Summary of “Mansa Musa: The richest man who ever lived”

“Contemporary accounts of Musa’s wealth are so breathless that it’s almost impossible to get a sense of just how wealthy and powerful he truly was,” Rudolph Butch Ware, associate professor of history at the University of California, told the BBC. Mansa Musa was “Richer than anyone could describe”, Jacob Davidson wrote about the African king for Money.com in 2015.
The 10 richest men of all time Mansa Musa wealth incomprehensible.
Mansa Musa left such a memorable impression on Cairo that al-Umari, who visited the city 12 years after the Malian king, recounted how highly the people of Cairo were speaking of him.
On his way back home, Mansa Musa passed through Egypt again, and according to some, tried to help the country’s economy by removing some of the gold from circulation by borrowing it back at extortionate interest rates from Egyptian lenders.
There is no doubt that Mansa Musa spent, or wasted, a lot of gold during his pilgrimage.
Mansa Musa had put Mali and himself on the map, quite literally.
After Mansa Musa died in 1337, aged 57, the empire was inherited by his sons who could not hold the empire together.
“The history of the medieval period is still largely seen only as a Western history,” says Lisa Corrin Graziose, director of the Block Museum of Art, explaining why the story of Mansa Musa is not widely known.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Humans Could Halt Climate Change By 2050”

Last year, the world’s climate scientists put out a report showing what it will take to limit global warming to 1.5 °C by the end of this century, averting the worst consequences of climate change.
Sally Benson, director of the Climate and Energy Project at Stanford, is so ready to take the leap and imagine this zero-carbon world 2050, it’s a little startling.
Different guides to this 2050 world show me slightly different things.
“You know, it’s like a historical artifact, but you know, they find it very touching. They are appreciative, because they’re living in a world where they don’t need to worry about climate change anymore.”
Years ago, he wrote a big report on cities and climate change for the World Bank.
We’re looking at an essential part of a world without climate change.
In a world without climate change, this is what cattle grazing looks like, all over the tropics.
It’s 2050 and there are almost ten billion people in the world.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Case for Getting Rid of Borders-Completely”

If the developed world were to take in enough immigrants to enlarge its labor force by a mere one percent, it is estimated that the additional economic value created would be worth more to the migrants than all of the world’s official foreign aid combined.
What moral theory justifies using wire, wall, and weapon to prevent people from moving to opportunity? What moral theory justifies using tools of exclusion to prevent people from exercising their right to vote with their feet?
“No standard moral framework, be it utilitarian, libertarian, egalitarian, Rawlsian, Christian, or any other well-developed perspective, regards people from foreign lands as less entitled to exercise their rights-or as inherently possessing less moral worth-than people lucky to have been born in the right place at the right time. Nationalism, of course, discounts the rights, interests, and moral value of”the Other, but this disposition is inconsistent with our fundamental moral teachings and beliefs.
Thus the Universal Declaration of Human Rights belies its name when it proclaims this right only “Within the borders of each state.” Human rights do not stop at the border.
Today, we treat as pariahs those governments that refuse to let their people exit.
Is there hope for the future? Closed borders are one of the world’s greatest moral failings but the opening of borders is the world’s greatest economic opportunity.
The grandest moral revolutions in history-the abolition of slavery, the securing of religious freedom, the recognition of the rights of women-yielded a world in which virtually everyone was better off.
A planet unscarred by iron curtains is not only a world of greater equality and justice.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What Happened to the Uber-for-X Companies”

Very successful companies, the Ubers and Lyfts, do begin to shift urban systems-but only once they’ve been operating for long enough.
It’s not hard to look around the world and see all those zeroes of capital going into dog-walking companies and wonder: Is this really the best and highest use of the Silicon Valley innovation ecosystem? In the 10 years since Uber launched, phones haven’t changed all that much.
Some people’s time and effort are worth hundreds of times less than other people’s.
The widening gap between the new American aristocracy and everyone else is what drives both the supply and demand of Uber-for-X companies.
The inequalities of capitalist economies are not exactly news.
In the short-lived narrowing of economic fortunes wrapped around the Second World War that created what Americans think of as “The middle class,” servants became far less common, even as dual-income families became more the norm and the hours Americans worked lengthened.
What the combined efforts of the Uber-for-X companies created is a new form of servant, one distributed through complex markets to thousands of different people.
They’ve definitely generated huge fortunes for a very small number of people.

The orginal article.

Summary of “He’s Creating a New Fuel Out of Thin Air”

There’s actually no other zero-carbon fuel out there, so we really don’t have any competition.
Gordon – who’s spent his career producing active pharmaceutical ingredients for sale around the world – secured a patent for his long-time side project: a refrigerator-sized machine that turns water and air into a reusable, renewable, ammonia-based NH3. The project began in the early 2000s, and took almost nine years before it produced a usable prototype.
The patent application was submitted the following year, at a time when Gordon says he didn’t even have transportation fuel on his radar.
Researchers at the University of Iowa and the University of Michigan were driving on ammonia – and Gordon says they jumped at the idea of creating NH3 “With no heritage of oil or coal or anything that’s carbon.”
“There’s actually no other zero-carbon fuel out there, so we really don’t have any competition,” Gordon says.
One politician who has remained by his side is the former environmental commissioner of Gordon’s home province of Ontario, Gordon Miller, who says perhaps ammonia’s biggest advantage is it can be produced anywhere.
After nearly two decades working on creating a clean, decentralized energy storage and fuel source, Gordon himself seems split on where he believes things go from here.
“Something might come out of nowhere.” Until then, Gordon maintains his pharma day job, putting just enough money into the project to keep it alive until it either takes off or it doesn’t.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Dalai Lama on Why Leaders Should Be Mindful, Selfless, and Compassionate”

