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A sociologist trained to become a tax-avoidance expert — here's what she learned about how the ultra wealthy keep their money

"All the world's a stage" - Shakespeare. Istvan Biro via Wikimedia Commons<p>Shakespeare said that all the world’s a stage, but the sociologist Erving Goffman added that most of the interesting stuff lies behind the scenes, in what he called the “backstage” areas of everyday life.<p>Having spent the past …

Eduardo Saverin

Slavoj Žižek on Obama, Bernie, sex and democracy: “That’s the reality of global capitalism. Everyone is violating the rules”

Salon exclusive q-and-a: “When voters really do have a choice, it’s usually perceived as a crisis of democracy”<p>As academic disciplines become more specialized, the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek flirts with the line between relic and rebel. His interests are unabashedly broad — from Hegel to …

33 Books You Should Read Now, Based On Your Favourite Films

From Pulp Fiction to pulp fiction.<p>I've only included films on this list that were made from original screenplays, so there's nothing adapted from another medium. Many of the films are taken from the IMDb Top 100. The books I've included on this list are ones that have not yet been made into films …

Three Charts That Show The Seriousness Of Income Inequality

And one table that suggests a few things we can do about it<p>This year, income inequality tops the World Economic Forum's list of future trends and issues. The gap between rich and poor is a global problem — as the world's rich continue to accumulate wealth at record rates, the rest are struggling.

Architizer

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Modern Architecture

12 Best New Spas in the US

With the hectic holiday rush around the corner, relaxation will soon be high on the roster. Fortunately, there's an impressive array of new spas offering personalized, tailored rituals that use local, organic ingredients and new cutting-edge techniques. At these serene escapes, you can expect a …

Marc Andreessen says everything tech optimists want to say to skeptics (in 3 quotes)

Marc Andreessen says everything tech optimists want to say to skeptics (in three quotes and two graphs).<p>My colleague over at <i>New York Magazine</i>, Kevin Roose, just conducted a superb interview with Silicon Valley’s favorite Twitter philosopher king, Marc Andreessen. Roose is one of the most thoughtful …

Does Being 'Spiritual But Not Religious' Really Mean Anything?

"Spiritual But Not Religious" is a phrase you hear more and more these days — and with good reason. In 2012, a Pew Foundation survey on religion found that almost 20 percent of Americans placed themselves in the category of "unaffiliated."<p>That 20 percent unaffiliated translates into a whole lot of …

The Big Future: Can we build a better brain?

How will the future change the human brain? This week's <i>Big Future</i> takes a look at a new wave of neurological techniques that directly alter the brain's electrical patterns, correcting seizures and movement disorders. Some doctors are even experimenting with using it to treat depression. Could the …

The Brain

How computers change the way we learn

Can technology improve the way we learn and think? Google’s head of research argues we're headed into a new era of education.<p>“This discovery of yours will create forgetfulness in the learners' souls, because they will not use their memories,” a concerned commentator once spoke of a new technology. …

Alexis Ohanian

LED Lights Are A 'Transformative Technology' In The Developing World

When the news broke Tuesday that three scientists whose discoveries made practical household LED lighting possible had won the Nobel Prize in physics, most Americans probably thought of the LED screen in their TV, or perhaps about whether they might finally consider shifting to energy-efficient LED …

13 ways to unlock the potential of open government

Nine experts offer their thoughts on making open data initiatives work for all citizens<p><b>Tiago Peixoto, open government specialist,</b> <b>The World Bank</b><b>, Washington DC, US. @participatory</b><p><b>Open data is an enabler – not a guarantee – of good participation:</b> Participation implies creating legitimate channels of …

Top 5 Goals for Open Government in 2014

Open government offers a society a number of attractive benefits. Transparency begets accountability. The provision of information enhances the ability of governments to provide valuable public goods and services. Its data, furthermore, can be analyzed and used by third parties in innovative ways, …

Open Government

How government can promote open data

Open data has the potential not only to transform every sector of the economy but also to unleash more than $3 trillion in global economic value …

Big Data

Businesses Must Connect to People for Real Success

Entrepreneurship is more about building a business than inventing a product. It's more about the quality of the execution, rather than the quality of the idea. Most importantly, it's more about being a proactive leader who connects to customers and the team deeply, rather than a bright light that …

Entrepreneurship

How to live forever

If more and more people are living past 100, how much older can we survive to, in theory, asks Frank Swain. And what would it take to achieve this in practice?<p>On the Art of Prolonging Life was penned by a Dr Huseland (“one of the soundest minds in Germany”) in 1797, concluding eight years of study …

Biology

We’re approaching the post-Internet age. You need to learn about mesh networks

Once, the Internet was the paradigm of decentralized, anonymous, citizen-based, secure communication. Now, mesh networks are being touted for that role.<p>Mesh networks are small, standalone communications exchanges that rely on phones (or other devices) talking directly to each other, with their …

How The Internet of Everything will Cure Cancer

I recently stumbled upon a mobile app that will utilize the compute power of your mobile phone, while you are sleeping to decrypt protein sequences for cancer research. Even though utilizing an idle computer CPU for research isn’t something new, it caught my attention for the fact that it has now …

Bitcoin “vault” Xapo offers solution to theft and a tiny nest egg upon signup

Advertisement<p>0 Comments<p>Credit: Gigaom Illustration<p>One of the reason bitcoins get so much attention is because people keep stealing them. Every week …

Bitcoin

Fewer Soldiers, More Robots: Pentagon Budgets For The Future

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has proposed the smallest United States military since 1940. It's also the most technologically advanced.<p>The last time the U.S. Army was smaller than 450,000 troops, it was 1940 and the United States had yet to join World War II. Announced yesterday, Secretary of …

The K5 security robot will begin patrolling one Silicon Valley campus this year

Advertisement<p>5 Comments<p>Credit: Knightscope<p>The Knightscope K5 robot’s 5-foot-tall bullet-shaped frame is impressive. Studded with cameras and sensors …

Silicon Valley

Poverty

<b>How much poverty is there in the U.S. today?</b><p>Defining poverty by income level is tricky and makes comparisons between countries difficult. In 2011, …

Equality

Education is a Right

College, in the popular imagination, is still seen as both a time of freedom & intellectual exploration, and as the gateway to future economic …

Equality

Gangster Bankers: Too Big to Jail

How HSBC hooked up with drug traffickers and terrorists. And got away with it<p>The deal was announced quietly, just before the holidays, almost like …

Corruption

The State of the World’s Children 2014 in Numbers

Thirty years have passed since <i>The State of the World’s Children</i> began to publish tables of standardized global and national statistics aimed at …

UNICEF

Global unemployment is about to get worse

While the rich countries were most affected by the global economic crisis, there are signs of recovery. Although India and China won’t go back to the days of double-digit growth, other emerging countries, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, paint a more hopeful picture. But the scale of the recovery …

Economics

Why you’re wrong about communism: 7 huge misconceptions about it (and capitalism)

Most of what Americans think they know about capitalism and communism is total nonsense. Here’s a clearer picture<p>As the commentary around the recent deaths of Nelson Mandela, Amiri Baraka and Pete Seeger made abundantly clear, most of what Americans think they know about capitalism and communism is …