Aman Bhatia

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Why Eric Schmidt doesn’t know how Google works

Google is a great company — from its record $23 billion IPO in 2004 (at a time when Nasdaq was below 2000!) to its dominant mobile OS. My associates and I have such an admiration for Google that we built our latest web conferencing platform with Google’s technologies.<p>But we also know that Eric …

The merchant of disease who wants six figures for Ebola.com

Jon Schultz is a cigarette-thin man who will, upon requests for a photograph, don a ruby robe and strike a regal pose. Schultz is a businessman and he wants to look good. There’s money to be made everywhere — even off tragedy and disaster. For the right kind of entrepreneur, Schultz said Monday …

North America is a crime scene: The untold history of America this Columbus Day

The founding myth of the United States is a lie. It is time to re-examine our ruthless past — and present<p>Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz<p>October 13, 2014 5:45pm (UTC)<p>Excerpted from “An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States”<p><i>That the continued colonization of American Indian nations, peoples, and</i> …

“The E. Coli Made Me Do It”

In May of 2000, heavy rains pummeled Walkerton, Ontario, a town of around five thousand people located a hundred miles northwest of Toronto. Excrement from cattle containing the bacteria <i>E. coli</i> and <i>campylobacter</i> washed into the municipal water supply. An epidemic of bacterial dysentery ensued; …

Consigned

Clothing, unlike real estate, does not accrue value merely by virtue of being in New York City and technically habitable. I discovered this when my mother announced, early this summer, that she planned to sell our childhood home. At first, my sister and I were distraught. Aside from how my mother’s …

Amazon’s Unpopular Proposition

Last week, Amazon.com unveiled Amazon Source—a partnership through which retailers, including independent bookstores, can sell Amazon’s Kindle e-readers. In its press release, the online retailer described a literary utopia in which e-books and indie bookstores would peacefully coexist: “With …

Who’s Still Afraid of Interracial Marriage?

Not quite two weeks ago, Julianne Hough’s Halloween costume ignited conversations about the ignominious history of blackface caricature in entertainment. A week later, Kanye West announced that he had co-opted the Confederate flag, in a scheme that was audacious, futile, cynical, provocative, and …

Why Pakistan Lionizes Its Tormenters

Four years ago, in the main street of Mingora, the largest town in Pakistan’s Swat Valley, I saw a man trying to make and sell kebabs. The coals weren’t catching fire, he was fanning them with a rolled-up newspaper, and the skewers were all over the place; it was quite obvious that the man was new …

The Paradox of a Great University

Frederick Wiseman’s new documentary, “At Berkeley,” isn’t the movie for anyone who still has nightmares (as I do) about college classes missed and exams unprepared for. The movie centers on the University of California at Berkeley during an ongoing state of economic siege resulting from a decrease …

Is IKEA the New Model for the Conservative Movement?

In every state in the country, there is at least one ostensibly independent “free-market” think tank that is part of something called the State Policy Network— there are sixty-four in all, ranging from the Pelican Institute, in Louisiana, to the Freedom Foundation, in Washington State. According to …

Is New York’s Charter-School Era Waning?

At Harlem Success Academy 5, one of the newest in the expanding network of New York City charter schools, students can earn “scholar dollars” by staying on their best behavior, turning in assignments on time, and getting good grades. In the school store, students can use these scholar dollars to …

On the Face of It: The Psychology of Electability

Few people knew that the country’s thirty-second President was paralyzed. Most knew that he’d had polio, but they remained unaware that he could not walk. Franklin Delano Roosevelt managed to hide the extent of his condition from the majority of the voting public with a simulated walking technique …

By Anonymous: Can a Writer Escape Vulnerability?

“No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money,” Dr. Johnson told Boswell; quoted less often is Boswell’s immediate and uncharacteristically prim observation: “Numerous instances to refute this will occur to all who are versed in the history of literature.” Hello!—you need to be only …

The New Science of Disaster Prediction

You wouldn’t know it from the images of the Philippines this past week, but the science of disaster prediction is flourishing. Prediction and preparation are not the same thing, however, and questions have arisen about whether sufficient preparations were made for Typhoon Haiyan. These questions …

Lebanon and the Long Reach of Syria’s Conflict

The suicide bombing of the Iranian Embassy in Beirut on Tuesday morning offered up the sort of grim tableau that is typical of such affairs: blackened bodies, wailing survivors, and, in seeming defiance of physical laws, the visible remains of one of the bombers, stuck to a nearby wall.<p>But the most …

How A Gun Dealer Sees It

Exactly what evidence would change your mind? A reasonable public debate, if all evidence is going to count for anything, always turns on that question. There are a few cases—genocide and mass famine, let’s say—on which there really are not two sides to the question. But there aren’t a lot of them, …

How to Save Football

Is there an activity that Americans give more of their attention to and know less about than professional football? The essence of N.F.L. life is the intense weeklong process of preparation for Sunday, which takes place at the thirty-two N.F.L. team “facilities.” The New York Jets allowed me to …

Geography in the News: America’s Hiking Trails

Wildlife<p><b>By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM</b><p><b>Three National Scenic Hiking Trails</b><p>In the fall of each year, many long-distance hikers are finishing up their hikes for the year as winter approaches, while others are making plans to begin their odesseys the following …