Summary of “Bitcoin could cost us our clean-energy future”

If you’re like me, you’ve probably been ignoring the bitcoin phenomenon for years – because it seemed too complex, far-fetched, or maybe even too libertarian.
Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin provide a unique service: Financial transactions that don’t require governments to issue currency or banks to process payments.
As bitcoin grows, the math problems computers must solve to make more bitcoin get more and more difficult – a wrinkle designed to control the currency’s supply.
Today, each bitcoin transaction requires the same amount of energy used to power nine homes in the U.S. for one day.
Already, the aggregate computing power of the bitcoin network is nearly 100,000 times larger than the world’s 500 fastest supercomputers combined.
In Venezuela, where rampant hyperinflation and subsidized electricity has led to a boom in bitcoin mining, rogue operations are now occasionally causing blackouts across the country.
The world’s largest bitcoin mines are in China, where they siphon energy from huge hydroelectric dams, some of the cheapest sources of carbon-free energy in the world.
There are already several efforts underway to reform how the bitcoin network processes transactions, with the hope that it’ll one day require less electricity to make new coins.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The 500 best games of all time: 100-1”

This week, we’ve been running a big list of what we – and a group of trusted friends – recently voted as the 500 best video games of all time.
Head to the beginning here: The 500 best games of all time.
Space Invaders is among the pantheon of great early arcade games that turned video games from toys into a full blown business.
Emphasizing familial pressures, Mother 3 had a level of seriousness other games of its time didn’t, quickly making it one of the most beloved games of all time, even though it was never released officially in North America.
A mix of Nintendo’s trademark zaniness and a highly-competitive racer, Super Mario Kart became a staple of couch co-op games, proving who was the best behind the wheel with a well-placed banana peel.
As one of the most popular rhythm games, Guitar Hero launched a renaissance of music-based games.
Given a more realistic setting than most games in the genre, EarthBound was developed to be enjoyed by people who don’t play JRPGs – or even games in general.
Blizzard’s decision to add three races to StarCraft revolutionized strategy games, opening up new tactics and playstyles, and ultimately solving a problem many found with strategy games.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Bitcoin could cost us our clean-energy future”

If you’re like me, you’ve probably been ignoring the bitcoin phenomenon for years – because it seemed too complex, far-fetched, or maybe even too libertarian.
Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin provide a unique service: Financial transactions that don’t require governments to issue currency or banks to process payments.
As bitcoin grows, the math problems computers must solve to make more bitcoin get more and more difficult – a wrinkle designed to control the currency’s supply.
Today, each bitcoin transaction requires the same amount of energy used to power nine homes in the U.S. for one day.
Already, the aggregate computing power of the bitcoin network is nearly 100,000 times larger than the world’s 500 fastest supercomputers combined.
In Venezuela, where rampant hyperinflation and subsidized electricity has led to a boom in bitcoin mining, rogue operations are now occasionally causing blackouts across the country.
The world’s largest bitcoin mines are in China, where they siphon energy from huge hydroelectric dams, some of the cheapest sources of carbon-free energy in the world.
There are already several efforts underway to reform how the bitcoin network processes transactions, with the hope that it’ll one day require less electricity to make new coins.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How World Wrapps gilded the burrito and invented fast casual”

