How A Good Scam Can Bypass Our Defences
Scammers exploit cognitive errors, like “optimism bias.” Most people think they’re a little bit charmed, a little luckier than average. We harbour a personal fable that things are likely to go well for us.
A Long Walk’s End
On May 18 2015, the FBI announced the search for a 53-year-old accountant accused of embezzling $8.7 million from an Ohio-based Pepsi distributor had come to an end. His name: James T. Hammes. Authorities say Hammes took the funds through a series of banking transfers while working as a controller for the distributor. Then he went for a hike.
The Man Who Runs 365 Marathons A Year
One day, Michael Shattuck started to run. He liked it, so he ran longer, sometimes for as many as 65 hours each week. He never wanted to stop. What was he running from?
The Long-Forgotten Vigilante Murders Of The San Luis Valley
For more than a century, historians, writers, and artists were guilty of creating a mythologized version of the American West. How history forgot Felipe and Vivián Espinosa, two of the American West’s most brutal killers—and the complicated story behind their murderous rampage.
How Small Farmers Are Fighting To Keep Vermont’s Identity Alive
Not much says “America” more than the small dairy farm, and Vermont has spent decades selling that image. Increasingly, it’s a relic of a bygone era. As of the third quarter of 2019, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture Food and Markets had accounted for only 675 dairy farms in the state.
Palantir’s Top-Secret User Manual For Cops
Palantir is one of the most significant and secretive companies in big data analysis. The company acts as an information management service for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, corporations like JP Morgan and Airbus, and dozens of other local, state, and federal agencies.
The Terrorist Who Got Away
Twenty years ago, India let Masood Azhar go. Now he and his jihadist group may be one of the greatest obstacles to resolving the crisis in Kashmir. Eliminating Azhar and his organization has become a key strategic objective for India’s security establishment.
I Stumbled Across A Huge Airbnb Scam That’s Taking Over London
As the short-term rental goldrush gathers pace, Airbnb empires are being rapidly scaled and monetized. This is the curious tale of a man called Christian, the Catholic church, David Schwimmer’s wife, a secret hotel and an Airbnb scam running riot on the streets of London.
The Economist With A Radical Plan To Solve Wealth Inequality
Thomas Piketty’s 753-page book “Capital in the Twenty-First Century”, published in 2013, sold 2.5 million copies worldwide and helped put inequality on the global agenda. But his latest, the even thicker “Capital and Ideology”, may prove still more influential.
An Olympic Hockey Hero, A Violent Crime And The Specter Of Brain Trauma
Forty years ago, Mark Pavelich played a crucial role in the U.S. hockey team’s triumph over the Russians. He is unquestionably the least understood of the ’80 Olympic heroes, and someone who may have been betrayed by the very sport he loved. Was there a steep cost for his lifetime on the ice?
La Linea, Europe’s Narco City
La Linea is a Spanish coastal city built on the drug trade. Smugglers and policemen often come from the same street. Off the Grid met people on both sides of the divide.
Total Recall: The People Who Never Forget
Around 60 people in the world share a condition called “highly superior autobiographical memory”. They remember absolutely everything. The extremely rare condition may transform our understanding of memory.
For The Smartphone Industry, Theft Is A Part Of The Business Model
The manufacturer profits by hawking a replacement phone; the carrier profits double, by locking the crime victim into a new contract, then opening an account with whomever ends up with the stolen phone. Telecom companies even profit from the specter of phone theft, by selling expensive insurance policies to protect their users.
Why Aren’t More Millennials Having Kids And Becoming Parents?
I just got married a few months ago. Once my husband and I entered wedded bliss, we started looking to do married-people things that weren’t in the song: buy a house, get our 401(k)s figured out, assess health-care plans. But the baby in the baby carriage? For now, the kid question hangs between us, unanswered.
Three Years Of Misery Inside Google, The Happiest Company In Tech
In the first days of the Trump era, Google’s leaders were desperate to avoid confrontation with the new regime. The company’s history of close ties to the Obama administration left executives feeling especially vulnerable to the reactionary movement.
Javier Peña, as a character, was popularized through the Netflix series ’Narcos.’ But the story of the real Peña—who lives in San Antonio—and his quest to end the reign of Pablo Escobar is bigger than a screen. Peña’s life, or death, was particularly valuable to Escobar—fear of the U.S. government made DEA agents a tough mark for hitmen.
The Man Who’s Going To Save Your Neighborhood Grocery Store
American food supplies are increasingly channeled through a handful of big companies: Amazon, Walmart, FreshDirect, Blue Apron. What do we lose when local supermarkets go under? A lot — and Kevin Kelley wants to stop that.
For African Players, Chasing Hoop Dreams Is A Risky Proposition
As more and more players cross the Atlantic to find stardom in the NBA, unscrupulous coaches and brokers are descending on—and in some cases, trafficking—unsuspecting teens with big aspirations.
The Secret History Of Page Six
For more than four decades, Page Six has ruled the world of gossip about the famous and powerful. In an era when celebrities control the narrative and “power” is a dirty word, can it survive?
Trump’s Art Of The Steal
How Donald Trump rode to power by parroting other people’s fringe ideas, got himself impeached for it—and might prevail anyway. Trump mines Twitter, plucking what he wants, “very comfortable with half thoughts,” “always looking for tidbits of information that he can use to his advantage.”
How Utah Keeps The American Dream Alive
Economic mobility to rival Denmark’s, but without big government. Can the rest of the U.S. emulate Utah’s success? We could offer more, and better, help to people who need it. Why not look for more promising scripts than the ones played out across the U.S. today?