Summary of “The problem with “shop local,” explained by Jeremiah Moss”

In the ’90s, the stretch of Bleecker Street that snakes north through New York City’s Greenwich Village was home to dozens of independently owned bookshops, sex shops, antique stores, and framing galleries.
Throughout New York City’s transition from a place where a middle-class person could maybe make a living opening and running a business to a place where, well, good luck with that, there’s been one person chronicling it all: Jeremiah Moss.
Moss is the author of the blog Vanishing New York, where since 2007 he’s been lamenting the death of mom-and-pop stores all over the city and engaging in activism to try to save them.
Moss has been a staunch critic of this trend, which is certainly not limited to New York City.
I spoke with Moss over the phone about his piece, in which he criticizes the neoliberalism – the free-market, capitalist approach to governance – that permeated in New York in response to the city’s financial crisis in the late ’70s and ultimately spread globally.
Neoliberal ideas around privatization or regulation – running the government like a corporation, austerity for the working classes – those ideas had been floating around, but they didn’t have any success until the fiscal crisis in New York City of the 1970s.
So if running cities like corporations is contributing to the demise of small businesses and turning citizens into consumers, why are these ideas still so popular?
People, particularly younger people and retired people, it seems, want to be in the city.

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat’ Is a Love Letter to Amateur Cooks”

For much of that time, the 38-year-old Nosrat has paired her love of cooking with an affinity for the written word.
The warmly written, pragmatic text begins its first formal section-“Salt”-with an anecdote from the Iranian American chef’s childhood in California, where frequent family trips to the Pacific Ocean shaped Nosrat’s understanding of salt as an element closely associated with the beach.
Rather than inundate aspiring cooks with an index of glamorously photographed recipes to follow precisely, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat offers Nosrat’s readers something much more substantial: a cooking philosophy.
Now Nosrat is expanding her approach-not to cooking, but to reaching a new set of would-be amateur culinarians.
“Fat: It’s nothing short of a miracle. Fat is flavor. Fat is texture,” Nosrat says in a voice-over at the beginning of the first episode.
Having spent years in Italy following her introduction to cooking, Nosrat explains what drove her choice to return to the country for the series: “As I cooked and ate my way throughout the country, one thing became clear,” she says in the episode.
In the third episode, “Acid,” Doña Conchi, la abuela, teaches Nosrat how the Yucatán Peninsula’s sour oranges, salsas, and uniquely acidic Mayan honey utilize acid to create vibrant dishes, as well as the widely adapted method of escabeche.
“There are only so many ways to cook, there are only so many ways to make food taste good,” Nosrat said.

The orginal article.

Summary of “New Ikea report finds that people don’t feel at home in their homes”

3 minute Read. Every year, Ikea Group and INGKA Holding publishes a research report on how people live in and relate to a specific aspect of their homes.
In other words, 35% of people who live in cities don’t feel at home in their house or apartment.
Almost a quarter of people who live with others feel more comfortable outside of their homes altogether.
On the other hand, people report a creeping unease with their living spaces: 53% of young families don’t get a sense of belonging from their residential home.
“Life at home is changing, profoundly, all over the world,” the report concludes.
As the writer Sarah Amandolare pointed out a few years ago, “Home” has become less permanent and more transient than ever, and, as a result, we’ve stopped thinking of our homes as “Self-expression.”
Ikea, of course, has a stake in helping people feel like they can create a sense of belonging, regardless of where home is-and a real shot at doing so, given its scale and ubiquity in cities.
Rather than suggesting a new sofa, the report ends with an interactive quiz that asks about how you feel at home, mapping your answers on a pictograph and offering you a personalized “Manifesto” of affirmations about finding alone time and building community.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The smartphone app that can tell you’re depressed before you know it yourself”

