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Reuters: Facebook Facial Recognition

Reuters: Facebook Facial Recognition

Facebook Inc is considering incorporating most of its 1 billion-plus members’ profile photos into its growing facial recognition database, expanding the scope of the social network’s controversial technology. Facial recognition technology has been a sensitive issue for technology companies, raising concerns among some privacy advocates and government officials.

Economist: Cronies and Capitols

Economist: Cronies and Capitols

The great battle of the 20th century was between the state and business. And the state was likely to win because the thinkers and bureaucrats at its service were better at occupying the moral and intellectual high ground. Today the problem is not the marginalisation of business but its excessive influence.

Economist: Neuromorphic Computing

Economist: Neuromorphic Computing

Computing technology is being designed to mimic the human brain. Developers hope that they will achieve both better functioning computers and a better understanding of how the brain works. They wish to instill in computers three traits of the brain in particular – the ability to run on low amounts of power, the ability to withstand and overcome faults, and the ability to learn and change spontaneously. Efforts are being made on both sides of the Atlantic, and while the most advanced programs are in Europe the US is not far behind. One potential repercussion of these computing developments is particularly noteworthy – if the scientists succeed, there is the possibility that machines will develop to have higher thinking capacities than human beings, to the extent that they may be able, eventually, to keep human beings as pets – just as a human might keep a monkey.

NatGeo: Rising Seas

NatGeo: Rising Seas

In May the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached 400 parts per million, the highest since three million years ago. Sea levels then may have been as much as 65 feet above today’s; the Northern Hemisphere was largely ice free year-round. Unless we change course dramatically in the coming years, our carbon emissions will create a world utterly different in its very geography from the one in which our species evolved. By the next century, if not sooner, large numbers of people will have to abandon coastal areas in Florida and other parts of the world. Some researchers fear a flood tide of climate-change refugees. We’re going to see civil unrest, war. You just wonder how or if civilization will function. How thin are the threads that hold it all together? How do you get people to realize that Miami—or London—will not always be there?

Alternet: Schools Failing Imagination

Alternet: Schools Failing Imagination

Critical pedagogy becomes dangerous in the current historical moment because it emphasizes critical reflection, bridging the gap between learning and everyday life, understanding the connection between power and difficult knowledge, and extending democratic rights and identities by using the resources of history.

AlterNet: US and Democracy

AlterNet: US and Democracy

American power is diminishing, as it has been in fact since its peak in 1945, but it’s still incomparable. And it’s dangerous. Obama’s remarkable global terror campaign and the limited, pathetic reaction to it in the West is one shocking example. And it is a campaign of international terrorism – by far the most extreme in the world.

NYT: School Standards

NYT: School Standards

The Common Core, a set of standards for kindergarten through high school that has been ardently supported by the Obama administration and many business leaders and state legislatures, is facing growing opposition from both the right and the left even before it has been properly introduced into classrooms.

Josette Sheeran: Civil Servant

Josette Sheeran: Civil Servant

Josette Sheeran is president and CEO of Asia Society. She is responsible for leading and advancing the organization’s work throughout the U.S. and Asia, and across its disciplines of arts and culture, policy and business, and education. Formerly, Sheeran was Vice Chair of the World Economic Forum and Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme.

Ian Goldin: Economist

Ian Goldin: Economist

Ian Andrew Goldin is Director of the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford – the leading global scholarly centre of deep research into a broad range of future challenges. The School research faculty is seeking to find solutions to questions of health and medicine, energy and the environment, technology and society and ethics and governance.

Ken Robinson: Educationalist

Ken Robinson: Educationalist

Why don’t we get the best out of people? Sir Ken Robinson argues that it’s because we’ve been educated to become good workers, rather than creative thinkers. Students with restless minds and bodies — far from being cultivated for their energy and curiosity — are ignored or even stigmatized, with terrible consequences. “We are educating people out of their creativity,” Robinson says.

Paddy Ashdown: Politician

Paddy Ashdown: Politician

After service as a Royal Marine and as an intelligence officer for the UK security services, Paddy Ashdown was a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1983 to 2001, and leader of the Liberal Democrats from 1988 until 1999; later he was the international High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina from 2002 to 2006.

