You want to reduce the carbon footprint of your food? Focus on what you eat, not whether your food is local
Trying to reduce your carbon footprint? Easy: less cows, more nuts and beans. Transportation is a tiny fraction of food emissions, so eating local doesn't help nearly as much.
We urgently need to replace GDP as our measure of success with new metrics for wellbeing. https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2020/01/14/795623755/moving-beyond-gdp
“We’re gambling the future of humanity and the rest of life on earth because of the assumption that GDP must continue to grow in rich countries.”
Building canals for a railroad age proved a great mistake. But climate change makes building an infrastructure for a carbon economy a far more dangerous endeavor.
People are begging for the vaccine on their hospital deathbeds. By then it's too late. Don't wait. Get vaccinated. And encourage others to do the same.
Regreening U.S. desert would be expensive but check off all the right political boxes too: create jobs, enrich land owners, benefit crony capitalists (big ag), put a feather in the cap of the local congressperson and, almost as an afterthought, permanently combat climate change. It's like giving a child medicine, people, you don't show them the bottle labeled GREEN NEW DEAL, you slip it into their PB&J.
Planting charter cities in developing countries turns the idea of a banana republic on its head: instead of exporting natural wealth to rich countries, you import institutions from them. Very excited to see how Prospera develops. It could be a new and transformative model of FDI.
As someone relatively new to reading journal articles en masse, I found this helpful: how-to advice from 12 scientists in different fields and stages in their career.
I want to do my part. I hope you'll do yours.
Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part to help build what we called the Beloved Community, a nation and world society at peace with itself.
It's not about Trump vs. Xi or democracy vs. communism. It's the inevitable competition of superpowers.
new leaders or profound domestic changes are not going to alter the inherently competitive nature of U.S.-Chinese relations.
“The ‘outsiders’ part of this narrative is just so important,” McAdam said. “It allows people to say, and to believe: ‘We don’t have problems in our community.’”
A fun read, and a reminder that major infrastructure projects often have archaeological implications.
A brilliant new immigration policy by the UK. If only the US would do the same!
International students are to be offered a two-year work visa after graduating from a British university
- 75% of urban land is zoned single-family
- This segregates housing along income (and therefore often racial) lines, limiting access to good schools for minorities
- Despite this, homeowners fend off changes with property tax/value arguments
- Future growth then results in gentrification, i.e. the forced departure of residents without political power.
Single-family zoning leaves much land off-limits to new housing, forcing new supply into poorer, minority communities or onto undeveloped land outside of cities.
Wealth is what you don’t see – money that hasn’t been spent, cars that haven’t been bought, jewelry that hasn’t been purchased, stuff that hasn’t been bought.
(The happy discovery of many an entrepreneur.)
One of the implications of this research is that people may systematically underestimate their ability to do really hard things that they have never tried before
I came to the counterintuitive conclusion that engaging in risk is actually very important in preventing injuries,” said Dr. Brussoni, who conducted a systematic review of the scientific literature on playground safety in 2015. “Children are learning how their bodies work, how the world works,” she said. “They are learning fundamental skills that ultimately protect them.”
India enforces a very interesting rule: no private brands. Eager to read commentary from economists.
The rules prevent online retailers from selling products through vendors in which they hold an equity stake.
when cultural conservatives disengage from organized religion, they tend to redraw the boundaries of identity, de-emphasizing morality and religion and emphasizing race and nation.
Someone with temporary infrared vision might be able to spy more covertly. “Maybe you could have a nanoparticle eye drop that allows you to see specific patterns that only you can see,” he says.
Amateur analysis: IQ and SAT scores may predict not intelligence but "The Desire to Pass Tests." An invigorating read.
Bad news doesn't get better with age--we need to address the federal debt ASAP. @JeffDSachs proposals in "The Price of Civilization" are a good place to start.
The United States will soon spend more money on interest payments than it does for the entire Medicaid program, more than $400 billion.
What a thrilling breakthrough: an entirely new form of propulsion, now proven feasible for objects as large as drones!
Thrilled to see @nytimes highlight the Fair Representation Act. Flawed processes produce flawed outcomes. Therefore, election reform should be our top priority! @fairvote
America isn’t as politically segregated as most people think; it only looks that way because of our zero-sum, winner-take-all elections and the political maps that reflect them, portraying vast sections of the country as entirely red or blue.
Releasing this report on #BlackFriday is nothing less than cowardly. Call or email your Congresspeople today: tell them you still saw it and you're voting for the first candidate who takes climate change seriously. We can't wait any longer.
The report finds that the continental United States already is 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than it was 100 years ago, surrounded by seas that are on average nine inches higher and being racked by far worse heat waves than the nation experienced only 50 years ago.
Beijing now rivals Silicon Valley for VC money. The U.S. is squandering its advantage in tech. Straightforward fix: easy immigration for entrepreneurs, more funding for basic research, and special taxation for new businesses.
The pattern is clear: The rise of the rest is occurring, and it is mainly occurring in cities outside the United States.
tl;dr Google will publish some of its transportation data to help address climate change. Huge windfall for environmental policy studies at the local level.