There is something most of those people have in common: a smartphone.
Mindstrong Health is using a smartphone app to collect measures of people’s cognition and emotional health as indicated by how they use their phones.
With details gleaned from the app, Mindstrong says, a patient’s doctor or other care manager gets an alert when something may be amiss and can then check in with the patient by sending a message through the app.
Subjects went home with an app that measured the ways they touched their phone’s display, which Dagum hoped would be an unobtrusive way to log these same kinds of behavior on a smartphone.
Brain-disorder treatment has stalled in part because doctors simply don’t know that someone’s having trouble until it’s well advanced; Dagum believes Mindstrong can figure it out much sooner and keep an eye on it 24 hours a day.
In its current form, the Mindstrong app that patients see is fairly sparse.
“There are people who are high utilizers of health care and they’re not getting the benefits, so we’ve got to figure out some way to get them something that works better.” Actually predicting that a patient is headed toward a downward spiral is a harder task, but Dagum believes that having more people using the app over time will help cement patterns in the data.
About 1,500 of the 2,000 participants also let a Mindstrong keyboard app run on their smartphones to collect data about the ways they type and figure out how their cognition changes throughout the year.

The orginal article.

Summary of “​How A Wooden Bench In Zimbabwe Is Starting A Revolution In Mental Health”

As Shekhar Saxena, the Director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse at the World Health Organization, once put it: “When it comes to mental health, we are all developing countries.”
After surveying 12 health clinics in Harare, he found that over 40% of people scored highly on psychological health questionnaires, a large majority of whom met the clinical threshold for depression.
Chibanda presented these findings at a meeting with people from the Ministry of Health and Child Care and the University of Zimbabwe.
In their role as community health workers, grandmothers have been working for health clinics across Zimbabwe since the 1980s.
At first, Chibanda called it the Mental Health Bench.
Vikram Patel, Pershing Square Professor of Global Health at Harvard Medical School and co-founder of the community-led Sangath project in Goa, India, had adopted Abas’s research into the local idioms of distress to create a screening tool for depression and other common mental disorders.
Although Chibanda had found studies showing that training community members or nurses in mental health interventions could reduce the burden of depression in rural Uganda and in Chile, he knew that success wasn’t guaranteed.
Since 2017, Skipper has been working as a peer supervisor for Friendship Benches, a project that has adapted Chibanda’s work in Zimbabwe to fit within New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Is Chronic Anxiety a Learning Disorder?”

Browning’s latest paper, Anxious individuals have difficulty learning the causal statistics of aversive environments, had been published in Nature Neuroscience just months before I arrived and I was excited to learn cutting-edge neuroscience in the city of dreaming spires.
Browning also noted that, reversing this logic, it also means that anxiety involves a learning process gone awry.
Learning theory describes how the brain builds models of the world, with the goal of understanding how to behave.
How much prediction errors sculpt your belief is called the learning rate.
Browning wanted a measure of how people learn; something tidy that he could discuss with a patient: “Mrs. Robinson, we’re concerned about your learning rate.”
Now consider your next step: are you going to ask her to sit in front of a computer and click on blue and green rectangles to win a pot of fake money? How much confidence would you have in such a clinical measure? Do you think you could persuade Barlow that her learning rate as measured by the box game has much bearing on her anxiety?
To see how volatility affected learning rate, they occasionally changed the likelihood of getting shocked.
Measurements of learning are still in the experimental stage, so it’s best to maintain a healthy skepticism, to have a healthy learning rate.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Prophets of Cryptocurrency Survey the Boom and Bust”

Inside the ongoing argument over whether Bitcoin, Ethereum, and the blockchain are transforming the world.
Ethereum is not itself a cryptocurrency; to operate on Ethereum, you have to use the cryptocurrency ether, which, like bitcoin, you can buy or sell.
Broadly speaking, a blockchain is an evolving record of all transactions that is maintained, simultaneously and in common, by every computer in the network of that blockchain, be it Ethereum, Bitcoin, or Monero.
The foundational gathering, in the Ethereum creation story, occurred at the North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami, in January, 2014.
“Joe gets criticized for trying to push Ethereum into enterprise,” Emin Gün Sirer, a professor of computer science at Cornell who has worked with Ethereum, says.
To make a perilous generalization, the Bitcoin community seems to be more contentious and confrontational than Ethereum’s, especially when it comes to internecine battles.
Ethereum retains some of Bitcoin’s scrappy, libertarian characteristics as a foundation for many other uses, it is by nature more fungible.
At any rate, Sirer said, “The hard fork was the best thing that happened to Ethereum. It showed that Ethereum took errors seriously. And that it was practical and not dogmatic. It chose the right thing over the letter of the law-or, really, the letter of the code.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Great American Health Care Panic”

