The New York Times
4 min read
Entrepreneurship

In Silicon Valley, Working 9 to 5 Is for Losers

Silicon Valley prides itself on “thinking different.” So maybe it makes sense that just as a lot of industries have begun paying more attention to work-life balance, Silicon Valley is taking the opposite approach — and branding workaholism as a desirable lifestyle choice. An entire cottage industry has sprung up there, selling an internet-centric prosperity gospel that says that there is no higher calling than to start your own company, and that to succeed you must be willing to give up everything. “Hustle” is the word that tech people use to describe this nerd-commando lifestyle. You hear it
Entrepreneur
3 min read
Tech

This 25-Year-Old Entrepreneur Is Trying to Do the Impossible: Make Sense of the Government

By age 19, Tim Hwang had worked as a field organizer for Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign and served as an elected official on Maryland’s Montgomery County Board of Education. Now he’s 25 and the co-founder and CEO of FiscalNote, a Washington, D.C.-based tech startup that’s trying to do the impossible: Make sense of the government.  Related: How This Startup Helps People Find Common Political Ground What attracted you to politics? When I was young, politics seemed like a really big opportunity to take a small amount of your time and aggregate it into a larger impact. Whether it’s local politics or
Popular Science
4 min read
Science

Yes, Humans Are Still Evolving. Here's How You Can Tell.

It's a common misconception that humans evolved from apes. In fact, we both evolved from a common ancestor—and we're both still evolving. Depositphotos The nice thing about bacteria is that they multiply really fast. This is inconvenient if they happen to infect, but useful if you want to see how evolution works. Put antibiotics on a Petri dish with enough bacteria, and a few days later you’ll find that a lone bacterium—one that happened to be resistant to the drug's effects—is now recolonizing the plate. It’s natural selection in action. The reality is that every single living thing on Earth
The Atlantic
4 min read
Science

Huge DNA Databases Reveal the Recent Evolution of Humans

When we talk about human evolution, we usually talk about how we evolved into humans: how we lost body hair, gained brain mass, started to walk on two feet—in short, things that happened millions of years ago. But evolution did not stop when the first modern humans emerged. A new study of two massive genetic databases—one in the United Kingdom and one in California—suggests genetic mutations that shorten lifespans have been weeded out since, and are possibly still in the process of being weeded out today. The idea for the study, says Molly Przeworski, a geneticist at Columbia, came when the he
Newsweek
3 min read
Science

How Elon Musk Plans to Turn Humans Into Robots

Elon Musk wants to get inside your head. In April, the Silicon Valley billionaire announced plans to launch Neuralink—a company dedicated to developing a brain-to-machine interface to cure brain ailments like paralysis and memory problems and help people compete with robots when the artificial intelligence revolution makes human brains obsolete. Musk says this will be accomplished by implanting tiny electrodes into the brain—allowing for things like downloading and uploading memory and casual brain-to-brain communication. Leaders in the neurotechnology field welcome Musk’s arrival, while neuro
Bloomberg Businessweek
11 min read
Entrepreneurship

Ballers

ABOUT three years ago, in February 2014, Andre Iguodala spent a day during the NBA offseason at the offices of venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz in Menlo Park, Calif. Over the course of four hours in a conference room, the Golden State Warriors small forward heard pitches from a handful of startups in Andreessen’s portfolio. One shared its plan to disrupt the hair extensions business by selling directly to salons. Another explained how a mobile platform could help the secondhand clothing market move upscale. A third showed how an on-demand business model could transform the phone-screen
New York Magazine
18 min read
Tech

“Am I an Accomplice to This Terrible Thing That’s Happening?”

“EVERY DAY IS A LITTLE BIT WORSE,” a career employee at the Department of Homeland Security said when we talked in July. And this was before the president was equating white-supremacist demonstrators with those protesting against them and threatening volatile dictators with the possibility of military action. “But I can’t just say ‘Fuck off’ and leave,” the federal worker added. “I have a mortgage.” That reality is but one dilemma for the nonpolitical civil servant seven months into this divisive administration. Before Trump’s inauguration, there were estimates that a quarter or even a third o
Inc.
3 min read
Entrepreneurship

Bankruptcy, Jail, and a Second Chance

AS TOLD TO KATE ROCKWOOD HEATHER BLEASE SaviLinx → Three-year growth 9,204.3% 2016 revenue $11.4 MILLION BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR wasn’t something I set out to do. I told my father my favorite subjects were art and gym, and he suggested I go to college for electrical engineering. I wasn’t really math oriented, so it was a huge struggle. When the manufacturing plant I worked at was sold, I couldn’t get a straight answer about what was going to happen to me or my team. I was sick of waiting for a decision. Then it occurred to me that I could start my own business. My first contract was with my fo
New York Magazine
5 min read
Science

