Taiwan's Crowdsourced Laws and the World's Oldest Blockchain

Weekend Reads: August 31, 2018

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How TripAdvisor Changed Travel

Linda Kinstler | The Guardian | Shared by Andrea O’Sullivan

Like many other tech industry disruptors, TripAdvisor changed the way internet users travel. However, this “reputation” business is being threatened by fake accounts posting inaccurate views, and it could be damaging for the site’s credibility.

The Simple but Ingenious System Taiwan Uses to Crowdsource Its Laws

Chris Horton | MIT Technology Review | Shared by Tyler Cowen

Deadlock seems to be natural in modern debates about politics. However, a new online platform in Taiwan brought compromise and collaboration to some hot-button issues. What are the pros and cons of such a system? Chris Horton discusses for the MIT Technology Review.

Life Without Water: Sweaty, Smelly, and Furious in Caracas

Andrew Rosati | Bloomberg | Tweeted by Robert Graboyes

A series of articles for Bloomberg profile just how dangerous Venezuelan conditions really are, leading to mass starvation, dehydration, and a “sticky existence.”

The New Socialists

Corey Robin | The New York Times | Tweeted by Peter Boettke

As public support for socialism grows, leaders in the faction are emerging. Who are they, and what explains the rise? Corey Robin profiles the “new socialists” in The New York Times.

Physicists Think They've Spotted the Ghosts of Black Holes from Another Universe

Rafi Letzter | Live Science | Shared by Tyler Cowen

How do universes expand and die, and do they leave a trace? One group of theorists, including an important Stephen Hawking collaborator, believe they found the answer behind the history of space and time.

Self-Driving Cars Will Destroy a Lot of Jobs—They’ll also Create a Lot

Timothy Lee | ArsTechnica | Tweeted by Michael Farren

Timothy Lee asserts in ArsTechnica that people shouldn’t be afraid of losing jobs to new technology—he examines how the digital age could actually create new and better jobs for upward mobility. 

The School Shootings That Weren't

Anya Kamenetz, Alexis Arnold, and Emily Cardinali | NPR | Shared by Alex Tabarrok

Is there confusion over the definition of a school shooting? Are the number of occurrences wrongly reported? NPR examines the nearly 240 school shootings that were reported to the US Education Department for the 2015-2016 school year. 

How Should We Regulate Facial Recognition?

Russell Brandom | The Verge | Retweeted by Andrea O’Sullivan

Are faces considered a private good in technology and privacy law? What happens when facial recognition software encroaches on individual liberty? Russell Brandom interviews industry leaders in the facial recognition technology and discovers what they think about government regulation.

How to Argue with a Young Socialist

Crispin Sartwell | The Wall Street Journal | Tweeted by Matthew Mitchell

Resistance to President Trump has sparked a movement towards socialism, but Crispin Sartwell argues in The Wall Street Journal that Donald Trump’s presidency actually highlights the very real problems with increasing state control and opposition to power.

Money Really Does Lead to a More Satisfying Life

Justin Wolfers | The New York Times | Retweeted by Tyler Cowen

A survey of lottery winners finds that more money does make people happier. Despite the widespread perception that winning the lottery makes people miserable, persuasive new research demonstrates otherwise.

Does $60,000 Make You Middle-Class or Wealthy on Planet Earth?

Heather Long and Leslie Shapiro | The Washington Post | Shared by Alex Tabarrok

New research defines how global wealth expanded—and continues to expand—within the past 200 years. How does this compare to the rest of human history? Does this growth increase global happiness? Heather Long and Leslie Shapiro answer these questions and more in The Washington Post.  

Anxious Parents Shouldn’t Forget How Dangerous Childhood Once Was

Chelsea Follett | CapX | Shared by Donald Boudreaux

Today, well-intentioned parents fear their children suffering injury or trauma. Chelsea Follett reminds us how much safer children are today as medical practices have evolved from the days of prescribing opium for teething babies.  

WV State Police Seize $10K from Couple without Charging Them with a Crime

Jake Zuckerman | Charleston Gazette-Mail | Retweeted by Christopher Coyne

Dimitrios Patlias and his pregnant wife, Tonya Smith, were pulled over by a West Virginia State Police trooper in June. They were accused of smuggling and forced to have their car searched. Although the couple was never charged with a crime, the officer took over $10,000 from them.

The World’s Oldest Blockchain Has Been Hiding in the New York Times Since 1995

Daniel Oberhaus | Vice Motherboard | Shared by Andrea O’Sullivan

We often associate blockchains with digital currencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum, but what was the original blockchain? It may be older than you think.