Imigranți sau refugiați?

Al Jazeera, trustul media al guvernului din Qatar, a hotărât să folosească denumirea de “refugiați” în loc de “imigranți” pentru masele de oameni care ajung în Europa din Africa și Orientul Mijlociu. Justificarea acestei decizii editoriale e acuratețea:

For reasons of accuracy, the director of news at Al Jazeera English, Salah Negm, has decided that we will no longer use the word migrant in this context. We will instead, where appropriate, say refugee.

At this network, we try hard through our journalism to be the voice of those people in our world who, for whatever reason, find themselves without one.

Migrant is a word that strips suffering people of voice. Substituting refugee for it is – in the smallest way – an attempt to give some back.

In the smallest way, bine spus. Guvernul din Qatar nu numai că nu a făcut nimic pentru imigranții din zonă, dar nu are nici o problemă în a exploata imigranții refugiații care construiesc infrastructura pentru Mondialul din 2022.

Ironia jurnalistică e că o decizie luată în numele acurateții, creează de fapt efectul opus. De asta New York Times continuă să folosească termenul de “imigranți”:

While imperfect, it is accurate to refer to both migrants and refugees as “migrants,” because they all belong to the class of people moving from one place to another. It is not accurate to refer to all migrants as refugees, however, as refugees have a special status under international law that does not apply to all migrants.

De ce ne vine greu să ne deconectăm

The problem is that my brain feels stuffed with so much information and pulled in so many directions that there is no room left to take in anything more, much less to figure out how what’s already in there fits together.

My brain has become less a repository for knowledge than a perpetual motion machine.

You don’t need another polemic on the evils of overload, overwhelm and overdrive. You’ve got so many URLs left to visit before you sleep, and such limited attention to parse out along the way. I ask you to indulge me just briefly.

At the risk of losing all credibility, I believe our attention crisis has reached a new Defcon level. I can’t prove it, but I sense it in countless conversations, like the one I had last night in which a young woman told me that she found it difficult to read even a short article on the Internet all the way through. Or the person who told me that being asked in a meeting to turn off email prompts in him something close to a panic attack.

Tony Schwartz – Struggling to Disconnect From Our Digital Lives

GIF-ul potrivit la timpul potrivit

GIFs are marked by certain characteristics. They are typically a few seconds long, soundless and play in a loop. They are often culled from movie and TV clips and can include text on top of the animated image. (…l)

“I’m not that great with words,” Mr. Howlett said. “But if I find the perfect GIF, it nails it.”

Mike Isaac – For Mobile Messaging, GIFs Prove to Be Worth at Least a Thousand Words

Inteligență cristalizată într-o lume conectată

Crystallized intelligence is the ability to use experience, knowledge and the products of lifelong education that have been stored in long-term memory. It is the ability to make analogies and comparisons about things you have studied before. Crystallized intelligence accumulates over the years and leads ultimately to understanding and wisdom.

The online world is brand new, but it feels more fun, effortless and natural than the offline world of reading and discussion. It nurtures agility, but there is clear evidence by now that it encourages a fast mental rhythm that undermines the ability to explore narrative, and place people, ideas and events in wider contexts.

David Brooks – Building Attention Span

Vreau să fiu clientul, nu produsul

Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, seems to have plenty of money, but I’d like to give him some of mine. I want to pay a small fee for the right to keep my information private and to be able to hear from the people I want — not the sponsored-content makers I want to avoid. I want to be a customer, not a product.

Zeynep Tufekci – Mark Zuckerberg, Let Me Pay for Facebook


A couple years ago, Rachel Law, a grad student at Parsons at the time, had this to say: “The ‘Internet’ does not exist. Instead, it is many overlapping filter bubbles which selectively curate us into data objects to be consumed and purchased by advertisers.” As she also said, a bit less academically, “Browsing is now determined by your consumer profile and what you see, hear and the feeds you receive are tailored from your friends’ lists, emails, online purchases, etc.”

Jacob Silverman – The Internet Doesn’t Exist

Sfaturi pentru viitorii jurnaliști (3)

Never be boring — be engaging and clear, especially when the subject is complicated or hard to understand. If you’re writing blurry stuff, maybe you don’t understand the subject yet. Pity the readers (or viewers) and consider their attention span. (E.B. White on clarity, referring to his teacher William Strunk: “Will felt that the reader was in serious trouble most of the time, a man floundering in a swamp, and that it was the duty of anyone attempting to write English to drain this swamp quickly and get his man up on dry ground, or at least throw him a rope.”)

