Summary of “Does Facebook Need a Constitution?”

Even Facebook itself seems afraid of that power: “I don’t think that we should be in the business of having people at Facebook who are deciding what is true and what isn’t,” Zuckerberg told Swisher.
It’s the kind of power that until recently we only associated with states, but that increasingly also lies in the hands of other, non-state institutions – suprastate entities like the E.U., but also the global megaplatforms that own the internet: Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook.
Zuckerberg correctly insists that Facebook is a “Company,” not a nation state, but it’s become something that resembles a state when you squint at it – it holds near-supreme power over media and civic attention.
Rather than the liberal, rights-based sorta-state we all seem conditioned to expect – and that Facebook implicitly encourages, with its invocation of free speech and its reliance on legalish mechanisms like “Community standards,” which can be “Violated” – the platform is a dictatorship, with none of the transparency, accountability, or checks on power we associate with liberal states.
For Rahman, the way to ward off the “Arbitrary, dominating power” of “Quasi-sovereigns” like Facebook is through constitutionalism – that is, the design of institutions to ensure accountability, transparency, and clear limits on power structures.
If we believe that the problem with Facebook is that it has sovereign power without accountability, there are at least three paths to “Constitutionalizing” it.
Facebook now has a choice: It can fight to retain its unchecked power and dominion, or it can actualize some of its gestures toward transparency and accountability, becoming the great liberal-democratic platform it pretends to be.
Would a Facebook constitution “Solve” the Infowars problem? A good one that balanced the competing needs of the public sphere, individual freedom, and civic health, and that gave people a voice in and an understanding of the decisions being made by the platform, might at least get us as close as it’s possible to come.

The orginal article.

Summary of “INVESTIGATION: How Drugmakers Exert Influence On Medicaid’s Preferences”

INVESTIGATION: How Drugmakers Exert Influence On Medicaid’s Preferences : Shots – Health News Drug companies have infiltrated nearly every part of the process that determines how their drugs will be covered by Medicaid, an investigation by NPR and the Center for Public Integrity finds.
CPI reporters Liz Essley Whyte and Joe Yerardi dug into how states decide which prescription drugs Medicaid programs will prioritize – and whether pharmaceutical companies influence the process.
A Center for Public Integrity and NPR investigation found drug companies have infiltrated nearly every part of the process that determines how their drugs will be covered by taxpayers: giving free dinners and consulting gigs to many doctors on the obscure committees advising state Medicaid programs; asking speakers who don’t disclose their financial ties with drug companies to testify about their drugs; and paying for state Medicaid officials to attend all-inclusive conferences where they can mingle with drug representatives.
Around the country, drug companies are working to influence state Medicaid drug cost controls to keep their profits flowing.
After a Center for Public Integrity reporter made inquiries, one top Medicaid official divested his stock in pharmaceutical companies and a doctor advising Medicaid drug decisions resigned his position because he failed to disclose payments from drugmakers.
Dr. James Saperstone, who served on New York’s Medicaid drug committee, took in more than $39,000 in payments from drugmakers over four and a half years.
It’s hard to tell how much influence Ramadan had in Arizona’s drug decisions: The committee’s final discussions happen behind closed doors, and the state’s Medicaid agency must sign off on the group’s recommendation.
In Louisiana, about 20,000 Medicaid patients have hepatitis C. To treat them all would cost the state approximately $166 million – almost half what it spent on all drugs for its Medicaid patients in 2016.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Sorry New York, California Is Just Better Now”

California is now the most influential force in American dining.
Of course, California has for decades been the paradise of plenty, the Left Coast frontier from which chefs, farmers, and dreamers espoused the seasonal, local, farm-to-table philosophy that is now rote.
Now, with a reach that spans the continent, California holds the space for both deep tradition and wild experimentation.
Sopes filled with California sturgeon caviar and crema at Gabriela Cámara’s Cala in San Francisco.
Even, in its perfectly California way, Ludo Lefebvre’s Big Mec cheeseburger at his Petit Trois, which sits across busy Melrose Avenue from Silverton’s Pizzeria Mozza.
All of them, in some way, have come from California.
California shares geographic traits with Italy’s Mediterranean coast; that’s an easy, enduring link.
Is California’s dining ethos so energized because of the state’s economic engine? Are the mythical qualities that have made California a promised land for generations of artists and innovators and entrepreneurs resounding through its restaurant industry like never before? Is the brilliance fueled by a more-sophisticated-than-ever dining public’s rapt engagement? Or is it driven by panic from the astronomical cost of doing business in California?

The orginal article.

