William Langewiesche

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pages: 465 words: 124,074

Atomic Obsession: Nuclear Alarmism From Hiroshima to Al-Qaeda by John Mueller

airport security, Albert Einstein, Black Swan, Cass Sunstein, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, Doomsday Clock, energy security, F. W. de Klerk, failed state, long peace, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, oil shock, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Seymour Hersh, side project, uranium enrichment, William Langewiesche, Yom Kippur War

Former Secretary of State Brent Scowcroft was on very much the same alarmist wavelength when he assured us in 2008 that if Iran were allowed to enrich uranium, potentially on the way to a bomb, “that starts a wave of proliferation, both in the region—Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey—and elsewhere in the world where you could have 20 or 30 countries close to nuclear weapons.”11 In similar vein, William Langewiesche has concluded that we have passed “the point of no return” on weapons proliferation to established states. That is, the nuclear genie is out of the bottle, and any state, even quite poor ones (North Korea is a pertinent case in point), can eventually obtain nuclear weapons if they really want to make the effort.

And others—Brazil, Argentina, South Korea, Sweden, Libya, and Taiwan—have backed away from or reversed nuclear weapons programs or perspectives, while South Africa, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan have actually surrendered or dismantled an existing nuclear arsenal.6 Some of this, as will be discussed in the next chapter, is no doubt due to the hostility—and bribery—of the nuclear nations, but even without that, the Canadian case seems to have had wide and general relevance. William Langewiesche may be right that quite a few states—even quite a few poor ones now—do possess the technical and economic capacity to obtain nuclear weapons, but experience certainly doesn’t suggest that that capacity alone is remotely enough to encourage them to take the plunge.7 For potential nuclear aspirants, there are quite a few other considerations.

Some observers have insisted that it would be “easy” for terrorists to assemble a crude bomb if they could get enough fissile material, and one popular article even declared the task to be “child’s play.” But there are those who beg to differ. Atomic scientists, perhaps laboring under the concern, in the words of investigative journalist William Langewiesche, that “a declaration of safety can at any time be proved spectacularly wrong,” have been comparatively restrained in cataloguing the difficulties terrorists would face in constructing a bomb. However, physicists Wirz and Egger have published a paper that does so, and it bluntly concludes that the task “could hardly be accomplished by a subnational group.”


pages: 308 words: 84,713

The Glass Cage: Automation and Us by Nicholas Carr

Airbnb, Airbus A320, Andy Kessler, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, Bernard Ziegler, business process, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Charles Lindbergh, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, computerized trading, David Brooks, deliberate practice, deskilling, digital map, Douglas Engelbart, drone strike, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, global supply chain, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, High speed trading, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, natural language processing, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, software is eating the world, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, turn-by-turn navigation, US Airways Flight 1549, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Langewiesche

Engineers at NASA’s Langley Research Center had pioneered, more than ten years earlier, the use of CRT screens for transmitting flight information, and jet makers had begun installing the screens in passenger planes in the late 1970s.10 What really set the A320 apart—and made it, in the words of the American writer and pilot William Langewiesche, “the most audacious civil airplane since the Wright brothers’ Flyer”11—was its digital fly-by-wire system. Before the A320 arrived, commercial planes still operated mechanically. Their fuselages and wing cavities were rigged with cables, pulleys, and gears, along with a miniature waterworks of hydraulic pipes, pumps, and valves.

The Air France crash, Chesley Sullenberger has said, would have been “much less likely to happen” if the pilots had been flying in a Boeing cockpit with its human-centered controls.32 Even Bernard Ziegler, the brilliant and proud French engineer who served as Airbus’s top designer until his retirement in 1997, recently expressed misgivings about his company’s design philosophy. “Sometimes I wonder if we made an airplane that is too easy to fly,” he said to William Langewiesche, the writer, during an interview in Toulouse, where Airbus has its headquarters. “Because in a difficult airplane the crews may stay more alert.” He went on to suggest that Airbus “should have built a kicker into the pilots’ seats.” 33 He may have been joking, but his comment jibes with what human-factors researchers have learned about the maintenance of human skills and attentiveness.

Gillespie, “We Flew the Atlantic ‘No Hands,’ ” Popular Science, December 1947. 9.Anonymous, “Automatic Control,” Flight, October 9, 1947. 10.For a thorough account of NASA’s work, see Lane E. Wallace, Airborne Trailblazer: Two Decades with NASA Langley’s 737 Flying Laboratory (Washington, D.C.: NASA History Office, 1994). 11.William Langewiesche, Fly by Wire: The Geese, the Glide, the “Miracle” on the Hudson (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2009), 103. 12.Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Wind, Sand and Stars (New York: Reynal & Hitchcock, 1939), 20. 13.Don Harris, Human Performance on the Flight Deck (Surrey, U.K.: Ashgate, 2011), 221. 14.


pages: 175 words: 54,028

Fly by Wire: The Geese, the Glide, the Miracle on the Hudson by William Langewiesche

Air France Flight 447, Airbus A320, airline deregulation, Bernard Ziegler, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Charles Lindbergh, crew resource management, New Journalism, two and twenty, US Airways Flight 1549, William Langewiesche

ALSO BY WILLIAM LANGEWIESCHE Cutting for Sign Sahara Unveiled Aloft American Ground The Outlaw Sea The Atomic Bazaar FLY BY WIRE The Geese, The Glide, The ‘Miracle’ on the Hudson WILLIAM LANGEWIESCHE PENGUIN BOOKS PENGUIN BOOKS Published by the Penguin Group Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4P 2Y3 (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.) Penguin Ireland, 25 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd) Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd) Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi – 110 017, India Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd) Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England www.penguin.com First published in the United States by Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2009 Published in Penguin Books 2010 Copyright © William Langwiesche, 2009 All rights reserved The moral right of the author has been asserted Portions of this book were previously published in Vanity Fair Except in the United States of America, this book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher’s prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser ISBN: 978-1-84-614308-3 This is the second book I dedicate to Cullen Murphy, my editor and friend.

