It seems we’re entering another of those stupid seasons humans impose on themselves at fairly regular intervals. I am sketching out here opinions based on information, they may prove right, or may prove wrong, and they’re intended just to challenge and be part of a wider dialogue.
The preconditions are present in the U.S. today. Here’s the playbook Donald Trump could use to set the country down a path toward illiberalism. It’s 2021, and President Donald Trump will shortly be sworn in for his second term. The 45th president has visibly aged over the past four years.
In Iceland, teenage smoking, drinking and drug use have been radically cut in the past 20 years. Emma Young finds out how they did it, and why other countries won’t follow suit.
The ability of statistics to accurately represent the world is declining. In its wake, a new age of big data controlled by private companies is taking over – and putting democracy in peril by In theory, statistics should help settle arguments.
I'm going to explain the Donald Trump phenomenon in three movies. And then some text. There's this universal shorthand that epic adventure movies use to tell the good guys from the bad. The good guys are simple folk from the countryside ...
A MONTH ago, I felt that I was in good health, even robust health. At 81, I still swim a mile a day. But my luck has run out — a few weeks ago I learned that I have multiple metastases in the liver. Nine years ago it was discovered that I had a rare tumor of the eye, an ocular melanoma.
A shadowy global operation involving big data, billionaire friends of Trump and the disparate forces of the Leave campaign influenced the result of the EU referendum. As Britain heads to the polls again, is our electoral process still fit for purpose?
On the morning after the election, November 9, 2016, the people who ran the U.S. Department of Energy turned up in their offices and waited. They had cleared 30 desks and freed up 30 parking spaces.
We live in an unprecedented "age of information," but we use very little of it. Dieters prefer not to look at the calories in their tasty dessert, people at high risk for disease avoid screenings and people choose the news source that aligns with their political ideology.
The tangled affair now known as Watergate began 45 years ago, before most of today’s U.S. population had even been born. (The median age of Americans is about 38, so most people in the country were born in 1979 or thereafter.
Neil Woods used to risk his life to catch drug dealers. But as gangs responded with escalating violence and intimidation – some even poisoning users who talked to the police – he started to see legalisation as the only solution
Lip service to the crucial function of the Fourth Estate is not enough to sustain it. It’s not that Mark Zuckerberg set out to dismantle the news business when he founded Facebook 13 years ago. Yet news organizations are perhaps the biggest casualty of the world Zuckerberg built.
This is what Americans fail to understand: My taxes in Finland were used to pay for top-notch services for me. Bernie Sanders is hanging on, still pushing his vision of a Nordic-like socialist utopia for America, and his supporters love him for it.
Germany enjoys high regard around the world. But with American power weakening and authoritarian powers rising, the country needs to abandon its military reluctance and finally lead in Europe. We wanted to leave as soon as we heard the news.
On March 4th, former Russian double-agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious in Salisbury, England. They were the victims of an apparent poisoning.
A lot of fake and misleading news stories were shared across social media during the election. One that got a lot of traffic had this headline: "FBI Agent Suspected In Hillary Email Leaks Found Dead In Apparent Murder-Suicide.
Most of management theory is inane, writes our correspondent, the founder of a consulting firm. If you want to succeed in business, don’t get an M.B.A. Study philosophy instead During the seven years that I worked as a management consultant, I spent a lot of time trying to look older than I was.
The sender was a hacker who had written a series of provocative memos at the National Security Agency.
STORSKOG, Norway — Pelted by hailstones and buffeted by an icy wind, Yasir Arslanuk, a 55-year-old Syrian engineer, his wife and two young sons wobbled across the border from Russia into Norway astride bicycles last week, the latest migrants to complete an improbable new route to Europe.
Gawker is filing for bankruptcy. Peter Thiel, who is a Facebook board member and Donald Trump delegate, secretly sued Gawker in a proxy lawsuit and, even though the case is unresolved, it was enough to bleed and bankrupt the company. And so much of the Silicon Valley establishment cheered Thiel on.