Summary of “The roots of writing lie in hopes and dreams, not in accounting”

Every week seems to bring fresh news of a dimmer future for writing, whether it’s thanks to AI-curated, voice-operated information interfaces or in the hopes pinned on emojis as a universal writing system.
In China, for example, the earliest writing samples, which were divination texts carved into bone and turtle shell, date to approximately 1320 BCE, but archaeologists don’t know whether there was also administrative, propagandistic or literary writing happening at the same time.
All the existing examples of Mesoamerican writing are engravings on rock or murals; writing on other materials, such as palm leaf, were either lost to decay or destroyed by the Spanish conquerors.
Before phonetic writing there was iconography, and early writing itself featured leaders, rulers, prisoner-taking, and conquests.
Even in Mesopotamia, a phonetic cuneiform script was used for a few hundred years for accounting before writing was used for overtly political purposes.
As far as the reductive argument that accountants invented writing in Mesopotamia, it’s true that writing came from counting, but temple priests get the credit more than accountants do.
The French anthropologist Pierre Déléage studies the invention of writing in many cultural contexts, and distinguishes ‘unbound’ forms of writing from ‘bound’ ones.
The deep history of your poetic form, your contracts and your epitaph might lie in scrawls on a cave wall or lists of royal ancestors, some of them divine, but the achievement of unbound writing stems from the needs and prerogatives of government, in the end.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Is it great to be a worker in the U.S? Not compared with the rest of the developed world.”

Joblessness may be low in the United States and employers may be hungry for new hires, but it’s also strikingly easy to lose a job here.
An average of 1 in 5 employees lose or leave their jobs each year, and 23.3 percent of workers ages 15 to 64 had been in their job for a year or less in 2016 – higher than all but a handful of countries in the study.
Decade-old OECD research found an unusually large amount of job turnover in the United States is due to firing and layoffs, and Labor Department figures show the rate of layoffs and firings hasn’t changed significantly since the research was conducted.
The U.S. ranks at the bottom for employee protection even when mass layoffs are taken into consideration as well, despite the 1988 Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act’s requirement that employers give notice 60 days before major plant closings or layoffs.
Fewer than half of displaced workers find a job within a year, the researchers found.
Japan’s rate was similar to the U.S., but Finland, Australia and Denmark were well ahead. Furthermore, the report’s authors find that “Two in three families with a displaced worker fall into poverty for some time.”
The United States spends less of its economic wealth on active efforts to help people who either don’t have a job or who are at risk of becoming unemployed than almost any other country in the study.
Based on an OECD review of almost four decades of data, countries that have decentralized collective-bargaining systems, like the United States, tend to have slower job growth and, in most cases, higher unemployment than other advanced nations.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Boogie Bomb: DeMarcus Cousins Joins Golden State”

DeMarcus Cousins reportedly agreed to a one-year, $5.3 million deal with Golden State on Monday, a stunning development in what has already been a chaotic summer.
All things considered, there is no better place for Cousins to rehabilitate both his ability and his confidence than playing for arguably the greatest team of all time.
When given the freedom to explore the outer bounds of his game in New Orleans, under former Golden State assistant Alvin Gentry, Boogie managed to upend the hegemonic expectations of a player with his build.
How would Boogie, ever the emotive player, deal with a skill set that has become something akin to a phantom limb? Even if Cousins doesn’t maintain the dynamic range he had just last year, his ability to hit from the perimeter will give the Warriors an element they have never been able to attain from the litany of true centers they’ve boasted over the years.
Golden State should be able to play pure five-out in a majority of its configurations, a luxury it wasn’t able to tap into in the later stages of the NBA playoffs.
How, exactly, does Cousins market himself next season if he becomes a player akin to what Brook Lopez has become on the Lakers: a remarkable offensive talent hamstrung by a body seemingly incompatible with both the pace of play and the shifting responsibilities of the center position? The Warriors have everything in place to hide Cousins’s deficiencies, but do they have the room to amplify what he’s still special at doing?
Golden State gets to brandish a new weapon, while Cousins might just score a free ticket to a championship as he rounds himself into form.
He spent six and a half years in Sacramento as a statistically dominant player on a bad team; in a season and a half with a middling New Orleans squad he somehow doubled down on his numbers while expanding his game beyond what anyone could have reasonably expected from him; now, after having narrowed his choices between two clear-cut contenders in Golden State and Boston, he’ll have the opportunity to prove, for the first time in his career, that he’s more than just his gaudy stat line - that he’s willing to make sacrifices to win.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How much better does DeMarcus Cousins make the Golden State Warriors?”

