Tuesday, February 07, 2023

7: ChatGPT

Meta, Long an A.I. Leader, Tries Not to Be Left Out of the Boom It has long had technology to rival chatbots like ChatGPT, but can’t afford to back artificial intelligence that can spread misinformation and toxic content. ........ Called Galactica, it was designed for scientific research. It could instantly write its own articles, solve math problems, generate computer code and annotate images. ........ One user coaxed the chatbot into talking about the history of bears in space. When asked who runs Silicon Valley, Galactica replied, “Steve Jobs.” ........ OpenAI, the tiny San Francisco lab that made ChatGPT ........ OpenAI has taken center stage, even though Meta and many other companies have built similar technologies. ........ On Monday, Google said it would soon release an experimental chatbot called Bard. And on Tuesday, Microsoft, which has invested $13 billion in OpenAI, is holding an event where it is expected to introduce a version of its Bing search engine that uses chatbot technology. ........ Zuckerberg is directly involved in steering the initiatives, holding weekly meetings with product leaders and top A.I. researchers ........ it would “enable many new products and additional transformations within our apps.” .......... described ChatGPT as “not particularly innovative” and “nothing revolutionary” because it relied on technologies developed and deployed by Meta, Google and other companies. ......... One of its mottos — “move fast and break things” — became an anthem of Silicon Valley start-ups in the early 2010s. ......... “hacker culture,” embracing new technologies and preferring to throw small teams on them to develop them as soon as possible. ......... culminated with Mr. Zuckerberg flying to Lake Tahoe, Nev., that year to offer millions of dollars in salary and stock to A.I. researchers who had gathered for a conference.

Our City Could Become One of the World’s Greenest, but It Won’t Be Easy New York City’s buildings are responsible for over 70 percent of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions, most generated on site. ........ the carbon footprint of the average New Yorker household is still only a third to a half of what the same family would be likely to emit were it to move to a house in the suburbs or beyond. ......... From a climate perspective, living closely and densely, without the two-car garage, is the best way to live. ......... property taxes account for around a third of New York City’s $100 billion annual budget. ........... the city’s hard-to-bear summers, when the asphalt, steel and brick absorb the sun’s rays and turn the city into a heat island

ChatGPT Gets Fresh Competition Google and Baidu are set to introduce their own A.I.-powered chatbots to challenge OpenAI, Microsoft and the rising popularity of ChatGPT....... Now Google and the Chinese tech giant Baidu have unveiled their own chatbots, hoping to convince the world their efforts in so-called generative A.I. — tech that can spout off conversational text, make images and more — are just as ready for prime time.

Racing to Catch Up With ChatGPT, Google Plans Release of Its Own Chatbot The internet giant said it would begin testing its new chatbot, Bard, with a small, private group before releasing it to the public in the coming weeks. ......... In a blog post, Sundar Pichai, Google’s chief executive, also said that the company’s search engine would soon have artificial intelligence features that offered summaries of complex information. ........... they generate a wide range of digital text that can be repurposed in nearly any context, including tweets, blog posts, term papers, poetry and even computer code. ......... They are poised to remake internet search engines like Google Search and Microsoft Bing, talking digital assistants like Alexa and Siri, and email programs like Gmail and Outlook. .......... Because the chatbots learn their skills by analyzing vast amounts of text posted to the internet, they cannot distinguish between fact and fiction and can generate text that is biased against women and people of color. ......... Google has plans to release more than 20 A.I. products and features this year .......... The A.I. search engine features, which the company said would arrive soon, will try to distill complex information and multiple perspectives to give users a more conversational experience. ................ In a recent tweet, Sam Altman, OpenAI’s chief executive, said the company spent “single-digit cents” delivering each chat on the service. That translates to extremely large costs for the company, considering that millions of people are using the service. ......... Google said Bard would be a “lighter weight” version of LaMDA that would allow the company to serve up the technology at a lower cost.

