Why China’s Scientists Got the Wrong Message

In 2016 it appeared that China had become a research powerhouse. In 2017 they discovered a problem. This is the story of how incentives can have unintended consequences. Chinese R&D In 2016, the numbers told a phenomenal story. China was…

Puerto Rico’s Solar Power Alternative

This satellite picture shows how San Juan, Puerto Rico used to sparkle at night: But since Hurricane Maria, no more: Currently, 10% of the island has power. So there is little running water and few flushing toilets. Similarly, air conditioning…

What Amazon Wants For Its HQ2

Our story starts with one of the transistor’s inventors. According to a Wired article, William Shockley is the reason that Silicon Valley grows chips instead of apricots. Although Shockley Semiconductor failed, its employees created a local diaspora of techies. Similar…

Why We Buy Our iPhones

With its newest and priciest product launch, Apple has made iPhone conspicuous consumption the reason to buy their phone.

Why It Helps to Have (Emoji) Standardization

We know that transactions are easier when weights and measures and times are standardized but do we need emoji standardization?

What Technology Entrepreneurs Want From Government

With Silicon Valley being called a massive ATM, researchers looked at the opinions of elite technology entrepreneurs to see their political influence.

Looking at Invisible Labor

While a diplomat negotiates a treaty and a singer records music, few of us recognize the invisible labor that made their work possible.

Looking at the Southwest Effect

Sometimes invisible, the Southwest Effect has influenced air fares and air traffic since the 1970s when Southwest was a small Texas carrier.

When the Power of the Market Affects Commodity Prices

The results of the bet between biologist Paul Ehrlich and economist Julian Simon showed how the power of the market affects commodity prices.

Throwback Thursday: Remembering the Best French Fries

#TBT Throwback Thursday: Looking back at the original McDonald’s french fries that were made with beef tallow, we could say that the taste was worth the fat.