PENGUIN BOOKS FLY BY WIRE William Langewiesche is an author and journalist. He is currently Vanity Fair’s international correspondent, having made his name writing for Atlantic Monthly. His strong, evocative prose is used to devastating effect on a range of issues. Before embarking on a writing career he worked as a pilot for fifteen years from the age of eighteen. He has been termed one of the leading writers of The New New Journalism, a group of writers who have secured a place at the centre of contemporary American literature, as Tom Wolfe and The New Journalism did in the sixties. ALSO BY WILLIAM LANGEWIESCHE Cutting for Sign Sahara Unveiled Aloft American Ground The Outlaw Sea The Atomic Bazaar FLY BY WIRE The Geese, The Glide, The ‘Miracle’ on the Hudson WILLIAM LANGEWIESCHE PENGUIN BOOKS PENGUIN BOOKS Published by the Penguin Group Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4P 2Y3 (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)


pages: 349 words: 95,972

Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives by Tim Harford

affirmative action, Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, assortative mating, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Basel III, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Broken windows theory, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, crowdsourcing, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Erdős number, experimental subject, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, Frank Gehry, game design, global supply chain, Googley, Guggenheim Bilbao, high net worth, Inbox Zero, income inequality, industrial cluster, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Merlin Mann, microbiome, out of africa, Paul Erdős, Richard Thaler, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, telemarketer, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the strength of weak ties, Turing test, urban decay, William Langewiesche

Jeff Wise, “What Really Happened Aboard Air France 447,” Popular Mechanics, December 6, 2011, http://www.popularmechanics.com/flight/a3115/what-really-happened-aboard-air-france-447-6611877/; William Langewiesche, “The Human Factor,” Vanity Fair, October 2014, http://www.vanityfair.com/news/business/2014/10/air-france-flight-447-crash; “Air France Flight 447 and the Safety Paradox of Automated Cockpits,” Slate, June 25, 2015; “Children of the Magenta,” 99% Invisible (podcast), June 23, 2015, http://99percentinvisible.org/episode/children-of-the-magenta-automation-paradox-pt-1/. 2. William Langewiesche, speaking on “Children of the Magenta,” 99% Invisible (podcast), http://99percentinvisible.org/episode/children-of-the-magenta-automation-paradox-pt-1/. 3.

And of the tiny number of hours spent manually flying the plane, few if any would have been spent in the degraded fly-by-wire mode, and almost all would have been spent taking off or landing. No wonder Bonin instinctively moved the plane as if for an aborted landing. And no wonder he felt so helpless at the plane’s controls. • • • The Air France pilots “were hideously incompetent,” says William Langewiesche, a writer and professional pilot.2 And Langewiesche thought he knew why. He argued persuasively in the pages of Vanity Fair that the pilots simply weren’t used to flying their own plane’s at altitude without the help of the computer. Even the experienced Captain Dubois was rusty: of the 346 hours he had been at the controls of a plane during the past six months, only four were in manual control rather than overseeing the autopilot, and even then he’d had the help of the full fly-by-wire system.

On creative prodigies: Paul Hoffman and Ed Yong. On architecture: Warren Berger, Stewart Brand, Alain de Botton, and Jonah Lehrer. On Martin Luther King, Jr.: Taylor Branch, David Garrow, and Stephen Oates. On Bezos, Rommel, and Stirling: Virginia Cowles, David Fraser, and Brad Stone. On Flight 447: William Langewiesche, Jeff Wise, and the staff of 99% Invisible. On Hans Monderman: Tom Vanderbilt. On being human: Dan Ariely, Brian Christian, Hanna Rosin, and Muzafer Sherif. On the microbiome: Emily Eakin. On mess: Eric Abrahamson, David Freedman, Jane Jacobs, and James C. Scott. Thank you to my excellent agents and editors, Sally Holloway, Iain Hunt, Jake Morrissey, Zoë Pagnamenta, and Tim Whiting, and to everyone at all of my publishers and agents around the world.


pages: 184 words: 53,625

Future Perfect: The Case for Progress in a Networked Age by Steven Johnson

Airbus A320, airport security, algorithmic trading, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Cass Sunstein, Charles Lindbergh, cognitive dissonance, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, dark matter, Dava Sobel, David Brooks, Donald Davies, future of journalism, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, Jane Jacobs, John Gruber, John Harrison: Longitude, Joi Ito, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, mega-rich, meta-analysis, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, Occupy movement, packet switching, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, pre–internet, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Tim Cook: Apple, urban planning, US Airways Flight 1549, WikiLeaks, William Langewiesche, working poor, X Prize, Yochai Benkler, your tax dollars at work

Twenty-one years later, Chesley Sullenberger was at the controls of an A320 when he collided with that flock of Canada geese. Because his left engine was still able to keep the electronics running, his courageous descent into the Hudson was deftly assisted by a silent partner, a computer embodied with the collective intelligence of years of research and planning. William Langewiesche describes that digital aid in his riveting account of the flight, Fly by Wire: While in the initial left turn [Sullenberger] lowered the nose . . . and went to the best gliding speed—a value which the airplane calculated all by itself, and presented to him as a green dot on the speed scale of his primary flight display.

PROGRESS, ACTUALLY The article on airline safety, “Airlines Go Two Years with No Fatalities,” appeared in the January 12, 2009, edition of USA Today. My original post on air safety and subsequent coverage of the US Airways crash ran on the website BoingBoing; the first post can be found at http://boingboing.net/2009/01/14/for-once-news-about.html. William Langewiesche’s Fly by Wire: The Geese, the Glide, the Miracle on the Hudson gives a thorough account of the Airbus 320 design and its role in the Hudson landing. Peter Thiel’s “The End of the Future” appeared in the October 3, 2011, issue of National Review. High school dropout rates and college enrollment: Between 1988 and 2008, the high school dropout rate for the United States declined from 14.6 to 9.3.


pages: 221 words: 70,413

American Ground: Unbuilding the World Trade Center by William Langewiesche

William Langewiesche

LDB William Langewiesche American Ground Traduzione di Roberto Serrai Adelphi eBook TITOLO ORIGINALE: American Ground Quest’opera è protetta dalla legge sul diritto d’autore È vietata ogni duplicazione, anche parziale, non autorizzata In copertina: Il Ground Zero visto dal negozio Brooks Brothers, 13 settembre 2001 Foto di Sean Hemmerle © HEMMERLE/CONTACT/GRAZIA NERI Prima edizione digitale 2016 © 2002 WILLIAM LANGEWIESCHE Published by arrangement with North Point Press, a division of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC, New York © 2003 ADELPHI EDIZIONI S.P.A.


pages: 401 words: 119,488

Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

Air France Flight 447, Asperger Syndrome, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, cognitive dissonance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, digital map, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, framing effect, hiring and firing, index card, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, meta-analysis, new economy, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, statistical model, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, the strength of weak ties, theory of mind, Toyota Production System, William Langewiesche, Yom Kippur War