Google Calls In Help From Larry Page and Sergey Brin for A.I. Fight A rival chatbot has shaken Google out of its routine, with the founders who left three years ago re-engaging and more than 20 A.I. projects in the works.......... They approved plans and pitched ideas to put more chatbot features into Google’s search engine. And they offered advice to company leaders, who have put A.I. front and center in their plans. ......... amazed users by simply explaining complex concepts and generating ideas from scratch. More important to Google, it looked as if it could offer a new way to search for information on the internet. ......... Google now intends to unveil more than 20 new products and demonstrate a version of its search engine with chatbot features this year ........ Vic Gundotra, a former senior vice president at Google, recounted that he gave Mr. Page a demonstration of a new Gmail feature around 2008. But Mr. Page was unimpressed by the effort, asking, “Why can’t it automatically write that email for you?” In 2014, Google also acquired DeepMind, a leading A.I. research lab based in London. .......... Image Generation Studio, which creates and edits images, and a third version of A.I. Test Kitchen, an experimental app for testing product prototypes. ......... Shopping Try-on, a YouTube green screen feature to create backgrounds; a wallpaper maker for the Pixel smartphone; an application called Maya that visualizes three-dimensional shoes; and a tool that could summarize videos by generating a new one ........... a tool to make it easier to build apps for Android smartphones, called Colab + Android Studio, that will generate, complete and fix code, according to the presentation. Another code generation and completion tool, called PaLM-Coder 2, has also been in the works. ........... Google executives hope to reassert their company’s status as a pioneer of A.I. The company aggressively worked on A.I. over the last decade and already has offered to a small number of people a chatbot that could rival ChatGPT, called LaMDA, or Language Model for Dialogue Applications. ........... and, are already offering online search engines that let you ask questions through an online chatbot, much like ChatGPT.

How ChatGPT Kicked Off an A.I. Arms Race Even inside the company, the chatbot’s popularity has come as something of a shock. ......... GPT-4, a new A.I. model that was stunningly good at writing essays, solving complex coding problems and more ......... In the months since its debut, ChatGPT (the name was, mercifully, shortened) has become a global phenomenon. Millions of people have used it to write poetry, build apps and conduct makeshift therapy sessions. It has been embraced (with mixed results) by news publishers, marketing firms and business leaders. And it has set off a feeding frenzy of investors trying to get in on the next wave of the A.I. boom. .......... Some employees, desensitized by daily exposure to state-of-the-art A.I. systems, thought that a chatbot built on a two-year-old A.I. model might seem boring. ......... two months after its debut, ChatGPT has more than 30 million users and gets roughly five million visits a day .......... one of the fastest-growing software products in memory. (Instagram, by contrast, took nearly a year to get its first 10 million users.) ......... would begin selling a $20 monthly subscription, known as ChatGPT Plus. .......... ChatGPT’s success has vaulted OpenAI into the ranks of Silicon Valley power players. The company recently reached a $10 billion deal with Microsoft, which plans to incorporate the start-up’s technology into its Bing search engine and other products. ......... Mr. Altman has said his goal at OpenAI is to create what is known as “artificial general intelligence,” or A.G.I., an artificial intelligence that matches human intellect. He has been an outspoken champion of A.I., saying in a recent interview that its benefits for humankind could be “so unbelievably good that it’s hard for me to even imagine.” (He has also said that in a worst-case scenario, A.I. could kill us all.) .......... OpenAI is an unusual company, by Silicon Valley standards. Started in 2015 as a nonprofit research lab by a group of tech leaders including Mr. Altman, Peter Thiel, Reid Hoffman and Elon Musk, it created a for-profit subsidiary in 2019 and struck a $1 billion deal with Microsoft. It has since grown to around 375 employees .......... In addition to the $10 billion Microsoft deal, Mr. Altman has met with top executives at Apple and Google in recent weeks ........... OpenAI also inked a deal with BuzzFeed to use its technology to create A.I.-generated lists and quizzes. (The announcement more than doubled BuzzFeed’s stock price.) ........... Then there’s GPT-4, which is still scheduled to come out this year. When it does, its abilities may make ChatGPT look quaint.

