This is the first installment of a new Freakonomics.com feature from Sudhir Venkatesh. Each AI: Adventures in Ideas post will showcase new research, writing, or ideas. A new book is garnering significant attention. In Going Solo, Eric Klinenberg, a sociologist at NYU, looks at a growing trend in contemporary adulthood: living alone. How we live, Klinenberg argues, is shifting, and it could be one of the most important developments of the last half-century.
Source: Introducing “AI: Adventures in Ideas,” a New Blog Series from Sudhir Venkatesh. Episode 1: Going Solo – Freakonomics Freakonomics
If someone has their own apartment all on their own, but they see the same group of friends 3 to 5 days a week, are they really living alone?
The manufacturers took what matters least about the iPhone – the trade dress – and made that an obsession. Take what matters most – Apple’s consumer-focused clarity of vision – and see where that gets you.
Source: Intelligent Design And The Modern Cellphone | TechCrunch
For a singularly grim, if fiercely literary, assessment of the earth’s environmental fate, the grizzled wisdom of Cormac McCarthy is always there to deliver the dark pronouncement that we’re flat-out doomed.
reminding environmentally conscientious consumers how easily virtuous intentions can be trumped by negative and unexpected outcomes
Source: The Prius Driver’s Conundrum – Freakonomics Freakonomics
At the core of Lessig’s reasonable manifesto is the corrupting influence of money in politics, a corruption that predates the notorious Citizens United Supreme Court case. Lessig ascribes to this corruption the outrage that mobilizes both Occupy and the Tea Party, and he believes that the corruption can’t be ended until both the left and right realize that though they don’t have a common goal, they do share a common enemy, and unite to defeat it.
Source: Lessig’s One Way Forward / Boing Boing
Pepper spray, tasers, tear gas, rubber bullets — these “non-lethal” weapons are being used by more and more local police forces, as well as military forces brought in to control civilian crowds and other situations. Despite their name, non-lethal weapons have been known to cause deaths … and as Stephen Coleman suggests, there are other, more insidious hazards as well. He explores the complex ethics — and the unexpected consequences — of using non-lethal weapons to control civilians.
Source: Stephen Coleman: Non-lethal weapons, a moral hazard? | TED Talk | TED.com