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Big Revolution - Summer in February and toxic short-termism

Welcome to Wednesday's Big Revolution, and today I have a feeling something's not quite right in the
February 27 · Issue #358 · View online
Big Revolution
Welcome to Wednesday’s Big Revolution, and today I have a feeling something’s not quite right in the world…
– Martin from Big Revolution

Big things you need to know today
  • Google is activating grammar checking by default in Docs for all G Suite users. The feature was first announced last summer, but until now it had to be switched on by a G Suite admin for your organisation. Time to cancel that Grammarly subscription?
  • Facebook is working on a Patreon rival but reportedly wants to take a cut of 30% from payments. Patreon takes just 5%. TechCrunch has the details.
The big thought
Credit: Laura Pratt on Unsplash
Summer in February and toxic shorttermism
As I glance out the window right now, I see a beautiful sunny day without a cloud in the sky. Yesterday, I wore a t-shirt and no coat outside and saw people eating ice lollies in the street. A few miles away, the moors are on fire.
It’s not July. It’s February. And this is very concerning.
This week, I keep catching myself thinking ‘ah, what a glorious day – I’m in such a good mood.’ And then a very 21st century brand of existential dread kicks in as a realise that this is exactly what people started warning us all about 30 years ago.
Only now, it’s not just a temperature graph gradually creeping upwards on TV, or a photo in a newspaper of a polar bear on a melting chunk of ice, it’s something very real, right here and now. And it’s all the more sinister because it’s so pleasant.
I was just a child when climate change first became big news. Like most other people, I thought it seemed too abstract to worry about. And surely some serious adults somewhere were dealing with it?
They weren’t. Not anywhere near enough.
Even now, it’s still too easy for too many people to ignore the crisis. Short-termism is a human trait that may be our undoing. Politicians concentrate on votes for tax cuts today over expensive plans to save our future. Business leaders focus on profits this quarter instead of whether their successors still have a business in a few decades’ time.
'I’ll be dead when climate change becomes a real issue, it doesn’t matter to me,’ is the toxic internal monologue of the middle-aged leader with grown-up kids.
But now it’s summer in February. If anything makes us sit up and demand more from those in charge before it’s too late, it should be this.
One big read
Drowned out by the algorithm: Vaccination advocates struggle to be heard online Drowned out by the algorithm: Vaccination advocates struggle to be heard online
‘Anti-vaxers’ have become so good at exploiting algorithms that legitimate pro-vaccination science has trouble getting heard.
One big tweet
A useful accessibility tip for Twitter:
Make sure you capitalize the first letter of each word in hashtags so that screen reader software reads out each word separately. It also makes them #EasierToRead!
4:10 PM - 25 Feb 2019
That’s all for today...
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