It is worth noting that the original concept for depressing children stories originated with O’Donoghue, not Garrett. CHAPTER THREE: FOCUS bound for Paris For my understanding of the details of Air France Flight 447, I am indebted to numerous experts, including William Langewiesche, Steve Casner, Christopher Wickens, and Mica Endsley. I also drew heavily on a number of publications: William Langewiesche, “The Human Factor,” Vanity Fair, October 2014; Nicola Clark, “Report Cites Cockpit Confusion in Air France Crash,” The New York Times, July 6, 2012; Nicola Clark, “Experts Say Pilots Need More Air Crisis Training,” The New York Times, November 21, 2011; Kim Willsher, “Transcripts Detail the Final Moments of Flight from Rio,” Los Angeles Times, October 16, 2011; Nick Ross and Neil Tweedie, “Air France Flight 447: ‘Damn It, We’re Going to Crash,’ ” The Daily Telegraph, May 1, 2012; “Air France Flight 447: When All Else Fails, You Still Have to Fly the Airplane,” Aviation Safety, March 1, 2011; “Concerns over Recovering AF447 Recorders,” Aviation Week, June 3, 2009; Flight Crew Operating Manual, Airbus 330—Systems—Maintenance System; Tim Vasquez, “Air France Flight 447: A Detailed Meteorological Analysis,” Weather Graphics, June 3, 2009, http://www.weathergraphics.com/tim/af447/; Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies, “Air France Flight #447: Did Weather Play a Role in the Accident?”

Thank you, as well, to my stalwart fact checkers—Cole Louison and Benjamin Phalen—and Olivia Boone, who helped format and organize the endnotes. I am indebted to the many people who were generous with their time and knowledge during the reporting of this book. Many are mentioned in the notes, but I wanted to give additional thanks to William Langewiesche, who provided guidance on the mechanics (and writing) of flight, and Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace, who made the Disney chapter happen. Finally, my deepest thanks are to my family: Katy Duhigg, Jacquie Jenkusky, David Duhigg, Dan Duhigg, Toni Martorelli, Alexandra Alter, and Jake Goldstein have been wonderful friends.


pages: 535 words: 158,863

Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They Are Making by David Rothkopf

airport security, anti-communist, asset allocation, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, barriers to entry, Bear Stearns, Berlin Wall, Bob Geldof, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business cycle, carried interest, clean water, compensation consultant, corporate governance, creative destruction, crony capitalism, David Brooks, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, financial innovation, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Gini coefficient, global village, high net worth, income inequality, industrial cluster, informal economy, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, joint-stock company, knowledge economy, liberal capitalism, Live Aid, Long Term Capital Management, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, old-boy network, open borders, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, Savings and loan crisis, shareholder value, Skype, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, William Langewiesche

BusinessWeek, August 10, 1998. 213 Late in 2006, the Chinese government took this trend Mure Dickie, “Chinese Army Opens Door to Private Weapons Suppliers,” Financial Times, February 2, 2007. 213 China is announcing record military spending Jim Yardley and David Lague, “Beijing Accelerates Its Military Spending,” New York Times, March 5, 2007. 214 According to the highly respected Stockholm International Peace Research Institute SIPRI Yearbook 2007, yearbook2007.sipri.org/. 214 the Defense News top 100 ranking “Defense News Top 100,” www.defensenews.com. 214 SIPRI also has an Arms Transfers Project “The Arms Transfers Project,” www.sipri.org/contents/armstrad/. 216 William Langewiesche’s The Atomic Bazaar William Langewiesche, The Atomic Bazaar: The Rise of the Nuclear Poor (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007). 216 Bill Clinton once characterized nuclear weapons William Clinton, “Remarks at the ECHOSTAR Team Summit 2003,” speech given in Atlanta, Georgia, May 3, 2003. 216 forging his identity as “father of the Islamic bomb” Johanna McGeary, “Inside the A-Bomb Bazaar,” Time, January 12, 2004. 217 President Bush’s 2004 assertion George W.

Despite their lack of visibility, these individuals have global impact: Potentially using or supplying weapons of mass destruction, they can alter the fates of nations. Many of the headlines and much of the attention in the arms business are associated with the most expensive or destructive weapons. William Langewiesche’s The Atomic Bazaar, for example, chronicles one of the most destabilizing, power-shifting phenomena in global security: the acquisition by poor countries of nuclear weapons technologies. Langewiesche calls the acquisitors “the nuclear poor” and rightly notes that their possession of such weapons gives these countries and their leaders much greater leverage internationally.


pages: 343 words: 101,563

The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by David Wallace-Wells

"Robert Solow", agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Asian financial crisis, augmented reality, basic income, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, Chekhov's gun, cognitive bias, computer age, correlation does not imply causation, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, decarbonisation, disinformation, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Elon Musk, endowment effect, energy transition, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, failed state, fiat currency, global pandemic, global supply chain, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, Joan Didion, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kim Stanley Robinson, labor-force participation, life extension, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, megacity, megastructure, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, nuclear winter, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, postindustrial economy, quantitative easing, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Silicon Valley, Skype, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, the built environment, The future is already here, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, universal basic income, University of East Anglia, Whole Earth Catalog, William Langewiesche, Y Combinator

At four degrees, the deadly European heat wave of 2003, which killed as many as 2,000 people a day, will be a normal summer. Then, it was one of the worst weather events in Continental history, killing 35,000 Europeans, including 14,000 French; perversely, the infirm fared relatively well, William Langewiesche has written, most of them watched over in the nursing homes and hospitals of those well-off countries, and it was the comparatively healthy elderly who accounted for most of the dead, many left behind by vacationing families escaping the heat, with some corpses rotting for weeks before the families returned.

The authors write, of the 2015 summer, “The extraordinary heat had deadly consequences, with over 3,400 fatalities reported across India and Pakistan alone.” European heat wave of 2003: World Bank, Turn Down the Heat, p. 37, http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/865571468149107611/pdf/NonAsciiFileName0.pdf. worst weather events in Continental history: William Langewiesche, “How Extreme Heat Could Leave Swaths of the Planet Uninhabitable,” Vanity Fair, August 2017. a research team led by Ethan Coffel: Ethan Coffel et al., “Temperature and Humidity Based on Projections of a Rapid Rise in Global Heat Stress Exposure During the 21st Century,” Environmental Research Letters 13 (December 2017), https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/aaa00e.


pages: 182 words: 56,961

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande

Airbus A320, Atul Gawande, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Checklist Manifesto, index card, John Snow's cholera map, megacity, RAND corporation, Tenerife airport disaster, US Airways Flight 1549, William Langewiesche

But he got the distress signals sent, and he made sure the plane was properly configured for an emergency water landing. “Flaps out?” asked Sullenberger. “Got flaps out,” responded Skiles. Sullenberger focused on the glide down to the water. But even in this, he was not on his own. For, as journalist and pilot William Langewiesche noted afterward, the plane’s fly-by-wire control system was designed to assist pilots in accomplishing a perfect glide without demanding unusual skills. It eliminated drift and wobble. It automatically coordinated the rudder with the roll of the wings. It gave Sullenberger a green dot on his screen to target for optimal descent.


