’s not clear that President Xi bears responsibility for Liu’s death, but that may well be the case. Although Liu died of liver cancer and had had hepatitis, a risk factor, Chinese prisons are notorious for their poor medical care, and prison authorities often deny medical care to dissidents as a way of putting pressure on them. It seems to me quite plausible that Liu’s cancer would have been discovered earlier, when it was more treatable, if he had not been incarcerated.

    5. Liu’s death in custody is also a window into how far backward Xi has taken China. For parts of the 1990’s and 2000’s, Liu was free and able to write for overseas and Internet publications. (I last spoke to him shortly before his arrest in 2008; State Security cut the phone connection after I identified myself.) China under Xi is less free than China was 20 years ago. I wrote an open letter to Liu a few days ago, describing him as perhaps the man I admire most, and I wish he could have seen it—but I’m sure the authorities did not allow him to do so.

    6. Most Chinese have never heard of Liu Xiaobo, because the state propaganda apparatus has suppressed discussion of him. Thus the paradox: The first person to win a Nobel for work in China has died, and he is little mourned in his own land. Yet for those of us who followed his extraordinarily important and courageous work over the decades, there is a great sense of emptiness and sadness—not so much sadness for Liu himself, who is now free of persecution, but sadness for China’s backward march and sadness for the timidity of world leaders at the brutalization of one of the great men of modern times. There is so much we can learn from Liu’s courage, decency and vision, and some time I look forward to placing flowers at the memorial to him at Tiananmen Square.


  • Argentina grants 1,000 scholarships to Syria refugees, urges others to follow

    BUENOS AIRES (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Argentina unveiled plans on Friday to grant 1,000 university scholarships to Syrian refugees over the next five years after facing criticism from human rights groups for stalling on a commitment last year to take in 3,000 refugees.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-argentina-refugees-scholarships-idUSKBN1792PU
    #Argentine #asile #migrations #réfugiés #bourses_d'études #université #solidarité


  • Machine Bias
    https://seenthis.net/messages/492648

    http://community.globaleditorsnetwork.org/content/machine-bias-0

    Few ProPublica projects have had as much influence as our work on algorithms. Our coverage has resulted in a court ruling, company policy change and, perhaps most fundamentally, has helped spur a national discussion about the need for fairness in algorithms. Surveying the breadth of our work on what he rightly called “algorithmic accountability,” Columbia University Journalism School Dean Steve Coll wrote the following: “These sorts of investigations show journalists applying the math, statistics, and data science knowledge necessary to investigate contemporary hard targets.

    (figure parmi les finalistes de ce concours de #data_visualisation http://community.globaleditorsnetwork.org/projects_by_event/2557)