How health care can reduce domestic violence: Access to medical treatment may help solve unrelated, difficult societal problems, a study finds. The Republican health plan is a huge betrayal of Trump's campaign promises — and Trump's voters will pay the highest price. Trump supporters have the most to lose in the G.O.P. repeal bill. They are poor, sick and voted for Trump — what will happen to them without Obamacare? If rural voters were angry before, wait until the GOP repeals Obamacare. The Republican health-care plan isn't about health care at all. The "American Health Care Act" is a wealth grab, not a health plan. Rich Americans seem to have found a way to avoid paying a key Obamacare tax.


“Disappeared” on the U.S.-Mexico border: Gabriel Schivone on how U.S. border policies constitute a new kind of state-led “disappearance”. The making of a Mexican-American Dream: Despite the rhetoric and hate crimes, Mexican immigrants are poised to reframe American culture, if white people would only let them. After decades in America, the newly deported return to a Mexico they barely recognize. A report finds 91.2% of all Americans who live in Mexico are living there illegally. What would happen if Canada shut its borders? Joseph Heath on what the United States could learn from Canada on immigration policy. Benjamin Wallace-Wells on the end of the idea of North America.

Why the “big, beautiful wall” is doomed to fail: The existing wall in Ambos Nogales tells us a great deal about President Trump’s ill-conceived plan to fortify the entire U.S.-Mexico border. What geology has to say about building a 1,000-mile border wall: Compared to erecting a marble palace or high-steepled church, a wall may seem relatively straightforward — it isn’t.


“What is happening at Mar-a-Lago every weekend is unethical, unconscionable, illegal, unconstitutional. But it barely even makes the news”. It's literally pay to play at Mar-a-Lago. A brand name for a hedge fund happy hour: Trump’s Mar-a-Lago. Anyone can be a member at Mar-a-Lago — as long as you've got the money. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago is heaven for spies: The president’s semi-public Florida retreat doesn’t follow the same strict background check protocol as the White House, creating an espionage risk. Senators push Trump to release White House, Mar-a-Lago visitor logs. Mar-a-Lago may be getting a major presidential upgrade.

“I think our brand is the hottest it has ever been”: With Trump in White House, his golf properties prosper. “Go buy Ivanka’s stuff”, Kellyanne Conway said — then the first daughter’s fashion sales exploded. Trump sons, planning expansion of family business, look to leverage campaign experience. Trump hotel may be political capital of the nation’s capital: For Republican Party players, it’s the only place to stay. A D.C. restaurant is suing Trump over unfair competition: One of its attorneys says he’s clearly using the office to gain an advantage over local businesses. Presidential corruption matters: Trump’s business conflicts undermine the presidency — for the sake of the country, stand up for democracy.


The inaugural issue of Dignity: A Journal on Sexual Exploitation and Violence is out. Ian Bremmer on 5 global scandals that have nothing to do with Donald Trump. South Korea’s president was impeached, North Korea is increasingly threatening — here’s what you need to know. Dutch, Turkey escalate diplomatic tit-for-tat over rally dispute. Rep. Steve King: “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies”. Colin Dickey reviews The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel. How the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake has shown itself to be a powerful force in the world: Scott McLemee reviews The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge by Abraham Flexner.

Zeynep Tufekci on the truth about the WikiLeaks C.I.A. cache. It appears that the Russian authorities, leaning on the work of a hacker, grafted an intelligence operation onto a far-reaching cybercriminal scheme. Scott Glover, Pamela Brown and Shimon Prokupecz on the super-secret division in charge of the Russia investigation. How to spy on a president: Elizabeth Goitein on the legal and ethical scope of surveillance.


Ivan Gonzalez-Cabrera (ANU): On Social Tolerance and the Evolution of Human Normative Guidance. Humans are descended from murderous beasts (but civilization has tamed us). Neanderthals were people, too: New research shows they shared many behaviors that we long believed to be uniquely human — why did science get them so wrong? Why we're closer than ever to a timeline for human evolution. Colin Grant reviews A Brief History of Everyone who Ever Lived by Adam Rutherford. How much evidence have scientists found for human evolution? There are so many fossils that nobody knows the full number — and that's just the beginning.

Why evolution is ageist: Genetic mutation changes from adaptive to dangerous after reproductive age. A new influence on human evolution: A new report suggests that cesarean births are leading to bigger babies — and more C-sections. Will human evolution be shaped by climate change? Scientists seek to update evolution: Recent discoveries have led some researchers to argue that the modern evolutionary synthesis needs to be amended. Unified theory of evolution: Darwin's theory that natural selection drives evolution is incomplete without input from evolution's anti-hero, Lamarck. The first chapter from Darwin's Unfinished Symphony: How Culture Made the Human Mind by Kevin N. Laland.

Just how far can our evolution go? Adrian Barnett reviews Future Humans: Inside the Science of Our Continuing Evolution by Scott Solomon. Can evolution have a "higher purpose"? The biologist William D. Hamilton entertained the notion — so can we. What happens when tech takes control of evolution?