World Wrapps was modern, virtuous, premium; it was fast casual before there was a name for it.
Today, in the wake of the Kooks Burrito appropriation scandal, the World Wrapps origin story sounds oddly and uncomfortably familiar: Affluent gabachos vacation in Mexico; culinary eureka moment ensues; they take their idea back home, where they reap acclaim and profit.
If CPK, a sit-down, full-service casual dining chain, was LA’s opening shot in the mainstreaming of fusion, World Wrapps, which carried its lavish whimsy into the realm of fast food by repackaging the distinct format of the Mission-style burrito, was San Francisco’s volley.
Two decades ago, things were different: In the San Francisco Examiner, food critic Patricia Unterman reveled in its textures, declaring it “Cold and crunchy, hot and savory, contrasts that very much mirror the mother cuisine.” She liked it so much that she awarded World Wrapps three stars, something unheard of for quick-service takeaway places.
“How on earth did the Bay Area, home of Alice Waters and honest, seasonal cooking, become the home of the latest culinary imperialism?” bemoaned one editorial in the San Francisco Chronicle, subtitled, “Has multiculturalism crossed one border too many?” Not only had World Wrapps stolen the burrito’s form, the critics complained, but worse, its founders had cast aside the burrito’s honest fillings to sell impoverished simulacra of real culinary traditions to an audience of mostly white, mostly rich diners at three times the burrito’s price.
In one year, the wrap metamorphosed from a tequila-soaked fantasy into a product category that generated over $125 million in revenue nationally, largely thanks to World Wrapps.
”In all my years in the food business,” World Wrapps CEO David Barrows told the New York Times in 1998, ”I have never seen anything copied so fast or in so many numbers.
To survive in the new millennium, World Wrapps experimented with breakfast, table service, and bento boxes; it even temporarily changed its name, to Fresh Latitudes World Café.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Climate change cannot be mitigated without carbon capture”

The only problem is drilling into these volcanic regions also releases carbon dioxide, the major greenhouse gas driving global climate change.
In virtually every IPCC model, carbon capture is absolutely essential-no matter what else we do to mitigate climate change.
At the most recent climate talks in Bonn, Germany in November, protesters thronged the only panel the US was officially hosting, because some of the panelists were arguing for the use of carbon capture when burning coal.
Some of world’s most important bodies on climate change keep insisting that we need carbon capture.
Time is running out, and it has forced many environmentalists to advocate for the all-of-the-above option, where every technology that can cut emissions, without dragging down the world economy, should be offered a chance to flourish: from energy efficiency and renewable energy to nuclear power and carbon capture.
Petra Nova does all five steps of carbon capture and storage: generating carbon dioxide, capturing the emissions, transporting it to where it will be stored, and injecting it deep underground and then monitoring it.
Once the other gases-which don’t have any greenhouse effects-are vented to the atmosphere, part two of the capture step begins: applying heat breaks the bond between carbon dioxide and the base, creating a pure stream of carbon dioxide, which can be captured before it enters the atmosphere.
Nicholas Stern says climate change is “The biggest market failure the world has seen.” When it comes to greenhouse-gas emissions, one market-friendly government policy is to set a price on carbon production.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Digital technologies play politics: let’s use them for democracy”

To interrogate the part played by digital technologies in unleashing these kids and upending Egypt’s existing model of power, and to understand why hitting the internet ‘off’ switch failed to save it, one had to explore the underlying conditions that enabled such technologies to have any political impact in the first place.
Digital technologies are changing politics as we know it, but not because of some inherent or immutable characteristic that stands apart from the world in which they were created.
As new forms of automation and artificial intelligence technologies go on to harness our data and transform every aspect of the world around us – from our transport networks to our healthcare – the question of how we conceptualise these digital systems, and whether we understand our own role in them to be primarily those of citizens or consumers, will grow only more acute.
In this interregnum between the old world and the new, our struggle must be to find new ways to harness digital technologies to a stronger, more robust and inclusionary democracy: one that relies neither on thin forms of representation nor the false comforts of rule-by-plebiscite.
Digital technologies will help to make a more democratic politics possible when we build new public digital infrastructures that are owned in common and geared towards social goods.
Wikis, open-source software and the Creative Commons copyright licence are all digital commons in their own right; initiatives such as Turkopticon, which ‘hacks’ Amazon’s Mechanical Turk marketplace for crowdsourced labour to provide workers with better information and more power when navigating potential employers, illustrate how common endeavours can disrupt privatised digital infrastructure from within.
The fight to scale up such initiatives and reimagine what our digital universe could look like involves enabling democratic deliberation around the creation of digital data, as well as the ways in which it has come to structure our lives.
‘ Which is another way of saying that when thinking about the relationship between digital technologies and politics, we belong not with the shadowy men at 26 Ramses Street but with the kids up on the overpass zigzagging through the rubble – throwing rocks, opening spaces, forging possibilities.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Euphoria of Watching Peru Qualify for the World Cup for the First Time In Thirty-Five Years”