FA: Omnipotent Central Bankers

FA: Omnipotent Central Bankers

Central bankers have always carried a mystique far beyond justification. Even as their policies and procedures have become markedly more transparent, the air of secrecy and power about them persists. And the ongoing financial crisis has brought their activities to the center stage of both economic policymaking and political attention, even as the crisis has revealed many inherent limitations of monetary policy and economic forecasting more broadly.

WP: 3D Printer Enthusiasm

WP: 3D Printer Enthusiasm

I worry that because of the excess hype, 3D printing will soon suffer the same backlash as solar energy and electric cars. We are only in the early stages of 3D printing. The curve is flat for the foreseeable future. We are about to see a renaissance in design. So let’s be excited, but adjust our expectations – the large-scale manufacturing revolution will happen only after we become bitterly disappointed.

Al Jazeera: Daniel Barenboim

Al Jazeera: Daniel Barenboim

Sir David Frost travels to New York to meet the legendary Israeli conductor and pianist, Daniel Barenboim. A giant in the world of classical music, Barenboim is also a man with very strong political views, and is believed to be the only man alive with both an Israeli and a Palestinian passport, reflecting his deep interest in the Middle East. Daniel Barenboim bares his life and his soul to Sir David: he is emotional and outspoken. His love of music shines through the whole interview, as do his political beliefs.

FP: Best Hope to Stop NSA

FP: Best Hope to Stop NSA

The court may be primed for a reinterpretation of its own rulings on metadata, which can be even more revealing than content. Congress has shown little appetite for clarifying these issues, and has reliably voted to expand, not limit, the surveillance powers of the executive branch. President Barack Obama’s position on the issues is not only a continuation of his predecessor’s, but a change from the views he held as a candidate.

BBC: Arctic Time Bomb

BBC: Arctic Time Bomb

Scientists say that the release of large amounts of methane from thawing permafrost in the Arctic could have huge economic impacts for the world. The researchers estimate that the climate effects of the release of this gas could cost $60 trillion (£39 trillion), roughly the size of the global economy in 2012.

AlterNet: Apocalypse

AlterNet: Apocalypse

To think apocalyptically is not to give up on ourselves, but only to give up on the arrogant stories we modern humans have been telling about ourselves. Our hope for a decent future — indeed, any hope for even the idea of a future — depends on our ability to tell stories not of how humans have ruled the world but how we can live in the world.

MIT: Rising Seas

MIT: Rising Seas

A new study finds that if temperatures go up by just one degree Celcius, sea levels will eventually—as ice sheet melt over the next 2,000 years—rise 2.3 meters. If temperature goes up 2 °C, oceans will rise 4.8 meters. If the planet warms by 4 °C, which is within the IPCC range of estimates, they will eventually rise by 9 meters, on average, and up to 12 meters in some parts of the world.

NYT: Mozart vs Beatles

NYT: Mozart vs Beatles

Our democratic society is uneasy with the idea that traditional “high culture” is superior to popular culture. Sophisticated academic critics apply the same methods of analysis and appreciation to Proust and to comic books. At all levels, claims of objective artistic superiority are met with smug assertions that all such claims are merely relative to subjective individual preferences.

AlterNet: Rewiring the Brain

AlterNet: Rewiring the Brain

While most neuroscientists once believed that implicit memories, avoidance reactions, and rigid schemas were locked permanently in the brain’s synaptic pathways, recent brain research shows that, under certain conditions and within a brief timeframe, we can not only unlock these neural pathways, but actually erase them and substitute new learning.

New America Foundation

New America Foundation

The New America Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy institute that invests in new thinkers and new ideas to address the next generation of challenges facing the United States. The foundation’s mission is animated by the American ideal that each generation will live better than the last. That ideal is today under strain.

Berggruen Institute on Governance

Berggruen Institute on Governance

The Berggruen Institute is dedicated to the design and implementation of new ideas of good governance — drawing from practices in both East and West — that can be brought to bear on the common challenges of globalization in the 21st century. We believe that accountable institutions must be created that can competently manage the global links of interdependence.

NYT: CEOs Overpaid?

NYT: CEOs Overpaid?