The Outlaw Ocean: Journeys Across the Last Untamed Frontier by Ian Urbina

9 dash line, Airbnb, British Empire, clean water, Costa Concordia, crowdsourcing, disinformation, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Filipino sailors, forensic accounting, Garrett Hardin, global value chain, illegal immigration, independent contractor, invisible hand, John Markoff, Jones Act, Julian Assange, Malacca Straits, Maui Hawaii, New Journalism, offshore financial centre, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, Silicon Valley, Skype, South China Sea, standardized shipping container, statistical arbitrage, Tragedy of the Commons, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, William Langewiesche

Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, Ann Luskey, the Tiffany & Co. Foundation, Shannon O’Leary Joy, the International Transport Workers’ Federation, the Schmidt Family Foundation, OCEANUSLive, FISH-i Africa, Monterey Bay Aquarium Foundation, Human Rights Watch, and Trygg Mat Tracking. The title of my book is a nod to William Langewiesche’s singularly insightful work, published in 2004, called The Outlaw Sea, about mayhem on the oceans involving merchant and passenger ships in particular. I share with Langewiesche the view that the maritime world exists largely outside the law, and his writing on the topic was for me an invaluable inspiration.

, April 18, 2016; “Greenpeace Shuts Pet Food Factory Connected to Slavery and Destructive Fishing,” New Zealand Herald, May 19, 2016; Nick Grono, “Perpetrators of Modern Slavery Are Devastating Our Environment Too,” Guardian, Nov. 17, 2015; Nick Grono, “Traumatized and Vulnerable, Slavery Survivors Live with Mental Health Issues,” CNN, Nov. 5, 2015; Matt Hadro, “If You Buy Shrimp You Might Want to Know This,” Eurasia Review, March 7, 2016; Matt Hadro, “You Should Know This if You Buy Shrimp,” Eurasia Review, Nov. 9, 2016; “Hagens Berman: Class Action Filed Against Nestlé for Slave Labor, Human Trafficking Used to Produce Top-Selling Pet Food,” Business Wire, Aug. 27, 2015; Ruth Halkon, “Fisherman ‘Enslaved for Five Years on Thai Fishing Boat Because of an Unpaid Beer Tab,’ ” Irish Mirror, May 19, 2016; Esther Han, “Prawns Linked with Trafficking and Environmental Damage Revealed,” Age (Melbourne, Australia), Dec. 9, 2015; Kate Hodal, “Slavery and Trafficking Continue in Thai Fishing Industry, Claim Activists,” Guardian, Feb. 24, 2016; Michael Holtz, Stephanie Hanes, and Whitney Eulich, “How to Free Modern Slaves: Three Tech Solutions That Are Working,” Christian Science Monitor, Nov. 23, 2015; Esther Htusan and Margie Mason, “More than 2,000 Enslaved Fishermen Rescued in 6 Months,” Associated Press, Sept. 17, 2015; David Hughes, “Don’t Forget the Seafarers and the Fishermen; For Those at Sea, Work, Together with Its Inherent Risks, Carries On as Usual over the Christmas and New Year Season,” Business Times Singapore, Dec. 23, 2015; Ralph Jennings, “Taiwan Seeks to Improve Conditions in Fishing Fleet,” Associated Press, Oct. 4, 2016; John Kerry, “John Kerry’s Remarks at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs,” Oct. 26, 2016, transcript; Susan Krashinsky, “Clover Leaf Website Will Let Consumers Track the Source of Their Fish,” Globe and Mail, Oct. 3, 2016; William Langewiesche, “Slaves Without Chains,” Vanity Fair, Jan. 2016; Erik Larson, “Lawsuit Aimed at Products Where Forced Labour Used; Lawyers Hope to Push Major Firms to Better Police Their Supply Chains,” National Post’s Financial Post & FP Investing, Dec. 14, 2015; Erik Larson, “Slavery Labels Sought for U.S.


pages: 692 words: 167,950

The Ripple Effect: The Fate of Fresh Water in the Twenty-First Century by Alex Prud'Homme

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, big-box store, bilateral investment treaty, carbon footprint, clean water, commoditize, corporate raider, Deep Water Horizon, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, Garrett Hardin, hydraulic fracturing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Joan Didion, John Snow's cholera map, Louis Pasteur, mass immigration, megacity, oil shale / tar sands, oil-for-food scandal, peak oil, renewable energy credits, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tragedy of the Commons, urban sprawl, William Langewiesche

Revkin, “Dredging of Pollutants Begins in Hudson,” New York Times, May 15, 2009. 39 Laurence Tribe: Gargill, “General Electric Superfraud.” 39 In May 2009, a dredge: Revkin, “Dredging of Pollutants Begins in Hudson.” 39 the company is wholly or partially responsible: Gargill, “General Electric Superfraud.” 39 Cleanup of the Housatonic has gone more slowly: Gray interview and HRI; DePalma, “GE Moves Ahead.” 40 Instead, activists propose a ten-point plan: Gray interview. HRI: “Ten Principles for a Better River Cleanup,” blog post, February 4, 2009. 41 Anaconda Copper Mining Company: William Langewiesche, “The Profits of Doom,” Atlantic, April 2001. 41 342 snow geese: Duncan Adams, “Did Toxic Stew Cook the Goose?” High Country News, December 11, 1995. 41 Since 1998, BP-ARCO and regulators: Justin Post, “Waterfowl land in pit, die,” Montana Standard, November 30, 2007. See also PITWATCH: http://www.pitwatch.org/2004.htm. 41 Donald Peoples: Langewiesche, “Profits of Doom.”

