Life At The End Of American Empire
The 2008 crisis and the government’s response made obvious the extent of economic and political inequality in the United States, and the absolute decline in wealth and well-being for a growing fraction of Americans. Evidence of decline is manifest to those of us living in America in the first decades of the 21st century.
Death On Demand: Has Euthanasia Gone Too Far?
Countries around the world are making it easier to choose the time and manner of your death. As the world’s pioneer, the Netherlands has also discovered that although legalizing euthanasia might resolve one ethical conundrum, it opens a can of others – most importantly, where the limits of the practice should be drawn.
America Is About To Witness The Biggest Labor Movement It’s Seen In Decades
The past four decades have been perhaps labor’s weakest since the Industrial Age. For a half-century, those working for hourly wages have won almost no real gains. The real average hourly wage in 2018 dollars adjusted for inflation was $22.65 in 2018, compared with $20.27 in 1964 — just an 11.7% gain.
The Mystery Of The Millionaire Hermit
He spent years scrimping and saving. But without a will, where’s his money going? When someone dies without a will, family trees dictate where the money goes. Each state has its own method to determine the line of succession.
The Economic Failure Of Venezuela
In terms of countries that had it easy Venezuela by all counts should be at the top of the list, it is home to the largest oil deposits in the world, easily beating out the typical oil giants like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab eremites. But they squandered it.
How Texas Instruments Monopolized Math Class
Some major textbooks feature illustrations of Texas Instruments–series calculators alongside the text, so students can use their Texas Instruments calculator with the lesson plan, emphasizing how deeply interwoven Texas Instruments remains with the educational hegemony.
The Data That Turned The World Upside Down
How Cambridge Analytica used your Facebook data to help the Donald Trump campaign in the 2016 election. A then little-known British company sent out a press release: “We are thrilled that our revolutionary approach to data-driven communication has played such an integral part in President-elect Trump’s extraordinary win.”
How Journalists Covered The Rise Of Mussolini And Hitler
How to cover the rise of a political leader who’s left a paper trail of anti-constitutionalism, racism and the encouragement of violence? Does the press take the position that its subject acts outside the norms of society?
The Billion-Dollar Disinformation Campaign To Reelect The President
After the 2016 election, much was made of the threats posed to American democracy by foreign disinformation. Trump and his domestic allies were beginning to adopt the same tactics of information warfare that have kept the world’s demagogues and strongmen in power.
The Secret Rules Of The Internet
Many US-based companies continue to consign their moderators to the margins, shipping their platforms’ digital waste to “special economic zones” in the Global South. The murky history of moderation, and how it’s shaping the future of free speech.
The Last Time Democracy Almost Died
The last time democracy nearly died all over the world and almost all at once, Americans argued about it, and then they tried to fix it. What can we learn from the upheaval of the 1930s?
Cryptoqueen: How This Woman Scammed The World, Then Vanished
Ruja Ignatova called herself the Cryptoqueen. She told people she had invented a cryptocurrency to rival Bitcoin, and persuaded them to invest billions. Then, two years ago, she disappeared. Jamie Bartlett spent months investigating how she did it and trying to figure out where she’s hiding.
The Dictatorship Of Data
Big data is poised to transform society. Yet big data also exacerbates a very old problem: relying on the numbers when they are far more fallible than we think. Nothing underscores the consequences of data analysis gone awry more than the story of Robert McNamara.
The Economy Of Cuba
Cuba is home to possibly the most bizarre economy in the world. Its wild swings between a hardcore capitalist society to a worker’s paradise and now an odd combination of both has meant that the country has probably not been able to live up to its full potential.
Inside Belarus, Europe’s Last Dictatorship
In October 2016, Alexander Lukashenko swept to his fifth term as the Belarusian president, marking 22 years in power. The autocratic regime still employs the use of internet surveillance, censorship, and intimidation to exert control over its people and press.
Letting Slower Passengers Board Airplane First Really Is Faster, Study Finds
Commercial airlines often prioritize boarding for passengers traveling with small children, or for those who need extra assistance, before starting to board the faster passengers. It’s counter-intuitive, but it turns out that letting slower passengers board first actually results in a more efficient process.
The Rise And Fall Of Facts
Because fact-checking these days is primarily the domain of legacy print publications, it retains that sheen of legitimacy and seriousness. To fact check is to assure readers, writers, and editors that great care is being taken.
Mathematicians Have Solved Traffic Jams, And They’re Begging Cities To Listen
Traffic modeling is a complex branch of applied mathematics, partially because it assumes that drivers are selfish and pursuing their own goals, rather than any predictable or shared efforts.
Will Upzoning Neighborhoods Make Homes More Affordable?
Housing affordability is a growing issue in America, and there’s a battle over how to fix it happening on blocks across the country. Zoning—the rules that govern how cities use their land—is on the front line. Cities and states across the country are proposing new upzoning laws to combat the housing crisis. Will they work?
The Productivity Paradox
Higher productivity means the expectation of rising wages and abundant job opportunities. In a time of Facebook, smartphones, self-driving cars, and computers that can beat a person at just about any board game, how can the key economic measure of technological progress be so pathetic?