The median compensation of chief executives at 200 of the nation’s biggest public companies came in at $15.1 million last year, a 16 percent jump from 2011. Is that excessive? One way to answer that question would be to look at the pay gap, the ratio of the pay of the chief executive to that of the company’s employees. But nobody really knows what the gaps are.

Thought Maybe

Thought Maybe

There’s already a lot of information on the Internet, so our goal is to cut through the noise and garbage, to present valuable information in a clear way, so it’s accessible, useful and easily digested. This is a website that aims to provoke your thoughts not only about these important issues, but many other pertinent topics relevant to modern society, industrial civilisation and globalised dominant culture.

Foreign Affairs: Federal Europe

Foreign Affairs: Federal Europe

The first step forward for Europe has to be developing an economic growth strategy, to escape the union’s current debt trap and to create breathing space for the tough reforms that can make Europe as a whole competitive again. Then, to sustain reform, the union needs a clear path to legitimacy for a strong but limited European government, one that resembles today’s Swiss federation.

NYT: Obama Climate Campaign

NYT: Obama Climate Campaign

Obama’s injunction to “divest” was, pretty clearly, a signal to the thousands of college students who have been manning the barricades for nearly a year now, urging their colleges to rid their endowments of stock in fossil-fuel companies as a way of forcing climate change higher on the national political agenda.

Foreign Affairs: War of Law

Foreign Affairs: War of Law

If officials are going to make rules for Americans, those officials should be Americans, democratically accountable to voters. Given the recent history of international meddling of this kind, even when a treaty is non-self-executing (that is, its implementation requires the passage of a law), this is not merely a theoretical concern.

New Yorker: Snoops Scoops

New Yorker: Snoops Scoops

The NSA programs represent a troubling increase in state power, even if—so far, and so far as we know—they have not occasioned a troubling increase in state wrongdoing. The harm is to the architecture of trust and accountability that supports an open society and a democratic polity. The harm is to the reputation of the United States as such a society, such a polity.

Foreign Affairs: Why US Education Fails

Foreign Affairs: Why US Education Fails

Recent international research suggests that the countries that top international education rankings choose their teachers from among their most talented graduates, train them extensively, create opportunities for them to collaborate with their peers within and across schools, provide them with external supports, and underwrite all these efforts with a strong welfare state.

NoC: Trans-Pacific Partnership

NoC: Trans-Pacific Partnership

While the public and media are not allowed to see the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and members of Congress only receive limited, heavily restricted access, 600 corporations, including some of America’s worst corporate citizens, have been advising the president and suggesting amendments with full access to the documents.

Guardian: FISA Court

Guardian: FISA Court

Various NSA defenders beginning with President Obama have sought to assure the public that NSA surveillance is done under robust judicial oversight and that they do not target Americans. These claims are highly misleading, and in some cases outright false As part of the FISA court approval process, the NSA must submit a document describing how communications of US persons are collected and what is done with them; indeed, the principle purpose of the 2008 FISA Amendment Act was to allow government collection of Americans’ international communications. The Obama DOJ has repeatedly thwarted any efforts to obtain judicial rulings on whether this law is consistent with the Fourth Amendment.

NYT: Surveillance State

NYT: Surveillance State

The danger of the absence of rigorous, independent regulation and vigilant oversight to keep potential abuses of power from becoming a real menace to our freedom is that if we are too complacent about our civil liberties we could wake up one day and find them gone – not in a flash of nuclear terror but in a gradual, incremental surrender.

Foreign Affairs: American Strategy

Foreign Affairs: American Strategy

Events in the greater Middle East are making it difficult for the United States to limit its involvement there. The irony is inescapable: a decade ago, Washington chose to immerse itself in the region when it did not have to, but now that most Americans want little to do with the region, U.S. officials are finding it difficult to turn away.

NoC: Looting of Detroit

NoC: Looting of Detroit

Detroit, which grew and prospered for much of the last century, has become a wasteland of abandoned buildings, lawlessness, and municipal debts. Somebody’s going to pay for that. It’s not going to be the politicians whose decisions undermined Detroit, nor the executives who made bad decisions yet retired with their full pensions and portfolios.