Gautam Adani’s Rise Was Intertwined With India’s. Now It’s Unraveling. The tycoon often said the Adani Group’s goals were in lock step with India’s needs. Now, the company’s fortunes are crashing, a collapse whose pain will be felt across the country. ......... Gautam Adani began the year as one of the richest men who ever lived, an upstart billionaire whose conglomerate, one of India’s largest, had surged in value by 2,500 percent in five years. ........ Now, in spectacular fashion, the fortunes of his Adani Group are crashing down even faster than they had shot up — a collapse whose pain will be felt across the country, rippling through its economic and political spheres. ........... More than $110 billion in market value — roughly half of the Adani Group’s worth — has vanished in just over a week, like air from a burst balloon. The pinprick was a report by a small New York investment firm, Hindenburg Research, whose description of “brazen accounting fraud” and stock manipulation sent investors fleeing, just as the Adani Group was beginning a sale of new shares to investors, India’s biggest-ever secondary share offering. .......... Hindenburg retorted that Adani was waving the flag to obfuscate shady dealings, like the use of offshore shell companies to exaggerate its stocks’ valuations in order to paper over its excessively debt-fueled ascent. .......... The debacle could damage confidence in the rest of the Indian stock market. At their peak, Adani shares accounted for more than 6 percent of India’s two main exchanges; today, the figure is barely 3 percent. ........ Adani’s fall could jeopardize the idea of India as the world’s next great hope as a driver of global economic growth. ......... The country’s chief regulator has had a sterling reputation in the three decades since it was empowered by market-crashing stock scam. Now, the concern is that India’s financial oversight has bigger holes than believed, or that the politically connected Mr. Adani somehow got a free pass. ........ of Mr. Adani’s many entities, Adani Enterprises, the flagship, “was the only profit-making company.” ......... “It was almost lock step between the government and Adani,” Ms. Gopinath said. “That was when we all started looking at his debt position, his leveraged position, and there was something very off about the group.” ......... India is not short of companies with experience of the sort that Mr. Modi’s ambitions demand. But if debts overwhelm the Adani Group, India could find itself without an industrial champion......... Fraud and failure are hardly the image that Mr. Modi or India want to convey, this year in particular, with the country freshly minted as the world’s fifth largest economy and asserting itself more forcefully on the global stage. .......... Parliament was suspended for a second day running on Friday, as the opposition loudly demanded answers to questions about what regulators knew about the Adani Group’s finances. ......... It was the Gujarati business community that came to Mr. Modi’s aid then. Mr. Adani helped create an organization to diminish the trade association locally and, working with Mr. Modi’s state government, helped create an annual conference for investors with the name “Vibrant Gujarat.” Under Mr. Modi’s steady ......... A “Gujarat model” soon emerged, by which market-based or at least private development displaced the creaky, state-driven model of earlier governments. ......... When he ran for national office in 2014, he was able to stand as an icon of modern, tech-driven economic development. After he triumphed, he flew to Delhi, the seat of national power, on Mr. Adani’s private jet. ........... Once Mr. Modi took office, shares in Adani jumped — Adani Enterprises, one subsidiary, was suddenly worth 23 percent more — as investors seemed to calculate that closeness to the new government would bring rewards in time. ........... In the budget that Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s finance minister, delivered in the midst of Adani’s market-cap destruction, she announced that the government would be relying on a “virtuous cycle” that starts with private investment and is reinforced with public money. The Adani-Modi approach as national policy. ........... Building roads and bridges, connecting remote villages to electrical supply, even building toilets — these have all been set as visible targets, and achieved at greater speed under Mr. Modi. .......... In 2018, Adani became the operator of six profit-earning airports after the government changed rules restricting ownership to companies with aviation experience. ........ Ms. Sitharaman, the finance minister, was solemnly reading out the annual budget in Parliament, making no mention of the blood bath on India’s stock exchanges. Eventually, her silence, like that of her boss, Mr. Modi, came to seem otherworldly.

America’s Trade Deficit Surged in 2022, Nearing $1 Trillion The gap between what the United States imports and what it exports hit a record as more foreign goods came into the country. .......... The goods and services deficit reached $948.1 billion, its largest total on record, after rising $103 billion from the previous year. .......... The U.S. trade deficit in goods with Mexico, Canada, India, South Korea, Vietnam and Taiwan all grew strongly last year as manufacturers sought new sources of foreign products. ........... China, which continues to house the world’s largest concentration of factories ........ After cutting many economic ties with Russia, the European Union has turned to purchasing more energy products from the United States. ......... One beneficiary of the shift has been Mexico, now a destination for more global factories hoping to serve the United States. .......... The U.S. trade deficit with Mexico grew 20.7 percent to $130 billion.

The Pandemic Used-Car Boom Is Coming to an Abrupt End Dealership are seeing sales and prices drop as consumers tighten their belts, putting financial pressure on companies, like Carvana, that grew fast in recent years. .......... In the last 12 months, Carvana piled up debt. Its stock price has fallen more than 95 percent in the last 12 months, and three states temporarily suspended its operating license after consumer complaints. ......... The buying and selling of used cars is an enormous business. Cox Automotive expects about 36 million used vehicles will be sold in the United States this year. Fewer than half as many new cars and trucks are expected to be sold in 2023. ........ Many consumers turn to slightly used cars to avoid paying the full price of a new vehicle. For consumers with lower incomes or weak credit ratings, older used cars with a lot of miles on the odometer are often the only option. ........ In December, the average interest rate on used-car loans was 12.37 percent, up from less than 10 percent a year before ......... The son has sought to create the Amazon of used cars, a fully online retailer where shoppers can buy a car on a website or app, and have the vehicle delivered to their door.

