Summary of “The Law of Unintended Consequences: Shakespeare, Cobra Breeding, and a Tower in Pisa”

Schieffelin’s starlings are a prime example of unintended consequences.
As the world becomes more complicated and interconnected, the potential for ever more serious unintended consequences grows.
Sometimes the consequences are mixed and take a long time to appear, as with the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Along with the unexpected failure of the foundations is the unexpected consequence of the Leaning Tower of Pisa becoming a popular tourist attraction, bringing enormous revenue to the town.
Typically when we talk about the law of unintended consequences, we’re talking about negative consequences.
Most unintended consequences are just unanticipated consequences.
Negative unintended consequences do not always result in changes being made.
We cannot eliminate unintended consequences, but we can become more aware of them through rational thinking techniques.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Sublime and Scary Future of Cameras With A.I. Brains”

Others are using artificial intelligence to make cameras more useful.
It doesn’t take long to imagine the useful and very creepy possibilities of cameras that can decipher the world.
Digital cameras brought about a revolution in photography, but until now, it was only a revolution of scale: Thanks to microchips, cameras got smaller and cheaper, and we began carrying them everywhere.
Now, A.I. will create a revolution in how cameras work, too.
Smart cameras will let you analyze pictures with prosecutorial precision, raising the specter of a new kind of surveillance – not just by the government but by everyone around you, even your loved ones at home.
Regular readers of this column know that capturing moments of my kids’ childhood is an acute anxiety of mine; I’ve even wired my home with cameras to preserve a kind of reality show of life in my house.
“What we learned was that cameras don’t creep people out when they’re used deliberately and the person is part of the process.”
Lighthouse, which I’ve also used for a few weeks, is meant to be an upgrade over the internet-connected home security cameras that have become popular.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Is It So Hard for Clothing Manufacturers to Pay a Living Wage?”

Plus, as brands are wont to remind people, most of them don’t own the factories that produce their clothes, meaning they neither pay for the garment workers’ wages nor determine what those wages are.
If the intricacies of a living wage weren’t enough to grapple with, there is also the notion of the minimum wage – that is, the lowest wage that a country’s local or federal government says employers are legally bound pay their workers.
Not only does a country’s minimum wage rarely square up with the concept of a living wage, but it can also differ by orders of magnitude.
“Lots of codes of conduct talk about a living wage and we have no evidence of factories paying a living wage; lots of codes of conduct talk about right of workers to join or form a union of their own choosing and that rarely happens,” he says.
“People will say, ‘Why haven’t you done it before?’ or ‘If it’s such a small premium to pay for such a big difference to those people, why don’t you just absorb it within your own profit margins?'” But paying a living wage can have immediate, tangible benefits, something Stochaj discovered in the two years the “Fair Share” project has been brewing.
“Consumers have basically reset what they expect to pay, and this is putting more pressure on brands to either find ways to lower prices – and hence pay lower wages – or lose market share.”
Which is to say, if brands wanted to pay their workers a living wage today, they could.
In December, Labour Behind the Label noted that it would cost H&M only 1.9 percent of the $2 billion it made in 2016 to pay all its Cambodian workers the additional $78 per month they would need to achieve a living wage.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Can Lyft “Nice” Its Way to the Top of the Ridesharing Heap?”