Brookings: Obama Preschool

Brookings: Obama Preschool

The Obama administration has proposed a $75 billion 10-year federal investment in state pre-K programs for four-year-olds and has been marketing its plan by citing James Heckman’s analysis of $7 of public savings for every $1 invested in the Perry Preschool Project, but this supporting analysis has been placed in question.

NoC: Unaccountable Power

NoC: Unaccountable Power

There are two great centers of unaccountable power in the American political-economic system today – places where decisions that significantly affect large numbers of Americans are made in secret, and are unchecked either by effective democratic oversight or by market competition – the intelligence community, and Wall Street.

Washington Post: Carbon Pricing

Washington Post: Carbon Pricing

Pricing carbon to reduce emissions and tackle global warming is moribund in Congress for now, but not elsewhere. A new World Bank report finds that more than 40 national governments and 20 sub-national governments have either put in place carbon-pricing schemes or are planning one for the years ahead.

Foreign Affairs: US and Int’l Crime

Foreign Affairs: US and Int’l Crime

Far from being a passive victim, the United States has fostered as rich a tradition of illicit trade as any other country in the world. Since its founding, the United States has had an intimate relationship with clandestine commerce, and contraband capitalism was integral to the rise of the U.S. economy.

NoC: Online Spying

NoC: Online Spying

Verizon has been supplying the National Security Agency (NSA) with phone records for all domestic calls, and the NSA and FBI are datamining nine technology companies, extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs enabling analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time.

NYT: Obama and Bush’s Data Mining

NYT: Obama and Bush’s Data Mining

Mr. Obama has used some of the same aggressive powers in the name of guarding national security as his predecessor, even at the expense of civil liberties. Rather than dismantling Mr. Bush’s approach to national security, Mr. Obama has to some extent validated it and put it on a more sustainable footing.

NoC: Icelandic Revolution

NoC: Icelandic Revolution

The struggle in Iceland is ongoing, but the nation’s people have achieved monumental results in a relatively short amount of time due to the nature of their movement building – five goals should be sought in the US: Strive For Unity, Turn a Few Central Demands into Goals, Be the Banks, Be the Government, Crowdsource a New Constitution.

NYT: Global Corruption

NYT: Global Corruption

A new survey of corporate officials and employees in 36 countries indicates that there is plenty of corruption that needs investigating. The survey revealed a “corruption perception gap” in many countries, where respondents said bribery and corrupt practices were far more common in other parts of their country than they were in their own industry.

GAO: Elder Exploitation

GAO: Elder Exploitation

Elder financial exploitation is the illegal or improper use of an older adult’s funds or property. It has been described as an epidemic with society-wide repercussions. While combating elder financial exploitation is largely the responsibility of state and local social service, criminal justice, and consumer protection agencies, the federal government has a role to play in this area.

GAO: Climate Change

GAO: Climate Change

Infrastructure such as roads and bridges, wastewater systems, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) centers are vulnerable to changes in the climate. Changes in precipitation and sea levels, as well as increased intensity and frequency of extreme events, are projected to impact infrastructure in a variety of ways.

GAO: Improvements to IRS

GAO: Improvements to IRS

During its audit of the IRS 2012 financial statements, GAO identified one new internal control deficiency that contributed to material weakness in internal control over unpaid tax assessments – IRS’s controls over estimating the balances of federal taxes receivable and other unpaid tax assessments were not effectively implemented.

Nation of Change: Good Jobs

Nation of Change: Good Jobs

The fact that the economy is “steadily healing” back to the old economy is the problem, not the solution. That economy featured growing inequality and a declining middle class. It was built on debt and speculative bubbles. Trade deficits hit new records as multinational companies shipped good jobs abroad.

Center for Public Integrity

Center for Public Integrity

The Center for Public Integrity uses investigative journalism to reveal abuses of power, corruption and betrayal of trust by powerful public and private institutions. The Center focuses on: money and politics, government waste/fraud/abuse, the environment, healthcare reform, national security and state government transparency.

