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 “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 “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 “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.

Summary of “Plan a Better Meeting with Design Thinking”

The idea is to put the “User” at the center of the experience – an approach that works with meeting design, too.
Start by putting your own expertise and agenda aside and thinking about the people who will be affected by your meeting.
We compare the design and execution of meetings to the driving navigation app Waze: what is the quickest, safest, most effective way to get to your destination? The first step, immersing yourself with people, was about understanding where you need to go.
Their responses will help you gain more empathy, frame new questions, get even more creative in your meeting design, and increase your potential for success at the actual gathering.
Immersing helps people feel heard, and it ensures that meeting leaders are connected to participants.
Framing pushes the meeting leaders to ensure that there are clear goals for each meeting.
Imagining leads to more creativity and experimentation in the meeting design.
Finally, prototyping-something as simple as getting feedback on your plan from a few people – makes people feel valued, more accountable in the meetings, and more invested in their success.

The orginal article.

Summary of “North Pole surges above freezing in the dead of winter, stunning scientists”

The warm intrusion penetrated right through the heart of the Central Arctic, Labe said.
Such extreme warm intrusions in the Arctic, once rare, are becoming more routine, research has shown.
Such warm water is appearing to have an effect on air temperatures.
At the north tip of Greenland, about 400 miles to the south of the North Pole, the weather station Cape Morris Jesup has logged a record-crushing 61 hours above freezing so far this calendar year.
Kent Moore, a professor of atmospheric physics at the University of Toronto, who published a study in 2016 linking the loss of sea ice to these warm events in the Arctic, said a number of factors may have contributed to the latest warming episode.
For one, he said, recent storms have tracked more toward the North Pole through the Greenland Sea, drawing heat directly north from lower latitudes, rather than through a more circuitous route over the Barents Sea.
The rise in Arctic temperatures is probably also tied to a sudden warming of the stratosphere, the atmospheric layer about 30,000 feet high – above where most weather happens – that occurred several weeks ago, Moore said.
Moore stopped short of saying that the warm spikes observed in the Arctic in recent years are a sure sign that they are becoming a fixture of the winter Arctic climate; more data is needed, he cautioned.

The orginal article.

Summary of “I thought my bully deserved an awful life. But then he had one.”

Now, as an adult, looking at the fate that befell my bully – a perverse fulfillment of a childhood prophesy, one that left him dead at 25 – I realize how problematic and how ingrained that thinking is.
Dan Savage, the journalist and gay rights activist, launched the It Gets Better Project in 2010 after a rash of suicides by teenagers who were bullied because they were gay or because their peers thought they were.
A large number of bullies are also bullying victims, meaning they face some of the same pathologies that they induce in others.
At the time, I’d never seen my mother’s boyfriend hit her, but my bully, who lived nearby, had witnessed it.
Even though it was the last year that my bully and I would share a class – he was held back, I moved on to the sixth grade, I gave up softball for soccer, and my last ties to him were severed – I continued to hate him.
In 2010, after years of finding nothing, I learned from a friend that my bully had been murdered in his home not far from where we grew up.
Look at every bully and their victim, and you’ll often find two kids who need help, not just one.
My bully ridiculed me for having a mother who was a victim of domestic violence.

The orginal article.

Summary of “10 Breakthrough Technologies 2018”

Every year since 2001 we’ve picked what we call the 10 Breakthrough Technologies.
What we’re really looking for is a technology, or perhaps even a collection of technologies, that will have a profound effect on our lives.
A new project in Toronto, called Quayside, is hoping to change that pattern of failures by rethinking an urban neighborhood from the ground up and rebuilding it around the latest digital technologies.
Sectors such as medicine, manufacturing, and energy could also be transformed if they were able to implement the technology more fully, with a huge boost to economic productivity.
A pilot power plant just outside Houston, in the heart of the US petroleum and refining industry, is testing a technology that could make clean energy from natural gas a reality.
Net Power is a collaboration between technology development firm 8 Rivers Capital, Exelon Generation, and energy construction firm CB&I. The company is in the process of commissioning the plant and has begun initial testing.
Net Power’s technology won’t solve all the problems with natural gas, particularly on the extraction side.
Of all the clean-energy technologies in development, Net Power’s is one of the furthest along to promise more than a marginal advance in cutting carbon emissions.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The terrifying phenomenon that is pushing species towards extinction”

The saiga – whose migrations form one of the great wildlife spectacles – were victims of a mass mortality event, a single, catastrophic incident that wipes out vast numbers of a species in a short period of time.
According to some scientists, MMEs are on the rise and likely to become more common because of climate change.
What can be said with confidence is that the sorts of extreme weather events linked to MMEs – such as the temperature and humidity rise that nearly wiped out the saiga – will become more frequent.
The most thorough study of its kind published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2015 uncovered 727 accounts of MMEs involving 2,407 animal populations since 1940.
Untangling the causes – and working out the role of climate change in MMEs is difficult.
“There are some mass mortality events linked directly to extreme heatwaves or cold snaps. In other cases there could be indirect changes, where shifts in temperature cause diseases to be more common and which lead to an MME.”.
Like the bacteria that triggered the MME in saiga, the virus appears to have been present in starfish for decades – if not longer.
Kock is confident that climate change will lead to more MMEs – pushing vulnerable species closer to extinction and altering the food web.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Does America Want A Third Party?”

Micah: OK, I don’t want this chat to just be bashing Brooks’s argument; I want to talk about third parties.
Micah: OK, so he sorta bungles parties and bungles recent U.S. political history, but let’s talk about the force he thinks will spur a viable third party.
Does the Republican Party under Trump look a lot different than the Republican Party under Reagan? Sure.
Micah: But that’s party identification people do say they want a third party!
Part of the issue that Americans don’t want a third party – they want their third party.
Natesilver: Yeah, look, I don’t want to go overboard in totally dismissing the idea of a third party.
Natesilver: Because among that 61 percent, there’s 21 percent who want the Reasonable Center Party, 20 percent who want the Green Party, and 20 percent who want the America First Party.
Micah: OK, so if we all think that it’s much more likely that one of the two major parties will shift in a big way than that a third party will emerge, what could that shift(s) look like?

The orginal article.