In 1994, John Ehrlichman, the Watergate co-conspirator, unlocked for me one of the great mysteries of modern American history: How did the United States entangle itself in a policy of drug prohibition that has yielded so much misery and so few good results? Americans have been criminalizing psycho
NEXT year marks the 500th anniversary of the event which, more than any other, gave birth to the modern world: Martin Luther promulgated his 95 theses and called the Catholic church to account for its numerous theological errors and institutional sins.
Suddenly, as you may have noticed, millennials are everywhere. Not that this group of people born after 1980 and before 2000 — a giant cohort now estimated to number at least 80 million Americans, more than the baby boom generation — was ever invisible. What’s changed is their status.
I recently found myself facing a vending machine in a quiet corridor at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. I was due to speak at a conference called ‘Reinvent Money’ but, suffering from jetlag and exhaustion, I was on a search for Coca-Cola.
You probably seriously underestimate how important this is. (Actually, there’s research that says you do.) Being in nature reduces stress, makes you more creative, improves your memory and may even make you a better person. We all know how important this is, but few people do it consistently.
I am writing to share a story with you, specifically for you. My hope is that it will help you understand your patients along with their spouses and caregivers a little more. And as for the research you do, perhaps this will add a few more faces behind the why you do what you do.
The traffic-camera ticket: like a parking ticket, it looks lawful enough. When they receive one, most people simply write the check. It seems like the sensible and law-abiding thing to do. But this is not a parking ticket. In legal terms, it is not a proceeding in rem—against your car.
I was working the polls on election day, handing people ballots and explaining how to fill them out properly. I made it my mission to come up with interesting uses for the removable tabs and entertain people for the 30 seconds that I had their captive attention.
Palantir Technologies has cultivated a reputation as perhaps the most formidable data analysis firm in Silicon Valley, doing secretive work for defense and intelligence agencies as well as Wall Street giants.
Many new technologies have unexpected impacts on the physical or social world in which we live.
On the evening of August 8th, Najat Ali Saleh, a former commander of the Kurdish army, was summoned to a meeting with Masoud Barzani, the President of the semiautonomous Kurdish region that occupies the northern part of Iraq. Barzani, a longtime guerrilla fighter, was alarmed.
Democracy is under threat from rising inequality and terrorism. Google and Facebook have taken over By now, the fact that transatlantic democratic capitalism, once the engine of postwar prosperity, has run into trouble can hardly be denied by anyone with the courage to browse a daily newspaper.
It is 7 o’clock in the morning and Harvey Friedman has just sent an email to an unspecified number of recipients with the subject line “stop what you are doing.” It features a YouTube link to a live 1951 broadcast of a concert by the famous Russian pianist Vladimir Horowitz.
With its volatile currency and dysfunctional banks, the country is the perfect place to experiment with a new digital currency. Dante Castiglione stalked through the doors of a glass-walled office tower on the edge of downtown Buenos Aires, just a few hundred feet from the old port district.
In 1701, in Middletown, New Jersey, Moses Butterworth languished in a jail, accused of piracy. Like many young men based in England or her colonies, he had joined a crew that sailed the Indian Ocean intent on plundering ships of the Muslim Mughal Empire.
Ryan Bundy seemed uneasy as he settled into a white leather chair in a private suite at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. As the eldest son of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who had become a national figure for his armed standoff with U.S. government agents in April 2014, Ryan had quite a story to tell.
Early Google employees decided to work with a shared codebase managed through a centralized source control system. This approach has served Google well for more than 16 years, and today the vast majority of Google's software assets continues to be stored in a single, shared repository.
Julian Assange is a deeply polarizing figure. Many admire him and many despise him (into which category one falls in any given year typically depends on one’s feelings about the subject of his most recent publication of leaked documents).
When Graz University of Technology researcher Michael Schwarz first reached out to Intel, he thought he was about to ruin the company’s day. He had found a problem with their chips, together with his colleagues Daniel Gruss, Moritz Lipp, and Stefan Mangard.
It’s gripping, of course. Game of Thrones meets House of Cards, played out at the tempo of a binge-viewed box-set.
When NPR reported Bob Ebeling's story on the 30th anniversary of the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger, hundreds of listeners and readers expressed distress and sympathy in letters and emails. On Jan.