The Centrist Party

The Centrist Party

The Centrist Party need not be a mush of compromises between extreme positions. It should take the best of each party and ditch the nonsense. The Centrists will be fiscally sensible, socially progressive, and committed to the kinds of compromises that will appeal to the tens of millions of voters, particularly younger voters, who are currently without a political home.

The Common Sense Coalition

The Common Sense Coalition

As founders of the Common Sense Coalition, we came together in 2011 because we share a belief that our country has serious problems and that the current political environment leaves little hope of solving them. As we began to explore the consequences of inaction, it became clear that the America we leave our children would be greatly diminished, if we didn’t act.

James Gustave Speth: Lawyer

James Gustave Speth: Lawyer

James Gustave “Gus” Speth joined the faculty at Vermont Law School in 2010. Throughout his career, Professor Speth has provided leadership and entrepreneurial initiatives to many task forces and committees whose roles have been to combat environmental degradation. He is the author, co-author or editor of books, including “The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability”.

No Labels

No Labels

No Labels is a growing citizens’ movement of Democrats, Republicans and everything in between dedicated to promoting a new politics of problem solving. No Labels promotes its politics of problem solving in three ways: by organizing citizens across America, providing a space for legislators who want to solve problems to convene and by pushing for common-sense reforms to make our government work.

NYT: Trees Aglow at Night

NYT: Trees Aglow at Night

Hoping to give new meaning to the term “natural light,” a small group of biotechnology hobbyists and entrepreneurs has started a project to develop plants that glow, potentially leading the way for trees that can replace electric streetlamps and potted flowers luminous enough to read by. They have attracted more than $250,000 in pledges in about two weeks on the Web site Kickstarter.

GAO: Efficiency and Effectiveness

GAO: Efficiency and Effectiveness

GAO’s 2013 annual report identifies 31 new areas where agencies may be able to achieve greater efficiency or effectiveness – many areas involve fragmentation, overlap, or duplication – the Department of Defense could realize up to $82 million in cost savings and ensure equivalent performance by taking addressing its fragmented approach to developing and acquiring combat uniforms.

Economist: The Health Paradox

Economist: The Health Paradox

In 2011 America spent $2.7 trillion on health, equal to 17.9% of GDP. The government paid for nearly half of this. As public health spending continues to grow, it threatens to widen America’s deficit and eclipse other public programmes, such as infrastructure and education. Nearly every politician, regardless of party, agrees that this is dangerous.

B Lab

B Lab

B Lab is a nonprofit that serves a global movement of entrepreneurs using the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. B Corps are certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Certified B Corporations are leading a global movement to redefine success in business.

NYT: Beyond the Fence

NYT: Beyond the Fence

The opponents of immigration reform have many small complaints, but they really have one core concern. It’s about control. America doesn’t control its borders. But the opponents rarely say what exactly it is they are trying to control. They talk about border security and various mechanisms to achieve that, but they rarely go into detail about what we should be so vigilant about restricting.

World Policy Institute

World Policy Institute

The World Policy Institute, a non-partisan source of informed policy leadership for more than four decades, develops and champions innovative policies that require a progressive and global point of view. WPI’s Fellows Program, and its regular public and private events, collaborative policy development, media activities, and flagship World Policy Journal provide a forum for solution-focused policy analysis and public debate.

Stanford Philosophy

Stanford Philosophy

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy’s publishing model provides quality content meeting the highest of academic standards via a medium that is universally accessible. To do so it combines features in a way that distinguishes it from other attempts to build scholarly resources on the web. The SEP’s model may therefore represent a unique digital library concept: a scholarly dynamic reference work.

The Garrison Institute

The Garrison Institute

The Garrison Institute applies the transformative power of contemplation to today’s pressing social and environmental concerns, helping build a more compassionate, resilient future. We envision and work to build a future in which contemplative ideas and methods are increasingly mainstream, and are applied at scale to create the conditions for positive, systemic social and environmental change.

Economist: Banking Future

Economist: Banking Future

Investment bankers are a bright and resourceful lot. Some of the best minds of this generation are in search of the next big innovation in credit markets or risk management that will bring back the heady days before the financial crisis. But the industry’s voyage back to profitability will probably be slow, and not all banks will make it. Paradoxically, stricter regulation intended to tame banks that were thought too big to fail is leading to the creation of even bigger and more systemically important institutions.

