India Pushes Back Against Tech ‘Colonization’ by Internet Giants

With Facebook, Google and Amazon dominating India’s internet, lawmakers have declared their intention to impose tough new rules on the tech industry. India is trying to establish strong data protections for its citizens, as Europe did, while giving the government the right to obtain private information as it sees fit. For some Indian political leaders, […]

Ancient Rome’s Collapse Is Written into Arctic Ice

On March 15, some time ago, several dozen famous politicians—sturdy men, duly elected senators who claimed to love their republic—attacked their chief executive while he walked into the Senate. They stabbed Gaius Julius Caesar 23 times, as he fell to the floor, defenseless, and bled to death, setting off a chain of wars that formally […]

Estonia plans to become a free public transport nation

After a successful experiment with free public transport for all citizens in Tallinn, Estonia wants to become the world’s first free public transport nation. Allan Alaküla explains why this is a good idea. Tallinn, known for its digital government and successful tech startups, is often referred to as Europe’s innovation capital. Now celebrating five years […]

What the History of Math Can Teach Us About the Future of AI

The long history of automation in mathematics offers an even more apt parallel to how computerization, in the form of AI and robots, is likely to affect other kinds of work. If you’re worried about AI-induced mass unemployment or worse, think about this: why didn’t digital computers make mathematicians obsolete? It turns out that human […]

Treadmills Were Meant to Be Atonement Machines

If you are one of the 51.8 million people in the U.S. who use a treadmill for exercise, you know there’s much pain for your muscle-and-fitness gain. On your next 30-minute jog, as you count down the final seconds, ponder whether the hard work made you a better person. Consider whether the workout would feel […]

What makes a translation great?

To the outside world, literary translators are famously invisible. Being a tight-knit community of solitary home workers, though, we talk a lot amongst ourselves. Recently, one big thing we’ve been talking about is reviews of our work. As critics come to notice our existence, we garner both praise and – in what feels like greater […]

Debtors in China Shamed on Highway Billboard Featuring Their Faces and Names

The Hefei Railway Transport Court, responsible for handling transport-related legal disputes, went a step further on the May 1 holiday, with broadcasts at 15 railway stations provincewide of debtors’ names and information – the first such use of screens at stations across an entire province. Source: scmp

Airbnb Is Screwing Over New York’s Vulnerable Neighborhoods

Here in New York, where the city cracked down on short term rentals more than a hundred years ago, renting out your home for less than 30 days is illegal as of October 2016. But many landlords continue to rent out entire homes to tourists and visitors—today, 12,200 units are available on Airbnb in New […]

Woman receives $5,751 ER bill—for an ice pack and a bandage

The woman, Jessica Pell, had fainted and hit her head on a table, slicing her ear in the process. She initially went to the emergency department at Hoboken University Medical Center to patch up the injury. But she decided to leave and get treatment elsewhere after she learned that the doctor who would see her […]

Why the utopian vision of William Morris is now within reach

Morris’s utopian society has no government nor a monetary system. Craftwork has made ‘wage slavery’ obsolete, and parliamentary democracy has given way to new forms of cooperation. The means of production are democratically controlled, and people find pleasure in sharing their interests, goals and resources. The central character and narrator, William Guest, finds himself in […]