Thanks to the internet’s outrage at Uber and a well-timed Lyft donation of $1 million to help the ACLU fight Trump’s travel ban, Lyft surpassed Uber in app downloads for the first time that weekend.
As of early 2018, Lyft still has only around 27 percent market share in the U.S., according to credit card analytics firm Second Measure-but that’s way up from the 15 percent share the company commanded before #deleteUber happened.
The initial version of Uber was an upscale black-car service to let Travis Kalanick and his friends “Roll around San Francisco like ballers.” Lyft began as a way to help college kids without vehicles carpool home for the holidays.
Early marketing worked extra hard to sell Lyft as a feel-good company: Sit in the front seat! Give your driver a fist bump! Laugh at this goofy pink mustache! But beneath the branding there were features showing that Lyft really did care about more than its own bottom line, such as the ability to tip drivers and a mentor program that paired each new driver with an experienced one before they hit the road. Zimmer himself drives on Lyft every New Year’s Eve to better understand the driver experience, and his time behind the wheel is going up as the company expands, not down.
These drivers, as they sang Lyft’s praises or griped about Uber’s poor treatment during rides, helped frame the way passengers viewed the two companies.
Lyft says it is an ardent supporter of public transit-cofounder Green was the youngest member of the Santa Barbara County transit board when he was in college, and the company has many partnerships with local governments to ferry people to transit hubs or replace rarely used bus routes with subsidized Lyft rides.
In 2017, about 40 percent of Lyft rides occurred in the carpooling service Lyft Line in cities where the feature was available, up from 30 percent the previous year.
Even some of Uber’s controversies may not be unique-in January, a current or former Lyft employee anonymously claimed that workers at the company had improperly looked up passengers’ location data, similar to Uber’s notorious “God View” mode.

The orginal article.

Summary of “This Man Helped Peter Thiel Demolish Gawker”

Peter Thiel’s campaign to ruin Gawker Media was conceived and orchestrated by a previously unknown associate who served as a middleman, allowing the billionaire to conceal his involvement in the bankrolling of lawsuits that eventually drove the New York media outlet into bankruptcy.
Since 2016, Thiel has sparingly discussed his role in destroying Gawker, sitting for just three public interviews and writing a single New York Times opinion piece.
The Gawker reporter who wrote that story, Owen Thomas, previously wrote that a Thiel representative “Assured me that he had no issue with the post,” while Nick Denton, Gawker’s founder, said that following the post, the tech investor went “On a broader media charm offensive.”
D’Souza’s online résumé fails to mention his work with Thiel to covertly attack Gawker.
Forbes previously reported that Harder never had any direct contact with Thiel prior to Hogan’s 2016 trial against Gawker in Florida, and a source close to founding partner Doug Mirell told BuzzFeed News that the attorney was unaware that the billionaire was paying Hogan’s legal bills until it was reported in May 2016.
Thiel celebrated his momentous victory anonymously, at least until Forbes revealed him as Hogan’s benefactor in May, while Harder used his newfound fame to attract inbound interest for further lawsuits against Gawker and other news outlets.
To head that off, Thiel bid for the remaining Gawker assets – including the flagship domain Gawker.com, its archive, and outstanding legal claims, like those against himself – though Holden has made it known that he may block any sale to Thiel, no matter how much the venture capitalist is willing to bid.
In the case of Gawker Media, Mirell helped Harder, Thiel, and D’Souza destroy one.

The orginal article.

Summary of “By Day, a Sunny Smile for Disney Visitors. By Night, an Uneasy Sleep in a Car.”

Roughly 38 percent of the county’s 1.5 million workers earn less than that.
According to a survey of thousands of low-wage employees at the park, nearly three-quarters of workers who responded said they do not earn enough money to pay for their basic monthly expenses, and one in 10 said they had been homeless in the past two years.
The responses account for about 17 percent of the park’s overall work force.
These days, Ms. Bertola shares an apartment with her boyfriend, who has worked at Disneyland for years.
“We barely can make it work with the two of us working there almost full-time,” she said.
After working in salons for several years, Rebekah Pederson began working at Disneyland because she would be eligible to join the Makeup Artists and Hair Stylists Guild.
As a grill fry and a lead cook at Cafe Orleans, Grace Torres, 28, earns anywhere between $12.88 and $18 an hour, depending on her shift, working between 32 and 40 hours a week with a schedule that varies widely.
Her husband has also worked as a cook there for several years.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Lonely Life of a Professional YouTuber”

There are more professional YouTubers than ever before.
More people than ever are tuning in and desiring the life of a YouTuber.
“My flatmate is a YouTuber too, and she sells glitter.” Another YouTuber, Memeulous, lives on one of the floors below.
The tone became more and more ironic and self-deprecating, yet he somehow retained a bit of that old school YouTuber hyper-sincerity when encouraging people to like and subscribe.
Seven months before the now-famous Logan Paul controversy in Japan, a YouTuber was shot in the chest by his wife and co-star while trying to make a prank video.
At the same time, these controversies fuel the YouTuber ecosystem.
In some ways, you can see the YouTuber as the ultimate distillation of modern neoliberal culture: an entire community of self-promoting individualistic entrepreneurs, desperately battling each other for economic success, while their work simultaneously benefits advertisers and drives the success of a corporate monolith: YouTube.
In an era of “Bullshit jobs”, when the radical idea of a post-work society is becoming more realistic by the day, the unconventional career of the professional YouTuber becomes inherently interesting.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Are Hospitals Becoming Obsolete?”

