Pocket Articles

Things I’ve read, worth reading.

How Will Police Solve Murders on Mars?

Mars P.D. will have to deal with new blood-spatter patterns, different body decay rates, and space-suit sabotage—and they won’t be able to fire guns indoors. If humans ever go to Mars, the worst of our impulses will accompany us there.

The Atlantic • 4133 words • 19 minute read

Design Thinking Is Fundamentally Conservative and Preserves the Status Quo

When it comes to design thinking, the bloom is off the rose. Billed as a set of tools for innovation, design thinking has been enthusiastically and, to some extent, uncritically adopted by firms and universities alike as an approach for the development of innovative solutions to complex problems.

Harvard Business Review • 2901 words • 13 minute read

Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds

The economist J.K. Galbraith once wrote, “Faced with a choice between changing one’s mind and proving there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy with the proof.”

James Clear • 1993 words • 9 minute read

The Problem With the Facebook Cafeteria and Free Food

This spring, Facebook announced plans to expand beyond its Menlo Park headquarters into neighboring Mountain View, which is also home to Google headquarters. In the fall, Facebook will take over two eight-story buildings in the California suburb.

The Ringer • 1960 words • 9 minute read

Why Westerners Fear Robots and the Japanese Do Not

As a Japanese, I grew up watching anime like Neon Genesis Evangelion, which depicts a future in which machines and humans merge into cyborg ecstasy. Such programs caused many of us kids to become giddy with dreams of becoming bionic superheroes.

WIRED • 1677 words • 8 minute read

The Bullshit Web

My home computer in 1998 had a 56K modem connected to our telephone line; we were allowed a maximum of thirty minutes of computer usage a day, because my parents — quite reasonably — did not want to have their telephone shut off for an evening at a time.

2269 words • 10 minute read

How an Ex-Cop Rigged McDonald’s Monopoly Game and Stole Millions

On Aug. 3, 2001, a McDonald’s film crew arrived in the bustling beach town of Westerly, Rhode Island. They carried their cameras and a giant cashier’s check to a row of townhouses, and knocked on the door of Michael Hoover.

The Daily Beast • 8444 words • 38 minute read

“I Was Devastated”: Tim Berners-Lee, the Man Who Created the World Wide Web, Has Some Regrets

“For people who want to make sure the Web serves humanity, we have to concern ourselves with what people are building on top of it,” Tim Berners-Lee told me one morning in downtown Washington, D.C., about a half-mile from the White House.

Vanity Fair • 2989 words • 14 minute read

It’s time to rein in the data barons

When Mark Zuckerberg appeared before Congress earlier this year to discuss how the now-defunct political-data company Cambridge Analytica acquired data of up to 87 million Facebook users without their knowledge or consent, one of the few pointed questions came from Lindsey Graham, a Republican senat

MIT Technology Review • 3239 words • 15 minute read

Do 'Close Door' Buttons in Elevators Actually Do Anything?

When you’re running late for work, one small comfort is finding an empty elevator waiting for you at your office building. You scurry inside, and since no one else is waiting to enter, you jab the 'close door' button. The doors comply, the elevator starts moving, and you breathe a sigh of relief.

Mental Floss • 735 words • 3 minute read