See also Arizona Department of Water Resources: http://www.azwater.gov/azdwr/default.aspx. 326 In 1993, fighting a flash flood on the Gila River: Guenther interview. 326 some 2.7 million acre-feet: Arizona Department of Water Resources. 326 the Central Arizona Project: http://www.cap-az.com/. 326 Salt River Project: https://www.srpnet.com/Default.aspx. 326 groundwater beneath Phoenix: Shaun McKinnon, “Unabated use of groundwater threatens Arizona’s future,” Arizona Republic, August 2, 2009. 327 In 2008, Arizona used about 8 million acre-feet: http://www.cap-az.com/operations/recharge/recharge-in-arizona/water-sources/. 327 outdoor misting systems: As explained to the author by Jack Lavelle, Arizona Department of Water Resources public information officer. 327 The state doesn’t know how much groundwater it has: McKinnon, “Unabated use of groundwater threatens Arizona’s future.” 327 it could face a water crisis by 2025: “Our Water, Our Future: Policy Options to Safeguard Water Resources in Arizona,” Arizona Public Interest Research Group: http://www.arizonapirg.org/home/reports/report-archives/ our-water-our-future/our-water-our-future/our-water -our-future-policy-options-to-safeguard -water-resources-in-arizona. 328 James Pollard Espy: Richard P. Horwitz, “Americans’ Problem with Global Warming,” American Studies, vol. 45:1 (Spring 2004). 328 Vincent Schaefer and Irving Langmuir: William Langewiesche, “Stealing Weather,” Vanity Fair, May 2008. 328 Bernard Vonnegut: Ibid. 329 silver iodide into a cloud can increase: Joshua Zaffos, “Snow Job,” Colorado Springs Independent, February 16, 2006. 329 Xinjiang region of China: Langewiesche, “Stealing Weather.” 329 clouds were seeded over China: “China overdoes cloud seeding to end drought … and blankets Beijing in snow,” Daily Mail, November 2, 2009; and Quentin Sommerville, “Scientists ‘cause’ Beijing snow,” BBC News, November 2, 2009. 329 In the 1970s, the federal government: Kavan Peterson, “Cloud seedings silver lining hard to prove,” Stateline, January 5, 2005. 329 “There is still no convincing scientific proof”: Dr.


pages: 267 words: 72,552

Reinventing Capitalism in the Age of Big Data by Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Thomas Ramge

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, banking crisis, basic income, Bayesian statistics, Bear Stearns, bitcoin, blockchain, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, cognitive bias, conceptual framework, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, fundamental attribution error, George Akerlof, gig economy, Google Glasses, information asymmetry, interchangeable parts, invention of the telegraph, inventory management, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, land reform, lone genius, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Marc Andreessen, market bubble, market design, market fundamentalism, means of production, meta-analysis, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, multi-sided market, natural language processing, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, Parag Khanna, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price anchoring, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, random walk, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, smart grid, smart meter, Snapchat, statistical model, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, The Future of Employment, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, universal basic income, William Langewiesche, Y Combinator

CHAPTER 8: FEEDBACK EFFECTS built-in risk of extreme failure: See the official report of the accident investigation BEA, Final Report—On the Accident on 1st June 2009 to the Airbus A330-203 Registered F-GZCP Operated by Air France Flight AF 447 Rio de Janeiro–Paris, July 2012, https://www.bea.aero/docspa/2009/f-cp090601.en/pdf/f-cp090601.en.pdf; see also William Langewiesche, “The Human Factor,” Vanity Fair, September 17, 2014, http://www.vanityfair.com/news/business/2014/10/air-france-flight-447-crash; Tim Harford, “Crash: How Computers Are Setting Us Up for Disaster,” Guardian, October 11, 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/oct/11/crash-how-computers-are-setting-us-up-disaster.


pages: 265 words: 74,807

Our Robots, Ourselves: Robotics and the Myths of Autonomy by David A. Mindell

Air France Flight 447, autonomous vehicles, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Charles Lindbergh, Chris Urmson, digital map, disruptive innovation, drone strike, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, fudge factor, index card, John Markoff, low earth orbit, Mars Rover, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, telepresence, telerobotics, trade route, US Airways Flight 1549, William Langewiesche, zero-sum game

Australian Transport Safety Bureau, “In-flight Unconfined Engine Failure Overhead Batam Island, Indonesia, 4 November 2010, VH-OQA, Airbus A380–842,” ATSB Transport Safety Report, Aviation Safety Occurrence Investigation—AO-2010-089 Final 27 June, 2013. “syntax, sequence, and procedure”: Robert Moreau, personal communication with author, December 2014. what happened on Air France 447: For a journalistic summary of the accident, see William Langewiesche, “The Human Factor,” Vanity Fair, October 2014. summarized the results this way: J. K. Lauber quoted in Nadine Sarter et al., Cognitive Engineering in the Aviation Domain, 1st edition (CRC, 2000), 275–76. a joint industry-FAA working group: PARC/CAST Flight Deck Automation Working Group, “Operational Use of Flight Path Management Systems,” Federal Aviation Administration, September 5, 2013.


pages: 345 words: 75,660

Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence by Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans, Avi Goldfarb

"Robert Solow", Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Air France Flight 447, Airbus A320, algorithmic bias, Amazon Picking Challenge, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, backpropagation, basic income, Bayesian statistics, Black Swan, blockchain, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, collateralized debt obligation, computer age, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, data acquisition, data is the new oil, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Google Glasses, high net worth, ImageNet competition, income inequality, information retrieval, inventory management, invisible hand, job automation, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Lyft, Minecraft, Mitch Kapor, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nate Silver, new economy, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, pattern recognition, performance metric, profit maximization, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, strong AI, The Future of Employment, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Tim Cook: Apple, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, US Airways Flight 1549, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Langewiesche, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

The bet is possible because of technological advances in privacy-protecting data analysis, especially Cynthia Dwork’s invention of differential privacy: Cynthia Dwork, “Differential Privacy: A Survey of Results,” in M. Agrawal, D. Du, Z. Duan, and A. Li (eds), Theory and Applications of Models of Computation. TAMC 2008. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 4978 (Berlin: Springer, 2008), https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-79228-4_1. 14. William Langewiesche, “The Human Factor,” Vanity Fair, October 2014, http://www.vanityfair.com/news/business/2014/10/air-france-flight-447-crash. 15. Tim Harford, “How Computers Are Setting Us Up for Disaster,” The Guardian, October 11, 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/oct/11/crash-how-computers-are-setting-us-up-disaster.


