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Friday, May 27, 2011

  • The Battle for Wisconsin: Court Strikes Down Gov. Scott Walker’s Anti-Union Bill

    Nicholes

    A Wisconsin judge has struck down Gov. Scott Walker’s union-busting law because Republican legislators failed to provide sufficient public notice before passing the measure in March. The law sharply curbs nearly all collective bargaining rights of state employees. We speak to John Nichols of The Nation magazine on the future of the bill, Wisconsin’s repressive new voter ID bill, and Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget proposals to overhaul Medicare and Medicaid. [includes rush transcript]

  • Eli Pariser on "The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You”

    Eli_bk

    The internet is increasingly becoming an echo chamber in which websites tailor information according to the preferences they detect in each viewer. When some users search the word “Egypt,” they may get the latest news about the revolution, others might only see search results about Egyptian vacations. The top 50 websites collect an average of 64 bits of personal information each time we visit—and then custom-design their sites to conform to our perceived preferences. What impact will this online filtering have on the future of democracy? We speak to Eli Pariser, author of The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You. "Take news about the war in Afghanistan. When you talk to people who run news websites, they’ll tell you stories about the war in Afghanistan don’t perform very well. They don’t get a lot of clicks. People don’t flock to them. And yet, this is arguably one of the most important issues facing the country," says Pariser. "But it will never make it through these filters. And especially on Facebook this is a problem, because the way that information is transmitted on Facebook is with the 'like' button. And the 'like' button, it has a very particular valence. It’s easy to click 'like' on 'I just ran a marathon' or 'I baked a really awesome cake.' It’s very hard to click 'like' on 'war in Afghanistan enters its 10th year.'" [includes rush transcript]

  • Sandra Steingraber on the Health Crisis Surrounding Natural Gas Extraction

    Gas

    About 30 states allow hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” the natural gas drilling process that injects millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals deep into the earth in order to break up shale rock and release natural gas. New York has imposed a partial moratorium on the drilling process pending the outcome of an environmental impact study this July. Yesterday, New York state lawmakers held a hearing on the health impacts of fracking, an issue that until now has received little media attention. We talk with Sandra Steingraber, a biologist who testified at the hearing. She is author of Raising Elijah: Protecting Children in an Age of Environmental Crisis. [includes rush transcript]