Monday, February 06, 2023

6: NYC

Visiting Congo, Pope Francis Embraces the Poor and Exploited The Central African country is wracked by war, poverty and environmental plunder — and it may be the future of the Catholic Church........ The turnout to welcome Francis was overwhelming in Kinshasa, the capital. Tens of thousands of people lined the road from the airport, cheering and waving flags in colorful local dress and Catholic school uniforms under enormous billboards of Francis (often alongside the country’s president). ......... terrible forms of exploitation, unworthy of humanity and of creation ......... South Sudan, where the church is deeply involved in peace negotiations and democracy building ........ Congo is home to one of the world’s most intractable conflicts. It is fueled by a legacy of colonialism and the genocide across the border in Rwanda, which has helped fill refugee camps with more than 5.5 million people. .......... Rebel groups, some supported by Rwanda and Uganda, pillage villages, steal livestock, murder residents and rape women. Vast rainforests are plundered for gold, cobalt and other resources, partly to pay for weapons and war. Some local church officials say widespread corruption is at the heart of the problem. ......... About half of Congo’s more than 95 million people are Catholic, making it the faith’s deepest well in Africa, the continent many hope will replenish the church as

attendance shrinks in the West

. ......... Africa’s 265 million Catholics made up about 20 percent of the world’s 1.3 billion followers. And that number is growing. ......... the church provided health care, food programs and education to many millions of Congolese. ......... The Congo bishops’ conference, the most vocal in Africa, did not shy away when President Joseph Kabila postponed elections after the completion of his term in December 2016. It organized protests and brought the issue to international attention, helping to force Mr. Kabila to renounce a third term. ......... The church later deployed about 40,000 observers for a presidential election in 2018, announcing that there was a clear winner, but stopping short of saying who it was. Experts agreed that it was Martin Fayulu, the leading opposition candidate, but another opposition figure, Félix Antoine Tshilombo Tshisekedi, took power. Still, it was the country’s first peaceful, democratic transfer of power since it achieved independence from Belgium in 1960. .......... “Power is meaningful only if it becomes a form of service,” Francis said, admonishing authoritarianism and greed. ......... Catholics have remained politically engaged. After celebrating Mass on some Sundays, congregations across the country have marched straight from church in large-scale demonstrations, making it more difficult for the authorities to crack down on them. Protesters have demanded fresh elections and an end to the war in the east. .......... M23, or the March 23 Movement, which refers to a failed peace agreement signed on that date in 2009. ......... There are also more than 120 other armed groups and self-defense militias fighting for land and power in the North and South Kivu, Ituri, and Tanganyika provinces. .........

“For more than 90 percent of people, it’s extreme poverty, extreme insecurity.”

........... Congo, a country rich in gold, copper, diamonds and two-thirds of the world’s cobalt. ........ China and the United States have been racing to gain control over the global supply of cobalt, an essential part of electric car batteries. Almost all of Congo’s gold ends up in the hands of regional powers, and is then smuggled out to international markets. ......... “Hands off the Democratic Republic of the Congo! Hands off Africa! Stop choking Africa: it is not a mine to be stripped or a terrain to be plundered,” Francis said. “We cannot grow accustomed to the bloodshed that has marked this country for decades, causing millions of deaths that remain mostly unknown elsewhere. What is happening here needs to be known.”

Russian Attacks Intensify in East, Ukraine Says
The Ukrainian military reports attacks at dozens of points across the eastern front. Russian forces attacked dozens of Ukrainian positions across the eastern front, the Ukrainian military said on Monday, as Moscow’s assaults widen and intensify ahead of what Kyiv has warned could be the Kremlin’s largest offensive since the first weeks of the war. ....... the chaotic nature of the Russian effort — including waves of inexperienced recruits and former convicts belonging to the Wagner paramilitary group — was limiting its effectiveness. ......... “There was a complete lack of coordination and interaction among the servicemen of Russian occupation troops and the so-called Wagner Group’s mercenaries” ........ Just as Russia used its overwhelming advantage in artillery early in the war to grind out gains in eastern Ukraine, it is now deploying hundreds of thousands of newly mobilized soldiers, in small groups, to probe for vulnerabilities in Ukrainian defensive lines. ......... The eastern front has remained largely the same, running along a 140-mile stretch of territory that forms the shape of a jagged crescent moon. ........ Moscow is determined to break through Ukrainian defensive lines before the anniversary of its invasion, on Feb. 24.

