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What We’re Reading: May 26, 2016

By The Prindle Institute for Ethics
26 May 2016
Image created from a photograph by Conner Gordon

Machine Bias (ProPublica)
by Julia Angwin, Jeff Larson, Surya Mattu and Lauren Kirchner
“Yet something odd happened when Borden and Prater were booked into jail: A computer program spat out a score predicting the likelihood of each committing a future crime. Borden — who is black — was rated a high risk. Prater — who is white — was rated a low risk.”

Scientists say there’s such a thing as “ethical amnesia” and it’s probably happened to you (Quartz)
by Katherine Ellen Foley
“A study published (paywall) today (May 16) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences indicates that when we act unethically, we’re more likely to remember these actions less clearly. Researchers from Northwestern University and Harvard University coined the term “unethical amnesia” to describe this phenomenon, which they believe stems from the fact that memories of ourselves acting in ways we shouldn’t are uncomfortable.”

The Federal Government Quietly Expands Transgender Rights (Atlantic)
by Emma Green
“Something big just quietly happened to the Affordable Care Act. More than a half decade after the law’s passage, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has explicitly ruled that hospitals, clinics, and other health-care providers can’t discriminate against patients on the basis of gender identity.”

It’s Gotten A Lot Harder To Act Like Whiteness Doesn’t Shape Our Politics (NPR, Codeswitch)
by Gene Demby
“Whiteness has always been a central dynamic of American cultural and political life, though we don’t tend to talk about it as such. But this election cycle is making it much harder to avoid discussions of white racial grievance and identity politics when, for instance, Donald Trump’s only viable pathway to the White House is to essentially win all of the white dudes.”

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