Self-Driving Into the Future, Space Travel’s Cinematic Connections, and Virtuous History Makers

Weekend Reads: October 26, 2018

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Self-Driving School Bus Project Stopped after Government Intervenes

Sean O’Kane | The Verge | Retweeted by Adam Thierer

A small pilot test of a self-driving autonomous shuttle that carried school children three blocks was “operating safely, without any issues” in Florida. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) put a stop to the test claiming it was “unlawful.”

The Japanese Man Who Saved 6,000 Jews with His Handwriting

David Wolpe | The New York Times | Tweeted by Veronique de Rugy

Situations that prompt people to become villainous are very similar to those that lead to heroism, according to psychological research. What characteristics and conditions inspire an individual towards virtuous deeds, and how did they help Jewish refugees in Europe during the Holocaust?

Are We Serious about Reducing Poverty? Then We Need to Welcome Immigrants

Art Carden | Forbes | Retweeted by Adam Millsap

Labor mobility is the most effective way to solve global poverty, significantly more so than any government programs or developmental aid from charitable organizations, argues Art Carden of Samford University in Forbes.

The AI Cold War That Could Doom Us All

Nicholas Thompson and Ian Bremmer | Wired | Retweeted by Tyler Cowen

In 2017, China unveiled a plan to become the global leader in artificial intelligence by 2030, and President Xi Jinping cited AI as a core technology that would advance Chinese industrialism. What does this development mean for the US, and could these moves by the Chinese increase tensions between the world’s two biggest economies?

Did Uber Steal Google’s Intellectual Property?

Charles Duhigg | The New Yorker | Tweeted by Christine McDaniel

A scandal ignited by engineer and visionary Anthony Levandowski rocked Google’s production of self-driving cars; landed the young entrepreneur, and Uber, in court; and changed the way Silicon Valley engaged with prosecutors.

First Man and the Sci-Fi–Science Feedback Loop

Kevin Bankston | The Atlantic | Retweeted by Anne Hobson

Did you know that the German father of rocketry was also one of the first scientific consultants for movies? Or that the Apollo 11 mission that first took Neil Armstrong to the moon was an adaptation of art? The worlds of cinema and space travel often play off each other—more than you think.

This Is the Front Line of Saudi Arabia’s Invisible War

Declan Walsh | The New York Times | Retweeted by Christopher Coyne 

According to investigative research from Declan Walsh, the death of Jamal Khashoggi turned the world’s attention to “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis” being fought in Yemen, a “catastrophe” for the Arab world’s poorest country.

You Don’t Really Want Smart People Running the World

Stephen Davies | American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) | Shared by Donald Boudreaux

Economic insights and historical experience should make us weary of the idea that the best way to operate various institutions of society is with clever people in charge, argues Stephen Davies.

What Is the Future of Getting Kids to Soccer Practice?

Joe Pinsker | The Atlantic | Tweeted by Jennifer Huddleston Skees

New, innovative ridesharing services tailored for child safety are helping families with swamped, overbooked working parents get their children to their activities.

Electric VTOL Air-Taxi Service Lilium Eyes Launch Before 2025

Victoria Moores | MRO-Network | Tweeted by Brent Skorup

A new aircraft created by German company Lilium could change the accessibility of commercial aircraft by creating an “on-demand taxi service” in the sky.