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.
We Asked An AI To Write A Column For Us. The Results Were Wild
We’ve been testing weekly short fiction pieces scribed by GPT-2, a text-generating artificial intelligence algorithm originally built by OpenAI. We give the algorithm a sentence from a real article, and the algorithm iteratively generates what it thinks the next word should be.
The War on Poverty Is Over. Rich People Won.
Why do so many Americans live in poverty? Because so many rich people benefit from it. This is the thesis of the lauded sociologist Matthew Desmond. He shows how employers, financial institutions, and landlords extract money from low-income families while rich families hoard opportunities for themselves.
Old Tech’s New Wave, Or Why We Still Love Faxes, Pagers And Cassettes
Once seen as cutting edge, many of yesterday’s gadgets are – surprisingly – still in use or are making a comeback. But why is it that we are turning to retro solutions more frequently?
The Empty Houses That Foreign Aid Built
After the devastation of the 2004 tsunami, aid agencies promised to rebuild Indonesia “better.” Fifteen years later, their failures are all too obvious. The disaster hit Aceh the hardest. The evacuation buildings are unmistakably the shiniest features of the city’s newly built landscape.
In Travel Journalism, After Every Disaster Comes “The Perfect Time To Visit”
When tourists go away, vacations become a gesture of financial support. And we’re told that a tourism economy relishes every dollar that does come. But what big little lies do we tell ourselves when PR companies spin a local disaster into a travel opportunity?
Amnesty’s Syria Ads Prove Humankind Can Be Worse Than Natural Disasters
Amnesty International is known for its provocative ads for human rights. In its campaign for the freedom and democracy of Syria, war zones where housing and huge blocks of land are destroyed have been depicted in ads.
Apps Have Changed The Way We Date
The online dating industry is projected to be worth $9 billion by 2025 and according to eHarmony, most people will find a partner via an app or website by 2035. Tinder is one of the most popular swiping apps with more than 5 million subscribers and it’s launched a whole new language of love.
Inside The Failure Of Google+, A Very Expensive Attempt To Unseat Facebook
Create a social network or risk everything. That was the original pitch for Google’s Facebook rival, Google+, a refrain hammered over and over by the social network’s chief architect, Vic Gundotra, in meetings with the company’s top brass.
Elon Musk, His Rocket, And The Grand Scheme That Tore Apart Boca Chica
SpaceX is dismantling a remote beach community at the southernmost end of Texas, one house at a time. Some residents took its money. Others refuse to leave. Still others are sticking around to see what happens.
America’s Cocaine Habit Fueled Its Migrant Crisis
During the 90s, traffickers started shipping their drugs through Central America and over land to Mexico. That created a violent and competitive turf war between gangs and organizations in Guatemala and Honduras, and after the governments cracked down, violence only increased, forcing people to flee, often to the US.
Who Killed Sweden’s Prime Minister?
Three decades ago, Olof Palme was assassinated on Stockholm’s busiest street. The killer has never been found. Could the discovery of new evidence finally close the case?
He’s A Liar, A Con Artist And A Snitch. His Testimony Could Soon Send A Man To His Death.
Paul Skalnik has a decadeslong criminal record and may be one of the most prolific jailhouse informants in U.S. history. The state of Florida is planning to execute a man based largely on his word.
Mapping America’s Stark Wage Inequality
One of the most important economic stories of the past couple of decades is the rise of economic inequality in the United States and around the world. Since 1980, economists say, wage growth for the highest-paid workers has been roughly triple that for the lowest paid. In some cities, the disparity is wider.
How The Dumb Design Of A WWII Plane Led To The Macintosh
For all the triumph of America’s new planes and tanks during World War II, a silent reaper stalked the battlefield: accidental deaths and mysterious crashes that no amount of training ever seemed to fix. At first, pilots took the blame for crashes. The true cause, however, lay with the design. That lesson led us into our user-friendly age—but there’s peril to come.
‘The Big House And The Picket Fence’
Tonya Crowder still dreams that she and her fiance, Roosevelt Myles—who’s been in prison for decades fighting what he says is a wrongful conviction—will one day build a life together somewhere “nice, quiet, and simple.”
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.
Inside Wisconsin’s Disastrous $4.5 Billion Deal With Foxconn
A huge tax break was supposed to create a manufacturing paradise, but interviews with 49 people familiar with the project depict a chaotic operation unlikely to ever employ 13,000 workers.
Ponzi Schemes, Private Yachts, And A Missing $250 Million In Crypto: The Strange Tale Of Quadriga
When Canadian blockchain whiz Gerald Cotten died unexpectedly last year, hundreds of millions of dollars in investor funds vanished into the crypto ether. But when the banks, the law, and the forces of Reddit tried to track down the cash, it turned out the young mogul may not have been who he purported to be.
Why Government Websites Fail
While the rest of the world has evolved to a place where we can track anything at all times and order anything from anywhere, government has been hopelessly stranded on an island in 1993.
The ‘3.5% Rule’: How A Small Minority Can Change The World
Nonviolent protests are twice as likely to succeed as armed conflicts – and those engaging a threshold of 3.5% of the population have never failed to bring about change.