What We’re Reading

Currency:

Cheap counterfeit bills began proliferating on Amazon and eBay around 2015. Today, one can easily order 100 C-notes for $10. In a story published in the Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Argus Leader in March, a local Secret Service agent, Randy Walker, said prop money is the most popular type of counterfeit bill currently in circulation. “People don’t have to make anything,” he explained.

Intelligence:

Since the intelligence test was invented more than 100 years ago, our IQ scores have been steadily increasing. Even the average person today would have been considered a genius compared to someone born in 1919 – a phenomenon known as the Flynn effect.

We may have to enjoy it while we can. The most recent evidence suggests that this trend may now be slowing. It may even be reversing, meaning that we have already passed the summit of human intellectual potential.

Home bias:

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Instagram:

A decade ago, fewer than 40,000 people a year came to Horseshoe Bend, officials in Page said. Now an estimated two million converge annually on the attraction, according to the National Park Service, which manages Horseshoe Bend as part of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. The main reason for the onslaught, officials say, is its popularity on social media.

Before Instagram, “no one really talked about Horseshoe Bend,” said Levi Tappan, the mayor of Page, population 8,000. “It was just another spot on the river.”

Production:

Cichon’s find shows us that when thinking about their overall impact on the planet, it’s not helpful to think in isolation about producing 2 billion iPhones. Instead, we should think about a counterfactual: What would have been produced over the past 12 years in a smartphone-free world? The answer, clearly, is a lot more: a lot more gear, and a lot more media.

Look out:

New electric vehicles will have to feature a noise-emitting device, under an EU rule coming into force on Monday.

It follows concerns that low-emission cars and vans are too quiet, putting pedestrians at risk because they cannot be heard as they approach.

All new types of four-wheel electric vehicle must be fitted with the device, which sounds like a traditional engine.

Have a nice weekend.


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