Boing Boing 

Fracketeering: Life in a capitalist sci-fi horror story

Fracking is the perfect metaphor for the service-charge, extraction oriented economy: "suck up a sky’s worth of valuable gas through a massive crack pipe, then pack up and lumber off to fracture and steal someone else’s underground treasure."

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Why parents in Cincinnati camp out for 16 days to get a kindergarten spot


Scarce kindergarten places at magnet schools like the Fairview-Clifton German Language School are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis to parents who camp out for weeks, clearing their tents every morning so the kids won't be disturbed by the tent-city on the school's lawn.

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Seattle's tent cities


Seattle has America's fourth-largest homeless population and virtually everything homeless people do is illegal in Washington State, which has added 288 new offenses related to homelessness to its statute-books since 2000 -- amazingly, this did not convince those homeless people to stop being homeless.

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Ethnic cleansing in Dominican Republic


In Sept 2013, a Dominican court ruled that 200,000+ natural-born citizens whose parents were undocumented Haitian workers were no longer entitled to citizenship, rendering them stateless and helpless before the law.

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Thousands of American kids are getting free university educations in Germany

German higher education is essentially free, even for foreign students, and many courses are conducted entirely in English.

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Corporations influence politics, but not in the way you think you do


It's not that they buy politicians (there's some of that), it's that they order their workers donate to, write to, and vote for their preferred politicians, with reprisals for employees who don't toe the company line.

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How and why to default on your student loan


Lee Siegel defaulted on his student loans because it was "absurd that one could amass crippling debt as a result, not of drug addiction or reckless borrowing and spending, but of going to college" just because "he had the misfortune of coming from modest origins."

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Letter from the post-work dystopian future


Joel Johnson's short sf story "Hello and Goodbye in Portuguese" is a series of letters between a brother and sister on either side of the post-work divide: the have, and the have-not.

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A startup that will feed you while making airplane noises


The startup that will come to your house and put your trashcans out and bring them in again implies a dystopian world of entitled one percenters and vast, desperate piece-workers, but I never dreamed it would go as far as Here Comes the Airplane.

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UPDATED: New York school makes poor kids huddle indoors while richer students attend carnival

Flushing's PS 120 asked kids to contribute $10/each to a carnival held in the school-yard during school hours, and kids who couldn't pay had to sit in the auditorium watching old Disney movies and listening to the shrieks of delight from outside.

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Portraits of homeless people using libraries


Libraries, "the last bastion of democracy," are a haven for America's 500,000 homeless people, where literature, Internet access, and nonfiction can come together to provide respite from the relentless brutality of life on the streets.

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Poverty is a tax on cognition

In an outstanding lecture at the London School of Economics, Macarthur "genius award" recipient Sendhil Mullainathan explains his research on the psychology of scarcity, a subject that he's also written an excellent book about.

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Hedge funds buy swathes of foreclosed subprimes, force up rents, float rent-bonds


When a giant hedge fund is bidding on all the foreclosed houses in a poor neighborhood, living humans don't stand a chance -- but that's OK, because rapacious investors make great landlords.

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The Subprimes: a novel of the Piketty/Klein apocalypse

The Harvard Business Review asked me to review Karl Taro Greenfield's magical econopocalypse novel The Subprimes, and I was delighted.

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Loopholes let billionaires duck NYC property tax


The rules for tax on NYC condos is so sinister and stultifyingly boring that it's not really surprising that they disguise a raft of loopholes that let the richest New Yorkers duck the property taxes that keep the city running.

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Class of 2015: most indebted in history


A report (issued by a college savings business, caveat lector) says that the US graduating college class of 2015 has more debt than any other class in history.

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Disrupting Richard Scarry

Updating Richard Scarry's beloved Busy Town for Silicon Valley corpthink been done before, but never with the depth and persistence of the Welcome to Business Town Tumblr. (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

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