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In the News 08.20.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

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In the News 08.20.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
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In the News 08.20.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
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In the News 08.20.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
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Yuval Noah Harari On What The Year 2050 Has In Store For Humankind

Part one: Change is the only constant

Humankind is facing unprecedented revolutions, all our old stories are crumbling and no new story has so far emerged to replace them. How can we prepare ourselves and our children for a world of such unprecedented transformations and radical uncertainties? A baby born today will be thirty-something in 2050. If all goes well, that baby will still be around in 2100, and might even be an active citizen of the 22nd century. What should we teach that baby that will help him or her survive and flourish in the world of 2050 or of the 22nd century? What kind of skills will he or she need in order to get a job, understand what is happening around them and navigate the maze of life?

Unfortunately, since nobody knows how the world will look in 2050 – not to mention 2100 – we don’t know the answer to these questions. Of course, humans have never been able to predict the future with accuracy. But today it is more difficult than ever before, because once technology enables us to engineer bodies, brains and minds, we can no longer be certain about anything – including things that previously seemed fixed and eternal.

Read the rest of this article at: Wired

In the News 08.20.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

When China Rules The Web

In the News 08.20.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

For almost five decades, the United States has guided the growth of the Internet. From its origins as a small Pentagon program to its status as a global platform that connects more than half of the world’s population and tens of billions of devices, the Internet has long been an American project. Yet today, the United States has ceded leadership in cyberspace to China. Chinese President Xi Jinping has outlined his plans to turn China into a “cyber-superpower.” Already, more people in China have access to the Internet than in any other country, but Xi has grander plans. Through domestic regulations, technological innovation, and foreign policy, China aims to build an “impregnable” cyberdefense system, give itself a greater voice in Internet governance, foster more world-class companies, and lead the globe in advanced technologies.

China’s continued rise as a cyber-superpower is not guaranteed. Top-down, state-led efforts at innovation in artificial intelligence, quantum computing, robotics, and other ambitious technologies may well fail. Chinese technology companies will face economic and political pressures as they globalize. Chinese citizens, although they appear to have little expectation of privacy from their government, may demand more from private firms. The United States may reenergize its own digital diplomacy, and the U.S. economy may rediscover the dynamism that allowed it create so much of the modern world’s technology.

But given China’s size and technological sophistication, Beijing has a good chance of succeeding—thereby remaking cyberspace in its own image. If this happens, the Internet will be less global and less open. A major part of it will run Chinese applications over Chinese-made hardware. And Beijing will reap the economic, diplomatic, national security, and intelligence benefits that once flowed to Washington.

Read the rest of this article at: Foreign Affairs

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 How Two Years Of Instagram Stories Has Altered The Way We Love, Act And Play

I first realised Instagram Stories had changed my friends while sitting outside a pub earlier this year. It was the point in a Friday night when drinks begin to linger on the table as everyone privately debates whether to go home.

It wasn’t a moment worth capturing, but when someone came back from the bar with a phone held up, everyone tried to make it look like one. Glasses were raised and middle fingers thrown at the camera to show the exaggerated hallmarks of people having fun.

It was the same self-conscious performance I’d given when my boyfriend recorded me driving through Ireland on New Year’s Day, the Story where you could hear my voice change key when I noticed I was being filmed.

Once I’d seen how visible the con was I saw it in everything: the exaggerated dance-floor performances, the seaside star jumps, the cocktails clinking against azure skies. If you pulled back the curtain, I wondered, was anyone having as much fun as appeared?

Read the rest of this article at: Esquire

In the News 08.20.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

‘I’ve Seen Too Many Accidents’: The Perils Of Deliverymen

In the News 08.20.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

It would be difficult to find a bicycle deliveryman in New York who doesn’t know the story of Edwin Vicente Ajacalon. He was a 14-year-old boy who lived in the city for about a year, having come to the United States illegally and unaccompanied from rural Guatemala, where he’d finished sixth grade and helped his parents work the fields.

He did not continue his schooling in New York, however. Instead, he worked as a deliveryman for various Brooklyn restaurants, living with five roommates whom he’d met on the job, in a small apartment in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. During his free time, he played soccer in the park, listened to Guatemalan pop and talked about the day when he’d return home and build a house for his family.

Then, on Nov. 25, right before 6 p.m., while riding his bike along 23rd Street in South Slope, he was hit by a southbound BMW sedan at Fifth Avenue. Even though the driver had the green light, surveillance video shows his car entering the intersection at high speed.

When police officers arrived at the scene, they found Edwin unconscious. He was transported to NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital in Park Slope, where he was pronounced dead from multiple blunt impact injuries. Local news broadcasts showed the car had knocked Edwin right out of his Nikes.

