Summary of “Basic income could work-if you do it Canada-style”

“I’m seeing people smiling and seeing people friendlier, saying hi more,” she says.
A Buy & Sell Shop is the kind of place where people come in just to chat-“We’re like Cheers, without the alcohol,” Garbutt says-and more and more people seem hopeful.
People far beyond Canada will be watching closely, too, because a basic income has become Silicon Valley’s favorite answer to the question of how society should deal with the massive automation of jobs.
Many people juggle multiple jobs, including seasonal work tied to tourism in the summer and fall.
For McKechnie, the basic income is something broader: a social equalizer, a recognition that people who make little or no money are often doing things that are socially valuable.
As a practical matter, the Ontario trial doesn’t pay enough to eliminate most people’s need to work or to rely on family for support.
Tony Tilly is the outgoing president of Fleming College, which specializes in preparing people in Kawartha Lakes for careers in both white-collar work and trades.
He supports a basic income because he thinks it could help people break out of poverty that has beset their families for generations.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Endling: Watching a Species Vanish in Real Time”

It is entirely possible that the endling for a bashful porpoise called the vaquita is today swimming somewhere off the Mexican coast.
A 2016 report warned that the vaquita was “Racing toward extinction”; a 2017 follow-up lamented that the collapse had “Continued unabated.” Today, fewer than 30 vaquitas remain.
You can rent a car in San Diego in the afternoon, as I did, cross the border at Calexico, and arrive in vaquita country in time to eat dinner at a restaurant called, of course, La Vaquita.
When John Steinbeck sailed the upper Gulf in 1940, he found it “Almost solid with fish-swarming, hungry, frantic fish, incredible in their voraciousness.” Among those frantic fish are schools of coveted totoaba, which surge into the upper Gulf to spawn in late winter and early spring: the most profitable time of year to be a poacher, and the most dangerous to be a vaquita.
The older man by a couple of decades, Horozco recalled a better time-a time not only before the whole vaquita mess, but when the Colorado River still reached the sea, before American dams and canals sucked it dry to water Las Vegas casinos and Imperial Valley crops.
Today, Taylor helms the scientific team monitoring the vaquita’s decline, which means that, for the second time in a dozen years, she is documenting the dire final days of a vanishing cetacean.
In its 11th hour, the vaquita, like the baiji before it, has become a cause célèbre-elevated from anonymity just in time for us to remark on its likely passing.
“We have the world looking at Mexico, and I think a lot of people will come out of this knowing a lot more.” For the vaquita itself that hard-won knowledge has almost certainly coalesced too late: By the time you read these words, its endling may well be dead. For now, the vaquita’s immediate future hinges on the valiant and imperfect efforts of well-intentioned vigilantes-foreigners working not with fishermen but against them.

The orginal article.

Summary of “From rust belt to robot belt: Turning AI into jobs in the US heartland”

There is no sillier-or more disingenuous-debate in the tech community than the one over whether robots and AI will destroy jobs or, conversely, create a great abundance of new ones.
In one of the first attempts to quantify the impact of industrial robots, research by Daron Acemoglu at MIT and his colleagues, based on data from 1990 to 2007, found that for every robot on the factory floor, some six jobs are lost.
That means as many as 670,000 jobs for the years that they looked at, and as many as 1.5 million jobs at 2016 levels of robot usage in the US. Automation is changing work.
Gauging the net gain or loss of jobs due to robotics and AI is a tricky business.
“The alarmists’ is that this time is different and it will destroy jobs. The truth is it’s capable of doing both.” Though in the past the economic benefits from new technologies have always been enough to create more jobs than were lost, he says, “Lately, for a variety of reasons, there has been a much more job-destroying face to technology.”
Part of what he’s describing is the so-called productivity paradox: while big data, automation, and AI should in theory be making businesses more productive, boosting the economy and creating more jobs to offset the ones being lost, this hasn’t happened.
On tech unemployment: “I’m of the view that we’re not headed for sustained technological unemployment. In a market economy, wages adjust over time and people will find jobs. The question is not the number of jobs but the quality of jobs. Will they provide livelihood levels and opportunities comparable to livelihoods and opportunities of the jobs lost through automation? This worries me.”
As a country, we’re struggling to imagine how to build an economy with plenty of good jobs around AI and automation.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Paisley Park, Prince’s Lonely Palace”

