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The U-9 and the Realm of the Unexpected

Exactly 100 years ago the world was reminded yet again that war — declared or undeclared — is in many ways a chronicle of disastrous assumptions and unpleasant surprises.

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Flash Point: New Oil-by-Rail Rules

Proposed regulations of oil-bearing trains pose several challenges and divert us from more important safety questions.

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The Long-Hours Luxury

One factor that is often overlooked in the debate over causes of income inequality is a shift in the distribution of working hours. The rich now work more than the poor.

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Big Data: Here to Stay, but with Caveats

Criticism of big data is due to three paradoxes. For starters, it's ubiquitous but hard to define.

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Uber Upstarts: Technological Progress and Its Discontents

The battle between new smartphone-enabled 'transportation network companies' and legacy taxicabs largely mirrors the age-old war over productivity, a war that only ever has one outcome.

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The Refrigerator's Cool Century

The home refrigerator, a vital but modest technology, is 100 years old.

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The Genetics Revolution Challenge and How to Incentivize Biomedical Research

The genetics revolution poses challenges to the way that the FDA and patent system influence medical research. Prize-grants could be better suited to providing incentives for the sort of research becoming valuable.

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Aereo Decision a Boon, Not a Bane for Innovation

Aereo’s system was a case of legal engineering rather than technical ingenuity.

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The Natural Gas Boom: Questions and Complications

Complex changes do not bring unalloyed benefits, and rather than adhering to a simplistic infatuation with new riches, we should recognize a number of already obvious complications and ask a number of necessary questions.

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The Future Electric Grid

We hear increasingly that technology is making today’s electric utility model ‘obsolete’ and will put its companies into a ‘death spiral.’ Is it possible that so much has changed so quickly?

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California’s New Solar Plant: Burning Up Taxpayer Money, Land, and Wildlife

While the federal government receives net payments for electricity-related oil and gas production on federal land, the net subsidy for the new Ivanpah solar plant is almost 300 times greater.

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New FDA E-cigarette Regulations: Killing an Industry, Killing Smokers

If the FDA's proposed regulations go into force, the likely outcome is a severe reduction in consumer choice, and thus fewer smokers quitting and more dying needlessly.

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Crowdfunders' Losing Deal

Shouldn’t those who contribute the funds to launch successful startups also share in any profits?

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Could Computers Get Too Smart?

Some scientists and philosophers worry that artificial intelligence may someday make humanity superfluous.

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Sweden’s Swing toward a Free Market

Startups and regulatory restraint have fueled Swedish economic growth.

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‘Cleantech’ Gets Clocked By 60 Minutes, and the Usual Suspects Try to Make Lemonade

Despite massive taxpayer-funded subsidies, ‘clean energy’ is a failure because it remains far too expensive to compete in the marketplace.

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How Teachers Can Best Use Tech

Technology is creating a revolution that could profoundly improve our schools, but getting digital learning right is more about the planning than the purchase order.

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Higher Education’s Internet Revolution

The biggest surprise about Massive Open Online Courses is how conservative they are.

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Scientific Groupthink and Gay Parenting

The controversy over a recent study on gay parenting illustrates a sociopolitical groupthink operating in the social scientific community. Scientists should go where the science takes them, not where their politics does.

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The Arctic Becomes a Hot Spot

The main source of global energy reserves and geopolitical tensions could shift in the not-too-distant future from the Middle East to the Arctic. Here’s why.

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