Truth Goggles

According to Neiman Journalism Lab:

“Dan Schultz, a graduate student at the MIT Media Lab (and newly named Knight-Mozilla fellow for 2012), is devoting his thesis to automatic bullshit detection. Schultz is building what he calls truth goggles — not actual magical eyewear, alas, but software that flags suspicious claims in news articles and helps readers determine their truthiness. It’s possible because of a novel arrangement: Schultz struck a deal with fact-checker PolitiFact for access to its private APIs.”

(via Bull beware: Truth goggles sniff out suspicious sentences in news » Nieman Journalism Lab.)

It’s a fascinating idea. Imagine browsers having a plug-in that is able to fact check all sorts of data using sources such as Wikipedia. It could have a huge impact on the future of news media. Imagine reading an article on, say, climate change in The Australian, and this “truth goggles” plug-in pointing out all of the inconsistencies in their reporting.

Or imagine reading Hilary Clinton ramping up the case for invading Iran because they are weaponising uranium, but have “truth goggles” pointing out that there is no evidence to support this claim.

Of course, this process doesn’t *need* to be automated with an algorithm. Chrome extensions like “Glass” allow people to comment on websites. For example, see this screenshot of a comment I left using Glass on a story in the Brisbane Times today about News Ltd corruption allegations from former QLD senator Bill O’Chee.

Could we all use tools like Glass to subvert the ability of the mainstream media and certain blogs to spin bullshit to their readers? Of course there is always the comments section of most sites these days, but perhaps they tend to get moderated and news sites promote comments by their faithful believers. Would Glass-like tools also get corrupted by flame wars? How do we keep them clean and useful? User moderation ala Wikipedia?


No Illusions 29 – The Polyamorous Life with Kieran Salsone

I first met Kieran Salsone a few years ago at a BTUB not long after I moved to Brisbane. I’d already known him via his Twitter handle websinthe. I knew from the comic he used to write that he had a sharp political mind. But it wasn’t until I caught up with him for a cigar a few months ago that I discovered that he also lead a polyamorous love life. As he, his fiancé Naomi and his girlfriend Rachelle all came out on Facebook this week, I thought it would be a great time to get him onto the show for a chat about polyamory. Has marriage had its day?

The Sad Journey of an iPad2

Jason ordered a couple of iPad2s for us several weeks ago which haven’t arrived yet. Here’s the shipping notification we just received from Apple.

  • May 26th – Picked up from Shenzhen
  • May 27th – Arrived Singapore
  • May 29th – Arrived Frankfurt
  • June 3rd – Delivered in Good condition, Istanbul
  • June 9th – Picked up from Istanbul
  • June 18th – Arriived Shenzhen
  • June 20th – Arrived Hong Kong
  • June 21st – Awaiting departure to Brisbane
  • 21 Jun 2011    06:22:35    Hong Kong    Shipment Received At Transit Point.
  • 21 Jun 2011    09:11:33    Hong Kong    Shipment In Transit.
  • 21 Jun 2011    11:21:48    Hong Kong    Shipment Received At Transit Point.
  • 21 Jun 2011    17:03:56    Hong Kong    Shipment In Transit.
  • 21 Jun 2011    21:00:00    Hong Kong    Shipment Lost. Recovery Action Underway.
Looks like Apple’s shipping system needs some work.
The Sad Journey Of an iPad2

No Illusions 21 – News Roundup

Nine Afghan Boys Killed by NATO Helicopters –

The Greens up two to 15 per cent

British UFO reports

Rudd condemns air strike on Afghan boys

UFOs over Sydney – the intergalactic neighbours drop by

The Capitalist’s Paradox

Bank of England governor blames spending cuts on bank bailouts

Four time bombs that will blow up Wall Street

Manning faces new charges, possible death penalty


No Illusions 19 – Antony Loewenstein

My guest today is Australian author, journalist, blogger and Middle East specialist, Antony Loewenstein.

Links for today’s show:

“What has Wikileaks ever taught us?”

American Being Held for Shootings in Pakistan Worked as Blackwater CIA Contractor

Britain suddenly discovers that democracy is a jolly good idea?

Robert Fisk on Libya

Hamas calls US veto on anti-settlement vote ‘immoral’

This podcast is sponsored by Suave Outdoor Living, contact them for Brisbane Pergolas