Bengaluru: Karnataka caretaker Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said on Thursday that no one can give a stable government in the state in the present political scene after the fall of his ministry two days ago. Kumaraswamy said the resignations by the rebel MLAs of the Congress-JDS coalition had pushed the state towards by-elections. “Whether you focus on the developmental activities or the by-elections at 20 to 25 places, an atmosphere created by theBJP? We cannot assume that the government will remain stableeven after the elections,” Kumaraswamy told reporters. The Kumaraswamy government was reduced to a minority in the critical trial of strength in the assembly on July 23, when the confidence motion moved by him was defeated with 99 voting in favour of it and 105 against, ending a three-week long high-voltage political drama. Kumaraswamy, who was speaking to reporters after meeting senior Congress MLA Ramalinga Reddy, said he expressed his gratitude to him for having withdrawn his resignation to support the coalition government. He said Reddy has shown his commitment to Congress. Reddy was among the 16 coalition legislators who had resigned their assembly membership, but he later retraced his step and voted for the government. Treading cautiously, the BJP is yet to stake claim to form the government as the final word on the number game has not been said yet with the Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar still to decide on both the resignations of the rebels and pleas for their disqualification.
Aggressive driving behaviour is a reflection of a person’s surrounding culture, both on the road and on a broader social level, says a study.The findings suggest that some countries and cultures may be more susceptible to aggressive or competitive driving behaviours due to their social environment, and that improvements in that arena would also be seen in driving behaviour.“The choice to be competitive versus cooperative always starts with culture, by the influences around us and the way other people behave, ‘said one of the researchers Haizhong Wang, assistant professor of transportation engineering at Oregon State University in the US. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“And it’s clear there’s a role for education and experience, where studies have shown the value of young drivers participating in driver education programmes and receiving positive guidance from their parents and peers,” Wang noted.The study also implies that different social conditions might ultimately translate into better drivers.However, these dangerous behaviours are becoming a worldwide phenomenon of almost epidemic proportions partly as a reaction to overcrowded road networks, the researchers said. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe findings, published in the journal Procedia Engineering, showed that such behaviour is more pronounced in men than in women.The research was done with drivers in China where competitive driving is very common. The problems in China as it becomes increasingly crowded with drivers, however, reflect similar concerns at varying levels around the world, Wang said. In this analysis, the researchers concluded that drivers in congested situations generally believed that the chaotic traffic state was responsible for their competitive behaviour and they had no option other than to compete for space, the right-of-way, and gain advantages through speed and spacing.In simple terms, it was right and proper that they should try to keep up with or get ahead of traffic; that was the example being set for them, and they drove that way because everyone else did.However, the study also suggested that “personality traits draw on and are influenced by aspects of one’s social environment.” It is prevalent in India too where the surroundings play an important part.
On Monday, Carole Cadwalladr, a British journalist and Pulitzer award finalist, in her TED talk revealed how Facebook impacted the Brexit voting by enabling the spreading of calculated disinformation. Brexit, short for “British exit”, refers to UK’s withdrawal from the European Union (EU). Back in June 2016, when the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum happened, 51.9% of the voters supported leaving the EU. The final conclusion was set to come out on 29 March 2019, but it is now extended to 31 October 2019. Cadwalladr was asked by the editor of The Observer, the newspaper she was working at the time, to visit South Wales to investigate why so many voters there had elected to leave EU. So, she decided to visit Ebbw Vale, a town at the head of the valley formed by the Ebbw Fawr tributary of the Ebbw River in Wales. She wanted to find out why this town had the highest percentage of ‘Leave’ votes (62%). Brexit in South Wales: The reel and the real After reaching the town, Cadwalladr recalls that she was “taken aback” when she saw how this town has evolved over the years. The town was gleaming with new infrastructures including entrepreneurship center, sports center, better roads, and more, all funded by the EU. After seeing this development, she felt “a weird sense of unreality” when a young man stated his reason for voting to leave the EU was that it has failed to do anything for him. Not only this young man but people all over the town also