There are 2 million people surveilling Internet usage in China, half a million more than are safeguarding the country in its army; memory’s fallibility is a good thing, according to some neuroscientists; meanwhile, the Fukushima disaster is enough evidence that all nuclear plants should be shut down. These discoveries and more below.

On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that have found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies.

China Has More Internet Monitors Than Soldiers China has 2 million people working as online monitors, according to a report last week by state news publication Beijing News — a new estimate that reveals the breadth of the country’s massive online censorship and surveillance systems.

For Many Hard-Liners, Debt Default Is the Goal This week, according to the Treasury Department, it will exhaust its “extraordinary” measures to avoid hitting a hard debt ceiling.

Brain Drain: Existential Threat For Israel Let’s start with the good news. On Oct. 13 in Israel, more than 300,000 students started the academic year at universities and colleges around the country.

Microsoft’s Google-Bashing TV Campaign Is Actually Working The commercials are hard hitting, beating up Google for everything from invasive ads in Gmail to sharing data with app developers to placing paid results on its search page.

How Americans Get TV News at Home Even at a time of fragmenting media use, television remains the dominant way that Americans get news at home, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of Nielsen data.

U.S. Science Reporters Becoming an Endangered Species The news for environmental journalism in the United States is grim and getting grimmer.

Beyond The Spin, Some Facts About The Affordable Care Act On the first day that the new health insurance exchanges went into effect as part of the new health law, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Dr. Margaret Flowers was caught off guard by a question asked by Bruce Dixon of the Black Agenda Report.

Americans’ Views of Online Courses A majority of Americans believe online instruction is at least as good as classroom-based courses in terms of providing good value, a format most students can succeed in, and instruction tailored to each individual.

Memory Is Inherently Fallible, And That’s a Good Thing Neuroscientists Daniela Schiller says every time you recall a memory, it changes, and that can be a useful thing.

Glenn Greenwald: The Death Spiral of Establishment Journalism Like many people, Glenn Greenwald’s spent years writing and speaking about the lethal power-subservient pathologies plaguing establishment journalism in the west.

The San Francisco Exodus Everyone keeps moving to Oakland.

Israel’s Rabbis Keep Lock On Jewish Marriage Once Esti and Ronnie decided to live together as a couple, they unanimously agreed to keep out of their relationship any governmental element — first and foremost the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.

Is the Internet Good for Writing? A Debate Clive Thompson says he is “regularly astonished by the quality and length of expression I find online, the majority of which is done by amateurs in their spare time.”

Explosion of Wireless Devices Strains Campus Networks A few weeks into the fall semester, Bruce Maas, chief information officer at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, received an e-mail from his chancellor: A junior living in campus housing was frustrated with the wireless network, which he said often left him unable to connect to the Internet.

All Nuclear Reactors Must Go Now, Expert Panels Charge As Fukushima shows, business-as-usual for US nuclear plants poses risks of future catastrophe, says group of experts.

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