Three years later, it was real: in 1987, Prince built a sixty-five-thousand-square-foot, ten-million-dollar recording complex in Chanhassen, Minnesota, and called it Paisley Park.
On April 21, 2016, Prince collapsed and died in an elevator at Paisley Park.
One of the highlights of the tour is a chance to play Ping-Pong at Prince’s own table, where he often beat his guests-including Michael Jackson, who visited Paisley Park in 1986, while Prince was working on the film “Under the Cherry Moon,” the follow-up to “Purple Rain.” Prince mercilessly taunted the hapless Jackson, who had never played Ping-Pong before.
“He didn’t have close friends.” Alan Leeds, who was Prince’s tour manager for much of the nineteen-eighties, and briefly ran Paisley Park Records, said that it was Prince’s need for total control that drove him to build Paisley Park.
Paisley Park presents Prince only as a visionary-not as a father, a husband, a friend, or a son.
Prince built monuments to himself in his own home, during his lifetime! He had even tested out the museum concept, periodically opening Paisley Park for guided tours.
Although Prince’s estate has disregarded some of his preferences-his discography is now available on Spotify, a platform he pulled his music from in 2015, in part because he believed that the company didn’t compensate artists properly-there’s something profound about how Paisley Park insists on maintaining Prince’s privacy.
Visiting Paisley Park now evokes a similar sensation-of being near Prince, but never quite with him.

The orginal article.

Summary of “AI Gaydar and Other Stories of the Death of Ignorance”

AI can find patterns and make inferences using relatively little data.
While medical data is strongly regulated, data used by AI is often in the hands of the notoriously unregulated for-profit tech sector.
The types of data that AI deals with are also much broader, so that any corresponding laws require a broader scope of understanding of what a right to ignorance means.
The more radical-and potentially more effective-approach to protecting the right to ignorance is to prevent data from being gathered in the first place.
In line with this way of thinking, the European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation, which became effective in May 2018, states that companies are permitted to collect and store only the minimum amount of user data needed to provide a specific, stated service, and to get customers’ consent for how their data will be used.
GPDR’s focus on the alignment between data and a given service does not exclude categories of data we find morally questionable, nor completely stop companies from buying excluded data from a data broker as long as the user has consented-and many people consent to sharing their data even with relatively meager incentives.
Second, putting economic value on personal data may coerce people to share their data and make data privacy a privilege of the rich.
As a first step, taking profit out of data provides the space we need to create and maintain ethical standards that can survive the coming of AI, and pave the way for managing collective ignorance.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Yotam Ottolenghi’s picnic recipes”

Put the couscous in a medium saucepan for which you have a lid, and dry toast, stirring occasionally, over a medium-high heat until some of the pearls begin to colour – about four minutes.
Cook for 10 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed, then turn off the heat and leave the couscous to sit, covered, for 10 minutes more.
Drizzle a little oil over the garlic bulb, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then wrap tightly in foil and add to the pepper tray.
Roast for 25 minutes, turning halfway, until the peppers are blackening on both sides.
Remove the peppers and chillies, and roast the garlic for 10 minutes more.
Put the peppers and chillies in a bowl, cover tightly with clingfilm, leave for 30 minutes, then peel off the skin, discarding the seeds, stalks and any liquid.
Add the remaining oil, the last six ingredients, half a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper, and mix gently to coat.
Place a tray under the cake tin to catch any oil, then bake for 35-40 minutes, until the tomatoes have softened and are slightly charred.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Downfall of Arif Naqvi’s Abraaj Group, Dubai’s Star Investor”

Hydari declined to comment for this story, and a spokesperson for Abraaj called the book “An act of fiction.” By the time Naqvi exited the investment, generating a $71 million profit, his reputation for bold moves in obscure markets had been sealed.
More deals followed after Naqvi founded Abraaj in 2002.
The company’s 2012 acquisition of London-based private equity firm Aureos Capital gave Abraaj a foothold in emerging markets beyond the Gulf, then roiled by the Arab Spring, and access to an investor list that included the Gates Foundation.
It also put Abraaj in an uncomfortable position, according to a person familiar with the firm’s decision-making at the time: To attract and keep big international players, Naqvi would borrow money to invest in Abraaj’s own funds and expand the asset base.
Troubles at Abraaj began late last year, when investors in the health-care fund tapped Ankura Consulting Group LLC to track their money.
“We’ve gone from a small standing start 15 years ago to the point where we are today the largest investor in the world in emerging markets,” Naqvi said at last year’s “Abraaj Week,” the firm’s annual Davos-like gathering for employees and clients.
“If Abraaj did something that investors did not expect, the validity of the trust argument will be questioned not just for Abraaj, but for the whole Middle East PE industry, and probably for the world PE industry as well.”
BOTTOM LINE – The potential liquidation of Abraaj Group and the damage to Arif Naqvi’s reputation may affect investor confidence in Dubai for years to come.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Peppa Pig became a video nightmare for children”