The “500-Year” Flood

David Wallace-Wells WAS HURRICANE HARVEY the result of climate change? The answer is complicated because weather is complicated, and probably the best science can say, really, is “In part.” But the question is ultimately semantic. As journalist Robinson Meyer and scientist Michael Mann explained very clearly and very helpfully in the aftermath of Harvey, global warming means more moisture in the air, which intensifies rainfall and flooding, and significant sea-level rise, which leads to bigger and more invasive storm surges. But the more important matter is not how much blame for Harvey we sh
New York Magazine
19 min read
Tech

This Is How Sexism Works in Silicon Valley

IN DECEMBER 2010, Sheryl Sandberg gave a talk about women’s leadership in which she mentioned “sitting at the table.” Women, she said, have to pull up a chair and sit at the conference-room table rather than clinging to the edges of the room, “because no one gets to the corner office by sitting on the side.” Less than a year later, I would take those words to heart. I had been working for six years at the Silicon Valley firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers as a junior partner and chief of staff for managing partner John Doerr. Kleiner was then one of the three most powerful venture-capital f
Bloomberg Businessweek
3 min read
Tech

Doctors Without Patients

Anne Mostue Matthew Alkaitis, a third-year student at Harvard Medical School, is calm, friendly, and a good listener—the kind of qualities you’d want in a doctor. But though he spends 14 hours a day studying for his board exams, the 29-year-old isn’t certain how long he’ll be wearing a white coat. In September, Alkaitis, who also has a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences, will begin a two-year fellowship at McKinsey & Co., where he’ll be advising clients in the health-care field. “I really hope that my career involves a period of dedicated time taking care of patients,” he says. “But I also have thi
Bloomberg Businessweek
15 min read
Tech

Life, Or Something Like It

Story Ashlee Vance People get up to weird things in New Zealand. At the University of Auckland, if you want to run hours upon hours of experiments on a baby trapped in a high chair, that’s cool. You can even have a conversation with her surprisingly chatty disembodied head. BabyX, the virtual creation of Mark Sagar and his researchers, looks impossibly real. The child, a 3D digital rendering based on images of Sagar’s daughter at 18 months, has rosy cheeks, warm eyes, a full head of blond hair, and a soft, sweet voice. When I visited the computer scientist’s lab last year, BabyX was stuck in
The New York Times
4 min read
Tech

These Are Not the Robots We Were Promised

From the moment we humans first imagined having mechanical servants at our beck and call, we’ve assumed they would be constructed in our own image. Outfitted with arms and legs, heads and torsos, they would perform everyday tasks that we’d otherwise have to do ourselves. Like the indefatigable maid Rosie on “The Jetsons,” the officious droid C-3PO in “Star Wars” and the tortured “host” Dolores Abernathy in “Westworld,” the robotic helpmates of popular culture have been humanoid in form and function. It’s time to rethink our assumptions. A robot invasion of our homes is underway, but the machin
Fast Company
7 min read
Entrepreneurship

Uber’s Driving Lessons

Not long after Uber cofounder Travis Kalanick was forced to step down as CEO following a spate of scandals at his ride-hailing company, one influential venture capitalist tried to convince me that there were no larger lessons to be learned from the debacle. Uber, explained this VC, who would only speak on the condition of anonymity, was not emblematic of some “rottenness” at the heart of Silicon Valley. Rather, Kalanick’s tenure at Uber was simply an “anomaly.” Across the tech industry, startup founders, employees, and investors have been grappling with how to interpret Kalanick’s stunning ri
Fast Company
15 min read
Science

23andMe’s Comeback

WEARING A BLUE FLEECE JACKET, RUNNING SHORTS, AND SNEAKERS, HER HAIR IN A PONYTAIL, ANNE WOJCICKI IS RECOUNTING HER EVENING OUT THE NIGHT BEFORE. SHE AND A COUPLE OF FRIENDS HAD GONE TO SEE U2 AT LEVI’S STADIUM IN SANTA CLARA (SHE’S FRIENDLY WITH THE BAND), AND WOJCICKI HAD FORGOTTEN NOT ONLY HER FRIENDS’ TICKETS BUT HER OWN ACCESS BADGE, TOO. SO, SHE SAYS, “WE JUST BUSTED OUR WAY IN.” Wojcicki, sitting in a glass conference room at the Mountain View, California, office of 23andMe, the company she cofounded in 2006, seems not to appreciate the irony of her story. Just four years earlier she p
Fast Company
6 min read
Tech

