Tech billionaire parenting

“Melinda Gates’s children don’t have smartphones and only use a computer in the kitchen. Her husband Bill spends hours in his office reading books while everyone else is refreshing their homepage. The most sought-after private school in Silicon Valley, the Waldorf School of the Peninsula, bans electronic devices for the under-11s and teaches the children …

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Economic growth

“Only in economics is endless expansion seen as a virtue. In biology it is called cancer.” (From David Pilling’s book “The Growth Delusion”). Pilling’s core contention is that gross domestic product – the measurement upon which so much economic analysis is based – is an arbitrary, oversimplified construct that we “slavishly follow” for no good …

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Fighting back against data harvesting, No.1

Data harvesting: the problem The original World Wide Web, invented by Tim Berners-Lee at the particle physics centre CERN near Geneva in 1999, was a “decentralised” affair. There were no central servers; websites ran on individual machines in universities, offices and bedrooms. Hosting a site just meant plugging a computer into your internet connection and …

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The Epicurean solutions to climate change

Climate change is without doubt the biggest threat facing the world. Although it doesn’t mean the end of civilisation just yet, the adverse effects of climate change are getting progressively worse. Extreme weather is becoming more frequent. Crop yields in many parts of the developing world are becoming more common. Drought has become a routine …

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Making fun of British scientific studies

Apparently, British scientists are the butt of constant jokes in Russia. Can you work out which of these are Russian headlines about real studies, and which are jokes? 1. British scientists have established the height of Cinderella’s heels. 2. British scientists have found that women more often reach orgasm if they have sex in their …

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