GEF IW: Global Water Policy

GEF IW: Global Water Policy

The GEF IW:Science Synthesis Report, brings together the findings and efforts of the IW System Type Working Groups (Groundwater, Lakes, Rivers, Land-based Pollution Sources and, Large Marine Ecosystems and the Open Ocean). This report provides a global perspective on the state of challenges and pressures facing transboundary water systems, both freshwater and marine.

Niall Ferguson: Historian

Niall Ferguson: Historian

Niall Ferguson is Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a Senior Research Fellow at Jesus College, Oxford. His books include Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire, The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West, and The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World.

NYT: Danish Welfare

NYT: Danish Welfare

While much of southern Europe has been racked by strikes and protests as its creditors force austerity measures, Denmark still has a coveted AAA bond rating. But Denmark’s long-term outlook is troubling. With little fuss or political protest — or notice abroad — Denmark has been at work overhauling entitlements, trying to prod Danes into working more or longer or both.

IISS: Geopolitics

IISS: Geopolitics

Economic growth, when widely shared, does more than increase living standards, it helps ease tensions within societies. Trade has an important role to play in boosting both growth and security, even more so when complemented by policies to ensure that its benefits are widely shared. Geopolitics is back. Or at least it should be – what we have been seeing instead is a paradox.

Foreign Affairs: Executive Pay

Foreign Affairs: Executive Pay

Income taken home by top earners in the United States has risen over the past few decades, along with popular concern about economic inequality. Outrage has centered on the compensation of the United States’ top corporate executives. The reality of executive compensation reveals a far different picture from this caricature of skyrocketing pay packages and crony capitalism.

Smithsonian: Life in the City

Smithsonian: Life in the City

Cities are shaped by their histories and by accidents of geography and climate but they are also universal, the products of social, economic and physical principles that transcend space and time. “Quantitative urbanism” is an effort to reduce to mathematical formulas the chaotic, exuberant, extravagant nature of one of humanity’s oldest and most important inventions, the city. The birth of this new field can be dated to 2003, when researchers convened a workshop on ways to “model”—in the scientific sense of reducing to equations—aspects of human society. With the technology to know virtually anything that goes on in an urban society, the question becomes how to leverage it to do good, to make the city run better, enhance security and safety and promote the private sector. While urbanization gave the world Athens and Paris, it also gave the chaos of Mumbai and the poverty of Dickens’ London.

Richard Haass: CFR President

Richard Haass: CFR President

Dr. Richard Haass is president of the Council on Foreign Relations. Previously, he was director of policy planning for the Department of State, U.S. coordinator for policy toward the future of Afghanistan, and U.S. envoy to the Northern Ireland peace process.

NYT: Warning Behind the Numbers

NYT: Warning Behind the Numbers

The United States’ gross domestic product expanded at a 2.5 percent annual rate in the first quarter; but this figure masks disturbing signs: an economy whose recovery has failed to match the pace of past expansions may now be facing a deceleration in its own modest growth rate.

NYT: Bloomberg and Recycling

NYT: Bloomberg and Recycling

On recycling in New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has come a long way. 11 years ago, Mr. Bloomberg eliminated a major chunk of the city’s recycling program to save money. He has since been working hard to restore the city’s recycling program to its pre-2002 levels.

NYT: Heading the Wrong Way

NYT: Heading the Wrong Way

At first glance, the latest economic growth report, released Friday, appears to show the economy revving up. In reality, the economy is either stuck in low gear, or worse, slowing to a stop as budget cuts harm not only the users of overstretched government services but the overall economy.

NYT: Wandering Data

NYT: Wandering Data

New approaches to privacy for online consumers, even if they eventually go into effect, do not address a larger issue: the thousands of details that third-party data gatherers, who typically don’t interact directly with consumers, have already amassed about a majority of adults in the United States.

NYT: Loans Squeeze Retirees

NYT: Loans Squeeze Retirees

Pension advances are having devastating financial consequences for a growing number of older Americans, threatening their retirement savings and plunging them further into debt. People with public pensions are being courted particularly aggressively by pension-advance companies.