For Better and for Worse, Elon Musk Is His Own Spokesman Under its new owner, Twitter has done away with its press department. One reporter who writes about the company compares it to a “giant black box.” ........ for the journalists who cover the company, the subsequent experience has defied expectations. ....... He has also been cooperative with Walter Isaacson, who has written biographies of Steve Jobs, Leonardo da Vinci and Albert Einstein and is now working on a book about Mr. Musk. ........ Like Twitter, Tesla does not have a designated public relations team. Mr. Musk addressed the decision to do without a Tesla press office (over Twitter, natch) in 2021: “Other companies spend money on advertising & manipulating public opinion, Tesla focuses on the product,” he wrote.

The Road to a Supreme Court Clerkship Starts at Three Ivy League Colleges The chances of obtaining a coveted clerkship, a new study found, increase sharply with undergraduate degrees from Harvard, Yale or Princeton..... When Ted Cruz attended Harvard Law School, he liked to study with people who had undergraduate degrees from Harvard, Yale or Princeton. “He said he didn’t want anybody from ‘minor Ivies’ like Penn or Brown” ........ the finding was disturbing. ........ “We don’t really live in a meritocracy,” he said. “The Supreme Court is guilty of perpetuating some of the worst pathologies in American society.” ......... “Elite law school degrees don’t repair or overcome a lower-status undergraduate degree,” she said. “You can’t scrub your undergraduate degree with a law degree.” ......... There can be a clubby quality to the justices’ remarks about the schools they attended. Chief Justice Roberts, who has two Harvard degrees, was asked in 2009 whether Supreme Court justices “could relate to ordinary folks.” ........ The chief justice said he wanted to dispel a myth. “Not all justices went to elite institutions,” he said. “Some of them went to Yale.”

DeSantis Takes On the Education Establishment, and Builds His Brand A proposal by Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida to overhaul higher education would mandate courses in Western civilization, eliminate diversity programs and reduce the protections of tenure. ....... Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, as he positions himself for a run for president next year, has become an increasingly vocal culture warrior, vowing to take on liberal orthodoxy and its champions, whether they are at Disney, on Martha’s Vineyard or in the state’s public libraries. .......... rejected math textbooks en masse for what the state called “indoctrination.” .......... If enacted, courses in Western civilization would be mandated, diversity and equity programs would be eliminated, and the protections of tenure would be reduced. .......... His plan for the state’s education system is in lock step with other recent moves — banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, shipping a planeload of Venezuelan migrants to Martha’s Vineyard and stripping Disney, a once politically untouchable corporate giant in Florida, of favors it has enjoyed for half a century. ........ His pugilistic approach was rewarded by voters who re-elected him by a 19 percentage-point margin in November. .......... While expressing her love for both the college and its students, Dr. Okker called the move a hostile takeover. “I do not believe that students are being indoctrinated here at New College,” she said. “They are taught, they read Marx and they argue with Marx. They take world religions, they do not become Buddhists in February and turn into Christians in March.” ............ “It seems many of the students that come here have determined that they don’t necessarily fit into other schools,” Ms. Braden said. “They embrace their differences and exhibit incredible bravery in staking a path forward. They thrive, they blossom, they go out into the world for the betterment of society. This is well documented. Why would you take this away from us?” ......... DeSantis’s attack on diversity, equity and inclusion programs coincides with the recent criticisms of such programs by conservative organizations and think tanks. ......... Examples of such initiatives include campus sessions on “microaggressions” — subtle slights usually based on race or gender ........ Critics of the programs say they sometimes gloss over the pitfalls of Western thinking and ignore the philosophies of non-Western civilizations. .......... “The core curriculum must be grounded in actual history, the actual philosophy that has shaped Western civilization,” Mr. DeSantis said. “We don’t want students to go through, at taxpayer expense, and graduate with a degree in Zombie studies.” ........... Manhattan Institute who is known for his vigorous attacks on “critical race theory,” an academic concept that historical patterns of racism are ingrained in law and other modern institutions.

