Boing Boing 

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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Screw the techno-determinists -- give me hope instead


In my latest Guardian Column If one thing gives me hope for the future, it’s the cause of ​internet freedom, I talk about the myth that technology activists are "techno-determinists" -- we fight not because we know we'll win, but because we believe there's a possibility that we might not lose.

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Anti-austerity parties soar in Spanish elections as Greece threatens default


Two new, anti-establishment parties (including one that grew out of the indignados movement -- a kind of Spanish precedent to Occupy) took key seats in regional and municipal elections in yesterday's Spanish election, which is a kind of dress rehearsal for the upcoming national elections.

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Tees, stickers and totes to benefit NARAL Pro-Choice Texas


Kyle from Bumperactive writes, "NARAL Pro-Choice Texas has a new tee supporting reproductive rights in the Lone Star State: "Texas, We Need To Talk About The Elephant In The Womb" -- a sly dig at the sharply partisan politics that drive the anti-choice movement."

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Ron Wyden and Rand Paul kill the Patriot Act (ish)


After an all-night session, Rand Paul [R-KY] and Ron Wyden [D-OR] tag-teamed majority leader Mitch McConnell [R-KY] and beat him to the mat -- he has abandoned the current legislative effort to extend section 215 of the Patriot Act, which authorizes mass surveillance and is set to expire on June 1.

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Statistics Done Wrong: The Woefully Complete Guide

From a brilliant Web-rant to an indispensable guide to the perils of statistics and their remedies, Alex Reinhart's Statistics Gone Wrong is a spotter's guide to arrant nonsense cloaked in mathematical respectability.Read the rest

Digital rights news from 2025


European Digital Rights has published 300 Edrigrams -- crucial newsletters on all things digital in the EU -- and to celebrate, the 300th edition features 37 pages of news from the year 2025.

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150 orgs, experts and companies tell Obama: hands off crypto!


The joint letter from human rights organizations, eminent cryptographers, tech companies and trade associations takes aim at the FBI's ever-louder calls to ban the use of effective cryptography.

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Lessig & Williamson in Seattle for June 4 premiere of "Killswitch"


Brian writes, "Campaign finance reformer and technology law professor Lawrence Lessig, and bestselling author Marianne Williamson, will be at the July 4th Seattle premiere of 'Killswitch: The battle to control the Internet'."

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Taxi medallion markets collapse across America

Uber may be rapacious, exploitative corporate scum, but they're knocking the bottom out of one of the most corrupt "markets" in the country.

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Today's jam: Embrace the Sun!

This morning's walk delivered a new jam, courtesy of the music in the latest Welcome to Nightvale "Weather" segment: Sifu Hotman's Embrace the Sun.

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Geek Feminist Revolution

A collection of Kameron Hurley's Hugo-winning incandescent essays -- brilliant news!

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Businesses losing big on globalization

The promised returns from globalization just aren't there: poor countries don't have as much to spend, corrupt governments undermine foreign multinationals, domestic rivals hack trade secrets out of multinationals foreign offices and doing business all over the world is complicated and expensive.

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Which UK MPs rebel against the party, and with whom do they ally?


James Siddle has analysed the voting records of the incumbent MPs in the UK parliament to see how often they rebel against the party line, and who they side with then they do.

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House Republicans hold hearing on politics in science, don't invite any scientists

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A guide to digital policy in Britain's forthcoming elections

4582945263_a01039563e_b What do the main parties say they will do in the digital realm if they're elected? tl;dr Tories are plainly ignorant of technological reality, Labour adds meaningless platitudes, Lib-Dems offer some milquetoast sanity, and UKIP wants foreigners put on a registry.

Glyn Moody sums up:

The political parties' manifestos offer a fascinating snapshot not just of the respective interests of different groups, but also of digital technology's march towards the center of politics. Nowadays, you can tell a lot about a party by looking at how it proposes to address the complex new issues being raised by the Internet and its impact on society, which makes perusing the full manifestos a worthwhile preparation for voting in the imminent UK General Election.

If you are eligible to vote, don't forget to use that power to help shape the next UK government's digital policies. It's not often the public is given this option: use it while you can.

Photo: Clive Darra (cc)

British austerity: a failed experiment abandoned by the rest of the world


Writing in the Guardian, Nobel-winning economist Paul Krugman analyses the last five years of British austerity, using other developed nations in the EU and elsewhere as a benchmark for the growth we could have had -- it's not a pretty picture.

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