The Real Alternative


New Anti-Corruption Masters Degree in Vienna

When I saw this I wanted to add “that should be a laugh” to the tweet but there was no room for more characters.

However, I shouldn’t be too cynical. When I had just finished my PhD I found only one sociology reference book (by Blackwell, I think) that even listed the topic. It said that corruption was a relatively new topic for the social sciences due to the difficulties in studying it. So true.

At least this course is making a stab at it. Some discourse is always better than no discourse.



Today’s Top Tweet – Corruption: Hiding the skunk at the garden party?

A study has recently come out about corruption around the world. There are a few factors that make me question it.

First, criminals usually don’t report their crimes. So things could be, and probably are, much worse than what we see. Only those insider deals, bribes (given and taken) that have been officially dealt with hit the radar.

Second, human bias is unavoidable and, third, corruption within the corruption indexing system, itself, is also possible.

For political and economic reasons, blind eyes could be turned toward home affairs while faraway countries are highlighted. This is called scapegoating. Scapegoating happens within small and large groups. It’s a pretty common human dynamic among people who can’t or don’t want to look at themselves honestly. Or among people who do know themselves fairly well but wish to mislead others for (perceived) personal gain.

The former are just ignorant. The latter, creeps.

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Today’s Top Tweets – and a great new time saving feature!

I’m a bit like Donald Trump in the sense that I want to get as much done as possible with the least amount of menial labor. So I like automated feeds, flipping information around the web and back into Earthpages because it means less coding and more living. (Okay, some see coding as a way of life but that’s not me.)

When I say “automated feeds” I’m not talking about those useless scripts that gather just any old news story and plaster it to your website or blog. Nope. I go through each story and personally choose those which are a good fit for And, if time permits, I try to comment. Commenting allows me to show readers two things:

  1. I don’t agree with everything I post
  2. I don’t NOT post things because I disagree with them

To not post things you disagree with is just commie-fascism. And I do not see that as the best way to go about trying to inform and elevate readers! However, there are some things I do not post because imo they are so dark or misguided that I don’t want to reinforce them in any way. Posting articles gives publicity to some extent.

So one has to really think about it.

I just wanted to clarify this before implementing my new time-saving feature. And that is… when relevant, I will link to a page that I have already highlighted. The highlighting should appear in most devices. I’ve tested it with Chrome and Firefox, and with my iPhone. So even if I don’t have time to comment, at least I have highlighted portions of an article that I feel are most crucial.

Basically this saves both of us time. And that’s a good thing!

I have highlighted the following but want to add that Big Data is fine as long as it’s not used by Big Brother. Hitler used big data, in a sense. The following enthusiastic case for big data in psychiatry overlooks the dark side of possible abuses by those in power. Also, the text highlighted in blue overlooks the fact that there is much debate about so-called biomarkers in psychiatry.

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enron the smartest guys in the room – Trailer

enron the smartest guys in the room – Trailer