Weekend Reading 1-27-18

”Two broad changes of thinking would go a long way towards sensibly taming the titans. The first is to make better use of existing competition law. 
Second, trustbusters need to think afresh about how tech markets work. A central insight is that personal data are the currency in which customers actually buy services.”

Great graphic of the current broadcast media landscape. 

41 states saw emissions decrease but 9 saw increases. Harnessing wind to generate power has helped states like Kansas reduce it’s emissions. States in colder climates, that rely on fossil fuels, and driving as a primary means of transportation and less population density experience higher per-capita emissions.

“..as local reporting dies, the tech giants that helped got us to where we are want to build ways for the void to be filled–in this case, via unpaid participants. And, of course, this content would feed back to the platforms that killed local independent media in the first place.”

“Facebook was always famous for the sign that hung in its offices, written in big red type on a white background, that said “Move Fast and Break Things.” And every time I think about the company, I realize it has done just that—to itself. But I think that Zuckerberg, and the people who work at Facebook, also realize that the things they have broken are things that are going to be very difficult to put back together.”

Reading List 1-24-18

“That’s their key goal: it’s not to make a product that people enjoy and therefore becomes profitable, but rather to make a product that people can’t stop using and therefore becomes profitable.”

“Even though the global population in 2050 will be just 25 percent higher than it is now, typical projections claim that farmers will have to boost food output by 50 to 100 percent.”

As human population grows, how we grow crops and what we eat will have to change, and will have to be balanced against environmental and social impacts.

Reading Links 1-22-18

  • Pope Francis says Amazon indigenous people under greater threat than ever - Guardian - “The group hoped the pope would call on the Peruvian state to grant them formal land titles for some 200,000 sq km of land, it said, as well as urge the government to clean up rivers poisoned with mercury used in illegal gold mining. Most of Puerto Maldonado’s residents have mercury in their systems at well over safe levels while measurements for indigenous communities are even higher – particularly women and children….”
  • Burning Wood For Power May Be Worse Than Coal - Renewables Now - "The researchers note that energy efficiency, solar and wind power, and energy storage are “the cheapest, safest, and quickest ways to cut greenhouse gas emissions” and point out that the goal of the analysis is not to defend the continued use of coal -- the most carbon intensive fuel."
  • U.S. Oil Output Expected to Surpass Saudi Arabia, Rivaling Russia for Top Spot - WSJ - “Rising shale output enables the U.S. to reach some of the world’s fastest-growing markets including China, which is increasingly at the heart of the battle for market share. The U.S. wasn’t a player there at all until recently. Five years ago, Saudi Arabia provided nearly 20% of China’s oil imports. But Saudi Arabia has ceded some of that to Russia and increasingly the U.S.”

Reading List 1-10-2018