Why Black Families Are Leaving New York, and What It Means for the City Black children in particular are disappearing from the city, and many families point to one reason: Raising children here has become too expensive. ......... She grew up in mostly Black neighborhoods in Brooklyn, graduated from public schools and attended a liberal arts college on a full scholarship. She went on to start her own event-planning business in the city. ......... But as Mrs. Rodney’s own family grew, she found herself living in a cramped one-bedroom rental, where her three children shared a bunk bed in the living room. It was hard to get them into programs that exposed them to green spaces or swim classes. As she scrolled through friends’ social media posts showing off trampolines in spacious backyards in Georgia, the solution became clearer: Leave. .......... a national trend of younger Black professionals, middle-class families and retirees leaving cities in the Northeast and Midwest for the South. ......... one main cause: the ever-increasing cost of raising a family in New York. ......... Black households have a median income of $53,000, compared with roughly $98,000 for white households .......... In late 2019, Ms. Horry moved to Jersey City through a New York City voucher program, known as the Special One-Time Assistance program, which relocates vulnerable families into permanent housing with a full year’s rent upfront. ......... New York City’s loss of Black residents has been a gain for the South especially. The region’s economy has boomed as newcomers from the city and other urban areas in the North flock there. ........ Bedford-Stuyvesant lost more than 22,000 Black residents while gaining 30,000 white residents. ........ Citywide, white residents now make up about 31 percent of the population, according to census data, Hispanic residents 28 percent and Asian residents nearly 16 percent. While the white population has stayed about the same, the Asian population grew by 34 percent and Hispanic population grew by 7 percent ........ Overall, the public schools have lost more than 100,000 students in the past five years, a crisis facing other urban districts like Boston and Chicago. In 2005, Black children comprised 35 percent of K-12 students in New York City; they now make up closer to 20 percent........ Her oldest son’s Brooklyn Heights school was largely white. In his final year there, fewer than 5 percent of the students and only a small number of teachers were Black. She noticed him growing increasingly insecure about his natural hair; classmates would sometimes try to touch it. ........ “He was starting to feel different,” Ms. Brooks said. “He needed to be around more diversity and see more kids who looked like him.” ....... After a trip to North Carolina in the spring of 2020 revealed how much cheaper life could be elsewhere, the Brooks family chose to move to Charlotte, where a growing Black population makes up more than a third of residents. Most of her sons’ new teachers, and more of their classmates, are Black.

6: Kamala

Year Two of the Ukraine War Is Going to Get Scary Ukraine, a country most Americans couldn’t find on a map in 10 tries ......... no U.S. combat forces are in Ukraine, so it feels as if all that we’re risking, for now, is arms and treasure — while the full brunt of the war is borne by Ukrainians. ......... to the extent that we have used our power wisely and in concert with our allies, we have built and protected a liberal world order since 1945, which has been hugely in our interest — economically and geopolitically. ......... an order in which autocratic great powers like Nazi Germany, imperial Japan or modern Russia and China are not free to simply devour their neighbors. And this is an order where more democracies than ever have been able to flourish, and where free markets and open trade have lifted more people out of poverty than at any time in the history of the world ........... this order has produced almost 80 years without a Great Power war, the kind of war that can destabilize the whole world. .........

Putin’s “marry me or I’ll kill you” invasion of Ukraine

.......... Putin, it’s now clear, has decided to double down, mobilizing in recent months possibly as many as 500,000 fresh soldiers for a new push on the war’s first anniversary. Mass matters in war — even if that mass contains a large number of mercenaries, convicts and untrained conscripts. .......... Putin is basically saying to Biden: I can’t afford to lose this war and I will pay any price and bear any burden to ensure that I come away with a slice of Ukraine that can justify my losses. How about you, Joe? How about your European friends? Are you ready to pay any price and bear any burden to uphold your “liberal order”? ......... “the hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist — McDonald’s cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the builder of the F-15.” Somebody needs to keep the order and enforce the rules. .......... Franklin Roosevelt’s 1939 State of the Union address. At a time when American security was in no way threatened — Hitler had not yet invaded Poland and the fall of France was almost impossible to imagine — Roosevelt insisted there were nevertheless times ‘in the affairs of men when they must prepare to defend not their homes alone but the tenets of faith and humanity on which their churches, their governments and their very civilization are founded.’ In both world wars and throughout the Cold War, Americans acted not in immediate self-defense but to defend the liberal world against challenges from militaristic authoritarian governments, just as they are doing today in Ukraine.” ............ International relations theorists, Kagan added, “have taught us to view ‘interests’ and ‘values’ as distinct, with the idea that for all nations ‘interests’ — meaning material concerns like security and economic well-being — necessarily take primacy over values. But this is not, in fact, how nations behave.

