@cydharrell True story. In grad school I am taking a psych course in how memory works. Fourth week in I raise my hand: "There's something I don't get about this course. The first thing you taught us is that memory is associative. Some smells can conjure up a whole world, for example..." 1/
@cydharrell ... "But all the studies we're assigned to read are quantitative. They have to use random digits or non-sense syllables as the 'stuff' to be remembered, so as not to contaminate the results with associations one person has, and another does not. You can see my problem, right?" 2/
@cydharrell "It seems," I said, "that the method we're using to learn how memory works deliberately removes from the equation the first thing we know about memory: that it's associative."

He looks at me with placid eyes, and says: "That's a problem in the field."

And the class moves on. 3/

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More from @jayrosen_nyu

4 May
Brief report on Washington Post's book event with Josh Hawley. It was 30 minutes. About half on 2020 election, half on big tech and Hawley's book. Reading prepared questions, Post reporter @Cat_Zakrzewski did challenge him on his part in the insurrection and did follow up... 1/
The problem was the same one you see on Sunday shows. The guest can turn on his fog machine, lose most of the audience in hand-to-hand combat over important but arcane details, and run out the clock when the push back comes. This is what Hawley did with "election integrity." 2/
"Election integrity" — and the debate he says we needed about it — was Hawley's blanket defense for his actions on January 6. He knew the questions were coming, he knew his fog machine could hande them. He said he had no regrets. He was asked but took no responsibility.... 3/
Read 6 tweets
3 May
Wow. A group of disheartened former Denver Post editors and reporters launched an upstart news site two-and-a-half years ago. Today, The Colorado Sun announced it had acquired and would operate a family-owned chain of 24 suburban newspapers around Denver. npr.org/2021/05/03/993…
This part is also key: "The Sun, which will drive the papers editorially, is a public benefit corporation, which means it is a for-profit outfit that promises to perform a civic good in a way that is responsible and sustainable."

For-profit/non-profit are not the only choices.
Here's more on Colorado's save-local-newspapers-from-the-vampire transaction, which is a little complicated. But in a good way. coloradosun.com/2021/05/03/col… It's a "pilot project to show that national funders and local journalists can collaborate to keep newspapers in local hands."
Read 5 tweets
25 Apr
Rick Scott of Florida voted to overturn the 2020 election results in Pennsylvania. Sunday he will be on @ThisWeekABC with @GStephanopoulos, the most prestigious platform @ABC can bestow. What does the new president of ABC News, @KimGodwinTV, think about that? Hat tip, @MattNegrin
Number of questions @GStephanopoulos asked @SenRickScott about his vote to overturn election results in Pennsylvania: zero.

Number of gestures toward that kind of accountability: also zero.

@ABC News policy appears to be amnesty.

He did ask about this:
Time to put the question directly to news executives and show hosts at the major networks: What is the policy — and what is your thinking — about featuring on air those who voted to overturn results of the 2020 election? graphics.reuters.com/USA-TRUMP/LAWM…

It will help them and us to know.
Read 9 tweets
17 Apr
"Swiss Billionaire Is Said to End His Bid for Tribune Publishing." Hansjörg Wyss was part of a serious offer for the major newspaper chain that could have prevented it from being sold to the hedge fund Alden Global Capital. nytimes.com/2021/04/17/bus…
The Times story says Swiss billionaire Hansjörg Wyss saw the Chicago Tribune as a national newsroom, like the Times or the Post, but in doing his due dilgience discovered it was not to be. Too expensive.

This makes little sense to me. Who would have encouraged that illusion?
In retrospect this quote from Wyss should have given us more pause. “...the combination of giving enough money to a professional staff to do the right things and putting quite a bit of money into digital will eventually make a very profitable newspaper.” nytimes.com/2021/03/27/bus…
Read 4 tweets
22 Feb
"When in doubt, draw a distinction."

Not sure where he got it, but in grad school one of my teachers told me that. Some of the best advice I ever received.

This THREAD is about some of the key distinctions I draw on to do my work. If you're into that kind of thing.😎

Ready? 1/
For distinctions to do work, the terms have to be sufficiently close that prying them apart clears space for thought.

If I write, "bending is not the same as breaking," well, who said it was? That one is going nowhere. But "naked is not the same as nude" is an idea with legs. 2/
These notes about some of the distinctions I draw in order to do my work were written under the influence of two masters of the form: the French critic Roland Barthes, and the political philosopher Hannah Arendt, known for her striking distinctions— such as labor vs. work. 3/
Read 27 tweets
17 Feb
The Baltimore Sun said it will soon be acquired by a non-profit formed by businessman and philanthropist Stewart Bainum Jr. that would operate the Sun for the benefit of the community. It's part of a hedge fund's deal to buy Tribune Publishing. baltimoresun.com/business/bs-bz…
Could be good news, but a lot is still unknown. The Sun said the sale is not a completely done deal. It's unclear what the connection is to an earlier effort by Baltimore philanthropists, businesspeople and the union representing journalists to buy the Sun and make it non-profit.
On top of that, and as someone will no doubt say in a few minutes, there is nothing magic about turning non-profit. The phrase you will soon hear: non-profit is a tax status, not a business model. Meaning: you still need revenue greater than expenses. Big challenges ahead.
Read 8 tweets

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