The city of Thousand Oaks is conducting a comprehensive review of its General Plan. The General Plan Advisory Committee (GPAC) was formed in 2019 to help with this review and to offer advice for future City actions relating to the General Plan. I’m honored to serve on the GPAC and hope to share what I know from my experience in city governance to guide our recommendations.

There is a lot to consider here, so it’s in our collective interest to be well informed about what is in front of us and our full array of options. There is a natural…


The following essay is adapted from the forthcoming book TUESDAY NIGHT FIGHTS, detailing the political and self-governance history of Thousand Oaks.

Thousand Oaks General Plan Land Use and Circulation Element map

Twenty-five years ago, in 1996, Thousand Oaks voters were included as an official part of preserving the city’s general plan, as ordinances were enacted requiring voter approval of important general plan changes before becoming effective. Sponsored by the two political protagonists of the time, Linda Parks authored the Parks Initiative, a precursor to the successful Ventura County open space protection campaigns, while Andy Fox championed the city-sponsored Measure E.


New York Times newsroom 1942. Source: Library of Congress http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3c12969

You might think journalism and data science don’t really go together, but on that, I differ. Below are some thoughts on the topic and lessons we can draw from data science on how to make journalism better and more effective in these times.

To begin, my background isn’t journalism, but it is science. I believe that the goals of true journalism are the same as science — get to the truth about what is happening and inform others about that truth.

In decision theory, a topic that I enjoy and in which I have deep practical experience, we learn that…


With the increasing speed of information coming at us, how do we know what’s true and what’s not, or even worse — what’s fake?

Figuring out what’s true and false is tough, and then understanding what to do about it can be even tougher. But we should recognize one aspect between lies and the truth.

Lies spread faster. Here’s why.

In the information age, we’re understanding our world more and more in terms of information and data. …


FAKE NEWS!

It’s amazing that we’ve now had our collective awareness heightened to the problem of fake news. I get frustrated at times with the sheer nonsense that seems to swim in the public consciousness, but in search of what I can do about it, I figured I’d share something that happened to me recently.

I have many people in my Facebook feed that are professional, fun, and have real character, but there are some that carry a bit of an aggressive and intolerant flavor. They’re Facebook friends for other reasons, and, while I could easily unfriend these folks, I resist the…

Mic Farris

I help people and computers make better decisions. Find me on Twitter at @MicFarris and LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/micfarris

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