pages: 296 words: 78,631

Hello World: Being Human in the Age of Algorithms by Hannah Fry

23andMe, 3D printing, Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, airport security, algorithmic bias, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, backpropagation, Brixton riot, chief data officer, computer vision, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, Firefox, Google Chrome, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, John Markoff, Mark Zuckerberg, meta-analysis, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, RAND corporation, ransomware, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, selection bias, self-driving car, Shai Danziger, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, speech recognition, Stanislav Petrov, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Tesla Model S, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Bayes, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web of trust, William Langewiesche, you are the product

All quotes from Jack Stilgoe are from private conversation. 39. Jeff Sabatini, ‘The one simple reason nobody is talking realistically about driverless cars’, Car and Driver, Oct. 2017, https://www.caranddriver.com/features/the-one-reason-nobody-is-talking-realistically-about-driverless-cars-feature. 40. William Langewiesche, ‘The human factor’, Vanity Fair, 17 Sept. 2014, https://www.vanityfair.com/news/business/2014/10/air-france-flight-447-crash. 41. Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la Sécuritié de l’Aviation Civile, Final Report on the Accident on 1st June 2009 to the Airbus A330-203 registered F-GZCP operated by Air France Flight AF447 Rio de Janeiro – Paris, Eng. edn (Paris, updated July 2012), https://www.bea.aero/docspa/2009/f-cp090601.en/pdf/f-cp090601.en.pdf. 42.


pages: 206 words: 9,776

Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution by David Harvey

Bretton Woods, business cycle, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, creative destruction, David Graeber, deindustrialization, financial innovation, Garrett Hardin, Guggenheim Bilbao, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, late capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, market fundamentalism, means of production, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, New Urbanism, Ponzi scheme, precariat, profit maximization, race to the bottom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Savings and loan crisis, special economic zone, the built environment, the High Line, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tragedy of the Commons, transcontinental railway, urban planning, We are the 99%, William Langewiesche, Works Progress Administration

For a general expansion of this argument, see Harvey, The Lim its to Capital: Chapter 1 2; and David Harvey, The Condition of Postmodernity, Part 3; and for a specific application of the concept see William Cronon, Nature's Metropolis, New York: Norton, 1 99 1 . 1 0. Tahbilk Wine Club, Wine Clu b Circular 1 5 (June 2000), Tahbilk Winery and Vineyard, Tahbilk, Victoria, Australia. 1 1 . William Langewiesche, "The Million Dollar Nose;' A tlan tic Monthly 286: 6 (December 2000): 1 1 -22. 1 2. Bob Jessop, "An Entrepreneurial City in Action: Hong Kong's Emerging Strategies in Preparation for ( Inter-) Urban Competition;' Urban Studies 37: 1 2 (2000): 2,287-3 1 3; David Harvey, "From Managerialism to Entrepreneurialism: The Transformation of Urban Governance in Late Capitalism;' Geografiska A nnaler 7 1 B ( 1 989): 3- 1 7; Neil Bren ner, Spaces of Neoliberalism: Urban Restucturing in North A merica and Western Europe, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2003. 1 3.


pages: 422 words: 113,525

Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto by Stewart Brand

agricultural Revolution, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, back-to-the-land, biofilm, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cass Sunstein, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, conceptual framework, Danny Hillis, dark matter, decarbonisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Elon Musk, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, glass ceiling, Google Earth, Hans Rosling, Herbert Marcuse, Hernando de Soto, informal economy, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, Jane Jacobs, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Kibera, land tenure, lateral thinking, low earth orbit, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, microbiome, New Urbanism, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, out of africa, Paul Graham, peak oil, Peter Calthorpe, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, stem cell, Stewart Brand, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, Thomas Malthus, Tragedy of the Commons, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, wealth creators, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, William Langewiesche, working-age population, Y2K

It is a large, highly disciplined group run from inside Brazil’s prisons via cellphones, capable of massive swarming attack. In May 2006 and again in July, the PCC paralyzed the entire city of São Paulo with a series of coordinated violent attacks. Why? Just to prove they could, apparently. William Langewiesche, writing in Vanity Fair, saw the PCC as part of a much larger phenomenon, which he called the “feral zone”:That zone is a wilderness inhabited already by large populations worldwide, but officially denied and rarely described. It is not a throwback to the Dark Ages, but an evolution toward something new—a companion to globalization, and an element in a fundamental reordering that may gradually render national boundaries obsolete.


pages: 302 words: 83,116

SuperFreakonomics by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

agricultural Revolution, airport security, Andrei Shleifer, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Boris Johnson, call centre, clean water, cognitive bias, collateralized debt obligation, creative destruction, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, Did the Death of Australian Inheritance Taxes Affect Deaths, disintermediation, endowment effect, experimental economics, food miles, indoor plumbing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), John Nash: game theory, Joseph Schumpeter, Joshua Gans and Andrew Leigh, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, market design, microcredit, Milgram experiment, oil shale / tar sands, patent troll, presumed consent, price discrimination, principal–agent problem, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, selection bias, South China Sea, Stanford prison experiment, Stephen Hawking, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, urban planning, William Langewiesche, women in the workforce, young professional

. / 189 “Year Without a Summer”: see Robert Evans, “Blast from the Past,” Smithsonian, July 2002. / 189 Lake Toba super volcano: see Stanley H. Ambrose, “Late Pleistocene Human Population Bottlenecks, Volcanic Winter, and Differentiation of Modern Humans,” Journal of Human Evolution 34, no. 6 (1998). / 191 The Vonnegut brothers make rain: see William Langewiesche, “Stealing Weather,” Vanity Fair, May 2008. / 191 The idea was attributed to…Mikhail Budyko: see M. I. Budyko, “Climatic Changes,” American Geophysical Society, Washington, D.C., 1977. Improbably, Ken Caldeira did postdoctoral work at Budyko’s institute in Leningrad and met his future wife there. / 196–197 Perhaps the stoutest scientific argument: see Paul J.


pages: 519 words: 136,708

Vertical: The City From Satellites to Bunkers by Stephen Graham

1960s counterculture, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, Buckminster Fuller, Buy land – they’re not making it any more, Chelsea Manning, Commodity Super-Cycle, creative destruction, deindustrialization, digital map, drone strike, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, energy security, Frank Gehry, ghettoisation, Google Earth, Gunnar Myrdal, high net worth, housing crisis, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, late capitalism, low earth orbit, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, megastructure, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-industrial society, Project Plowshare, rent control, Richard Florida, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, Skype, South China Sea, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, trickle-down economics, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white flight, WikiLeaks, William Langewiesche

