MEGAN GARBEROCT 21 2014, 7:45 AM ET
So many loves start with a “hey.” A tentative “hey.” A hopeful “hey.” And more often than ever that “hey” is not spoken, but sent through a text message.
That first “hey,” if all goes well, is returned; from there, the “hey” becomes a plan to get together. Which becomes another plan to get together. And then more plans, and then more plans, until making plans becomes redundant.
In October of 2009, Alice Zhao’s boyfriend gave her a gift to celebrate the one-year anniversary of their first date: a Word document containing all of the text messages they’d exchanged during the previous year. He called his present, awesomely, #thegiftofdata. This October, to commemorate their sixth year together, Zhao took that Word doc and expanded it. She took the texts from their first year together and then compared them to another set of data she’d gathered: texts from their sixth year—a year that saw the two transitioning from engaged to newlywed.
What Zhao found was, if not scientifically rigorous, then romantically revealing
Kulang yung report. Squatter ba mga ito? Sino ba nakinabang sa MRT3, LRT1 and 2? The people who benefit are not exclusively the elite who control the corporations that have extracted onerous or disadvantageous contracts from probably corrupt or incompetent government officials but also the daily commuter who are the back bone of our economy. The Call center people, the services people, the IT, construction, manufacturing people who produce stuff. What is needed is to ensure that these contracts are not unfair to the government pretty much what the MRT3 contract was.
Worth P63.7 billion, the project will displace 1,250 farmers in Barangay Tungkong Manga’s 300 hectares contested agricultural land controlled by Greg Araneta, believed to be a relative of Interior Secretary Mar Roxas. Also, the project will be a threat to displace 40,000 residents of Pangarap Village in Calocan City and thousands more in other parts of Caloocan and Quezon City.
Representative Fernando “Ka Pando” Hicap said that “The Aquino government is willing to sacrifice the livelihood and homes of farmers and urban residents to give way to the whims of his uncle and cronies on their ambitious PPP project. MRT 7 project is a loud example of brazen plunder of public funds.”
I’m not that familiar with how corporations/individual pledges to schools are taxed but I have hunch that something similar is happening in the Philippines.
In 2002, Meg Whitman (Princeton class of ‘77), then president of eBay, pledged $30 million to her alma mater to be put toward building a dorm in her own name. The ultimate cost of the 500-student dorm, which required “skilled masons to cut thousands of pieces of stone” and featured three-inch-thick oak doors, worked out to about $200,000 per bed. Despite parting with $30 million at the time, one economist estimated that the real cost of the donation to her was much less: $20 million, thanks to the tax exemptions that come with donating to a university. In essence, the U.S. Treasury covered the $10 million gap.
The government—and thus, taxpayers—give a surprising amount of money to elite private colleges, a lot of which is hard to see because it comes in the form of tax deductions like Whitman’s. Equally hard to see, and perhaps even more lucrative, is that the federal government doesn’t tax the income that universities earn on their billion-dollar endowments. Some of these deductions exist to promote research; others exist because colleges, as institutions, make commitments to serve the public good.
When taking these tax exemptions into account, far more government money per student is going toward selective private schools than to less-selective public schools. According to Robert Reich, a professor of public policy at UC Berkeley, the average amount of money that the government gives to public universities is less than $4,000 per student, and the average amount it effectively gives to Princeton, for example, is more than $50,000 per student.
What’s the difference between telling people they shouldn’t do something and telling them they shouldn’t do something? If you have dysprosody, nothing. People with dysprosody can’t control the stresses in their speech, and it makes a world of difference.
Those who have studied poetry will be familiar with, and perhaps exasperated by, the concept of prosody. Prosody is the rhythm, intonation, and stress of speech. Most people study it, however briefly, in school when they cover a poetry unit – mapping out the pauses and stresses in sonnets and other rhythmic poems. Prosody isn’t a strictly artistic invention. The way we stress and intone words in everyday speech conveys a great deal of meaning.
Now you’re thinking with Portals. Or rather, you should be – according to research from Florida State University, which has shown that playing Portal 2 is apparently better for your thinking skills than your average ‘brain training’ software.
The short study, conducted by Valerie Shute, only took place over 8 hours – so whilst it doesn’t give us the full picture for her findings, it does show an interesting starting point for seeing how mainstream video games can aid with a better understanding of Neuroplasticity (the idea that an adult brain can grow and change for the better through training and constructive methods of play).
Shute and her colleagues split their test subjects into two groups: One group played popular brain training software Lumosity for 8 hours, the other played Portal 2. After their playing sessions, the groups were then subjected to a deadly neurotoxin a series of standard cognitive skills tests – and the group that had spent their time outwitting GLaDOS trumped the group who’d played Lumosity in every one.
“There is a very strong track record of places that attract talent becoming places of long-term success,” said Edward Glaeser, an economist at Harvard and author of “Triumph of the City.” “The most successful economic development policy is to attract and retain smart people and then get out of their way.”
The economic effects reach beyond the work the young people do, according to Enrico Moretti, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of “The New Geography of Jobs.” For every college graduate who takes a job in an innovation industry, he found, five additional jobs are eventually created in that city, such as for waiters, carpenters, doctors, architects and teachers.
“It’s a type of growth that feeds on itself — the more young workers you have, the more companies are interested in locating their operations in that area and the more young people are going to move there,” he said.
About 25 percent more young college graduates live in major metropolitan areas today than in 2000, which is double the percentage increase in cities’ total population. All the 51 biggest metros except Detroit have gained young talent, either from net migration to the cities or from residents graduating from college, according to the report. It is based on data from the federal American Community Survey and written by Joe Cortright, an economist who runs City Observatory and Impresa, a consulting firm on regional economies.
In his backpack, Wouter Slotboom, 34, carries around a small black device, slightly larger than a pack of cigarettes, with an antenna on it. I meet Wouter by chance at a random cafe in the center of Amsterdam. It is a sunny day and almost all the tables are occupied. Some people talk, others are working on their laptops or playing with their smartphones.
Wouter removes his laptop from his backpack, puts the black device on the table, and hides it under a menu. A waitress passes by and we ask for two coffees and the password for the WiFi network. Meanwhile, Wouter switches on his laptop and device, launches some programs, and soon the screen starts to fill with green text lines. It gradually becomes clear that Wouter’s device is connecting to the laptops, smartphones, and tablets of cafe visitors.
On his screen, phrases like “iPhone Joris” and “Simone’s MacBook” start to appear. The device’s antenna is intercepting the signals that are being sent from the laptops, smartphones, and tablets around us.