Missing Allegations in Cosby Biography Fuel a Lie of Omission

“Silence is easy”.


Mark Whitaker wants you to purchase his biography of Bill Cosby. As a biographer myself, I want you to purchase biographies galore, including those I write. But despite my book buying habit, I will refrain from owning Cosby: His Life and Times.

Whitaker made a decision to exclude allegations from at least thirteen women that Cosby sexually assaulted them—he says their allegations failed to meet his standards of proof. Biographers must make difficult decisions in every paragraph they publish, because reputations ought to be handled with care. Whitaker’s decision, though, should not have been difficult. As an experienced journalist, he made a bad call.

In an interview yesterday, Whitaker mentioned being unable to confirm the rape allegations independent of the victims’ accounts, as there were no definitive court findings regarding the allegations. “What you eventually learn about everything related to these allegations, and how you think that should figure…

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I wonder, man

How badass and cool Adam Silver turned out. Man, if only he could fine a lot of people, make them sell everything when their idiocy is made public. I also wonder about the loneliness of telemarketers, journalists and billionaires.

I wonder how and if when our imaginary staring match with dad will end (dude, it`s 2014 and we haven`t spoken to each other!). I wonder about embarrasing conversations and phone calls (I am quietly judging you). I wonder about longevity and people`s sex drives.

And it makes me wonder.


A cure for loneliness: an interview with Pamela Fox

One of my most memorable interviews of 2013 was the 40 minutes or so I shared with Pamela Fox, a very approachable, funny and experienced engineer who visited Guatemala as part of a tech summit at Universidad Galileo.

How do you perceive the state of Guatemala`s programming culture?

It seems to be in very early stages. I`ve seen a lot of developer cultures and, you can kind of look at how many developers are there, how many meet-ups are there, how many communities do people form to talk about it on the side, how many conferences are there. When you start to see more meet-ups and conferences, then it`s more of a culture, right? I`ve only been here a few days…

It seems that this is one of the big conferences and I haven`t heard of any computer science expert pamela foxother conferences in Guatemala. Certainly, if you ask me what developer conferences are there in Guatemala, I would not be able to say anything. It`s early, but it seems like there are seeds that are starting, there are some meet-ups (there`s the Google developer group), so people are starting this up. Hopefully, you`ll check back in a few years and you`ll see more. There also need to be more start-ups. In the developer culture there`s meet-ups, conferences, start-ups and the developers. All these things need to happen. I think they`re happening, they`re on their way.

What drives you as an entrepreneur and as an engineer? 

I really like to make things for people. That`s my main motivation and I also particularly like to teach people, and to help people learn things. At Google, my job was basically to help people learn Google technologies, help them learn the APIs. At Coursera I was working on the things that help Coursera students learn with the lectures and the discussions, and at Khan Academy I`m helping people learn programming. So, I like making things that help people learn.

From a tech perspective, how do you think that companies and universities can come together to help each other out, while keeping the best interests of students in mind?guest speaking at universidad galileo pamela fox

That`s a good question. There`s a lot of ways they can work together. The standard way is that when you`re a university student you should be going to companies for internships. Typically in America you would spent every summer interning somewhere, and that`s a really good learning experience. The companies love it too `cause interns are really productive, they`re very focused and they don`t have anything else to do in the summer, so they`re just gonna work really hard.

So companies like interns and interns get a lot out of that. And there`s some universities, like Waterloo University in Canada, I think they have 2 or 3 semesters that they spend in internships. Most of their degree is internships. That`s taking it to the extreme. There`s that, but there are also some universities which will have courses called capstone courses, where you work on a project for the whole course and maybe it`s 2 courses for the whole final year, and you work on that product with the company. You consult with the company, you`ll be making it for them. It`s a chance to incorporate a company into course work. Once the university students graduate, the companies hopefully are hiring them.

But it should all be part of a cycle. So, the company should be telling the university: “Hey, this is the kind of stuff we`re looking for.”   Universities should be seeing if they are  preparing their students for the kind of jobs that people want then. “Should we be sending them on internships to see how it`s working”.  It`s just a cycle like that.

Would you tell me a little bit about your current projects? What are you working on? 

Right now I`m working on the Kahn Academy programming curriculums, that means I`m trying to figure out how to teach programming online to people who have never ever programmed before, and they might be 7 years old and they might be 70 years old (they`re usually around 12). Yeah, just putting all my effort into coming up with the lessons and the challenges and the projects that are gonna help them go from knowing no programming, to actually understanding these programming concepts in their head, and to be able to turn those into real programs. Continue reading “A cure for loneliness: an interview with Pamela Fox”