Liked ‘We believed we could remake ourselves any way we liked’: how the 1990s shaped #MeToo – podcast by Eve Fairbanks (the Guardian)
While promising liberation and endless possibility, the culture of the decade drove us relentlessly in pursuit of perfection
Eve Fairbanks’ reflection on the creation of the MeToo movement reminds me of Molly Ringwald’s look back at the art of John Hughes.

Read the text version here.

Bookmarked Doctor, I think I have GDPR fatigue: Chips with Everything podcast by Jordan Erica Webber (the Guardian)

The General Data Protection Regulation is coming into force.

These tougher rules on data protection were approved by the EU Parliament in April 2016, but a lot of us didn’t hear about them back then. Perhaps you first heard GDPR mentioned in discussions about recent controversies to do with the questionable use of people’s data.

Or maybe it was when you started receiving a deluge emails.

But what is GDPR, and why should we care about it? And could these new regulations impact our health? What happens with our medical data now?

To help answer these questions, Jordan Erica Webber is joined by the Guardian’s technology reporter, Alex Hern, and Dr Rachel Birch of the Medical Protection Society.

This episode of the Chips with Everything podcast provides a useful starting point for all things GDPR, especially in regards to the health sector.
Liked Five things we learned from Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook hearing by Alex Hern (the Guardian)
By the end of the second hearing, we had learned the areas Facebook wanted to avoid. Questions about its profiling prowess, for instance, were generally answered through misdirection. Asked who owns “the virtual you”, Zuckerberg’s favoured response was to note that you own all the “content” you upload, and can delete it at will. That does not answer the question, of course: the advertising profile that Facebook builds up about you cannot be deleted, and you have no control over it.
Listened Why I’m suing over my dream internship – podcast by Amalia Illgner from the Guardian
... winning not by being better, but by rigging the competition in your favour. Erecting economic barriers to employment via the high cost of taking an internship is just one more way to reserve the highest-status jobs for the elite.
Listened Why Silicon Valley billionaires are prepping for the apocalypse in New Zealand – podcast by Mark O'Connell from the Guardian
How an extreme libertarian tract predicting the collapse of liberal democracies – written by Jacob Rees-Mogg’s father – inspired the likes of Peter Thiel to buy up property across the Pacific


A text version can be found here.

Listened Inside the OED: can the world’s biggest dictionary survive the internet? – podcast by Andrew Dickson from the Guardian
For centuries, lexicographers have attempted to capture the entire English language. Technology might soon turn this dream into reality – but will it spell the end for dictionaries?
This is an intriguing insight into the effort to organise language. It is interesting to think about this exercise in regards to Google Books and machine learning. I feel that this is as much about world views and perspective.

The text version can be found here.

Listened The male glance: how we fail to take women’s stories seriously – podcast by Lili Loofbourow from the Guardian
Consider this a rational corrective to centuries of dismissive shrugs, then: look for the gorilla. Do what we already automatically do with male art: assume there is something worthy and interesting hiding there. If you find it, admire it. And outline it, so that others will see it too. Once you point it out, we’ll never miss it again. And we will be better for seeing as obvious and inevitable something that previously – absent the instructions – we simply couldn’t perceive.
Lili Loofbourow tries to rewrite the wrong that has male art is epic, universal, and profoundly meaningful, while Women’s creations as domestic, emotional and trivial. This critique of gender has ramifications far beyond fiction. When I think of music and the world of producers, it is another field dominated by males.

One interesting quote to come out of the piece was from Susan Sontag:

A famous Susan Sontag meditation on this aesthetic paradigm bears repeating: “The great advantage men have is that our culture allows two standards of male beauty: the boy and the man. The beauty of a boy resembles the beauty of a girl. In both sexes, it is a fragile kind of beauty and flourishes naturally only in the early part of the life cycle. Happily, men are able to accept themselves under another standard of good looks – heavier, rougher, more thickly built … There is no equivalent of this second standard for women. The single standard of beauty for women dictates that they must go on having clear skin. Every wrinkle, every line, every grey hair, is a defeat.”

Listened ‘I could hear things, and I could feel terrible pain’: when anaesthesia fails – podcast by Kate Cole-Adams from the Guardian
if you have an operation, although it is your surgeon who manages the moist, intricate mechanics of the matter, it is your anaesthetist who keeps you alive.
Kate Cole-Adams explains that anaesthesia remains a mysterious and inexact science, with thousands of patients still waking up on the operating table every year.

Figures vary (sometimes wildly, depending in part on how they are gathered) but big American and European studies using structured post-operative interviews have shown that one to two patients in 1,000 report waking under anaesthesia. More, it seems, in China. More again in Spain. Twenty to forty thousand people are estimated to remember waking each year in the US alone. Of these, only a small proportion are likely to feel pain, let alone the sort of agonies described above. But the impact can be devastating.

Cole-Adams suggests that the answer maybe a personal touch:

So if you were my anaesthetist and I your patient, there are some other things I’d hope you would do in the operating theatre. Things that many already do. Be kind. Talk to me. Just a bit of information and reassurance. Use my name.

For some argue that there should be care that goes beyond consciousness:

Japanese anaesthetist Jiro Kurata calls this “care of the soul”. In an unusual and rather lovely paper delivered at the Ninth International Symposium on Memory and Awareness in Anaesthesia in 2015, he wondered if there might be “part of our existence that cannot ever be shut down, which we cannot even conceive by ourselves” – a “subconscious self” that might be resistant to even high doses of anaesthetics. He called this the hard problem of anaesthesia awareness.

You can read the text version here.

Listened Searching for an Alzheimer’s cure while my father slips away – podcast by Peter Savodnik from the Guardian
Science might be able to return my father (or, more to the point, future Alzheimer’s patients) to his pre-Alzheimer’s state, but it could not undo the sea change that had taken place in the people who loved him. For that to happen, we would have to forget everything that had happened in the past decade – and our memory, for better and worse, is perfectly intact.