No matter what they say about President Donald Trump, and regardless of what they think of their relatively moderate Republican congressman, Brian Fitzpatrick, the people and particularly the senior citizens and retirees who live in the state’s newly drawn 1st Congressional District are all but in lockstep when it comes to the health care system.
He voted for the Trump tax cut, for example, but he also voted against the health care bill that would have gutted President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
“I’m paying more for my health care than what we pay for our mortgage.” Rickert was out of work for six months last year because of a rib she fractured on the job and then pneumonia and other ensuing complications-and she lost her health insurance because of it, she said.
“They’re servants of the people. Isn’t that what they say?” The way she sees it what’s their incentive to work together to come up with solutions? “Until they get the same health care we do” She brought up the S.S. United States, the derelict ghost ship, rusting just down the Delaware.
At the Band Box bar, Mike Episcopo, 52, the co-owner along with his father, fretted over the fact that the cost of health care for his family has doubled of late.
The notion of universal health care is little more than a campaign scare tactic.
The most courageous thing he’s done in Congress? “Voting against the health care bill under immense pressure,” he said.
Any increase in health care costs or decrease in availability-especially for people like them with pre-existing conditions-would be a burden almost impossible to handle.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Bill Gates talks with Ezra Klein about global progress in 2018”

With an endowment of more than $50 billion, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is, by far, the largest foundation in the world.
Bill Gates There is a type of poverty trap where if your economy doesn’t develop, then it’s very hard to bootstrap those things.
Ezra Klein When I heard discussions of changing governance structures to drive economic growth 10, 15 years ago, they were more optimistic in this way: There was a belief that you needed something that was much more like the American model.
With the Goalkeepers construct, the idea is: Is all this innovation continuing to help the poorest countries, people in extreme poverty? At least once a year, there’s a question about did we let HIV spread and create a disaster there? Did we continue to innovate malaria so we could stay ahead of drug resistance? Why do we still have places left where over 15 percent of the kids die before the age of 5? What’s it gonna take for those remaining areas to get below that? There’s progress and then there’s progress with equity.
Bill Gates Well, the people in the future will have more knowledge and more resources than we have today.
Ezra Klein A lot of people have become very focused on the question of AI risk.
Bill Gates But most of those people aren’t working on AI risk.
Ezra Klein Do you think we should worry about, from a philanthropic view or moral view, the suffering along the way? You were talking about developing vaccines and genetic strains that make animals more productive and able to live in some of these conditions.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Want a Standing Desk? Show This Study to Your Boss”

Standing desks became trendy because of their ability to cut into your sitting time, thereby improving your health and wellness in the workplace.
A small new study says the benefits don’t stop there: standing desks may actually improve your job performance, too.
Office workers who used desks that could be adjusted for sitting or standing reported significant reductions in the amount of time they spent sitting, better health and improved work performance at the end of a year-long trial, compared to employees who sat at their desks as usual.
The results were published Wednesday in the BMJ. The study involved 146 people who worked in office roles at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust in the U.K. Seventy-six participants were given sit-stand desks and completed training meant to encourage less sitting at work, including an educational seminar, individual coaching sessions and even a smart seat cushion, which reminded people to stand by vibrating.
People in the other group didn’t get any coaching and worked at their desks as normal.
Over the course of the year, people in the intervention group began sitting much less than people in the control group: After three months, they spent 50 fewer minutes seated each day.
The research suggests that sit-stand desks, which can be adjusted throughout the day, may be a better option than either static sitting or standing desks.
The results of the new study will need to be replicated in a larger group of people.

The orginal article.