Daily Bread for 3.27.21 | FREE WHITEWATER

Daily Bread for 3.27.21

Good morning.

Saturday in Whitewater will be rainy with a high of 52.  Sunrise is 6:43 AM and sunset 7:16 PM, for 12h 32m 49s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing gibbous with 97.8% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1981, the Solidarity movement in Poland stages a warning strike, in which at least 12 million Poles walk off their jobs for four hours.

Recommended for reading in full — 

Shawn Hubler, Tim Arango, and Anemona Hartocollis report U.S.C. Agrees to Pay $1.1 Billion to Patients of Gynecologist Accused of Abuse (‘The staggering sum — a combination of three sets of settlements with hundreds of alleged victims of Dr. George Tyndall — sets a record for collegiate sex abuse payouts’):

“On one hand, it really exemplifies the gravity of what Tyndall’s survivors had to experience, and really set in stone our truth as to what occurred,” said Ms. Morgan, now a 27-year-old lawyer. “But it’s also a really grueling reminder of the price tag U.S.C. was willing to put on our safety and our mental health.”

John C. Manly, who represented the third group of plaintiffs, said that “the reason U.S.C. paid this money was that there was culpability — they knew early on, in the early ’90s and all the way through his tenure that this was happening.”

This week’s settlement, which he said would be distributed among the plaintiffs in awards ranging from about $250,000 to several million dollars, will provide by far the largest per-victim payout, he said. But combined, the outcome of the litigation sends a message, he added: “If you’re an institution of higher education, you will pay if you do this.”

  Anne Applebaum describes The Science of Making Americans Hurt Their Own Country:

The problem is not only the outgrowth of the peculiar climate created by Donald Trump—however simple and satisfying such an explanation might be. Think, for a moment, about why the Russian state indulges in this kind of activity, year in and year out, despite the political costs and the risk of sanctions: Because it’s very cheap, it’s very easy, and a lot of evidence suggests that it works.

For decades now, Russian security services have studied a concept called “reflexive control”—the science of how to get your enemies to make mistakes. To be successful, practitioners must first analyze their opponents deeply, to understand where they get their information and why they trust it; then they need to find ways of playing with those trusted sources, in order to insert errors and mistakes. This way of thinking has huge implications for the military; consider how a piece of incorrect information might get a general to make a mistake. But it works in politics too. The Russian security services have now studied us and worked out (it probably wasn’t very hard) that large numbers of Americans—not only Fox News pundits and OANN broadcasters but also members of Congress—are very happy to accept sensational information, however tainted, from any source that happens to provide it. As long as it suits their partisan frames, and as long as it can be used against their opponents, they don’t care who invented it or for what purpose.

As a result, supplying an edited audiotape or a piece of false evidence to one of the bottom-feeders of the information ecosystem is incredibly easy; after that, others will ensure that it rises up the food chain. Russian disinformation doesn’t succeed thanks to the genius of Russians; it succeeds thanks to the sharp partisanship of Americans. Russian disinformation works because Americans allow it to work—and because those same Americans don’t care anymore about the harm they do to their country.

Slideshow: Spring in blossom around the world:

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