Among the material sifted and deposit, were ‘4,100 body parts, 1,350 crushed vehicles, clumps of human hair, the engine from one of the hijacked planes, dozens of Gap bags and Fossil wristwatches … Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurance cards … diamond engagement rings … sets of keys … baseball memorabilia.’64 The Fresh Kills site thus bears painful witness to the devastating destruction of the two symbolic vertical towers after the 9/11 attacks. From across the harbour, Vanity Fair journalist William Langewiesche observed the barges carrying the Twin Towers debris gliding from the tip of Manhattan to be unloaded at Fresh Kills. ‘The hilltop was of course part of America’, he reflected. ‘And by geographic measures it was not far removed from Manhattan: on a clear day from there you could even count the monuments of the [New York] skyline, minus two.


pages: 309 words: 95,495

Foolproof: Why Safety Can Be Dangerous and How Danger Makes Us Safe by Greg Ip

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Air France Flight 447, air freight, airport security, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Bear Stearns, break the buck, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, central bank independence, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency peg, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversified portfolio, double helix, endowment effect, Exxon Valdez, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, floating exchange rates, foreign exchange controls, full employment, global supply chain, hindsight bias, Hyman Minsky, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, lateral thinking, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, money market fund, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, paradox of thrift, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, Ralph Nader, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Sam Peltzman, savings glut, tail risk, technology bubble, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, transaction costs, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, value at risk, William Langewiesche, zero-sum game

Comparisons between commercial aviation and automobile fatalities are based on fatalities per 100 million miles traveled, three-year averages. The data are from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, U.S. Department of Transportation. 33 Fly-by-wire, as this became known: A great history of the technology is by William Langewiesche, Fly by Wire (New York: Picador, 2009). 34 Shortly after the autopilot: Details of the events leading up to the crash of Air France Flight 447 are from Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la sécurité de l’aviation Civile, “Final Report on the accident on 1st June 2009 to the Airbus A330-203 registered F-GZCP operated by Air France flight AF 447 Rio de Janeiro–Paris,” 2012, 173. 35 pilots had never trained: Ibid., 204. 36 he may have ignored the stall warning: Ibid., 180.


pages: 684 words: 188,584

The Age of Radiance: The Epic Rise and Dramatic Fall of the Atomic Era by Craig Nelson

Albert Einstein, Brownian motion, Charles Lindbergh, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, Doomsday Clock, El Camino Real, Ernest Rutherford, failed state, Henri Poincaré, hive mind, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Louis Pasteur, low earth orbit, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, music of the spheres, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, Project Plowshare, Ralph Nader, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Skype, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, too big to fail, uranium enrichment, William Langewiesche, éminence grise

At seventeen thousand spots the water mains cracked apart, leaving firemen helpless against the hurricane of conflagration. There were 150 doctors, but most were dead or injured, and 1,780 nurses, but 1,654 of these were either dead or injured. Then the fire in the sky of ten suns was replaced by an ever-growing darkness, as dust thrown up by the blast combined with smoke from the hurricane of fire. Journalist William Langewiesche: “There is a moment of calm. The fireball is no longer visible, but it is still extremely hot, and it is vigorously rising into the atmosphere. [From this] displacement of air, a result of its rise, the winds now reverse and begin to flow back towards the epicenter at speeds up to 200 miles an hour, ripping apart damaged structures that somehow so far remained standing.


pages: 300 words: 99,432

Godforsaken Sea by Derek Lundy

British Empire, Charles Lindbergh, Parkinson's law, the scientific method, William Langewiesche, Winter of Discontent

In a preview of long-distance sailing, French pilots dominated the early long-distance flying competitions as well. The special significance in France of single-handed racing through the Southern Ocean has a kind of Saint-Exupéry–Moitessier lineage. In Sahara Unveiled, his book about crossing the Sahara, the American William Langewiesche writes about the French love affair with the barren and apparently limitless desert. They fought to control its emptiness for more than a century. He thinks it may have been, in part, the natural antidote to the particular regulated and “de-natured” part of Europe in which they were confined.


pages: 577 words: 171,126

Light This Candle: The Life & Times of Alan Shepard--America's First Spaceman by Neal Thompson

Charles Lindbergh, Columbine, cuban missile crisis, Donald Trump, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Norman Mailer, place-making, Silicon Valley, William Langewiesche

page 92, Going “to the lakes”: An Oral History of the Corpus Christi Naval Air Station. page 93, “Barran . . . you fly like shit”: Author interview with Jack Barran. page 93, “IN THE WRONG DIRECTION”: Shepard’s flight training records. page 94, “UNSAFE FOR SOLO”: Ibid. page 94, “If you are looking for perfect safety . . .”: William Langewiesche, Inside the Sky: A Meditation on Flight (New York: Vintage Books, 1999), p. 14. page 95, hemorrhaging of grease monkeys: Author interview with Tazewell Shepard; Faludi, Stiffed. page 96, Then it was Renza’s turn: Smaus and Spangler, America’s First Spaceman,p. 109. page 96, “You goofed off a little bit”: Allen, Yankee.


pages: 289 words: 113,211

A Demon of Our Own Design: Markets, Hedge Funds, and the Perils of Financial Innovation by Richard Bookstaber

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Albert Einstein, asset allocation, backtesting, beat the dealer, Black Swan, Black-Scholes formula, Bonfire of the Vanities, butterfly effect, commoditize, commodity trading advisor, computer age, computerized trading, disintermediation, diversification, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Edward Thorp, family office, financial innovation, fixed income, frictionless, frictionless market, George Akerlof, implied volatility, index arbitrage, intangible asset, Jeff Bezos, John Meriwether, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, loose coupling, margin call, market bubble, market design, merger arbitrage, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, new economy, Nick Leeson, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, Pierre-Simon Laplace, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, risk tolerance, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, selection bias, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, statistical arbitrage, tail risk, The Market for Lemons, time value of money, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, uranium enrichment, William Langewiesche, yield curve, zero-coupon bond, zero-sum game

Government Printing Office (October 1979). The engineering and safety issues are presented in Daniel Ford, Three Mile Island (New York: Penguin Books, 1982). The most complete source for the ValueJet accident is National Transportation Safety Board Aircraft Accident Report 97/06 DCA96MA054. “The Lessons of ValuJet 592” by William Langewiesche in the March 1998 Atlantic Monthly relates this accident as an example of a systemrelated normal accident. 3. With Three Mile Island, for example, there was no consensus on whether the reaction of zirconium and water under conditions of extreme heat would lead to the creation of potentially explosive hydrogen within the containment facility.


