Benjamin Summers at The Washington Post on America's worship of military members. Summers, a captain in the U.S. Army, argues that not everyone who wears a uniform is a hero, and that America's "military worship" undermines our ability to make good policy. "Too much hero-labeling reinforces a false dichotomy that’s commonly heard in our political discourse: You’re either for the troops or you’re against them. We badly need to find ways to bridge this civilian-military gap to cultivate a more nuanced appreciation of service and to produce better policy in Washington. [...] It isn’t that the U.S. public shouldn’t honor those who served in combat; it’s that a large civil-military divide prevents policymakers from even asking the right questions."
Leonid Bershidsky at Bloomberg View on why no one should be shocked by Facebook's research experiment. Bershidsky says Facebook's social science experiments are not surprising to anyone who cares to pay attention to the company's business model, saying "If Kramer's week-long experiment appears outrageous, what Facebook does on a daily basis is monstrous." The real problem is the most people would rather not think about what their relationship with Facebook really is. "Facebook manipulates what its users see as a matter of policy. Academics may discuss whether the users give their informed consent to such use of their data, but common experience suggests that a lot of people choose to stay uninformed. Others realize they are being tracked, and experimented upon, by the likes of Facebook and Google and don't mind. It's par for the course on the social web."