It’s a balmy night in Manhattan’s financial district, and at a sports bar called Stout, everyone is Tindering. The tables are filled with young women and men who’ve been chasing money and deals on Wall Street all day, and now they’re out looking for hookups.
Late for work in Manhattan, you push the crosswalk button and curse silently at the slowness of the signal change. You finally get a green light, cross the street, arrive at the office, get in the elevator and hit the close door (>|<) button to speed things along.
It all started by auditing Pornhub, then PHP and ended in breaking both… tl;dr: We have gained remote code execution on pornhub.com and have earned a $20,000 bug bounty on Hackerone. We have found two use-after-free vulnerabilities in PHP’s garbage collection algorithm.
Chrome has taught us to idealize features for so long that we've become blind to its many glaring faults. No browser is perfect, this is an unfortunate situation we must live with.
At six o'clock on the morning of May 6, Dmitri Alperovitch woke up in a Los Angeles hotel to an alarming email.
In my last infrastructure update, I documented our challenges with storage as GitLab scales. We built a CephFS cluster to tackle both the capacity and performance issues of NFS and decided to replace PostgreSQL standard Vacuum with the pg_repack extension.
A large part of my audience over at Math ∩ Programming are industry software engineers who are discovering two things about mathematics: it’s really hard and it opens the door to a world of new ideas. In that way it’s a lot like learning to read.
Filippo Valsorda is an engineer on the Cloudflare Cryptography team, where he's deploying and helping design TLS 1.3, the next revision of the protocol implementing HTTPS. He also created a Heartbleed testing site in 2014.
Last summer I paid a visit to Georgetown University’s Lauinger Library as part of my research on legendary CIA counterspy James Jesus Angleton. I went there to investigate Angleton’s famous mole hunt, one of the least flattering episodes of his eventful career.
The “lowest blow,” according to the French magazine Marianne, came somewhere around the twenty-minute mark of a psychologically violent debate that took place in Paris on Wednesday night between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, ahead of this Sunday’s second and final round of the French Pres
Vladimir Voevodsky had no sooner sat himself down at the sparkling table, set for a dinner party at the illustrious Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, than he overturned his empty wine glass, flipping bowl over stem and standing the glass on its rim—a signal to waiters that he
Attila Krasznahorkay at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences’s Institute for Nuclear Research in Debrecen, Hungary, and his colleagues reported their surprising result in 2015 on the arXiv preprint server, and this January in the journal Physical Review Letters1.
Around midnight on Sept. 12, 2001, then-Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet summoned his chief of staff, John Moseman, and the CIA’s deputy director of intelligence, Jami Miscik, to his seventh-floor office in the Original Headquarters Building in Langley, Virginia.
SSDs are a new phenomenon in the datacenter. We have theories about how they should perform, but until now, little data. That's just changed. Two standout conclusions from the study. First, that MLC drives are as reliable as the more costly SLC "enteprise" drives.
The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy—and for how to stop it. What is the Islamic State?
Episode 1. I’m a surgeon. I’d like to think that I’m resilient and well adjusted, having gone through medical school and rigorous surgical training. I’ve been a doctor for 13 years and much of that period has been spent training to be as good a surgeon as I could ever be.
We in the US tend to assume that — however awful we might think our politicians are — our political system is excellent. The Constitution is held in high esteem across the political spectrum, and Democrats and Republicans alike pay lip service to the "genius" of the Founders.
When Dr Raghuram Rajan, Governor, Reserve Bank of India, was invited to DD Kosambi Ideas Festival held on February 20, 2015 in Goa, who'd have thought that he would discard his RBI hat and put on his hat as "a professor in the field known as political economy "? And go on to give an extraordinary s
Would you believe that there is a conspiracy theory about the way we tune musical instruments? And that this theory even involves the Nazis, chakras, and whatnot? No? Then sit down and enjoy perhaps the most ridiculous conspiracy theory of all times.
Creating happiness is harder than you think – many of the activities you think will make you happier… do very little.
New York City is a complex place to drive. And when it comes to parking, there are plenty of rules and regulations to follow. It’s no wonder that sometimes people get confused and end up getting their cars ticketed or towed.