World Cups are one of the ways we mark the passing of time in Latin America.
Listening to my father and his friends talk about the matches, about World Cups past, I formed strong opinions about players I’d never seen in action.
An uncle told me one day that the Dutch were the greatest team never to win a World Cup, a fact I memorized then and have never really questioned.
I didn’t know what a World Cup was, had no point of comparison.
As our World Cup drought stretched longer and longer, it began to feel as if they never would be.
A good player might appear here and there, a flash of talent or fighting spirit, but not the kind you could build a team around, or certainly not a team good enough to compete in South America, generally thought of as the most difficult region from which to qualify.
After thirty-six years of disappointment, a place at the World Cup was tantalizingly close.
Like twenty million Peruvians, he wasn’t alive the last time our country played in a World Cup.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Education of Mark Zuckerberg”

The world’s social fabric seems to be fraying at an accelerating pace, and while some people point to Facebook as a causal force in that unraveling, Mark Zuckerberg has come to the opposite conclusion over the last two years.
Facebook began, Mark Zuckerberg said in spring 2005, with the goal of being “a mirror for the real community that existed in the real life.” It was, he said later that year, not a social network but “An online directory,” a utility that “People use in their daily lives to look people up and find information about people.” In other words, Facebook began as a database of human beings.
As long as people kept “Sharing things about their real lives,” as Zuckerberg put it in late 2011, the community would keep growing.
“The Facebook community has also shown us that simply through sharing and connecting, the world gets smaller and better,” wrote Zuckerberg and his lieutenant, COO Sheryl Sandberg, in May of 2012.
Then the 2016 American election happened, and Zuckerberg found himself in a defensive posture, having to explain why his “Community” seemed to lubricate the spread of disinformation.
When 2017 arrived, Zuckerberg immediately began talking about Facebook “Building community.” In February, he wrote a massive post detailing his vision to “Develop the social infrastructure to give people the power to build a global community that works for all of us.”
This marks the first mention of “Meaningful communities” from Mark Zuckerberg.
“The philosophy of everything we do at Facebook is that our community can teach us what we need to do,” Zuckerberg said in late 2016.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A Rough Guide to Disney World”

Not Disney World, not even SeaWorld – Ocean World, in Fort Lauderdale, that was his style.
Nothing like an enclosed space – and Disney World, for all its gigantism, manages never to let you forget for a second that you’re in a very tightly enclosed space – to make a head start scanning for exits.
Walt Disney died dreaming about Disney World; it’s said that while lying on his back, in his hospital room, he turned the tiles on the ceiling into a map of his precious “Florida project.”
Disney World has made a lot of money, but it’s not clear whether Florida has received a fair share.
It gets very complex and legalistic but comes down to this: Disney pitched Disney World to Florida not as a resort but as a real city.
Foglesong’s point is that these maneuvers leave Disney World in an ambiguous category of legitimacy.
Strictly speaking Disney World shouldn’t exist.
Disney World is a giant mound, one of the greatest ever constructed in North America.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Don’t Trade Your Passion Just to Gain the World”

Very few people, if you were to sit across from them over coffee, would proclaim that owning everything in the world is their greatest goal in life.
Too often it seems, we trade our heart’s greatest pursuits and greatest passions for the temporal possessions of this world.
Some of the people I most look up to in life are highly successful in business and live meaningful lives at the same time.
This is a post about the temptation that surrounds each of us, every day, to trade our greatest passions for the things of this world.
Minimalism frees our lives to realign our resources around the greatest passions of our heart.
Have I allowed my greatest passions and most important desires to be usurped by the world around me? Have I chased society’s definition of success rather than my own?
In the end, we’re all going to ask ourselves, “Were the things I devoted my life to worth it?”.
If we discover at that time, that we traded our most meaningful passions for the things of this world, it will be a trade we’ll regret making.

The orginal article.