The driver was issued a summons for speeding, but no criminal charges were brought against him. According to the city’s Department of Transportation, 24 cyclists died and 4,397 were injured last year in motor vehicle crashes. Earlier this month, a young Australian tourist on a bicycle was fatally hit by a garbage truck on Central Park West, becoming the ninth cyclist to die in a traffic collision this year. But very few of these episodes result in criminal charges.

Edwin’s death did resonate across New York’s Hispanic community, in Guatemala and among groups fighting to improve the working conditions of undocumented immigrants here. Few felt it deeper than Edwin’s thousands of fellow deliverymen, some of whom couldn’t help but draw parallels between the “jovencito de Guatemala” — “the youngster from Guatemala,” as they call him — and their personal stories.

Read the rest of this article at: The New York Times

The Charmed Life Of Esther the Wonder Pig

In the News 08.20.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary, about sixty-five kilometres southwest of Toronto, is home to around sixty-five rescued farm animals, including pigs named Hercules, April, and Len, a goat known as Diablo, and a cow whose moniker, Pouty Face, perfectly matches her cuddly demeanour. These animals have come from a variety of places: some are from petting zoos, some have literally fallen off of trucks, and one was abandoned at the sanctuary’s front gate, presumably because its owners could no longer care for it. Other animals hadn’t been cared for at all—two of the sanctuary’s eight sheep were found, still squirming, on a farm’s so-called dead pile, where cast-off cadavers are heaped. Many of the animals at the sanctuary are factory-farm refugees, raised expressly to be consumed. At Happily Ever Esther, they will instead live out their natural lives in comfort and safety.

The animals, or “residents,” as the owners of the sanctuary prefer to call them, inhabit the twenty-hectare farm: the pigs stay in the main barn plus one fenced-in hectare of roamable forest and one of pasture; the chickens overnight in a sun-dappled enclosure also inhabited by two Muscovy ducks and a couple of garrulous peacocks; a few cows, a horse, and a donkey occupy a four-hectare paddock; and a colony of rabbits lives in a condo-like complex known as Bunny Town. But Happily Ever Esther’s eponymous resident lives in neither barn nor paddock. Rather, Esther, a 650-pound, six-year-old pig, shares a farmhouse with the sanctuary’s proprietors, Steve Jenkins and Derek Walter. She has her own bedroom, just off the entrance to the house, though the room has become a bit dingy—the broadloom is stained, the cupcake-patterned wallpaper peeling—as a renovation, which will open her room to the backyard, is imminent. But Esther usually prefers the sunroom, where she can snooze on a tattered, queen-size mattress. The first floor of the house could, in fact, be called Esther Town—paintings and photographs of the pig cover every wall, and porcine sculptures and other tchotchkes occupy most corners. On a shelf above Esther’s mattress are copies of the books that Jenkins and Walter have written about her, as well as a throw pillow emblazoned with “change the world.”

In many ways, Esther exists far beyond her faded room or even the sanctuary itself. Online, she is known as Esther the Wonder Pig. Close to a million and a half people follow her on Facebook, about half a million on Instagram, and 50,000 on Twitter. On social media, Esther’s life is documented in detail, even if her life pretty much consists of sleeping, sleeping, palling around with a turkey named Cornelius, wearing silly wigs and outfits, sleeping, snuggling her dads, and sleeping. Her YouTube channel, on which Walter and Jenkins also host an occasional low-tech cooking show, whipping up “Esther-approved” vegan dishes, has more than 22,000 subscribers. She is the Kim Kardashian West of the hog world, making appearances on, among other shows, abc’s Nightline and the cbc’s The Nature of Things. In early March, Walter and Jenkins released their first children’s book, The True Adventures of Esther the Wonder Pig. In July, they published Happily Ever Esther: Two Men, a Wonder Pig, and Their Life-Changing Mission to Give Animals a Home, with a foreword by actor Alan Cumming, a sequel to their 2016 New York Times bestseller, Esther the Wonder Pig. An Esther store, housed in a grey-and-pink trailer on the sanctuary grounds, sells Esther-themed jewellery, T-shirts, onesies, calendars, and toques. An autographed photo of Esther—signed with a rubber stamp of her hoofprint—goes for $20. In 2016, Walter and Jenkins began an annual Esther Cruise, a week-long Caribbean cruise during which the couple regales passengers with multimedia presentations about the sanctuary. (As people-friendly and housebroken as she may be, Esther does not go on the ship.)

Read the rest of this article at: The Walrus

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