That sound you just heard was jaws around the NBA hitting the floor with the news that All-Star DeMarcus Cousins has agreed to a one-year, $5.3 million deal with the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors.
How will Cousins fit in the Bay Area? And how much will his addition help Golden State’s chances of making it four titles in five years?
DeMarcus Cousins has agreed to join the defending champion Warriors on a one-year, $5.3 million deal, league sources told ESPN. The four-time All-Star called the move “My ace of spades” in a conversation with The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears.
Adding Cousins might force the Warriors to spend an additional roster spot on center depth, but that’s a price Golden State will surely pay.
How will Cousins fit with the Warriors?Adding Cousins will require adjustment for both him and his new Golden State teammates.
If he’s unwilling or unable to adapt his game, it’s even possible that Cousins could hurt Golden State more than he helps.
The Warriors will be able to offer Cousins only $6.4 million to return in 2019-20 using non-Bird rights, and if he plays well, Cousins will easily beat that in free agency.
The addition of Cousins plus the Houston Rockets’ losing starter Trevor Ariza means the gap between Golden State and the rest of the NBA appears to have only widened so far this offseason.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Real-Life Schrödinger’s Cats Probe the Boundary of the Quantum World”

They are designed to probe the question: How big can you get while still preserving those quantum properties?
The question of how the rules of quantum mechanics turn into the apparently quite different rules of classical mechanics – where objects have well-defined properties, positions and paths – has puzzled scientists ever since quantum theory was first developed in the early 20th century.
Schrödinger called this correlation between the particles “Entanglement.” Experiments since the 1970s have shown that it is a real quantum phenomenon.
According to quantum mechanics, entanglement is an inevitable result of any interaction between two quantum objects.
In a BEC, all the particles are in the same single quantum state, which means in effect that they act rather like one big quantum object.
“However, if we can individually address the two spatially separated regions, the entanglement becomes available for quantum information tasks like quantum teleportation or entanglement swapping.” That will require the physical separation of the clouds to be increased beyond what was done in the current experiments, he added.
“Large” quantum objects like these might also enable us to probe new physics: to find out, for example, what happens when gravity starts to become a significant influence on quantum behavior.
“That would mean that something else in addition to normal quantum mechanics enters the picture, and this could be, for example, collapse due to gravity.” If gravity does play a role, that might offer some hints for how to develop a theory of quantum gravity that unites the currently incompatible theories of quantum mechanics and general relativity.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Reciprocity, not tolerance, is the basis of healthy societies”

The question of how tolerance – religious tolerance in particular – could be a tool of domination strikes many people as counterintuitive or perverse.
As an idea and an ethic, obscures the interaction between individuals and groups on both a daily basis and over the longue durée; the mutually reinforcing exchange of culture and ideas between groups in a society is missing in the idea of tolerance.
For teachers, journalists and politicians to begin to speak in terms of reciprocity instead of tolerance will not do away with intolerance or prejudice.
Speaking in terms of reciprocity instead of tolerance would both better reflect what peaceful societies look like, and also tune people’s minds to the societal benefits of cultural exchange.
These arrangements successfully created a stable society with co-dependent and reciprocal relationships between groups, even while the goal of tolerance for all parties remained the greatest possible isolation, or perhaps insulation, from one another.
For the first English theorists of tolerance such as John Locke, tolerance was necessary first and foremost to protect Christianity and Christians’ souls.
Jefferson’s view of the political community failed to include women, African Americans or native people, but he grasped the danger of premising citizenship on the tolerance of one religious group by another.
In contrast to tolerance, reciprocity recognises that strong and dynamic societies are based on social and cultural exchange.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Warriors’ Dynasty Is Different”

In the same backcourt, the Warriors had another guard who was arguably an even more accurate shooter, with a release that is the quickest in basketball – so fast that he doesn’t even need to have his feet set before he shoots.
The Warriors were the best jump-shooting club in the NBA when left wide open this past season.
In Game 2 of the Finals, the Warriors countered that predictable gameplan, by using dump-off passes to spring give-and-go opportunities, or to set up lobs for JaVale McGee and Jordan Bell, who were often left all alone in the paint.
The Warriors aren’t as young as you think Teams that won three titles in four seasons by the age of their core players in the last title season, 1976-2018.
If there’s something that makes this team different – and gives it better odds of winning for a greater amount of time – it’s that this group of highly talented players doesn’t seem as likely to be torn apart by the retirements, contract issues and jealousies that trouble other clubs in this spot.
By contrast, the Warriors have already become the new-age San Antonio Spurs, as a number of their players have acted in the best interest of the team by taking much smaller deals than they could have.
The players’ willingness to often take less than market value, even for bit pieces like Zaza Pachulia, has allowed the Warriors to improve the roster on the margins each year – sprinkling in specific attributes that the team lacks.
With McGee in particular, Golden State took a minimal risk by signing a player who had a less-than-stellar reputation around the league, but was incredibly long and athletic – two things the Warriors lacked in a traditional center.

The orginal article.