Nation of Change: Government Hollowing

Nation of Change: Government Hollowing

Repealing laws by failing to fund their enforcement or implementation works because the public doesn’t know it’s happening. The strategy bolsters the Republican view that government is incompetent – the public doesn’t know the reason why the government isn’t doing its job is it’s being hollowed out.

Foreign Affairs: Cyber Spies

Foreign Affairs: Cyber Spies

Espionage of any kind is serious, of course, but some do not understand how spying in the cyber world is different from spying in the physical world. Few realize that the same tools required to conduct digital espionage could allow intruders to go a step further and commit digital destruction.

Sustainable Investment Alliance

Sustainable Investment Alliance

The Global Sustainable Investment Alliance’s mission is to deepen the impact and visibility of sustainable investment organizations at the global level. Its vision is a world where sustainable investment is integrated into financial systems and the investment chain and where all regions of the world have coverage through membership institutions that advance sustainable investing.

Partnership for Change

Partnership for Change

PfC’s vision is that all sectors of society understand the urgency of our planet’s most pressing challenges and proactively use their position and skills to act in collaboration towards a more equal, stable, and sustainable future. By bringing together inspiring social innovators we address society’s most pressing issues, highlight their urgency, and inspire action.

The Economist: Growth Prospects

The Economist: Growth Prospects

The belief that America is losing its economic edge is pervasive. The misgivings are easy to understand, but despite glaring problems, the outlook is less bleak than the pessimists maintain. America’s competitive recovery is not as strong as it should be, but it is real, and pessimists should take a closer look.

The Economist: Green California

The Economist: Green California

Over decades California’s green rules have inspired other states and the federal government to follow. Older rules focused on conservation, newer ones focus on investment, new technologies and development projects.

The Economist: Role of Government

The Economist: Role of Government

America’s 50 states are competing to find the best formula for regulation and taxes and introducing sweeping reforms to that end. These changes will become systematic only if promoted at the federal level.

Bureau of Investigative Journalism

Bureau of Investigative Journalism

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism is an independent not-for-profit organisation formed and funded on the assumption that investigative journalism is indispensible to democracy. As such the Bureau’s aim is to pursue and encourage journalism in the public interest.

Sierra Club: Buffett’s Coal Problem

Sierra Club: Buffett’s Coal Problem

To run his coal trains, Buffet needs to seize land from a bunch of Montana cowboys. The coal industry will ignore global warming. But a federal agency charged with weighing the environmental consequences of a coal-carrying railroad should do better. So should America’s most admired investor.

BBC: Human Extinction

BBC: Human Extinction

International policymakers must pay serious attention to the reality of species-obliterating risks. The stakes couldn’t be higher, there is a real gap between the speed of technological advance and our understanding of its implications. The significance of existential risk is not, currently, on people’s radars.

Guardian: Private Use of Drones

Guardian: Private Use of Drones

The use of cheap, miniature “everyman” drones needs to be banned by international treaties before such devices fall into the hands of private users including terrorists, the head of Google has said. Schmidt set out the trajectory of robotic warfare and considered whether it would be confined solely to national governments.

Foreign Affairs: The Swiss Miracle?

Foreign Affairs: The Swiss Miracle?

From Ireland to Cyprus, the whole of Europe seems to be locked in economic and political crisis. But there is a small area of calm at the continent’s core: Switzerland. Switzerland’s secret is that it is part of Europe — and it isn’t. Switzerland’s middle path is likely the reason why the country is doing so well.

Joseph Stiglitz: Economist

Joseph Stiglitz: Economist

Joseph Stiglitz is an American economist and a professor at Columbia University. He is a recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences and the John Bates Clark Medal. In 2011 he was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Brookings: Careful Drones

Brookings: Careful Drones

American University professor Akbar Ahmed’s new book, The Thistle and the Drone, cautions wisely about the geostrategic dangers that can result if Washington is seen as using force disproportionately or carelessly in ways that hurt innocent people. However, the United States has made huge progress in minimizing civilian casualties.

Economist: Fixing Fat Cats

Economist: Fixing Fat Cats

On March 3rd, 68% of the Swiss electorate passed the “people’s initiative against fat-cat pay”, a measure that requires listed companies to offer shareholders a binding vote on senior managers’ pay and appointments at each annual general meeting. Criminal penalties apply in the event of non-compliance.