stated the same reason for voting to leave the EU. “They said that they wanted to take back control,” adds Cadwalladr. Another major reason behind Brexit was immigration. However, Cadwalladr adds that she barely saw any immigrants and was unable to relate to the immigration problem the citizens of the town were talking about. So, she verified her observation with the actual records and was surprised to find that Ebbw Vale, in fact, has one of the lowest immigration rates. “So I was just a bit baffled because I couldn’t really understand where people were getting their information from,” she adds. So, after her story got published, a reader reached out to her regarding some Facebook posts and ads, which she described to her as “quite scary stuff about immigration, and especially about Turkey.” These posts were misinforming people that Turkey was going to join the EU and its 76 million population will promptly emigrate to current member states. “What happens on Facebook, stays on Facebook” After getting informed about these ads, when Cadwalladr checked Facebook to look for herself, she could not find even a trace of them because there is no archive of ads that are shown to people on Facebook. She said, “This referendum that will have this profound effect on Britain forever and it already had a profound effect. The Japanese car manufacturers that came to Wales and the North-East people who replaced the mining jobs are already going because of Brexit. And, this entire referendum took place in darkness because it took place on Facebook.” And, this is why the British parliament has called Mark Zuckerberg several times to get answers to their questions, but each time he refused. Nobody has a definitive answer to questions like what ads were shown to people, how these ads impacted them, how much money was spent on these ads, or what data was analyzed to target these people, but Facebook. Cadwalladr adds that she and other journalists observed that during the referendum multiple crimes happened. In Britain, there is a limited amount of budget that you are allowed to spend on election campaigns to prevent politicians from buying the votes. But, in the last few days before the Brexit vote the “biggest electoral fraud in Britain” happened. It was found that the official Vote Leave campaign laundered £750,000 from another campaign entity that was ruled illegal by the electoral commission. This money was spent, as you can guess, on the online disinformation campaigns. She adds, “And you can spend any amount of money on Facebook or on Google or on YouTube ads and nobody will know, because they’re black boxes. And this is what happened.” The law was also broken by a group named “Leave.EU”. This group was led by Nigel Farage, a British politician, whose Brexit Party is doing quite well in the European elections. The campaign was funded by Arron Banks, who is being referred to the National Crime Agency because the electoral commission was not able to figure out from where he was able to provide the money. Going further into the details, she adds, “And I’m not even going to go into the lies that Arron Banks has told about his covert relationship with the Russian government. Or the weird timing of Nigel Farage’s meetings with Julian Assange and with Trump’s buddy, Roger Stone, now indicted, immediately before two massive WikiLeaks dumps, both of which happened to benefit Donald Trump.” While looking into Trump’s relationship to Farage, she came across Cambridge Analytica. She tracked down one of its ex-employees, Christopher Wiley, who was brave enough to reveal that this company has worked for Trump and Brexit. It used data from 87 million people from Facebook to understand their individual fears and better target them with Facebook ads. Cadwalladr’s investigation involved so many big names, that it was quite expected to get some threats. The owner of Cambridge Analytica, Robert Mercer threatened to sue them multiple times. Later on, one day ahead of publishing, they received a legal threat from Facebook. But, this did not stop them from publishing their findings in the Observer. A challenge to the “gods of Silicon Valley” Addressing the leaders of the tech giants, Cadwalladr said, “Facebook, you were on the wrong side of history in that. And you were on the wrong side of history in this — in refusing to give us the answers that we need. And that is why I am here. To address you directly, the gods of Silicon Valley: Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg and Larry Page and Sergey Brin and Jack Dorsey, and your employees and your investors, too.” These tech giants can’t get away by just saying that they will do better in the future. They need to first give us the long-overdue answers so that these type of crimes are stopped from happening again. Comparing the technology they created to a crime scene, she now calls for fixing the broken laws. “It’s about whether it’s actually possible to have a free and fair election ever again. Because as it stands, I don’t think it is,” she adds. To watch her full talk, visit TED.com. Read Next Facebook shareholders back a proposal to oust Mark Zuckerberg as the board’s chairperson Facebook AI introduces Aroma, a new code recommendation tool for developers Facebook AI open-sources PyTorch-BigGraph for faster embeddings in large graphs