THE BACKGROUND TO HISTORY, PART 4
Bit by bit, book by book, we’re coming to understand the British Empire for what it was: decades or centuries of terror and death for so many invaded and occupied peoples. Ferdinand Mount attacks those who still attempt to whitewash the Amritsar Massacre perpetrated by the British in 1919, but insists it was atypical of Britain’s evolving imperial sensibility in India. Empress at 12, teenage ruler of northern Italy, Matilda would have been the best-qualified heir ever to inherit the English throne, but it was not to be.
While we’re on historians, there’s a new book on “isolationist” historian Charles Beard, who rapidly went from prominent US public intellectual to pariah for his claims that FDR lied to Americans over its entry into WW2. A modern defender of Beard takes a look at his 1930s and 1940s arguments and legacy.
TALES FROM THE TECH WAR
“Huawei doesn’t need a backdoor. It has a front door.” Huawei’s problem is its code is allegedly rotten. The reality about Google and Facebook’s targeted advertising that advertisers don’t know: it doesn’t actually work, not even as well as untargeted advertising, and personal info they’re stockpiling on us is useless. But why does social media make us feel bad? Because that’s the business model, stupid, and the unhappier we are the more we use social.