Thursday, June 9th, 2016


You Can’t Hide Behind the Wheel

"Data shows that the vehicle was traveling at 6 mph when the accelerator pedal was abruptly increased to 100 percent … Consistent with the driver's actions, the vehicle applied torque and accelerated as instructed." Last week, a guy who got into an accident while driving his Tesla tried to blame the car. But the connected car knew, and shared, the truth. Welcome to the future where always-on, always connected software will be the world's most invasive backseat driver. From MIT Tech Review: Before long, every move you make behind the wheel may be recorded and sent over the Internet. I'm OK if my car tells the Internet how I drive, as long as it doesn't share what I scream with the windows rolled up.

+ "If engineers set the rules, they're making ethical decisions for drivers. But if a car learns on its own, it becomes its own ethical agent. It decides who to kill." Cade Metz in Wired: Self-driving cars will teach themselves to save lives -- but also take them.

+ "Zee.Aero, however, is just one part of Page's plan to usher in an age of personalized air travel, free from gridlocked streets and the cramped indignities of modern flight. Like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, Page is using his personal fortune to build the future of his childhood dreams." While you're worried about life on the roads, Larry Page is funding a couple of startups aimed at developing flying cars.


Separation Anxiety

"Part of what makes those schools desirable to white parents, aside from the academics, is that they have some students of color, but not too many. This carefully curated integration, the kind that allows many white parents to boast that their children's public schools look like the United Nations, comes at a steep cost for the rest of the city's black and Latino children." In the NYT Magazine, Nikole Hannah-Jones connects a personal decision to a much broader issue: Choosing a School for My Daughter in a Segregated City.


Can’t Keep Guantanamo at Bay

"Because many of these incidents were large-scale firefights in a war zone, we cannot always distinguish whether Americans were killed by the former detainees or by others in the same fight." From WaPo: At least 12 released Guantanamo detainees implicated in attacks on Americans.


When Justice Just Ain’t

The Stanford rape case has surfaced many critical issues, including the very different experiences and treatment of defendants who enjoy some of society's key advantages. From Rachel Marshall in Vox: I'm a public defender. What if my clients got the same treatment as Brock Turner?

+ "I am filled with furious anger -- both that this happened to you and that our culture is still so broken that you were ever put in the position of defending your own worth." Joe Biden writes an open letter to the Stanford victim.

+ In the Daily News, Shaun King shares the details of a similar case with a very different outcome. How race affects sentencing

+ Do we have enough data to connect this single case to broader societal problems and open a discussion about sexual assault, race, fairness in the legal system, and the way we treat victims? Hell yes. Do we have enough data to be publicly calling for the expulsion of a judge based on a single case about which we know only what we've read? Hell no. And even if we did, it's not clear that we should. Slate's Mark Joseph Stern with a very interesting take: Justice for None.


Wait For It…

"Last year, inmates served 79,726 dead days at a cost of $143 per person per day in 2015. In other words, people spent 218 years' worth of unnecessary time in jail at a cost of $11 million to taxpayers." The Daily Beast on the time served by Chicago inmates before they ever get to trial. The period can often be longer than the maximum potential sentence even if they're ultimately found guilty.


Paving Mecca

"The ancient hills, the old stone homes and many of the sites linked to the life of the Prophet Muhammad have been obliterated by towering shopping malls, hotels and apartment blocks." The NYT on how things have changed as Mecca Goes Mega.


Ticket to Ride

As Democratic leaders urge Bernie Sanders to stand down, President Obama offered an official endorsement of Hillary Clinton. And now we head into the general election. Five months of it.


Too Busy Snapchatting?

According to the CDC, today's teens are a pretty cautious generation. From drug use to smoking, they shy away from risky behaviors. And fewer high school kids are having sex. I knew I was ahead of my time.


Letter to the Editor

"I've been doing this for 30 years, but I'm having another birthday this weekend. I just know that I no longer have the energy that the newspaper needs and the readers deserve." Ross Connelly is going to give away his weekly newspaper to the person who writes the best essay explaining why they deserve it. He's so behind the times. The newspaper should go to the person who's able to write the most clickbaity headline.


Bottom of the News

Snoop Dogg throwing out the first pitch before the Padres game is the greatest anti-drug PSA I've ever seen.

+ The animals behind power outages. I'm not saying there's a broad conspiracy here, but I'm a vegetarian and my power never goes out.

+ Look to your early childhood to figure out why you sweat so much.