Summary of “The Science of Sibling Rivalry”

When a sibling relationship is bad it can be really bad-as in messing-up-your-life bad. Tense sibling relationships make people more likely to use substances and to be depressed and anxious in adolescence.
Sibling bullying makes a kid more likely to engage in self-harm as a teen and to become psychotic by age 18.
Whether a person models herself after her siblings or tries to distinguish herself has particularly important consequences.
One study found that siblings who felt positively about each other tended to achieve similar education levels, while those who spent unequal time with their dad and perceived unequal parental treatment had diverging educational fortunes.
Emulating your sibling can be a mistake, depending on what she’s up to: Girls are more likely to get pregnant in their teens and teenagers are more likely to engage in risky behavior if an older sibling did so first.
A study of more than 1 million Swedes found that one’s risk of dying of a heart attack spikes after a sibling dies of one, due not only to shared DNA but also to the stress of losing such a key figure.
Siblings seem like they’re just there only until they aren’t.
This article appears in the November 2018 print edition with the headline “The Science of Sibling Rivalry.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “The American Economy Is Rigged”

Overall, wages are likely to be far more widely dispersed in a service economy than in one based on manufacturing, so the transition contributes to greater inequality.
The savings rate of even the rich in the U.S. is so low, compared with the rich in other countries, that the increase in inequality should be lower here, not greater.
A vicious spiral has formed: economic inequality translates into political inequality, which leads to rules that favor the wealthy, which in turn reinforces economic inequality.
Political scientists have documented the ways in which money influences politics in certain political systems, converting higher economic inequality into greater political inequality.
Political inequality, in its turn, gives rise to more economic inequality as the rich use their political power to shape the rules of the game in ways that favor them-for instance, by softening antitrust laws and weakening unions.
If an economy starts out with lower inequality, the political system generates rules that sustain it, leading to one equilibrium situation.
This redistribution of wealth is an important contributor to American inequality.
Inequality in the extremes observed in the U.S. and in the manner generated there actually damages the economy.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Present Is Prologue: What to Watch for in the Upcoming NBA Season”

The 82-game NBA regular season may drag along at times, but it’s what you make of it.
I’m watching the 2018-19 NBA season with an eye on how the present will set the slate for the future.
Ler is expected to play in the Wolves’ season opener on Wednesday, but team owner Glen Taylor “Came to an agreement” with Butler that the front office will continue to seek a trade, The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski reported Sunday.
A productive exhibition season can be predictive of a successful young career-whether it was Nikola Jokic in 2015, Joel Embiid in 2016, or Kyle Kuzma and Donovan Mitchell last year.
Losing Redick would hurt a roster that’s thirsty for floor spacers to surround its young centerpieces-none of whom are credible outside threats entering the season.
Part of me even wonders if Shamet, who can seamlessly operate within an offense on and off the ball, might help fill the void that Fultz left last season better than Fultz can this season.
Even higher-profile players like Hassan Whiteside and Cody Zeller are getting into the fun, attempting a combined six triples after only five last season.
The 2018-19 season is about far more than this season.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Unbury the Hatchet: How Competitive Ax-Throwing Went From a Canadian Fad to a Global Pastime”

“What’s unique about the culture is that you can play against somebody and have your ass absolutely handed to you,” Ottawa-based thrower and Backyard Axe Throwing League employee Shooter Coutts told me, “And still have a beer afterward.”
It’s old in that people have been throwing axes at stuff for as long as people have had axes.
The National Axe Throwing Federation was cofounded in 2016 by 39-year-old former bartender Matt Wilson.
Wilson is essentially the creator of modern league ax-throwing, thanks to the Backyard Axe Throwing League, which he established in 2006.
“It was raining, so we’re just sitting around the fire with our ponchos on. We couldn’t really do much on the water, so one of the guys pull out a hatchet and he started throwing it at some logs that we had there. And that’s really how it started,” Wilson said.
“I do look on that with some reverence, and I know that there’s a lot of Canadian history there. But the ax and the throw have been around all over the globe in all kinds of iterations for thousands of years, hundreds of years at least. So, for me, I feel like it’s always kind of existed.”
Despite the veneer of danger and the growing numbers of novices throwing axes in these spaces, there are no competitive ax-throwing horror stories.
“This has made average scores skyrocket, especially within the last 18 months. The competitive aspect of the sport had broadened so much in that time it’s almost hard to believe.” Many of the Canadian throwers I spoke with credited their Philadelphia brethren for introducing ax innovations into the game.

The orginal article.

Summary of “China’s Great Leap Backward – Foreign Policy”

In the short term, Xi’s efforts may make China seem less corrupt and more stable.
Such experimentation turned China into a country with hundreds of policy laboratories, enabling it to test different solutions to various problems in safe, quiet, and low-stakes ways before deciding whether to scale them up.
One last example: Just as China’s tech industry is notorious for stealing and applying foreign innovations, Chinese officials long did something similar on the policy level, carefully studying what worked in other countries and then applying the lessons at home.
What does Xi’s crackdown mean for his country’s future and for the rest of us? While one should always be careful about betting against China-as the history detailed above shows, the country is remarkably good at finding its way around problems that theory dictates should hold it back-it’s hard to avoid the grim conclusion that Xi’s China is rapidly becoming a lot less exceptional and a lot more like a typical police state.
If China continues down its current course, expect many more cases where even well-intentioned policies are implemented in a rash and clumsy way, leading to still more harmful consequences.
With each new budget-busting move, and in the absence of reform, the odds that China will experience a seriously destabilizing economic crisis-which China bears such as Ruchir Sharma, the head of emerging markets at Morgan Stanley, have been predicting for years-keep rising.
As Schell explains, “Xi has really put China at enormous risk. And because his only tool is repression, if things go wrong we’re likely to see even more crackdowns.”
Since taking power, Xi has charted a far more aggressive foreign policy than his predecessors, alienating virtually every neighbor and the United States by pushing China’s claims in the South China Sea, threatening Taiwan, and using the military to assert Beijing’s claims to disputed islands.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Four steps to a younger, smarter brain”