New Yorker: Justice Ginsburg

New Yorker: Justice Ginsburg

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg turns eighty this month. There is some irony in Ginsburg’s reputation for reserve, because she is, by far, the current Court’s most accomplished litigator. Ginsburg, during the 1970s, argued several of the most important women’s-rights cases in the Court’s history.

Economist: Corporate Governance

Economist: Corporate Governance

Shareholders used to mount activist campaigns only at firms that were performing horribly. Even then, shareholder activism was rare. But since the financial crisis of 2008, which revealed widespread flaws in corporate governance, shareholders have flexed their muscles more often.

Economist: Sharing Economy

Economist: Sharing Economy

Why pay through the nose for something when you can rent it more cheaply from a stranger online? That is the principle behind a range of online services that enable people to share cars, accommodation, bicycles, household appliances and other items, connecting owners of underused assets with others willing to pay to use them.

NYT: Corruption of Capitalism

NYT: Corruption of Capitalism

The Fed has resorted to a radical, uncharted spree of money printing. But the flood of liquidity has stayed trapped in the canyons of Wall Street, where it is inflating yet another unsustainable bubble. When it bursts America will descend into an era of zero-sum austerity and virulent political conflict, extinguishing even today’s feeble remnants of economic growth.

Economist: US, and Europe’s Dysfunction

Economist: US, and Europe’s Dysfunction

Republicans and Democrats’ fibs rest on ill-concealed contempt for an undeserving other: the feckless poor, the immoral rich, those who live in states of the wrong partisan hue. Mutual dislike is the dirty secret that best explains European paralysis. American politicians have no business stoking it in their far more ambitious union.

Economist: US Health Policy

Economist: US Health Policy

“NANNY”, “tyrant”—these were among the charges hurled at Michael Bloomberg, New York’s mayor, when he proposed a ban on big fizzy-drink bottles last May. The billionaire shrugged and pushed forward. The American Beverage Association, which represents Coca-Cola and other soda companies, has sued.

New Yorker: New Deal

New Yorker: New Deal

Discusses how government, and the Democratic Party, changed after the New Deal, with the onset of the Cold War and the disenchantment of Southern Democrats. Discusses the history of worries about the emergence of a new ruling class composed of bureaucrats and technocrats.

Patagonia

Patagonia

Patagonia wants to be in business for a good long time, and a healthy planet is necessary for a healthy business. We want to leave behind not only a habitable planet, but an Earth whose beauty and biodiversity is protected for those who come after us. We think that business can inspire solutions to the environmental crisis.

World Resources Institute

World Resources Institute

The World Resources Institute focuses on the intersection of the environment and socio-economic development. We go beyond research to put ideas into action, working globally with governments, business, and civil society to build transformative solutions that protect the earth and improve people’s lives.

Global Witness

Global Witness

Global Witness investigates and campaigns to prevent natural resource related conflict and corruption, and associated environmental and human rights abuses. From undercover investigations, to high level lobby meetings, we aim to engage on every level where we might make a difference and bring about change.

Secure World Foundation

Secure World Foundation

Secure World Foundation envisions the secure, sustainable and peaceful uses of outer space contributing to global stability on Earth. SWF works with governments, industry, international organizations and civil society to develop and promote ideas and actions that achieve the secure, sustainable, and peaceful uses of outer space.

NYT: Broader US Eavesdropping

NYT: Broader US Eavesdropping

The Supreme Court on Tuesday turned back a challenge to a federal law that broadened the government’s power to eavesdrop on international phone calls and e-mails. The ruling illustrated how hard it is to mount court challenges to a wide array of antiterrorism measures, including renditions of terrorism suspects to foreign countries and targeted killings using drones.

NYT: Our Second Adolescence

NYT: Our Second Adolescence

A dream Obama would point out that the issue is not size but sclerosis of government. The future has no lobby, so there are inexorable pressures favoring present consumption over future investment. The crucial point is not whether a dollar is spent publicly or privately, it’s whether it is spent on the present or future.

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