Over the past nearly 60 years, I have engaged with many leaders of governments, companies, and other organizations, and I have observed how our societies have developed and changed.
Leaders, whatever field they work in, have a strong impact on people’s lives and on how the world develops.
What might a better world look like? I believe the answer is straightforward: A better world is one where people are happier.
Why? Because all human beings want to be happy, and no one wants to suffer.
What’s more, as human beings, we are physically, mentally, and emotionally the same.
Human beings, on the other hand, have constitutions, complex legal systems, and police forces; we have remarkable intelligence and a great capacity for love and affection.
As human beings, we have a remarkable intelligence that allows us to analyze and plan for the future.
Through the application of reason, compassion can be extended to all 7 billion human beings.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Sportswashing and the tangled web of Europe’s biggest clubs”

As the Champions League knockout stage kicks in, this element of Big Football is primed once again to take the main stage, the executive arm of a sport that has never looked so tangled.
Manchester City are taking on Schalke, who are sponsored by Gazprom, which is owned by Russia, which is in effect at war in Syria with Qatar, which is being blockaded by Dubai, which is a financial services partner of Manchester United, whose next opponents will be Paris Saint-Germain, who are owned by Qatar.
Sport has been bought, sold, fluffed, preened, primped and generally co-opted by those in power ever since it first appeared as a public spectacle.
Show me a morally pure professional sport; I’ll show you a professional sport that’s clearly not doing it right.
Sportswashing describes the way sport is used to launder a reputation, to gloss a human rights record, to wash a little blood away.
US hedge funds have often used sport to present a softer face to the world: Liverpool and Roma are among the Champions League last 16 owned by friendly US capitalists.
“As ever, informed judgment is the key. As Kate Allen, Amnesty International UK’s director, told the Guardian:”We’re not saying who should and shouldn’t be buying into European football, but we want all clubs to understand that their overseas owners may be using the prestige of elite football to effectively ‘rebrand’ themselves.
Not one of the four Premier League clubs involved is majority owned by a company or individual based the UK. There are no major UK sponsors.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What are the biggest threats to humanity?”

While a dramatic end to humanity is possible, focusing on such scenarios may mean ignoring the most serious threats we face in today’s world.
The same cannot be said for many global threats induced by people.
The World Health Organization and the World Economic Forum both listed climate change and its effects as one of their top risks for 2019.
Widespread vaccination programmes and other disease prevention measures help reduce this risk.
The UK government also maintains a register of national risks, including floods, space weather and disease.
While these threats are real, the greatest danger we face in 2019, when viewed from a global perspective, probably lies elsewhere.
Dr Simon Beard and Dr Lauren Holt are research associates at the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk.
The CSER, based at the University of Cambridge, studies the mitigation of risks that could lead to human extinction or the collapse of civilisation.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Bill Gates tweeted out a chart and sparked a debate on global poverty”

As Roser is quick to note, it’s not “His” chart – it’s similar to charts many economists working on poverty have produced, such as one in Georgetown professor Martin Ravallion’s book The Economics of Poverty.
Hickel argues that focusing on data showing declines in global poverty does political work on behalf of global capitalism, defending an inherently unjust global system that has failed residents of rich and poor nations alike.
“The present rate of poverty reduction is too slow for us to end $1.90/day poverty by 2030, or $7.40/day poverty in our lifetimes. To achieve this goal, we would need to change economic policy to make it fairer for the world’s majority.”
Hickel insists that the $1.90-per-day poverty line is unacceptably low and that we should focus on absolute numbers – how many total people are living in poverty – as well as the share of people in extreme poverty.
We use poverty rates, not absolute numbers, in discussions of US poverty as well.
Sure enough, if you look again at the chart that opens this post, you’ll see that extreme poverty fell by very, very meager amounts before about 1950, gains that were concentrated in rich European countries thriving off of extracting resources from the global South.
That’s consistent with the story’s Roser’s telling: All of humanity was poor, barred from breaking out of bare subsistence, until industrialization; colonization prevented the mass of humanity from benefiting from the economic growth that industrialization enabled in Europe and North America, and substantially worsened conditions for its victims; but global growth from 1950 onward led to a massive poverty reduction.
Just about everyone agrees life expectancy is up, education is more common, and poverty rates are down over the past three or four decades regardless of where you set the poverty line.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Fact-Checking Facebook Was Like Playing A Doomed Game Of Whack-A-Mole”

Facebook has always struggled to comprehend the scale of its fake news and propaganda problem.
We tried to make it easier by showing where disinformation would originate, but there were just too many stories.
Trying to stem the tsunami of hoaxes, scams, and outright fake stories was like playing the world’s most doomed game of whack-a-mole, or like battling the Hydra of Greek myth.
In case you’re curious, here’s what it was like to be an official Facebook fact-checker.
We were given access to a tool that hooked into our personal Facebook accounts and was accessed that way and it spat out a long list of stories that had been flagged for checks.
We would often get the same story over and over again from different sites, which is to be expected to a certain degree because many of the most lingering stories have been recycled again and again.
No matter how many times we marked them “False,” stories would keep resurfacing with nothing more than a word or two changed.
We’d be asked to check if a story about a woman who was arrested for leaving her children in the car for hours while she ate at a buffet was true; meanwhile a flood of anti-semitic false George Soros stories never showed up on the list.

The orginal article.