Energy, Climate, New Economic Thinking​

Category: Emerging Technologies

The Superpowers of Super-Thin Materials: In materials science, 2-D is the new 3-D

Researchers are taking super-thin layers of materials and stacking them into three-dimensional blocks that have properties distinct from both 2-D and conventional 3-D materials. The craze for 2-D chemistry began in 2004, when two researchers at the University of Manchester used cellophane tape to peel one-atom-thick layers of carbon from chunks of graphite, forming graphene. Graphene is identical to graphite and diamond in composition, but the thinness gives it very different properties: It is flexible, transparent, extremely strong and an exceptional electrical and thermal conductor. New York Times

How Toronto Reined In Big Tech

Sidewalk Labs, a sister company of Google, had proposed rebuilding a chunk of land east of downtown in exchange for using Toronto as a beta test. In pushing back against that plan, Toronto reached a compromise that lets Sidewalk go ahead, but firmly under public control — setting a precedent for how governments around the world can harness the potential for “smart cities” without letting Big Tech dictate the terms. New York Times

Geopolitics Are Shaping Your Next Smartphone

President Trump’s latest swipe at Huawei could be the start of a deep transformation of the tech sector.Citing national security concerns, the Commerce Department said this month that American companies would need special permission to sell some products to Huawei and other Chinese companies. New York Times

The Privacy Project

Companies and governments are gaining new powers to follow people across the internet and around the world, and even to peer into their genomes. The benefits of such advances have been apparent for years; the costs — in anonymity, even autonomy — are now becoming clearer. New York Times

Modern Monetary Theory Finds an Embrace in an Unexpected Place: Wall Street

M.M.T., as it’s known, is attracting a conspicuous number of fans in an unexpected place: Wall Street. Money managers, chief executives and business analysts maintain that the approach offers several important and overlooked insights, and far from finding it fanciful or deranged. New York Times