Snap’s New Game Face

On an overcast morning in June, a dozen or so young illustrators and animators gather in the lunchroom at the Bitstrips offices, located in an unassuming industrial building in Toronto’s swiftly gentrifying Queen Street West neighborhood. The occasion is the creative department’s twice-weekly brainstorming session, known internally as a Bitmojam, during which a new crop of bitmoji, the company’s illustrated digital mash notes, will begin to take shape. On a whiteboard, someone has written out the day’s challenge: “Shade.” Below that are listed six mildly derisive comebacks one might find usefu
The Guardian
5 min read
Tech

I Used to Think Social Media Was a Force for Good. Now The Evidence Says I Was Wrong | Matt Haig

I used to think social media was essentially a force for good, whether it was to initiate the Arab spring of 2011, or simply as a useful tool for bringing together like-minded people to share videos of ninja cats. Having spent a lot of time thinking about mental health, I even saw social media’s much-maligned potential for anonymity as a good thing, helping people to open up about problems when they might not feel able to do so in that physical space we still quaintly call real life. I also knew from my own experience that it could sometimes provide a happy distraction from the evil twins of a
Entrepreneur
4 min read
Entrepreneurship

An Experimental, Tuition-Free Program Is Teaching Business Lessons Using Hip Hop

In a modish co-working space overlooking downtown Philadelphia, Imowo “Veli” Udo-Uton has six minutes to persuade six investors to finance his startup. He has an event production company he wants to take to the next level, and, clad in a baseball cap and black-framed glasses, he outlines his plan -- his ticket sale models, room occupancy caps and the first few big venues he can get with more capital. He tries to keep it animated and conversational. But midway through, he falters. Related: 6 Tips for Perfecting Your Elevator Pitch “I feel like I’m talking too much,” he says. “I’m not presenting
Nautilus
15 min read
Science

Why Hasn’t Evolution Made Another Platypus?: The debate over whether evolution is predictable or haphazard.

Snuffling through the underbrush, the shaggy little creature wanders through the sylvan night, sticking its nose in one place, then another, seeking the aroma of its soft-bodied dinner. The forest is dark and the pixie’s eyesight poor, but long whiskers and a keen sense of smell allow it to get around. Threatened, it takes off at breakneck speed, barreling through the vegetation, ducking through holes, soon lost from sight. An entirely unexceptional lifestyle. Many animals spend their nights cruising the forest floor, searching for small prey in a similar fashion: Hedgehogs, shrews, weasels, t
Nautilus
6 min read
Science

What the Meadow Teaches Us: Feeling is the physics of the organic world.

Anyone who believes that life is a battlefield full of individual warriors should go out into the meadows on a spring night. There, you can learn that the biosphere does not spawn cutoff, clearly differentiated individuals who compete against one another—assuming you find such a meadow; that is, now that some farmers have started to sow a single, standardized species of grass. In my little Italian village, the narrow streets climb into the hills where the meadows are still allowed to grow wild in the springtime. Within two or three weeks, the stalks swell into a multitude of meadow-grasses and
Newsweek
16 min read
Politics

Bad News Bots

One night in mid-March, Alan Malcher, a British military veteran, dropped into the Queen’s Arms, a working-class pub in north London. He took a seat at the bar and ordered his customary pint of Foster’s. Within a few minutes, a stranger sidled up, ordered a drink and started a conversation. He soon brought up Russian President Vladimir Putin and began saying positive things about the Moscow-backed separatist civil war in Ukraine. “He was going on about Putin being a strong leader,” Malcher recalls. “Somebody to admire.” The stranger’s comments, delivered with a thick Slavic accent, made Malche
Nautilus
8 min read
Science

How Much More Can We Learn About the Universe?: These are the few limits on our ability to know.