Russia after the Cold War has enjoyed greater security on its western border than at practically any time in its history, even with NATO’s expansion.

Yet Putin has been willing to make Russia less secure to fulfill traditional Russian great power ambitions which have more to do with honor and identity than with security.” The same seems to be true with President Xi when it comes to recovering Taiwan. ................. “The ‘isolationists’ in the 1930s were overwhelmingly Republicans. Their greatest fear, or so they claimed, was that F.D.R. was leading the nation toward communism. In international affairs, therefore, they tended to be more sympathetic to the fascist powers than liberal Democrats. They thought well of Mussolini, opposed aiding the Spanish Republicans against the fascist, Nazi-backed Franco and regarded Hitler as a useful bulwark against the Soviet Union. ............. Republicans were destroyed politically by their opposition to World War II and were only able to resurrect themselves by electing an internationalist Dwight Eisenhower in 1952.” .......... “Any negotiation that leaves Russian forces in place on Ukrainian soil will only be a temporary truce before Putin’s next attempt,” he said. “Putin is in the process of completely militarizing Russian society, much as Stalin did during World War II. He is in it for the long haul, and he is counting on the United States and the West to grow weary at the prospect of a long conflict

The Shift to Renewable Energy Is Speeding Up. Here’s How. The head of the world’s leading energy organization called the war in Ukraine an “accelerator” of the transition. ............ an estimated $1.4 trillion poured into “clean energy” projects in 2022, a category that includes solar farms, batteries and electric vehicle charging stations. ......... more than ever before, and more than the money that poured into new oil and gas projects ........ Renewables are increasingly affordable, once they’re built, and they offer security as well. ........ In Europe, wind and solar accounted for 22 percent of electricity generation last year, overtaking for the first time the share of gas (20 percent) and coal (16 percent) ......... Globally, renewable energy installations grew by 25 percent in 2022. ....... China’s investments exceeded, by a long shot, that of every other country. ........ In 2022, nearly 15 percent of all new car sales globally were electric, compared to 3 percent of all new car sales in 2019 ........ China’s biggest electric car and bus maker, BYD, has a higher global market share than Tesla. ......... by 2030, every second car sold in the biggest car markets — China, the United States and Europe — will be powered by electricity, not fossil fuels. ......... If you want to develop a solar project in Brazil or India, Birol said, you’re likely to pay three times more for financing than if you were to build the same project in Europe. .......... “The biggest hurdle in front of us is the cost of capital,” Birol said.

It’s Time for a Reality Check on Eggs They’re expensive, difficult to find and myths about them abound on social media. Here’s what to know. ....... An avian flu outbreak in the United States killed millions of hens last year, eliminating a critical egg supply. ...... To Joe Rogan, eggs cause blood clots. To some on Twitter sharing screenshots of the abstract of a scholarly paper, yolks can ward off Covid. ........ Since eggs are rich in cholesterol — a single egg yolk can contain around 200 milligrams — and high lipid levels have been linked to poor cardiovascular health, some targeted them as an easy dietary fix: Ditch the eggs Benedict, and protect your heart. ........ “if you eat a cheese omelet today and you haven’t eaten one in a while, your arteries aren’t going to clog immediately,” she said. Eggs are also high in protein, making them an alternative to meat, which tends to be high in saturated fat. ........ promote eggs as a “nutrient-dense” protein source. ........ Are eggs all they’re cracked up to be? ........ Eggs contain vitamins B, E and D, and they’re low in saturated fat. “You get high protein for low calories” ......... They also contain nutrients that are beneficial for your eyes and bones ......... some eggs are enriched with omega-3 fatty acids, depending on what hens have been fed. ............ eating them in moderation, like one full egg (including the yolk) per day, is safe for people who don’t have underlying cardiovascular issues ......... yolk is also where most of an egg’s vitamins lie ......... A breakfast that features an egg with toast and fresh fruit, for example, is far better for your heart health than a doughnut and sweetened coffee.

