Latest Dispatches

newsdesertsmap_blurred_web
21 Oct 2016

New Threats: Media Barons & News Deserts

There’s a new study published by the University of North Carolina’s School of Media and Journalism detailing a pretty serious threat by the forces of Stupid. The report finds that since many newspapers are now owned by hedge funds and other outside corporate groups (with no particular sense of civic responsibility);

General Knowledge 0
Screenshot of GIF from Chequeado and UNO
08 Oct 2016

Great Idea: The Fact-Check GIF

Here’s a great idea for newspapers everywhere: Turn fact-checking into a fun animated GIF. It’s kind of a face-palm, why-isn’t-this-happening-everywhere moment, actually. And that’s why it’s a great idea – because of it’s surprising simplicity. Animated GIFs tend to get more engagement in social media You want as many people

General Knowledge 0
climate-change-graphic-snippet
22 Sep 2016

This Climate Change Cartoon Is Alarming

The good people at xkcd had some viral success earlier this week with a cartoon graph of human history and the acceleration of climate change relative to the last 22,000 years. I don’t know how long the graph has actually been around, but it definitely popped up in a couple places

General Knowledge 0
EpiPen Tycoon videogame home screen
08 Sep 2016

Pharmaceutical Price Gouging: The Video Game

This is the second video game I’ve stumbled across in the past few months that used interactivity to create a visceral emotional response to a contemporary event. There’s this moment of recognition as you’re playing where everything that’s wrong with the situation becomes more real. It’s persuasive, and it’s something

General Knowledge 0
otm_guides_banner
05 Sep 2016

Listen & Read: On The Media’s News Consumer Guides

Whenever there’s a seemingly universally accepted narrative surrounding a particular news story, On the Media (OTM for us Brooke Gladstone fan-boys) seems to be the place to get that prevailing wisdom checked. They’re reliably the source of that much needed “other side” of the story, filling in gaps in the

Special Ops 0
good_charts-banner
14 Aug 2016

Read: Good Charts

  Visualizations have finally become a respected language of business. So who better than Harvard Business Review to give you a crash course on how to speak fluent chart. What is it? A beginner’s guide to viewing and creating good data viz. Think of it as a much needed, easy to

Special Ops 0
John Oliver on the show speaking at his desk
09 Aug 2016

John Oliver’s Dissection of Contemporary Journalism is Pure Gold

It seems like once every few months John Oliver just blows my mind. This made the rounds in the jouralism social media in a major way when it came out — probably because it cuts right down to the bone for a lot of folks who work at (or used

General Knowledge 0
dancing guy
02 Aug 2016

Leadership Lessons from a Dancing Guy

When it comes to information translation, we tend to focus on intentional acts — creations that purposefully transpose an idea or data set into a different medium. But, this video is more of a found-footage revelation that successfully illustrates one of the foundational principles of leadership. It’s not a movement

General Knowledge 0
smarterfasterbetter-banner
19 Jul 2016

Read: The Smarter Faster Better Way to Deal with the Stupid Gap

Charles Duhigg, in chapter 8 of his latest book Smarter, Faster, Better, perfectly illustrates the challenge of, as well as outlines a solution to, information overload. 6 years ago Patrick (aka General Knowledge) and I unknowingly dove head first into this world of cognitive psychology. It was filled with high-falutin

Special Ops 0
A Screenshot from the video game Easy Level Life
16 Jul 2016

A Message from #BlackLivesMatter as Video Game

I stumbled across a juicy morsel about a video game called Easy Level Life that was featured on Kill Screen and Okayplayer recently. It’s an interesting piece of information translation, taking a commonly asked question (mostly by white people who’ve never had a negative experience with the police): “What did they

General Knowledge 0
truth_banner
05 Jul 2016

Listen: Sometimes The Truth is Not Enough

No that’s not the title of a long lost Bond flick (#TeamBrosnan). It’s the main takeaway of a recent episode of one of my podcast obsessions: Only Human, from long time War on Stupid Idol WNYC. The episode provides a few of the starkest cautionary tales about what’s at stake

Special Ops 0
gradfather_dataviz_banner
29 Jun 2016

Hero Salute: The Grandfather of Data Visualization

Data Viz O.G. There’s a really interesting article over on Atlas Obscura about one bonnie Scot named William Playfair, who began making illustrated charts and graphs in the late-18th century — one of the early (or earliest) practitioners of modern data visualization). Unfortunately he lived at a time when the

