Breaking news, breaking news: the Russians are coming, the Russians are coming, the president has been assassinated and the capital has been bombed to shreds…(er, not really).
Russia’s army mounted a massive invasion of Georgia over the weekend, bombing the capital Tbilisi and assassinating President Mikheil Saakashvili. Except none of it actually happened. The terrifying scenario was played out in a chillingly realistic news report on Georgian television, causing widespread panic across the country. "Less than two years after the very real war between Russia and Georgia, thousands of viewers believed that history was repeating itself – at least for half an hour. The programme, which aired at prime time on the Imedi television channel, described opposition politicians protesting the results of elections, Russia taking advantage of internal chaos, and – after a manufactured ‘incident’ in the breakaway region of South Ossetia – beginning an invasion of Georgia. Beforehand, the anchor had made a brief statement that what followed would be a ‘simulation’, but during the programme itself, as pictures were shown of the Russian Army flooding into Georgia, there was no on-screen caption explaining that the events were not real. At one point, the action even moved to Washington, where viewers were told that Barack Obama was making a live statement."
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The Oxfam report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency."
- A new report by Oxfam argues that wealth inequality is causing poverty and misery around the world.
- In the last year, the world's billionaires saw their wealth increase by 12%, while the poorest 3.8 billion people on the planet lost 11% of their wealth.
- The report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency." We explain what Steven Pinker's got to do with it.
Evolution doesn't clean up after itself very well.
- An evolutionary biologist got people swapping ideas about our lingering vestigia.
- Basically, this is the stuff that served some evolutionary purpose at some point, but now is kind of, well, extra.
- Here are the six traits that inaugurated the fun.
- Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
- Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
- But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
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