In the News 17.05.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


In the News 17.05.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 17.05.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

My Family’s Slave

In the News 17.05.17 - Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets -01

The ashes filled a black plastic box about the size of a toaster. It weighed three and a half pounds. I put it in a canvas tote bag and packed it in my suitcase this past July for the transpacific flight to Manila. From there I would travel by car to a rural village. When I arrived, I would hand over all that was left of the woman who had spent 56 years as a slave in my family’s household.

Her name was Eudocia Tomas Pulido. We called her Lola. She was 4 foot 11, with mocha-brown skin and almond eyes that I can still see looking into mine—my first memory. She was 18 years old when my grandfather gave her to my mother as a gift, and when my family moved to the United States, we brought her with us. No other word but slave encompassed the life she lived. Her days began before everyone else woke and ended after we went to bed. She prepared three meals a day, cleaned the house, waited on my parents, and took care of my four siblings and me. My parents never paid her, and they scolded her constantly. She wasn’t kept in leg irons, but she might as well have been. So many nights, on my way to the bathroom, I’d spot her sleeping in a corner, slumped against a mound of laundry, her fingers clutching a garment she was in the middle of folding.

Read the rest of this article at The Atlantic

The Future of Living Alone Is Living Together

In the News 17.05.17 - Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets -02

The Nook on Valdez is in a part of Oakland that is walking distance to Whole Foods, Lake Merritt, and a handful of construction sites. The building is modern and simple — from afar, it looks like any multilevel apartment building — and a property manager named Cristian kindly ushers me to his office, which doubles as the lobby of this edifice. The Nook is a microhousing apartment complex with communal spaces that residents share. The lobby is stark but surprisingly welcoming; there are coworking tables, some at standing-height level. There’s a stocked refrigerator and a Frito Lay variety pack on the counter. Cushioned seats line the walls, and the high ceilings make this modest space feel roomier. This building — mild, modern, and far from ostentatious — could very well be the future of middle-class housing in America.

We start our tour by following an outdoor walkway around the building to a side entrance, and then into yet another common space, the laundry room. This isn’t just any laundry room, though. Inside, there’s a stylish plush chair, a couch, and a huge television. Against the wall, there’s a high-tech parcel delivery machine, where packages are safely held for residents. Cristian, who is no older than 27, takes me to the elevator and up a few stories so I can see a room. It’s the only room left — all of the others have been rented. In fact, they were all rented sight unseen, before the Nook had even opened in October 2016. This last unit will be occupied by a new resident starting tomorrow.

Read the rest of this article at The Ringer


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Data is Giving Rise to a New Economy

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AN OIL refinery is an industrial cathedral, a place of power, drama and dark recesses: ornate cracking towers its gothic pinnacles, flaring gas its stained glass, the stench of hydrocarbons its heady incense. Data centres, in contrast, offer a less obvious spectacle: windowless grey buildings that boast no height or ornament, they seem to stretch to infinity.

Yet the two have much in common. For one thing, both are stuffed with pipes. In refineries these collect petrol, propane and other components of crude oil, which have been separated by heat. In big data centres they transport air to cool tens of thousands of computers which extract value—patterns, predictions and other insights—from raw digital information.

Both also fulfil the same role: producing crucial feedstocks for the world economy. Whether cars, plastics or many drugs—without the components of crude, much of modern life would not exist. The distillations of data centres, for their part, power all kinds of online services and, increasingly, the real world as devices become more and more connected.

Data are to this century what oil was to the last one: a driver of growth and change. Flows of data have created new infrastructure, new businesses, new monopolies, new politics and—crucially—new economics. Digital information is unlike any previous resource; it is extracted, refined, valued, bought and sold in different ways. It changes the rules for markets and it demands new approaches from regulators. Many a battle will be fought over who should own, and benefit from, data.

Read the rest of this article at The Economist

Platonically Irrational

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In his essay ‘On Being Modern-Minded’ (1950), Bertrand Russell describes a particularly seductive illusion about history and intellectual progress. Because every age tends to exaggerate its uniqueness and imagine itself as a culmination of progress, continuities with previous historical periods are easily overlooked: ‘new catchwords hide from us the thoughts and feelings of our ancestors, even when they differed little from our own.’

Behavioural economics is one of the major intellectual developments of the past 50 years. The work of the psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky in particular is justly celebrated for identifying and analysing many of the core biases in human cognition. Russell’s insight, in fact, bears a strong resemblance to what Kahneman calls the availability bias. Because the catchwords and achievements of contemporary culture are most readily called to mind – most available – they tend to dominate our assessments. The fact that Russell’s articulation of this idea is much less familiar than Kahneman’s is itself a confirmation of Russell’s point.

Read the rest of this article at aeon

When Your Child Is a Psychopath

The condition has long been considered untreatable. Experts can spot it in a child as young as 3 or 4. But a new clinical approach offers hope.

In the News 17.05.17 - Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets -05

This is a good day, Samantha tells me: 10 on a scale of 10. We’re sitting in a conference room at the San Marcos Treatment Center, just south of Austin, Texas, a space that has witnessed countless difficult conversations between troubled children, their worried parents, and clinical therapists. But today promises unalloyed joy. Samantha’s mother is visiting from Idaho, as she does every six weeks, which means lunch off campus and an excursion to Target. The girl needs supplies: new jeans, yoga pants, nail polish.

At 11, Samantha is just over 5 feet tall and has wavy black hair and a steady gaze. She flashes a smile when I ask about her favorite subject (history), and grimaces when I ask about her least favorite (math). She seems poised and cheerful, a normal preteen. But when we steer into uncomfortable territory—the events that led her to this juvenile-treatment facility nearly 2,000 miles from her family—Samantha hesitates and looks down at her hands. “I wanted the whole world to myself,” she says. “So I made a whole entire book about how to hurt people.”

Starting at age 6, Samantha began drawing pictures of murder weapons: a knife, a bow and arrow, chemicals for poisoning, a plastic bag for suffocating. She tells me that she pretended to kill her stuffed animals.

“You were practicing on your stuffed animals?,” I ask her.

She nods.

“How did you feel when you were doing that to your stuffed animals?”


“Why did it make you feel happy?”

“Because I thought that someday I was going to end up doing it on somebody.”

“Did you ever try?”


“I choked my little brother.”

Read the rest of this article at The Atlantic


P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M. // @ ; @meanderingmacaron; @