A Matter of Degrees

Also: Why are we here? And why isn't Credit Suisse? (#434)

This is David, your diligent curator. Welcome back, it's great to have you.

1. The future we choose

No link to click for once, just one graphic to take a long hard look at. Its name is SYR.1c, it features prominently in the IPCC's latest Synthesis Report on everything science knows about the climate and the futures we're headed for. It's futures in plural, because none of them are set in stone, we choose our path with the actions we take in the coming years.

2. Origins: Why are we here?

An excellent three-part series on the origins of life on Earth from Vox' Unexplainable podcast. Or to make things more personal: Why are we here?

  • Part 1: How did all the water come to that fireball in space we now call Earth?
  • Part 2: What was the first ever living thing? (and what do man-made aliens have to do with it?).
  • Part 3: What do we even mean by «life»?

3. ​​Inside the Suspicion Machine

You've probably heard of stories where algorithms have been used to assess people and — surprise, surprise — turned out to be extremely biased. What makes this one so insightful is that it lays bare how exactly the system worked, and how it targeted the most vulnerable people. Reading this really makes you wonder how anyone could look at this algorithm and be like: Yes, this is something we should be using against out citizens.

Inside the Suspicion Machine
Obscure government algorithms are making life-changing decisions about millions of people around the world. Here, for the first time, we reveal how one of these systems works.