pages: 433 words: 125,031

Brazillionaires: The Godfathers of Modern Brazil by Alex Cuadros

affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, big-box store, BRICs, buy the rumour, sell the news, cognitive dissonance, creative destruction, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, facts on the ground, family office, high net worth, index fund, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, NetJets, offshore financial centre, profit motive, prosperity theology / prosperity gospel / gospel of success, rent-seeking, risk/return, Rubik’s Cube, savings glut, short selling, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transatlantic slave trade, We are the 99%, William Langewiesche

Video for the website of CartaCapital magazine, October 2014. 17once or twice a year. Since that time, Forbes has added a daily ranking to its website. 18one in seven Miami home purchases. “Profile of International Home Buyers in Florida 2012,” National Association of Realtors, August 2012. 19took São Paulo hostage. Details on the PCC takeover are from William Langewiesche, “City of Fear,” Vanity Fair, April 2007. 20one morning in 1989. Abilio narrated his kidnapping to Playboy’s Brazilian edition, February 1990. When the kidnappers were arrested, police paraded them before the press in Workers Party shirts. This was later believed to be an effort to influence the upcoming presidential election in which Lula was running against Fernando Collor. 20they were beaten.


pages: 590 words: 152,595

Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War by Paul Scharre

active measures, Air France Flight 447, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, automated trading system, autonomous vehicles, basic income, brain emulation, Brian Krebs, cognitive bias, computer vision, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, DARPA: Urban Challenge, DevOps, drone strike, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, facts on the ground, fault tolerance, Flash crash, Freestyle chess, friendly fire, IFF: identification friend or foe, ImageNet competition, Internet of things, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Loebner Prize, loose coupling, Mark Zuckerberg, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Nate Silver, pattern recognition, Rodney Brooks, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, sensor fusion, South China Sea, speech recognition, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, Tesla Model S, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, theory of mind, Turing test, universal basic income, Valery Gerasimov, Wall-E, William Langewiesche, Y2K, zero day

Newman, “Learning from a Learning Thermostat: Lessons for Intelligent Systems for the Home,” UbiComp’13, September 8–12, 2013. 158 “As systems get increasingly complex”: John Borrie, interview, April 12, 2016. 159 Air France Flight 447: “Final Report: On the accidents of 1st June 2009 to the Airbus A330-203 registered F-GZCP operated by Air France flight 447 Rio de Janeiro—Paris,” Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la sécurité de l’aviation civile, [English translation], 2012, http://www.bea.aero/docspa/2009/f-cp090601.en/pdf/f-cp090601.en.pdf. William Langewiesche, “The Human Factor,” Vanity Fair, October 2014, http://www.vanityfair.com/news/business/2014/10/air-france-flight-447-crash. Nick Ross and Neil Tweedie, “Air France Flight 447: ‘Damn it, We’re Going to Crash,’” The Telegraph, April 28, 2012, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/9231855/Air-France-Flight-447-Damn-it-were-going-to-crash.html. 159 Normal accident theory sheds light: In fact, Army researchers specifically cited the Three Mile Island incident as having much in common with the Patriot fratricides.


pages: 1,373 words: 300,577

The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World by Daniel Yergin

"Robert Solow", addicted to oil, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, Ayatollah Khomeini, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, borderless world, BRICs, business climate, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, cleantech, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, colonial rule, Colonization of Mars, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, diversification, diversified portfolio, Elon Musk, energy security, energy transition, Exxon Valdez, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, financial innovation, flex fuel, global supply chain, global village, high net worth, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), James Watt: steam engine, John Deuss, John von Neumann, Kenneth Rogoff, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, Malacca Straits, market design, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, mutually assured destruction, new economy, Norman Macrae, North Sea oil, nuclear winter, off grid, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, oil-for-food scandal, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, Piper Alpha, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Robert Metcalfe, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Savings and loan crisis, shareholder value, Shenzhen special economic zone , Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart grid, smart meter, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Stuxnet, technology bubble, the built environment, The Nature of the Firm, the new new thing, trade route, transaction costs, unemployed young men, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, William Langewiesche, Yom Kippur War

,” IHS CERA, 2011. 6 Massachusetts Institute of Technology, The Future of Coal: Options for a Carbon-Constrained World, 2007, p. x. 7 MIT, The Future of Coal, pp. ix, 15, 43. 8 John Deutch, The Crisis in Energy Policy: The Godkin Lecture (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2011), ch. 3; IHS CERA, Fueling North America’s Energy Future: The Unconventional Natural Gas Revolution and the Carbon Agenda, 2010, pp. vii–2. 9 Interview with Shirley Jackson. 10 United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, “Reactor License Renewal,” February 16, 2011, at http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/operating/licensing/renewal.html. 11 Carol Browner, CNBC interview, February 16, 2010. 12 Gregory Jaczko, “A View from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission,” speech, March 1, 2010. 13 IHS CERA unpublished paper, “Small Nuclear Reactors—The Promise and the Reality.” 14 Douglas Frantz and Catherine Collins, Fallout: The True Story of the CIA’s Secret War on Nuclear Trafficking (New York: Free Press, 2011), pp. 82–86; Robert G. Joseph, Countering WMD: The Libyan Experience (Fairfax, VA: National Institute Press, 2009), ch. 1. 15 William Langewiesche, The Atomic Bazaar: The Rise of the Nuclear Poor (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007), p. 173. 16 World Nuclear Association, “Reactor Database.” 17 Reuters, December 27, 2009. 18 Interview. 19 World Nuclear News, June 10, 2008 (“absolutely wrong”); Reuters, November 10, 2010. 20 European Nuclear Society, “Nuclear Power Plants, Worldwide,” at http://www.euronuclear.org/info/encyclopedia/n/nuclear-power-plant-world-wide.htm. 21 World Nuclear News, January 8, 2011 (“insufficient”); New York Times, March 21, 2011 (“changed everything”); Reuters, April 15, 2011 (“exit”). 22 Dallas Morning News, April 19, 2011 (“month after month”). 23 John Rowe, speech, CERAWeek, March 2011.


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Into the Black: The Extraordinary Untold Story of the First Flight of the Space Shuttle Columbia and the Astronauts Who Flew Her by Rowland White, Richard Truly

Albert Einstein, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Charles Lindbergh, cuban missile crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, low earth orbit, Maui Hawaii, Mercator projection, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, Ronald Reagan, William Langewiesche


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