Monday, July 12, 2010

Links for a Monday

--Six months after the earthquake in Haiti that killed 300,000 people and left one and a half million people homeless, only 1% of the aid promised has been delivered and 23 of the biggest aid organizations working in Haiti reveal that only 2% of the money they raised from charitable donations have actually been spent in bringing relief to the people of Haiti. 19 million cubic meters of rubble still remains to be cleared. The government has lost one-third of its employees, and the economy is virtually dead. And contemplate this: 1 emergency toilet has been provided for every 200 survivors. See the Independent's article here for more details.

--My review of the new Library of America volume of Shirley Jackson's fiction has been posted at Strange Horizons.

--Joe Keohane's piece at the Boston Globe, How facts backfire, reminds me of our discussion during the WisCon panel "Reducing Global Levels of Machismo" of the problem of disinformation. (Link thanks to Echidne of the Snakes.) Here's a snippet:
Recently, a few political scientists have begun to discover a human tendency deeply discouraging to anyone with faith in the power of information. It’s this: Facts don’t necessarily have the power to change our minds. In fact, quite the opposite. In a series of studies in 2005 and 2006, researchers at the University of Michigan found that when misinformed people, particularly political partisans, were exposed to corrected facts in news stories, they rarely changed their minds. In fact, they often became even more strongly set in their beliefs. Facts, they found, were not curing misinformation. Like an underpowered antibiotic, facts could actually make misinformation even stronger.
--Rachel Swirsky's Through the Drowsy Dark has been selected for Locus's July 2010 New and Notable Books list.


Josh said...
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Josh said...

Compared to the other catastrophes you list, "1.3 of its employees" is really not a lot. Although I'm sure it matters to the person thirty percent of whom was fired.

Timmi Duchamp said...

Argh. The "1.3" is corrected now. And I infer (though the article doesn't say explicitly) that they were "lost" through death.