Larry's List

'Gobbledygook' Papers Flood Academia to Prove a Point

Three MIT students set out to expose how much crud gets accepted to scientific conferences; Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni was swayed by so-called science to sign an anti-gay bill; meanwhile, Bitcoin may have some value beyond that of an online currency. 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.

How Computer-Generated Fake Papers Are Flooding Academia
More and more academic papers that are essentially gobbledegook are being written by computer programs – and accepted at conferences.

Americans Increasingly View the Internet, Cellphones as Essential
How hard would it be to give up your cellphone, the internet, your television or your landline telephone?

Science Misused to Justify Ugandan Antigay Law
On 24 February, Uganda’s president, Yoweri Museveni, signed a draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill into law, after 2 months of declining to do so.

Navy Knew Fukushima Dangerously Contaminated the USS Reagan
A stunning new report indicates the U.S. Navy knew that sailors from the nuclear-powered USS Ronald Reagan took major radiation hits from the Fukushima atomic power plant after its meltdowns and explosions nearly three years ago.

Is Journalism Entering a Golden Age?
That might seem hard to believe, given all of the gnashing of teeth and rending of garments in recent years over the field’s perilous state as traditional journalism has been turned upside down by the digital onslaught.

Real-Time Automated Essay Writing?
When Geoffrey Pullum first tried EssayTyper, for just a moment it chilled his blood.

Marginally Useful
Bitcoin itself may fail as a currency, but the underlying technology is beginning to suggest valuable new applications.

Augmented Reality Gets to Work
Augmented reality hasn’t yet lived up to its promise, but it could catch on in situations where it makes employees more efficient.


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