Thomas Christie Williams reviews Redesigning Life: How Genome Editing Will Transform the World by John Parrington. College students try to hack a gene drive — and set a science fair abuzz. How gene editing could ruin human evolution. Will babies be better off if we know their genes? Here's a glimpse of this brave new world of baby-making. Jonathan Anomaly (Duke): Defending Eugenics: From Cryptic Choice to Conscious Selection. Will the alt-Right peddle a new kind of racist genetics? China is at the forefront of manipulating DNA to create a new class of superhumans. China's $9 billion effort to beat the U.S. in genetic testing. Jim Kozubek, author of Modern Prometheus: Editing the Human Genome with Crispr-Cas9, on writing a history of Crispr-Cas9.

Jacob S. Sherkow (NYLS): Who Owns Gene Editing? Patents in the Time of CRISPR. Jessica L. Roberts (Houston): Progressive Genetic Ownership. How the CRISPR patent fight could shape the future of genetic engineering. Should anyone own the most powerful gene editing technology ever invented? Bioterrorism and gene editing: Can CRISPR tool be used as biological weapon in war? How scientists are trying to keep genetic engineering from ruining the world. Do we need an international body to regulate genetic engineering? Ethicists advise caution in applying CRISPR gene editing to humans. CRISPR will be a huge story in 2017 — here are 7 things to look for.

Jasper L. Tran (Minnesota) and Derek Tri Tran (UC-Merced): (De)Regulating Neuroenhancement. John Danaher (NUI Galway): Why Internal Moral Enhancement Might Be Politically Better than External Moral Enhancement. Nayef Al-Rodhan reviews The Myth of the Moral Brain: The Limits of Moral Enhancement by Harris Wiseman. Consuelo Luvera (Messina): Free to Do Evil: Some Possible Implications of Moral Enhancement for Free Will and Moral Responsibility. Lewis Coyne (Exeter): An Unfit Future: Moral Enhancement and Technological Harm. J. Adam Carter and Duncan Pritchard (Edinburgh): The Epistemology of Cognitive Enhancement. Brain activity is too complicated for humans to decipher — machines can decode it for us: Why we need artificial intelligence to study our natural intelligence.

DeepMind invented a computer that learns how to use its own memory. Google test of AI's killer instinct shows we should be very careful. The Great A.I. Awakening: How Google used artificial intelligence to transform Google Translate, one of its more popular services — and how machine learning is poised to reinvent computing itself (and more). What makes something a robot? Zed Adams interviews John M. Jordan, author of Robots. Maxwell Mehlman, Jessica Wilen Berg, and Soumya Ray (Case Western): Robot Law. Jack M. Balkin (Yale): The Three Laws of Robotics in the Age of Big Data. The accountability of artificial intelligence systems, from Facebook to healthcare, is shaping up to be a hot topic in 2017.

Venture capitalist Marc Andreessen explains how AI will change the world. The combination of human and artificial intelligence will define humanity's future. Now it's time to prepare for the Machinocene. How tech giants are devising real ethics for artificial intelligence. Programming hate into AI possibly necessary. Corinne J.N. Cath, Sandra Wachter, Brent Mittelstadt, Mariarosaria Taddeo, and Luciano Floridi (Oxford): Artificial Intelligence and the "Good Society": The US, EU, and UK. Have we given artificial intelligence too much power too soon? Artificial intelligence is coming whether you like it or not.

If animals have rights, should robots? We can think of ourselves as an animal's peer or its protector — what will robots decide about us? Intelligence has always been used as fig-leaf to justify domination and destruction — no wonder we fear super-smart robots. How scared should I be of the Singularity? Alan Glynn on the apocalypse we can't even see: A.I. We're not ready for superintelligence: The time for stressing about superintelligent AI will come soon. No, the experts don't think superintelligent AI is a threat to humanity (and a response). Pentagon chiefs fear Terminator could come true with advanced robot weapons wiping out humanity. Click here to kill everyone: With the Internet of Things, we're building a world-size robot — how are we going to control it? These 23 principles could help us avoid an AI apocalypse.

Are we masters of technology or has it mastered us? Will Self reviews Rise of the Machines: The Lost History of Cybernetics by Thomas Rid. Patrick Hassan (Reading): Nietzsche on Human Greatness.


From Vox, “post-truth is pre-fascism”: Sean Illing interviews Timothy Snyder, author of On Tyranny (and more). Simona Forti on totalitarianism: Historical regime or bio-power intimate vocation? Trump’s dictator chic: Peter York wrote a book about autocrats’ design tastes — the U.S. president would fit right in. Natalie Koch (Syracuse): Orientalizing Authoritarianism: Narrating US Exceptionalism in Popular Reactions to the Trump Election and Presidency. Putin destroyed Russia’s independent press — Trump seems to want the same. Experts in authoritarianism say Trump’s agenda has settled — and it’s scary. Donald Trump isn’t the only villain — the Republican Party shares the blame.


Theodore T. Richard (USAF): Nuclear Weapons Targeting: Evolution of Law and U.S. Policy. From Congressional Research Service, a special report on Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons. Simon Saradzhyan and William Tobey on US-Russian space cooperation: A model for nuclear security. U.S. confirms Russian missile deployment violates nuclear treaty — now what? Fearing U.S. withdrawal, Europe considers its own nuclear deterrent. North Korea is practicing for nuclear war: North Korea isn't testing its missiles — it's preparing for a nuclear first strike. Dianne Feinstein on how there's no such thing as "limited" nuclear war. An atomic-weapons expert’s worst-case scenario for what Trump might do with all that “access to the nuclear codes”.

Advertisement