Week of November 26, 2018

After an unplanned absence for a couple of weeks; a few things of note from around the Internet this week:

Detailed

An incredible exploration and comparison of Apple’s new maps.

Opposites

I like this perspective. Not everything is zero-sum, sometimes everyone can win.

In the longer term, there is nothing in physics to stop the economy from growing forever. It’s not just that more and more of the economy will consist of services, though that is certainly the case, and more and more of them will be digitally provided by computer ‘bots’. The physical sectors of the economy will trend towards becoming entirely circular: material efficiency and recycling will improve indefinitely; the extraction of materials and production of pollution will first peak and then asymptote to zero. We will use unlimited knowledge and clean exergy from solar or nuclear power to drive endless improvements in human wellbeing and flourishing.

The open question – for each country, or for groups of countries working together, to decide – is how much of their natural ecosystems they want to see preserved as this process runs its course. I hope they choose wisely, because, while the cost of preservation will be modest, the wrong decisions will be irreversible.

Rhyme

Control

I think we’re at the beginning of a movement toward data sovereignty for each individual on the Internet.

But, my bet is that, despite the convenience of Google knowing I should have the bisque and saving me from the club sandwich, we are coming up to a shift in control points whereby the next control point is going to be around personal empowerment of control over personal data and authorization.

Limits

From the man that brought us the Barkley Marathons: a much, much more devilish race.

“It’s not a hard trail. They can physically do it, but they lose belief,” Cantrell told me. “When we came up with this format, I thought people would run until they could stand no more, but in fact, people drop when they no longer believe they can win. There’s no reason to continue to suffer if you no longer believe you can win. If you don’t believe you can win, and you’re going to quit at 180 miles, why not quit at 160?”

Reform

When Michelle Alexander speaks everyone should listen.

Many reformers rightly point out that an ankle bracelet is preferable to a prison cell. Yet I find it difficult to call this progress. As I see it, digital prisons are to mass incarceration what Jim Crow was to slavery.