Why The Government Should Provide Internet Access

Interview with Susan Crawford, former White House tech adviser, on America’s need for a “public option” providing universal low-cost high-speed internet access. “This is by nature a monopoly. It really makes sense to have one wire going to your house. The problem is we’ve gotten stuck with the wrong wire. We’ve got a cable wire and it should be fiber and it should be then shared by lots of competitors” (2,150 words)

Go Ahead — Scare Yourself

The public spat between 23andMe and the US Food and Drug Administration should force the FDA to update its rules and philosophy. The FDA views gene-testing as a medical product, whereas, to others, it’s an information product. “The danger isn’t that a genetic test will harm you directly but that you will act rashly on the information it provides. But is preventing patients from making bad decisions the FDA’s mandate?” (1,000 words)

Bill Gates: ‘Death Is Something We Really Understand’

Interview. Health care in the developing world. “When you’re running a poor country health-care system, you can’t treat a year of life as being worth more than, say, $200, or else you’ll bankrupt your health system immediately. But here’s the good news: If you spend less than 2 percent of what rich countries spend, but you spend it on vaccinations and antibiotics, you get over half of all that healthcare does to extend life” (2,884 words)

How Van Halen Explains Obamacare

Critics of government, take care: things that sound stupid may be things you just don’t understand. Here’s an analogy: Van Halen’s touring contracts required promoters to provide bowls of M&Ms with the brown ones taken out. Which sounded like prima-donna behaviour, but was really a litmus test of whether everything was in order. If the band arrived and found brown M&Ms on the table, the promoter had not read the contract. (1,180 words)

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