Brain health is key to successful ageing, and it involves several mental functions including memory, reasoning and planning.
As we age, brain cells that normally fight off infection and repair tissue begin to attack healthy brain cells.
It’s always easier to protect a healthy brain than to try to repair damage once it is extensive.
Exercise produces proteins that stimulate brain cells to sprout branches and communicate more effectively.
Exercise will make your brain bigger, and a bigger brain is a better brain.
Playing games, socialising and travelling activate brain cells, and a university education is associated with a lower dementia risk.
Meditation even rewires the brain and improves measures of chromosomes’ telomere length, which predicts longer life expectancy.
Several studies have suggested that alcohol and caffeine in moderation lead to better brain health.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Bookish Life by Joseph Epstein”

By the bookish life, I mean a life in which the reading of books has a central, even a dominating, place.
The first question is “How can one tell which books qualify as good, beautiful, important?” In an essay of 1978 called “On Reading Books: A Barbarian’s Cogitations,” Alexander ­Gerschenkron, a Harvard economist of wide learning, set out three criteria: A good book must be interesting, memorable, and rereadable.
Some of the best of all books are those one loved when young and finds even better in later life.
Reading may not be the same as conversation, but reading the right books, the best books, puts us in the company of men and women more intelligent than ourselves.
A precondition for reading good books is not reading bad ones: for life is short.
I’ve twice before made a run at Burton’s book, but it now begins to look as if I may have to finish finishing it in the next life.
In The Guermantes Way volume of his great novel, Proust has his narrator note a time when he knew “More books than people and literature better than life.” The best arrangement, like that between the head and the heart, is one of balance between life and reading.
You can get along without reading serious books-many extraordinary, large-hearted, highly intelligent people have-but why, given the chance, would you want to? Books make life so much richer, grander, more splendid.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A pioneering scientist explains ‘deep learning'”

Sejnowski, a pioneer in the study of learning algorithms, is the author of The Deep Learning Revolution.
Within machine learning are neural networks inspired by the brain, and then deep learning.
Deep learning algorithms have a particular architecture with many layers that flow through the network.
Deep learning is one part of machine learning and machine learning is one part of AI. What can deep learning do that other programs can’t?
There, Geoff Hinton and two of his graduate students showed you could take a very large dataset called ImageNet, with 10,000 categories and 10 million images, and reduce the classification error by 20 percent using deep learning.
The inspiration for deep learning really comes from neuroscience.
There’s an algorithm there called temporal differences, developed back in the ’80s by Richard Sutton, that, when coupled with deep learning, is capable of very sophisticated plays that no human has ever seen before.
As we learn more and more about how the brain works, that’s going to reflect back in AI. But at the same time, they’re actually creating a whole theory of learning that can be applied to understanding the brain and allowing us to analyze the thousands of neurons and how their activities are coming out.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The most important science policy issue in every state”

“This is the most important election of our lifetime,” says Bill Holland, State Policy Director for the League of Conservation Voters.
While state waters extend only 3.5 miles offshore, companies wanting to develop in the zone would still have to get state permission to build pipelines and other infrastructure.
State lawmakers are taking a multipronged approach to tackling the problem: They’ve limited fills to three days to keep doctors from overprescribing the meds; state Attorney General Andy Beshear has sued seven pharmaceutical companies for failing to disclose how addictive their painkillers are; and a bipartisan bill to legalize medical cannabis, which for some could be used as an alternative pain medication, will likely be reintroduced in the 2019 legislature.
Her opponent, state Attorney General Bill Schuette, led the investigation of the crisis that resulted in charges against 15 former and current Flint and state officials.
The Empire State has a lot of water cleanup ahead. According to the state Department of Environmental Conservation, as of this past August, 54 bodies of water have harmful algae blooms-rapidly growing nutrient colonies that can kill marine life and cause illness in humans.
Though the state sided with the villagers and set aside $25 million for relief efforts, the town is still waiting on an alternative source of H2O. Lawmakers are addressing the state’s overall clean-water issues broadly: They’ve passed $2.5 billion in funding to replace pipes and install new treatment systems; estimates from the state comptroller’s office put the cost of proper plumbing closer to $40 billion.
The groups sued the state in July; the plaintiffs contend that Meridian underestimated how much sulfur, methane, and other pollutants the facility will emit, and that the state health department’s monitoring requirements are inadequate.
Some lawmakers and residents worry that the state will repeat the same policy missteps with the natural-gas industry that it did with coal: imposing only a few regulations to protect water and ecosystems, and offering generous tax breaks that result in little revenue for the state.

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘Hyperalarming’ study shows massive insect loss”

In places where long-term insect data are available, mainly in Europe, insect numbers are plummeting.
A study last year showed a 76 percent decrease in flying insects in the past few decades in German nature preserves.
The latest report, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that this startling loss of insect abundance extends to the Americas.
A recent analysis of climate change and insects, published in August in the journal Science, predicts a decrease in tropical insect populations, according to an author of that study, Scott Merrill, who studies crop pests at the University of Vermont.
The authors of a 2017 study of vanished flying insects in Germany suggested other possible culprits, including pesticides and habitat loss.
He is not convinced that climate change is the global driver of insect loss.
The Portland, Ore.-based Xerces Society, a nonprofit environmental group that promotes insect conservation, recommends planting a garden with native plants that flower throughout the year.
The loss of insects and arthropods could further rend the rain forest’s food web, Lister warned, causing plant species to go extinct without pollinators.

The orginal article.