Land Use in the USA, very little is used for urban dwelling but most of the population lives there.

There are many statistical measures that show how productive the U.S. is. Its economy is the largest in the world and grew at a rate of 4.1 percent last quarter, its fastest pace since 2014. The unemployment rate is near the lowest mark in a half century.

What can be harder to decipher is how Americans use their land to create wealth. The 48 contiguous states alone are a 1.9 billion-acre jigsaw puzzle of cities, farms, forests and pastures that Americans use to feed themselves, power their economy and extract value for business and pleasure.

Sid Mukherjee discuss the future of genetics

Mukherjee charts the questions, discoveries, and mysteries that led to the formulation of modern genetics, and he offers a variety of ways our insight into heredity and our ability to read genetic codes will influence our future.

Koch-Backed CATO Institute: ‘Time for the U.S. to Have Open Borders

n an op-ed for USA Today, the Cato Institute’s Director of Economic Studies, Jeffrey Miron, says the U.S. “has nothing to fear, and much to gain, from open borders,” saying that Americans should “forget” about putting a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border to stop illegal immigration.

The Decline of Import Duties

The government on Thursday raised the basic on a range of products from consumer goods and automotive parts to fully and partly built vehicles and medical devices, among others. The hike was to the tune of 5-10 per cent with an additional surcharge slapped on the basic Customs duty, making goods costlier as a result.


An argument for why Bitcoin is insurance for us all.

Let us follow the logic of things from the beginning. Or, rather, from the end: modern times. We are, as I am writing these lines, witnessing a complete riot against some class of experts, in domains that are too difficult for us to understand, such as macroeconomic reality, and in which not only the expert is not an expert, but he doesn’t know it. That previous Federal Reserve bosses, Greenspan and Bernanke, had little grasp of empirical reality is something we only discovered a bit too late: one can macroBS longer than microBS, which is why we need to be careful on who to endow with centralized macro decisions.

Impact Bonds designed to pay for specific outcomes used to ensure Indian girls go through school.

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One problem to explain why AI works – Towards Data Science A framework for understanding AI and keeping up with it all.

Ask your resident experts, Why does AI work? Readily, they’ll explain How it works, methods emptying in a mesmerizing jargonfall of gradient descent. But why? Why will an expensive and inscrutable machine create the knowledge I need to solve my problem? A glossary of technical terms, an architectural drawing, or a binder full of credentials will do little to insulate you from the fallout if you can’t stand up and explain Why.

The real key to intelligence is being able to maintain opposing views on an issue and still function.

F. Scott Fitzgerald On First-Rate Intelligence – Personal Growth – Medium “Thetest of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability… 

WHEN pollsters ask Americans which party they plan to vote for in the elections for the House of Representatives this November, those preferring the Democrats lead those preferring the Republicans by around seven percentage points. But this does not mean the Democrats are a shoo-in to win the House. The Economist’s statistical model of the race for control of the House of Representatives—which uses this sort of “generic ballot” polling, along with other data—currently says that, although the likelihood of a Democratic majority in the popular vote is a remarkable 99.9%.

People are really into impact investing

There are now $228 billion in assets under management, according to a recent survey from the Global Impact Investing Network, which is up an estimated $114 billion since mid-2017. 

In just one year, the estimated value of the impact-investing sector has roughly doubled. There are now $228 billion in assets under management, according to a recent survey from the Global Impact Investing Network, which is up an estimated $114 billion since mid-2017. Placing bets that provide both a financial and social…

The rise of the United Nation’s data-driven Sustainable Development Goals offers everyone a major ledger to work against to work against, and a 2030 deadline to hit.

Good St. Makes It Easy For Startups (And Other Businesses) To Support Charities

Good St. bills itself as a way to change the world “one quarter at a time,” and now it’s offering a way to do that as a company.

When you sign up for Good St., you’re committing to donate as little as 25 cents each day. Then you’ll get a daily email describing two charities chosen by the Good St. team, and you can vote for the organization that you want to support…

This Website Makes Charitable Giving Simple, Good St. is a website that lets you donate a quarter a day to charities of your choice…

House Passes Bipartisan Prison Reform Bill

The bill earned diverse support from conservative groups – like the Charles Koch Institute and the Faith and Freedom Coalition – as well as progressive leaders like commentator Van Jones and his Dream Corps’ #cut50 initiative. But the ACLU and NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund opposed the bill, arguing it doesn’t go far enough.