As a cosmologist, some of the questions I hear most frequently after a lecture include: What lies beyond our universe? What is our universe expanding into? Will our universe expand forever? These are natural questions to ask. But there is an even deeper question at play here. Fundamentally what we really want to know is: Is there a boundary to our knowledge? Are there fundamental limits to science? The answer, of course, is that we don’t know in advance. We won’t know if there is a limit to knowledge unless we try to get past it. At the moment, we have no sign of one. We may be facing roadbloc
The Atlantic
4 min read
Science

Hurricane Harvey Lays Bare Our New Bargain With Nature

As I write this, the disaster of Hurricane Harvey is still unfolding. Buckets of rain are still falling in Houston and the waters are still rising. The flood damage, biblical in proportion, is frightening to behold. Even as the rescue efforts continue, many are wondering, “Is this the new normal for our coastal cities?” As Earth’s climate changes we can expect more destructive hurricanes. As sea level and surface temperatures rise, more solar energy is trapped in the atmosphere, revving up the hydrological cycle of evaporation and precipitation, and sometimes manifesting in terrifying storms.
Bloomberg Businessweek
2 min read
Tech

North Korea Is Hacking Bitcoin

Yuji Nakamura and Sam Kim As the United Nations imposes additional sanctions on North Korea over its nuclear tests and the U.S. threatens even more, Kim Jong Un’s regime appears to be stepping up efforts to secure bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that it could use to skirt trade restrictions. North Korean hackers are increasing their attacks on cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea and related sites, according to a report from security researcher FireEye Inc. They also breached an English-language bitcoin news website and collected bitcoin ransom payments in WannaCry attacks in May and J
Men's Health
2 min read
Science

6 Rules of Restorative Sleep

Just because you didn’t get eight hours of sleep doesn’t necessarily mean you had a crummy night’s rest. Be subjective: How did you feel when you woke up in the morning? Were you sleepy during the day, or did you feel engaged? If you felt alert, you probably had better quality sleep than you think. If you usually sleep, say, six hours, try to spend this amount of total time in bed. Lying there for eight hours just because everyone says you need a full eight hours of shuteye feeds frustration and teaches your brain that awake time in bed is okay. Reserve your bedroom for sleeping and, of course
The Atlantic
3 min read
Science

The Secret Logic of Cows

A cluster of cows browsing under the summer sun might look like they haven’t a care in the world. But the life of a herd animal is filled with trade-offs and decisions. Although they seem interchangeable, each one is an individual with its own particular desires. If a cow isn’t finished eating or lying down digesting by the time the herd picks up and moves, it may have to go along anyway. There are benefits to staying together, in that it means less danger from predators. But research has shown that cows that are made to move more frequently than they’d like grow more slowly, perhaps from the
The Wall Street Journal
8 min read
Tech

The Equifax Hack Was One of the Most Significant in Recent Years. Here’s How It Went Down.

On March 8, researchers at Cisco Systems Inc. reported an online security flaw that allowed hackers to break into servers around the internet. Cisco urged users to upgrade their systems immediately with a newly issued fix. Equifax Inc. was among the companies using the flawed software. On Friday, it said its technology experts at the time worked to identify and patch vulnerable systems. In late July, though, Atlanta-based Equifax discovered suspicious traffic on its system—and found the same security flaw still existed in some areas. The company’s security staff again addressed the problem, a
Mic
4 min read
Tech

What Do Future Cities Look Like?

City planning in the 21st century often requires navigating a Pandora’s Box of complicated, interconnected issues. In population-dense urban centers like San Francisco, for example, strict zoning laws clash with a need for more housing. In contrast, further south in Los Angeles, an abundance of new construction has exacerbated the city’s growing population. One common thread that connects city building across the national landscape is the slate of environmental concerns that arise with rampant urban development. Plans for a massive housing development in Los Angeles County have raised the ire
TIME
12 min read
Entrepreneurship

Kid Sports Inc.

NAME_ JOEY ERACE AGE_ 10 SPORT_ Baseball “I love working hard,” says Joey, who lives in southern New Jersey but has suited up for teams based in California and Texas. His Instagram account @joeybaseball12 has more than 24,000 followers. NAME_ KING-RILEY OWENS AGE_ 9 SPORT_ Basketball King-Riley, who is ranked as a five-star prospect by the National Youth Basketball Report, lives in L.A. but has already played in tournaments in Utah, Texas and Nevada. His parents have used GoFundMe to help pay for the travel. If the NBA doesn’t work out, King-Riley wants to be a veterinarian. NAME_ MELA
Entrepreneur
13 min read
Entrepreneurship

How Glossier Hacked Social Media to Build A Cult-Like Following

On a Thursday afternoon in late spring, 32-year-old Glossier founder and CEO Emily Weiss rides the elevator to the penthouse level of her company’s downtown Manhattan headquarters. She’s a thoroughly millennial girlboss in jeans, sneakers and a royal blue sweatshirt with weiss embroidered in small white script. Her hair is pulled back in a ponytail, and for the founder of a beauty products company, she wears notably little makeup -- just some mascara and possibly a swipe of Glossier Lip Gloss, a recent product release touted online as having a “fuzzy doe-foot applicator.”  A former teen model,