Nobody collects data on gang strength or drug profits. No one tracks when gangs provide local security, or asks citizens whether they find the gangs as legitimate as the state. As a result, too many make the terrible trade-off ignorant of the consequences.

In many big cities, you can have peace or you can have weak gangs, “but you can’t easily get both.”

↩︎ Chris Blattman

Mr Modi wants to restore Indian greatness. For him, that seems to involve not only bolstering Hindu pride at the expense of minorities, but also building a large, integrated, high-tech economy. So far the two ambitions have gone together, but that may not always be so.

A report on why India is likely to be this year’s fastest-growing big economy despite “ups and downs and bitter controversy.”

↩︎ The Economist
A new group is funding a corps of 17 scientist "scouts" to look for innovative, risky ideas to fight climate change.
The US is pumping billions into Ukraine, almost nothing into its climate obligations. "Climate change continues to be scarier."
A study finds the typical rich American is the owner of a regional business, such as an “auto dealer” or a “beverage distributor."

One of the most accomplished producers in pop music history seeking a “fallback gig” may sound bizarre. But his current mood is decidedly solemn. “I feel like this is the last round of… of making music,” he says. “I think… I don’t know, I think this is it.”

A day in the life of Chad Hugo, formerly of the Neptunes duo with Pharrell, now playing weekly in a community jazz band.

↩︎ GQ
Why does the story of Goldilocks remain popular? It's all about repetition and recursion and the number three.
Prior to Disneyland, ostrich farms were some of Southern California's first amusement parks.
The insides of most vending machines haven't changed in decades. "Planogramming" is deciding what goes where.
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An interesting article at The Verge about a visit to robotics company Engineered Arts, where they're trying to create androids with a human body's dexterity.

(The video shows one of their most advanced machines responding when someone tries to touch its nose.)

As you get used to treating human-like automata as automata, you may slowly find yourself treating humans the same. It’s similar to the dilemma parents have with young children and Alexa. Should they be polite to the AI assistant because it encourages them to be polite to humans? Or is that the wrong way to treat a piece of software coded and controlled by a huge multinational corporation?

As I ponder this, Jackson and I walk past a desk laden with mechanical widgets undergoing stress tests. Pistons have been nailed to a wooden plank while, on a stand, tiny pulleys lift and lower a cup full of screws. And, true to Singler’s suggestion that humans will ascribe a bit of soul to just about anything that moves, I feel passing sympathy even for these tortured components.

Via The Browser

For your weekly soothe, "Joshua Tree, for orchestra," by Georg Friedrich Haas, from its Switzerland premier in 2020.

The watcher of the night sky inevitably looks at groups of stars, and these create pictures in the viewer’s imagination. However, when looking at the same area through a telescope, the sheer number of light spots makes it impossible to recognize structures. Everything revolves around density and imperceptible motion. That’s the phenomenon which I wanted to implement in music.

Via The Rest Is Noise

Gavin Francis: Considering the rise in antibiotic resistance, this "golden era" in medicine may be seen as an age of recklessness.
In 2021, the CEOs of America’s seven biggest publicly traded health insurance companies together earned more than $283 million.
Why are watches often set to 10:10 in ads? One theory is that the hands then resemble a smiling face.

One friend’s dad was a former professional drag racer whose compound included an airplane hangar, a forklift, a single-wide trailer, and a giant yard that occasionally doubled as a mud pit where people would race beater cars while crashing into each other.

Drew Millard on The Righteous Gemstones.

↩︎ Dirt
"There is no difference, ingredients-wise, between the Fanta in the fridge at the 7-Eleven and the Fanta of the spirits."
With the sunset of the iPod, here are the competitors that didn't make it.
Divers removed 25,000 pounds of trash from Lake Tahoe, 358.9 pounds of which were inner tubes.