Technology

Why Oil Prices May Go on Falling – Forever

Dieter Helm— When the Saudis decided to draw a halt to the great shale oil boom in the United States at the end of 2014, they thought they could administer a short, sharp shock of lower prices that would kill off this threat, and then the market would rebalance again

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The (False) Promise of Social Media Self-Enterprise

Brooke Erin Duffy— With the skyrocketing growth of the independent employment economy, entrepreneurialism has emerged as a profoundly romanticized ideal for workers and career aspirants alike. A survey published last year by the Economic Innovation Group reported that sixty-two percent of eighteen to thirty-four year olds have considered launching their

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What Gravitational-Wave Astronomy May Reveal

Marcia Bartusiak— Early last year, the field of astrophysics announced one of its biggest discoveries. A cosmic phenomenon that Albert Einstein had predicted a century earlier was at last detected directly. Two massive black holes collided, their spectacular merger generating huge ripples—gravitational waves—in the very fabric of space-time. After spreading

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Ep. 29 – Social Media and Protests

What role does social media play in networked protests? Zeynep Tufekci discusses this, online privacy, and how to combat fake news online.

Returning to the Final Frontier?

Valerie Neal— In the 1960s, Americans were clear about the reasons to embark on travel across the vast new ocean of space. More than once, President John F. Kennedy presented a clear and compelling rationale, best distilled in a speech delivered at Rice University on September 12, 1962. Near the

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From FM to the Smartphone: The Evolution of Radio Media

Thomas Hazlett— The Age of Wireless has triggered excitement, disruption, and challenge. Debates rage on about the value of social media, how to deal with the threat of cyber hacking, and the regulation of emerging networks. But beneath it all lies a hardened policy structure that doles out radio spectrum

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The Rare Metals of the iPhone

David S. Abraham— Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was incredulous. “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance,” Ballmer prophesied during a CEO Forum before Steve Jobs released the iPhone in June. But, by the end of the first week of sales, most

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Changing Technology, Changing Childhood

Patti Valkenburg— Every now and then, I hear teachers lament that today’s children have changed. And they are right. In the West, this generation of children exhibits significant developmental differences that distinguish them from generations that grew up without television, video games, and smartphones. Today’s children are more self-confident, more assertive, and

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Decarbonization and the Fossil Fuels – What Happens Next?

Dieter Helm— The simple answer is that if Paris is the best we can do to decarbonize the global energy system, the companies can relax and carry on as usual. Paris keeps the climate change bureaucracy in business, and the UN in the game, but it emphatically does not do

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Digitalization: The Deadly Threat to Fossil Fuels

Dieter Helm— Decarbonization should eventually bring about the end of fossil fuels, but they face a much more immediate threat. That threat is digitalization. Everything digital is electric. The future of energy is therefore electric too. Whilst there are some people who think that the impact of the communications revolution

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