Judging outcomes is easy. Judging process is hard. But a bad process worsens outcomes. Glad to see R Street thinking strategically on Congress. @CaseyBurgat
Glad to see the federal government investing more in quantum computing. This is the next arms race and we shouldn't be stuck at the gate.
China, for instance, is slated to open a $10 billion research center for quantum applications by 2020. By comparison, the U.S. has historically spent roughly $250 million per year on quantum research.
Evidence-based policy, procurement reform, and fair representation are the 3 key changes needed for a better U.S. government. Write your Congressmen!
Too cool: A weird strain of Mexican corn uses bacteria jelly to fertilize itself. Giving all corn this trait could save 6.6 million tons/year of environmentally damaging commercual fertilizer.
The Sierra Mixe corn takes eight months to mature—too long to make it commercially useful. But if its remarkable ability could be bred into conventional corn, which matures in just three months, it would be an agricultural game changer.
A vital read. Evidence that several governments manipulate their own citizens with 100s of fake Twitter/FB accounts.
The fact that the threats are designed to look like they are coming from crowds of anonymous social media users makes them more ominous in some cases than if they had been issued directly by the government.
Quantum computing could upend our understanding of cause and effect because its calculations work equally well forward or backward in time. O.o
Quantum computers are almost equally as adept at inferring effect from cause as they are cause from effect.
Is code speech, or is it act? That will be a central question in U.S. courts for decades. (And for my library friends: what happens when someone tries to print a gun on your public 3d printer?)
"If code is speech, the constitutional contradictions are evident," Wilson explained to WIRED when he first launched the lawsuit in 2015. "So what if this code is a gun?”
It's important to share what we know. It's more important to correct what we thought we knew. Can libraries contribute to this critical work?
To teach the “replication crisis” is to teach students that science strives to be self-correcting. It would instill in them the value that science ought to be reproducible.
The Atlantic never disappoints.
The self-service revolution is reversing the division of labour. You find yourself doing all sorts of jobs that you’re untrained for – acting as a travel agent booking a trip, an airport porter weighing and labelling bags or a shop-attendant checking out a basket of goods. Meanwhile a handful of companies suck up abnormal profits by turning their customers into unpaid labourers. The real sweatshop workers in the post-industrial economy are you and me.
tl; A breakthrough in OCR has scholars running with the (papal) bulls. New approach makes transcribing the Vatican's manuscripts as easy as your lunch receipt.
jigsaw segmentation, plus crowdsourced training of the software—could easily be adapted to read texts in other languages. This could potentially do for handwritten documents what Google Books did for printed matter: open up letters, journals, diaries, and other papers to researchers around the world
Happy to hear a hopeful take on local governance from @JamesFallows. He even got the story right on #libraries!
By most measures of use—classes and programs offered, daily attendance, visits to the website, everything except calls to reference librarians for the research people can now do on Google—libraries are becoming more rather than less popular and central to civic life.
This. Service design and product management are the next big opportunities in government.
The Service Design Team’s rubric for measuring user experience is labeled as the 5 E’s: Entice, Enter, Engage, Exit and Extend. The first E, “Entice,” measures how people come to learn about the service and what gets them interested. “Enter” examines the experience upon first entering a place -- in the case of homeless services, that might mean a conversation, but in other cases it could be a website or an app. “Engage” looks at the steps necessary to interact with the service and asks designers to think about how to keep users engaged. “Exit” measures how users feel when they leave the experience and whether it is clear to them that they are finished. And “Extend” probes ways the user might talk about the experience to others afterward.
A hopeful sign from Washington: federal investment in basic research will grow to an all-time high this year.
[T]otal federal R&D spending would reach its highest point ever in inflation-adjusted dollars... Basic and applied research funding would receive its largest year-over-year increase since" the 2009 economic stimulus package.
My dad once told me: "In military school, I learned how to win the last war, not the next one." That's the lesson @JamesFallows teaches in this piece from @TheAtlantic.
Johnson “learned” so thoroughly the error of Neville Chamberlain, and others who tried to appease (rather than confront) the Nazis, that he thought the only risk in Vietnam was in delaying before confronting communists there.
Love the idea of a podcast incubator. I hope to see a Podcast Garage in DC soon! For $35/mo, perhaps I'll try my hand at it.
Google subsidiary Sidewalk Labs reveals more of its plan for a smart neighborhood in Toronto. If it succeeds, it will be remarkable: a complete privatization of a city.
“If you think of the city as a platform and design in the ability for people to change it as quickly as you and I can customize our iPhones, you make it authentic because it doesn’t just reflect a central plan,” Aggarwala says. “It also reflects the people who live and work there.”
Our medical definition of death is based on our technological limitations--we can maintain breath, but not restore brain function. When does a coma mean life, and when does it mean death? "When the family's money runs out," does not seem like a very good answer. But the generosity of organ donation depends on it. A truly puzzling ethical quandary, framed from the sad story of one young girl.
Thousands of lives were prolonged or saved every year because patients declared brain-dead—a form of death eventually adopted by the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and most of Europe—were now eligible to donate their organs. The philosopher Peter Singer described it as “a concept so desirable in its consequences that it is unthinkable to give up, and so shaky on its foundations that it can scarcely be supported.” The new death was “an ethical choice masquerading as a medical fact,” he wrote.