Inside The Dark, Lucrative World Of Debt Collection
A dizzying array of variables affects a portfolio of debt’s true potential — the age of the debt, how many agencies have tried to collect on it, the size of the balances, the type of credit card, where the debtors live and the current economic climate.
Americans Are Going Bankrupt From Getting Sick
Medical debt is a uniquely American phenomenon, a burden that would be unfathomable in many other developed countries. According to a survey in the American Journal of Public Health, nearly 60 percent of people who have filed for bankruptcy said a medical expense contributed to their bankruptcy.
Horror Stories From Inside Amazon’s Mechanical Turk
The workers of Mechanical Turk, Amazon’s on-demand micro-task platform, say they have encountered mutilated bodies, graphic videos of botched surgeries, and what appeared to be child pornography. They say they have been asked to transcribe Social Security numbers and other personal data.
Synthetic Media: The Real Trouble With Deepfakes
Keeping on top of manipulated videos and images is no easy feat. Scientists trace the roots of their proliferation, dig up new techniques to counter digital forgeries and warn of the growing dangers ahead.
Is The Cruise Industry Finally Out Of Its Depth?
The question is whether the coronavirus will dent, deflect or alter what has been a phenomenon of our times, the many-times multiplication of ship sizes, of passenger numbers and of profits, generated by an industry that manufactures its own version of reality, then shapes the places that its ships visit in the image of that reality.
The Price Of Dominionist Theology
Because my father believed that debt was sinful, and believed God wanted him and my mom to have as many kids as possible, they were too broke to help me pay for college. Because of this anti-debt theology, I wasn’t allowed to take out student loans, and had to attend a really conservative Christian college because it was so cheap.
What Would Happen If Facebook Were Turned Off?
Facebook is blamed for all sorts of social horrors: from addiction and bullying to the erosion of fact-based political discourse and the enabling of genocide. New research—and there is more all the time—suggests such accusations are not entirely without merit. It may be time to consider what life without Facebook would be like.
How Ultra-Processed Food Took Over Your Shopping Basket
Ultra-processed foods now account for more than half of all the calories eaten in the UK and US. These foods are convenient, affordable, highly profitable, strongly flavored, aggressively marketed. But is ultra-processed food making us ill and driving the global obesity crisis?
The Diamond Cartel: History’s Greatest Monopoly
A cartel is a group of companies coming together to fix the price of a product. Like how major oil countries come together as the cartel OPEC, to fix the price of crude oil, except with a diamond. Once these locals catch on to how profitable the diamond trade is, they’ll started trading diamonds and smuggling it.
Why Do We Work So Hard?
Work, in this context, means active, billable labour. But in reality, it rarely stops. It follows us home on our smartphones, tugging at us during an evening out or in the middle of our children’s bedtime routines. It becomes our lives if we are not careful. It becomes us.
Digital Technology Is Not To Blame For Our Hyperfast Lives
Life in the 21st century, we are told, is faster than ever. Time is scarce, the pace of everyday life is accelerating, and everyone complains about how busy they are. For all the smart tech, we still feel pressed for time. Are digital services the problem, or are we humans to blame?
The Diabolical Genius Of The Baby Advice Industry
Every baffled new parent goes searching for answers in baby manuals. But what they really offer is the reassuring fantasy that life’s most difficult questions have one right answer. While there might indeed be one right way to do things, you will never get to find out what it is.
Nashville Wants To Be The Next Austin, But Tennessee Won’t Make It Easy
The city has sought to position itself as more affordable but no less hip than Austin, Denver, or Portland, Ore. Business interests in the state capital have held off a slew of anti-LGBT bills that seemed poised to become law.
The War On Coffee
Epicurean coffeehouses in the United States numbered in the hundreds in 1989, and in the tens of thousands by 2013. A lot of that is Starbucks, but not all. Roasters in Italy went from exporting twelve million kilograms of espresso in 1988 to more than a hundred and seventy million in 2015.
How Protein Conquered America
My bodega is only a little bigger than my studio apartment, and sells no fewer than 10 kinds of Muscle Milk. Once the niche elixir of powerlifting bros, gulping down a Muscle Milk or three is now part of a “healthy, active lifestyle” — whatever that means.
We Are Living In A Failed State
When the virus came here, it found a country with serious underlying conditions, and it exploited them ruthlessly. Chronic ills—a corrupt political class, a sclerotic bureaucracy, a heartless economy, a divided and distracted public—had gone untreated for years. We had learned to live, uncomfortably, with the symptoms.
What Happened To American Childhood?
The percentage of 12-to-17-year-olds who had experienced a major depressive episode in the previous year shot up from 8 percent to 13 percent. Among girls, the rate was even higher; in 2017, one in five reported experiencing major depression. Here’s what we can do about it.
Uber Wars In Argentina
Since Uber arrived in Argentina in 2016, taxi drivers have come out in force, torching ride-share cars, beating drivers, and shaming passengers. There have been more than 1,041 fights — that have been reported to police, anyway.
The Fall Of New York And The Urban Crisis Of Affluence
I have never seen what is going on now: the systematic, wholesale transformation of New York into a reserve of the obscenely wealthy and the barely here—a place increasingly devoid of the idiosyncrasy, the complexity, the opportunity, and the roiling excitement that make a city great.
The Steve Jobs Nobody Knew
How an insecure, acid-dropping hippie kid reinvented himself as a technological visionary – and changed the world. He rewrote the rules of business, combining Sixties idealism with greed-is-good capitalism. He never did anything first, but he did it best.
Why Ban Dollar Stores?
Dollar-discount stores get the blame for “food deserts”—neighborhoods without supermarkets. It’s claimed, these stores drive out supermarkets with their low prices and saturate poor neighborhoods with junk food. But are dollar stores really to blame for bad diets?