Fourth Rikers Island Replacement Jail Site Announced

The Mayor of New York City has announced a plan to locate four jails in each borough except Staten Island. Last March he announced plans to close Rikers Island, but said at the time that it would take 10 years to do so.Will this announcement of the fourth jail site in the Bronx speed up that timeline?

Are Newly-Released Prisoners Being Ripped Off?

The vendors we use to assist Prisoners upon release are being questioned as to how well they are helping assist with a healthy return to society. Serious questions are being raised about the financial incentives associated with private and public partnerships in supporting the prison industrial complex. In this story JPay is investigated as to whether it’s debit card management system is adequately supporting prisoners upon re-entry to society. A lawsuit has been filed against them alleging that prisoners are forced into accepting their high-fee JPay debit cards to access their own money. 

a padlock sits atop credit cards

The Dark Side of the Gig Economy

yellow taxis on a New York City street

Ride sharing services are touted as great for a passenger, and even great for anyone looking to augment their income with a flexible side job. But there’s a dark side to this market disruption. There are plenty of financial and political questions to be asked.

There’s also a very high human cost to be paid.  Many limo and taxi drivers have been financially devastated and suffer from extreme stress and depression. This driver’s suicide raises tough question about how a gig economy affects the people providing the services.

When Words Fail To Mean What We Thought

As the #MeToo movement continues to spread to touch so many people and industries, sexual relationships are all over the news today. We believe it is appropriate to share the following stories that shed some light on yet another point of confusion.

The first story, a short story entitled Cat Person demonstrates the ambiguity of the word “relationship” itself. It originally appeared in the New Yorker, and you can read it here.

Jessica Bennett then expounded and expanded on the Cat Person story in her essay When Saying “Yes” Is Easier Than Saying ‘No’ in the New York Times Sunday review. Whether or not that cleared things up for you or confused you even further is something we’d love to get your comments on.

Workplace Automation News of Interest

robot pointing at its head

More than 960,000 Americans worked in the warehouse industry in October, 2017. That’s up 42% over the past decade according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. An additional 246,000 positions went unfilled. Several firms are racing to produce warehouse robots to aid humans in these jobs and help the companies that employ them compete against Amazon.

Art of the Steal

“The Art of the Steal” presents the story of how the largest private donation of art on the planet was stolen by local government. 

Or was it? A story of philanthropy, long term thinking, corporate strategy, and government adoption.

Hyperloop One Names Top 10 Routes

Hyperloop One, the company looking to actually build the first hyperloop transportation systems announced it’s list of finalists to be potential first routes for their groundbreaking transportation technology. It recently held a global competition requesting proposals for routes. 

The company’s goal is to build transportation networks for both people and cargo, using super low pressure sealed tubes and pods that float along a track using magnetic levitation, based on a technical concept first proposed by Elon Musk. They hope to have three routes working by 2021.

The Centennial No One Wants to Celebrate

When we talk about an “infrastructure” we are talking about the underlying systems that allow a ecosystem to stand and to function. In our case of New York City, the infrastructure consists of:

  • the roads, bridges, railways, ports and airports that bring in people and goods
  • the aquifers that supply the city’s water and the pipes that deliver it
  • the energy grid that feeds the city

NY to DC in 30 Minutes: Is the Hyperloop Coming?

Elon Musk’s Boring Company is ready to take a step closer towards making Hyperloop, the proposed high-speed transport system, a reality. Musk claims the vacuum-tube transport system that will connect New York and Washington, DC can go beyond 600mph, transporting passengers within approximately 29 minutes. If such technology pushes through, The Boring Company’s Hyperloop will help solve many public transportation problems many citizens and tourists are experiencing in New York and other linked cities.

Impact Forum V: Election Reform

Our 5th Impact Forum was held on September 14, 2016 at Civic Hall, NYC’s foremost center for civic technology & innovation, on the topic of Elections. Election Systems are best understood by the rules and incentives constructed around them. Evaluating the United States’ and New York’s Electoral Systems reveals a series of important policy choices that will shape what our electorate will look like in the coming decades.