General Knowledge 0
wisecrack_banner
28 Jun 2016

Hero Salute: Wisecrack

With a tagline like “Laugh Harder, grow smarter.” it’s no surprise that this band of  creatives has caught our eye. Using hilarious critiques and analyses of pop-cultural artifacts like TV shows, movies, video games and books, these youtube videos manage to keep you entertained long enough for them to slip in

Special Ops 0
fact_checking_banner
05 May 2016

Fact-Checking in the New Information Age

Brave new world There is very little doubt in my mind that the next front in the War on Stupid will play out across a field of algorithms. It already is to an increasing degree, as people discover endless mountains of content on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, et al. There’s so much

General Knowledge 0

Stupid Thoughts

newsdesertsmap_blurred_web
21 Oct 2016

New Threats: Media Barons & News Deserts

There’s a new study published by the University of North Carolina’s School of Media and Journalism detailing a pretty serious threat by the forces of Stupid. The report finds that since many newspapers are now owned by hedge funds and other outside corporate groups (with no particular sense of civic responsibility);

General Knowledge 0
Screenshot of GIF from Chequeado and UNO
08 Oct 2016

Great Idea: The Fact-Check GIF

Here’s a great idea for newspapers everywhere: Turn fact-checking into a fun animated GIF. It’s kind of a face-palm, why-isn’t-this-happening-everywhere moment, actually. And that’s why it’s a great idea – because of it’s surprising simplicity. Animated GIFs tend to get more engagement in social media You want as many people

General Knowledge 0
climate-change-graphic-snippet
22 Sep 2016

This Climate Change Cartoon Is Alarming

The good people at xkcd had some viral success earlier this week with a cartoon graph of human history and the acceleration of climate change relative to the last 22,000 years. I don’t know how long the graph has actually been around, but it definitely popped up in a couple places

General Knowledge 0
EpiPen Tycoon videogame home screen
08 Sep 2016

Pharmaceutical Price Gouging: The Video Game

This is the second video game I’ve stumbled across in the past few months that used interactivity to create a visceral emotional response to a contemporary event. There’s this moment of recognition as you’re playing where everything that’s wrong with the situation becomes more real. It’s persuasive, and it’s something

General Knowledge 0
John Oliver on the show speaking at his desk
09 Aug 2016

John Oliver’s Dissection of Contemporary Journalism is Pure Gold

It seems like once every few months John Oliver just blows my mind. This made the rounds in the jouralism social media in a major way when it came out — probably because it cuts right down to the bone for a lot of folks who work at (or used

General Knowledge 0
dancing guy
02 Aug 2016

Leadership Lessons from a Dancing Guy

When it comes to information translation, we tend to focus on intentional acts — creations that purposefully transpose an idea or data set into a different medium. But, this video is more of a found-footage revelation that successfully illustrates one of the foundational principles of leadership. It’s not a movement

General Knowledge 0
smarterfasterbetter-banner
19 Jul 2016

Read: The Smarter Faster Better Way to Deal with the Stupid Gap

Charles Duhigg, in chapter 8 of his latest book Smarter, Faster, Better, perfectly illustrates the challenge of, as well as outlines a solution to, information overload. 6 years ago Patrick (aka General Knowledge) and I unknowingly dove head first into this world of cognitive psychology. It was filled with high-falutin

Special Ops 0
A Screenshot from the video game Easy Level Life
16 Jul 2016

A Message from #BlackLivesMatter as Video Game

I stumbled across a juicy morsel about a video game called Easy Level Life that was featured on Kill Screen and Okayplayer recently. It’s an interesting piece of information translation, taking a commonly asked question (mostly by white people who’ve never had a negative experience with the police): “What did they

General Knowledge 0
truth_banner
05 Jul 2016

Listen: Sometimes The Truth is Not Enough

No that’s not the title of a long lost Bond flick (#TeamBrosnan). It’s the main takeaway of a recent episode of one of my podcast obsessions: Only Human, from long time War on Stupid Idol WNYC. The episode provides a few of the starkest cautionary tales about what’s at stake

Special Ops 0
gradfather_dataviz_banner
29 Jun 2016

Hero Salute: The Grandfather of Data Visualization

Data Viz O.G. There’s a really interesting article over on Atlas Obscura about one bonnie Scot named William Playfair, who began making illustrated charts and graphs in the late-18th century — one of the early (or earliest) practitioners of modern data visualization). Unfortunately he lived at a time when the

General Knowledge 0
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