The World Turned Upside Down
David Berreby is the author of "Us and Them: The Science of Identity." He has written about human behavior and other science topics for The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Slate, Smithsonian, The New Republic, Nature, Discover, Vogue and many other publications. He has been a Visiting Scholar at the University of Paris, a Science Writing Fellow at the Marine Biological Laboratory, a resident at Yaddo, and in 2006 was awarded the Erving Goffman Award for Outstanding Scholarship for the first edition of "Us and Them." David can be found on Twitter at @davidberreby and reached by email at david [at] davidberreby [dot] com.
People see what their tools let them see. Case in point: How different the world looks when it's mapped according to unfamiliar principles.
Even more striking than a reverse-pole map are these, by the Worldmapper Project, whose maps resize territories according to their relative weights for some subject of interest -- like income, Internet use, or age-of-death. As the project's Danny Dorling and Anna Barford wrote a few years ago, countries and continents are still recognizable, but the representation of their differences by, say, population density yields ``shrunken areas [that] are like balloons that have had some air let out, and expanded areas [that] are like balloons that have been inflated.'' The effect is weird, compelling and informative. Check out the formidable lobsterish creature that results from representing the regions of the United States according to their population density.
Delay, deny and deflect were the strategies Facebook has used to navigate scandals it's faced in recent years, according to the New York Times.
- The exhaustive report is based on interviews with more than 50 people with ties to the company.
- It outlines how senior executives misled the public and lawmakers in regards to what it had discovered about privacy breaches and Russian interference in U.S. politics.
- On Thursday, Facebook cut ties with one of the companies, Definers Public Relations, listed in the report.
Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.
Dogs' floppy ears may be part of why they and other domesticated animals love humans so much.
- Nearly all domestic animals share several key traits in addition to friendliness to humans, traits such as floppy ears, a spotted coat, a shorter snout, and so on.
- Researchers have been puzzled as to why these traits keep showing up in disparate species, even when they aren't being bred for those qualities. This is known as "domestication syndrome."
- Now, researchers are pointing to a group of a cells called neural crest cells as the key to understanding domestication syndrome.
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