An open mind, an open question…

Society

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12 min read

The people dying at the hospitals had been residents of a local nursing home, the Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing at Barnwell in the tiny town of Valatie, New York. In all, the nurse counted 18 deaths of residents over five weeks. She didn’t have detailed medical records for the patients, but she noted that all had arrived at the hospital with orders saying no extraordinary measures were to be taken to keep them alive. As a result, she and the Columbia County health director developed a theory: “For me,” said Jack Mabb, the health director, “it appeared they were sending people to the hospital so they wouldn’t die in the facility.”

16 min read

A teenage girl carrying her baby arrived at the U.S. border this summer and begged for help. She told federal agents that she feared returning to Guatemala. The man who raped her she said had threatened to make her “disappear.” Then, advocates say, the child briefly vanished — into the custody of the U.S. government, which held her and her baby for days in a hotel with almost no outside contact before federal officers summarily expelled them from the country.

7 min read

Brian Hastings, a top Border Patrol official, stared grimly at the television cameras. It was July 1, 2019, and Hastings was facing down a scandal: News reports had revealed that Border Patrol agents were posting wildly offensive comments and memes in a secret Facebook group. Agents had shared crudely manipulated images of men sexually assaulting Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat and frequent antagonist of the Border Patrol; joked about migrants who died while trying to enter the United States; and made racist insults about Central Americans. The group called itself “I’m 10-15,” Border Patrol radio code for “aliens in custody,” and included some 9,500 current or former agents.

3 min read

Imagine discovering a new artist or designer—whether visual art, fashion, music, or even writing—and becoming a big fan of her work. You follow her on social media, eagerly anticipate new releases, and chat about her talent with your friends. It’s not long before you want to know more about this creative, inspiring person, so you start doing some research. It’s strange, but there doesn’t seem to be any information about the artist’s past online; you can’t find out where she went to school or who her mentors were. After some more digging, you find out something totally unexpected: your beloved artist is actually not a person at all—she’s an AI.

20 min read

When police discovered the woman, she’d been dead at home for at least 12 hours, alone except for her 4-year-old daughter…Anesthesiologist Claire Rezba, scrolling through the news on her phone, was dismayed. “I felt like her sacrifice was really great and her child’s sacrifice was really great, and she was just this anonymous woman, you know? It seemed very trivializing.” For days, Rezba would click through Google, searching for a name, until in late March, the news stories finally supplied one: Diedre Wilkes. And almost without realizing it, Rezba began to keep count.