Margaret Sullivan – Everything I Know About Journalism in 395 Words

Reguli simple de mâncat sănătos

Below are the general rules I live by. They’re the ones I share with patients, with friends and with family. They’re the ones I support as a pediatrician and a health services researcher. But I acknowledge up front that they may apply only to healthy people without metabolic disorders (me, for instance, as far as I know).

These suggestions are also not supported by the scientific weight of rigorous randomized controlled trials, because little in nutrition is. I’ve inserted links to back them up with the available evidence. They are not “laws” and should not be treated as such. No specific nutrients will be demonized, and none will be held up as miracles. But these recommendations make sense to me, and they’ve helped me immensely.

Aaron Carroll – Simple Rules for Healthy Eating (via kottke)

Caracter vs carieră

It occurred to me that there were two sets of virtues, the résumé virtues and the eulogy virtues. The résumé virtues are the skills you bring to the marketplace. The eulogy virtues are the ones that are talked about at your funeral — whether you were kind, brave, honest or faithful. Were you capable of deep love?

We all know that the eulogy virtues are more important than the résumé ones. But our culture and our educational systems spend more time teaching the skills and strategies you need for career success than the qualities you need to radiate that sort of inner light. Many of us are clearer on how to build an external career than on how to build inner character.

David Brooks – The Moral Bucket List


David Carr (1956 – 2015)

How is it that almost every warm bar stool contains a hero, a star of his own epic, who is the sum of his amazing stories?

If I said I was a fat thug who beat up women and sold bad coke, would you like my story? What if instead I wrote that I was a recovered addict who obtained sole custody of my twin girls, got us off welfare and raised them by myself, even though I had a little touch of cancer? Now we’re talking. Both are equally true, but as a member of a self-interpreting species, one that fights to keep disharmony at a remove, I’m inclined to mention my tenderhearted attentions as a single parent before I get around to the fact that I hit their mother when we were together. We tell ourselves that we lie to protect others, but the self usually comes out looking damn good in the process.

David Carr – Me and My Girls

Blasfemie și corectitudine politică

Câteva articole din ultimele zile care pun în context dezbaterea de după atacurile de la Paris.


Alan Jacobs scrie despre acel “dar” care a punctat atât de multe din reacțiile față de atacurile teroriste. “Dom’le, nu e bine să omori oameni, dar…” După care urmează opinii peste opinii care par mai revoltate de caricaturi decât de faptul că cei care le-au desenat au fost omorâți:

The first thing I note, at any rate, is a tone of exasperation: I can’t believe I have to say this. But why do you have to say it? Obviously: because if you didn’t, people would think, from the rest of your post or essay, that you don’t have a big problem with the murder of the people who worked at Charlie Hebdo.

And why would people get that impression? Because you’re not interested in saying anything that would indicate compassion for the murder victims. Now, you may well have compassion for the murder victims — I have no way of knowing — but it’s not a topic you want to indulge in.


David Brooks remarcă în NYT inconsecvența celor care pledează pentru liberă exprimare, dar care încearcă să o îngrădească agresiv când e folosită într-un mod ofensator valorilor lor.

The journalists at Charlie Hebdo are now rightly being celebrated as martyrs on behalf of freedom of expression, but let’s face it: If they had tried to publish their satirical newspaper on any American university campus over the last two decades it wouldn’t have lasted 30 seconds. Student and faculty groups would have accused them of hate speech. The administration would have cut financing and shut them down.


Mulți musulmani se întreabă de ce legea occidentală permite ofensarea credinței lor dar cenzurează ofensarea grupurilor minoritare, etichetat drept hate speech. E o întrebare legitimă. Răspunsul neplăcut e că discursul instigator la ură e o blasfemie a valorilor seculare precum toleranța. Iar miliția corectitudinii politice din universități acceptă orice fel de batjocură, mai puțin cea care atinge propriile tabuuri:

Today’s threats to free speech are more likely to come from “social justice warriors” on the left who say they are defending the feelings of those deemed to be crushed under the weight of supposedly systemic racism and sexism.