In November of last year, I read an article in the New York Times about disturbing videos targeted at children that were being distributed via YouTube.
YouTube’s initial proposal was to restrict advertising on disturbing content aimed at children – but its proposals failed to engage honestly with its own platform.
In March, Wired catalogued a slew of violent accounts and demonstrated that it was possible to go from a popular children’s alphabet video to a Minnie Mouse snuff film in 14 steps, just by following YouTube’s own recommendations.
Take YouTube’s recommendation system for starters, which doesn’t differentiate between Disney movies and a grainy animation cooked up by a bot farm in China.
In the months since first writing about YouTube’s weird video problem, I’ve met a few people from the company, as well as from other platforms that have been caught up in similar vortices.
If YouTube is bridging a gap in childcare, the answer is more funding for childcare and education in general, not fixing YouTube.
YouTube provides another salutary lesson here: only last week it was reported that YouTube’s most successful young stars – the “YouTubers” followed and admired by millions of their peers – are burning out and breaking down en masse.
Polygon magazine cited, among many others, the examples of Rubén “El Rubius” Gundersen, the third most popular YouTuber in the world with just under 30 million subscribers, who recently went live to talk to his viewers about fears of an impending breakdown and his decision to take a break from YouTube, and Elle Mills, a popular YouTuber with 1.2 million followers, who posted footage of herself mid-anxiety attack in a video entitled Burn Out at 19.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How We Watch Soccer Now”

When I’m feeling curious or apprehensive about the future of the game, and about the sheer range of soccer I might one day feel obliged to obsess over, I’ll read up on Major League Soccer or the Chinese Super League-generally agreed to be rising forces, though still currently a place for second-rank talent and the occasional fading, pampered megastar.
A recent Gallup poll found that soccer was the favorite sport to watch for seven per cent of Americans-higher than hockey, and only slightly lower than baseball.
Attempts to introduce the game at Cambridge University during the eighteen-forties foundered, because, as one student wrote, “Every man played the rules he had been accustomed to at his public school. I remember how the Eton men howled at the Rugby men for handling the ball.” A compromise, the Cambridge Rules, was drawn up and a campaign for universal standards spread. In 1863, representatives from eleven clubs formed the Football Association-the term “Soccer” is a contraction of “Association football”-and set about devising the Laws of the Game, which included the maximum length of the pitch and a prohibition on throwing the ball.
Foreigners’ soccer was viewed with haughty indifference by the English soccer establishment.
In the next decade and a half, England had its first soccer tragedy, the Munich air disaster, in which eight Manchester United players died; its first soccer superstar, George Best, the so-called fifth Beatle; its first and only World Cup victory; its first knighthoods for a soccer player and a manager.
In his chirpy “History of British Football”, the musicologist Percy M. Young identified the arrival of a recognizable new type-the soccer connoisseur, who would watch only “Attractive football.” But even among connoisseurs tribalism often won out; the point of soccer was still to chant and cheer, not analyze and admire.
Like most families, we didn’t have Murdoch’s satellite package, but we still caught highlights of Premiership games on the BBC’s weekly roundup “Match of the Day,” and, for the first time, it was easy to watch soccer being played outside the British Isles.
More recently, Karl Ove Knausgaard wrote that Zidane’s “Every move” at the 2006 World Cup was “a joy to behold”-even the head-butt was “Entirely rational”-and Tom McCarthy mused that Zinedine Zidane’s head was ineluctably drawn to the double “Z” in his antagonist’s surname, calling the head-butt “Perhaps the most decisive rite typography has been accorded in our era.” Such poetic flights, for all their idiosyncrasy, constitute a more or less natural response to the way we watch soccer today.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Can there be a “very good dog?” Philosophy has an answer”

In 1798, Immanuel Kant wrote that “The fact that the human being can have the representation ‘I’ raises him infinitely above all the other beings on earth. By this he is a person.that is, a being altogether different in rank and dignity from things, such as irrational animals, with which one may deal and dispose at one’s discretion.”
Mark Rowlands, a professor of philosophy at the University of Miami, and author of The Philosopher and the Wolf, among other books, believes his dog and wolf are good.
He defines goodness as a kind of concern and points also to animal studies and anecdotes that show animals caring for other creatures-including people-taking risks to save them, and hurting them too, as proof that they can be both bad and good.
Humans too do plenty of things thoughtlessly, impulsively or instinctively-we don’t always scrutinize our actions in advance or know why we’re doing good or bad. If a person were to run into a street to save a child from the danger of an oncoming car, it wouldn’t require thought as much as instinct.
Frans De Waal, an Emory University primatologist, also thinks ethics are inherent in animals.
De Waal argues that humans err when they understand morality as the unique veneer that keeps us in check and separate from animals.
People do resist the idea of animal morality though-and that is in part because it calls our own goodness into question.
As the Stanford Dictionary of Philosophy points out, recognizing the capacity for compassion, virtue, suffering, and struggle in animals puts humans in an awkward position.

The orginal article.