Note — Dec 04, 2019

No.105 Asides

  • Open tabs: NYC’s task force to regulate AI was a spectacular failure and The Second Wave of Algorithmic Accountability « Law and Political Economy.
  • 🇪🇬 😍 Alexandria is an invisible city: we live in it, but cannot see it. “As rapid development sweeps through Alexandria, architect Mohamed Gohar is trying to document both the past and the present of this ancient Egyptian port city”
  • A TED talk from 2009 with 20 million views so not news but a really fantastic talk on single stories vs multifaceted understanding. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: The danger of a single story. “Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice — and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.” (via Flavie)
  • 🇰🇪 💸 A charity dropped a massive stimulus package on rural Kenya — and transformed the economy. “[T]he study suggests that basic income programs in poor countries, as considered by the current Indian government, could be more than useful poverty alleviation tools — they could also have real economic benefits. And in countries like Nigeria or Angola with lots of natural resources wealth that can be used to fund a basic income without distorting the economy, the promise is especially great.”
  • 🗺 Mapping All of Earth’s Roads and Buildings from Space. “this automated approach offers a degree of global completeness and spatial consistency that is hard to beat and is already useful for many applications, like identifying construction in flood risk zones. And with continually refreshed imagery from space, such maps can be updated to highlight new changes around the world, opening up new possibilities to improve transparency and help life on Earth.”
  • 🌎 😫 Climate tipping points — too risky to bet against. “We argue that the intervention time left to prevent tipping could already have shrunk towards zero, whereas the reaction time to achieve net zero emissions is 30 years at best. Hence we might already have lost control of whether tipping happens.”
  • 🔥 How to Power a Steel Blast Furnace Using Only Hydrogen. “Steelmakers in Germany have taken a big step toward carbon neutral steel production by using hydrogen to power a blast furnace. This is the first demonstration of its kind. The company that did the demonstration, Thyssenkrupp, has committed to reducing emissions by 30 percent by 2030. In the steel industry, where production of the world’s greatest alloy has been exclusively powered by coal before this, reducing emissions is a daunting and major goal.”