As a result, the number of hospitals has declined to 5,534 this year from 6,933 in 1981.
This is because, in a throwback to the 19th century, hospitals now seem less therapeutic and more life-threatening.
The number of hospitals is also declining because more complex care can safely and effectively be provided elsewhere, and that’s good news.
Births outside of hospitals are also increasing, as more women have babies at home or at birthing centers.
As these trends accelerate, many of today’s hospitals will downsize, merge or close.
They will lobby for higher hospital payments from the government and insurers and for other preferential treatment, often arguing that we need to retain the “Good” jobs hospitals offer.
Hospitals will also continue consolidating into huge, multihospital systems.
Instead of trying to forestall the inevitable, we should welcome the advances that are making hospitals less important.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Takeaways From the Sloan Conference”

“I’m not a person that frowns upon analytics,” ex-NBA player Jalen Rose said this weekend during a panel at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston.
Morey pointed out that although a statistic like RPM can pick up on how some players provide a role when they’re on the floor that helps the team win, “That player could be very replaceable by multiple players with that same skill set. Even though it’s correct that they’re creating that winning, in our roles of having to decide player to player, you have to think about how else can you fill that role.” In other words, data can’t be the be-all and end-all.
One front-office stats guy told me that he observes people making mistakes most frequently with NBA.com’s defensive rating, which is a team statistic, not a player statistic.
The situation, the referees, the players on the floor, and luck all play a significant role in any number that a machine spits out.
Multiple league executives say that a better way of analyzing defense is to focus on the process rather than the results-looking at whether rotations were on time or late, or the way in which a player navigated a screen to chase a shooter, or whether a player was in the right position to help.
Intriguing Trade-Reform Ideas Morey said he thinks the fundamental challenge with trades is that draft picks are the only way to bridge the gap between how two teams value one player.
“The value changes up and down all the time, and it makes for a not-very-liquid market.” Morey said that the league should allow teams to put player-performance conditions on draft picks during trades, so that a pick’s ultimate position could be affected by the success or health of a traded player.
Bhostgusters! The coolest research paper at Sloan this year is titled “Bhostgusters: Realtime Interactive Play Sketching With Synthesized NBA Defenses.” In the paper, a five-person team from the Technical University of Munich aims to approach “Play sketching from a data-driven perspective.” In layman’s terms, you can draw up a play on a touch screen using their system, then simulate how a defense might respond to it.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Tech broke our relationship with wilderness: can it mend it too?”

Drawing a bright line between humans and nature has always been tricky.
It’s all the more difficult now, when no ecosystem on Earth is free from human influence; in the Anthropocene, nowhere is truly pristine or wild.
‘The paradox, in a nutshell, is this,’ writes the journalist Oliver Morton in The Planet Remade, ‘humans are grown so powerful that they have become a force of nature – and forces of nature are those things which, by definition, are beyond the power of humans to control.
Even people who might see nature in spiritual or semi-spiritual terms – to be kept as far away from human influence as possible – probably wouldn’t object.
Autonomous conservation systems might be ultimately subject to the control of humans, in a way that Australia’s cane toads were not, but machine learning can still go awry.
The more common term is ‘wilderness’, a place untouched by human intervention.
Such feelings seem to be attainable in landscapes that have been transformed by humans, so long as the influence of other natural processes are evident.
Rewilding, an increasingly influential approach, is the notion that humans should stand back to allow other species to flourish – an abandonment of the Biblical doctrine of dominion over the natural world, as the writer and activist George Monbiot wrote.

The orginal article.