What are we reading? January 3, 2019


Each week, BIV staff will share with you some of the interesting stories we have found from around the web.

Kirk LaPointe, editor-in-chief:

The mountain of journalism decrying Donald Trump can be exhausting, but just when you think you’ve taken in enough, along comes another alarming piece. This one looks at the emergency powers he could declare, even over the objections of Congress and the courts, like martial law, Internet manipulation, and a severe restraint on civil liberties. - The Atlantic



Paul Krugman, the Nobel-winning economist, has been a predictable Trump critic in his column on all matters of finance. Here he picks apart the orthodoxy about the administration’s tax cuts, deemed by many to be one of its actual accomplishments, and argues that even negative coverage hasn’t been negative enough. - The New York Times



Humourist David Sedaris starts the new year with one of his typical takes on family life, riven with acceptable exaggeration and fiction to make the point that getting old is not fun in the least. At least, not often. - The New Yorker



The Toronto Raptors have two major goals this NBA season: Get to the finals and keep Kawhi Leonard, perhaps not in that order. This lengthy piece looks at how the team that traded its franchise player for another franchise player is trying to keep Kawhi when he becomes a free agent in July. - ESPN



Timothy Renshaw, managing editor:

Any chance leadership in the U.S. or China will pick up their iPhone or other communication device and resolve what is increasingly a lose-lose-lose trade war for participants on both sides of the Pacific? - South China Morning Post



Time to buy Apple, bruised or otherwise, by its stock’s 30% drop from previous highs and fresh off its biggest one-day price drop in five years. - Seeking Alpha



Road-fixing robots to the rescue of the 21st century’s chronically traffic-jammed commuting public. - Lloyd’s Loading List


Tyler Orton, reporter:

Three predictions for the future, according to billionaire tech titan Elon Musk. I remain skeptical about his timelines for the human colonization of Mars, but Musk seems on the mark regarding how soon we could see people hooking their brains directly to computers (we already have wearables, subcutaneous chips, etc.). - CNBC



Mark Falkenberg, deputy managing editor:

This feature traces the falling fortunes of General Motors back to a strike by workers at the automaker’s Lordstown, Ohio, plant near the end of Richard Nixon’s first term in office.

GM’s response to that 1972 strike, the story says, “marked the beginning of the company’s long but uneven descent, which would be characterized by a repeated impulse to bet on fancy, futuristic but unproven technologies while undervaluing its workers.” - Quartz



Hayley Woodin, reporter:

A quick look at the world’s fastest economic growers and biggest shrinkers in 2019. One of the quickest movers is Vietnam, which is a member of Canada’s new CPTPP deal. Syria also stands out as the country that is expected to grow the fastest, “a sobering reminder that a high number can reflect the worst of starting-points.” - The Economist



As we go about our 2019 resolutions… Will you run from pain or run toward pleasure? By penalizing users with higher premiums or incentivizing them with rewards, companies are trying to answer whether wearable devices can make us healthier (and get us to run – or generally move – more). The follow-up question will be whether we want the Apples of the world collecting, analyzing and possibly sharing our health data. - The Economist



Carrie Schmidt, editorial researcher:

I deleted my Facebook account several years ago. It felt good. Five years ago, I deleted my Twitter account. That also felt good. More recently, I went through my address book and deleted with glee, and also unfollowed almost all of the accounts I have muted on Instagram. Here's a feel-good guide to conducting your own digital purge/protecting yourself from identity theft. - Consumer Reports