Kamala Harris Is Trying to Define Her Vice Presidency. Even Her Allies Are Tired of Waiting. Ms. Harris is struggling to carve out a lane for herself in what may be one of the most consequential periods in the vice presidency. ........ The teachers she was about to address were on the front lines of the nation’s culture wars, Ms. Harris told her staff. They were the same ones on the front lines of school shootings. ....... She has already made history as the first woman, the first African American and the first Asian American ever to serve as vice president, but she has still struggled to define her role much beyond that legacy. ........ she is expected to not do anything to overshadow Mr. Biden while navigating intractable issues he has assigned her such as voting rights and illegal immigration. And some see a double standard applied to a prominent woman of color. ......... Because the Senate was split evenly for the last two years, Ms. Harris has cast 26 tiebreaking votes in her role as president of the Senate, more than any vice president since John C. Calhoun, who left office in 1832. Tethered to Washington, she could never be more than 24 hours away from the Capitol when the Senate was in session in case her vote was needed. ........... She has told her staff that she wants to make at least three out-of-town trips a week in the coming year. ........ the Ms. Harris they say they see when the cameras are off, one who can cross-examine policymakers on the intricacies of legislative proposals and connect with younger voters across the country. ........ “My bias has always been to speak factually, to speak accurately, to speak precisely about issues and matters that have potentially great consequence,” she said in the interview in Japan. “I find it off-putting to just engage in platitudes. I much prefer to deconstruct an issue and speak of it in a way that hopefully elevates public discourse and educates the public.” .......... In planning meetings before she travels abroad, officials from foreign governments have proposed meetings or public appearances with the first lady of the country Ms. Harris is visiting. Her staff rebuffs those proposals, saying the vice president is not visiting as a spouse but as the second-ranking official of the United States ........ Ms. Harris — who stands about 5-foot-2 ........ When the Biden administration confronted a shortage of baby formula across the nation last year, Ms. Harris declined a request by the West Wing to highlight efforts to solve the problem by meeting a shipment of formula at Washington Dulles International Airport .......... she feels most comfortable receiving intelligence briefings or addressing law enforcement officials, venues where she says substance is valued over politics ....... has watched the vice president try to distill complex health care issues in a way that “everyday citizens” can understand......... she asked if Americans can ever “truly be free” if a woman cannot make decisions about her own body. ...... how threats to Roe represent a broader threat to civil rights.

Jimmy Kimmel Takes on Trump’s ‘Sad’ Return to the Campaign Trail Kimmel called Donald Trump’s 2024 campaign “the political equivalent of when Michael Jordan went to play for the Wizards.” .......... “Trump also warned that if Ron DeSantis runs for president, he would consider it a great act of disloyalty. And, you know, loyalty means everything to the guy who cheated on his third wife with a porn star and thought it might be cool to hang his vice president.” — JIMMY KIMMEL ........ ‘DeSantis 2024: Make America Florida Again.’ ........ “I would tell them, I would sit them down and say, ‘Boys, whoever wins is the son we love more and that’s that.’ That’s how Trump does it.” — JIMMY KIMMEL

Doctors Aren’t Burned Out From Overwork. We’re Demoralized by Our Health System. the diseased systems for which we work. ........ The United States is the only large high-income nation that doesn’t provide universal health care‌ to its citizens. Instead, it maintains a lucrative system of for-profit medicine. For decades, ‌at least tens of thousands of preventable deaths have occurred each year because health care here is so expensive. ....... at least 338,000 Covid deaths in the United States could have been prevented by universal health care. ....... in 2021 alone, about 117,000 physicians left the work force, while fewer than 40,000 joined it. ........ One in five doctors says he or she plans to leave practice in the coming years‌. ....... burnout. Nearly two-thirds of physicians report they are experiencing its symptoms. ........ What’s burning out health care workers is less the grueling conditions we practice under, ‌and more our dwindling faith in the systems for which we work. What has been identified as occupational burnout is a symptom of a deeper ‌collapse. We are witnessing the slow death of American medical ideology. ........ a belief system made up of interlinking political, moral and cultural narratives upon which we depend to make sense of our social world ........ nearly one-fifth of physicians reporting they knew a colleague who had considered, attempted‌‌ or died by suicide during the first year of the pandemic alone. ........... the structural perversity of our institutions‌‌ ......... ostensibly nonprofit‌ charity hospitals have illegally saddl‌ed poor patients with debt for receiving‌‌ care to which they were entitled without cost and have exploited tax incentives meant to promote care for poor communities to turn ‌‌large profits. ......... Hospitals are deliberately understaffing themselves and undercutting patient care while sitting on billions of dollars in cash reserves. Little of this is new, but doctors’ sense of our complicity in putting profits over people has ‌grown more difficult to ignore. ........ Resistance to self-criticism has long been a hallmark of U.S. medicine and the industry it has shaped. From at least the 1930s through today, doctors have organized efforts to ward off the specter of “socialized medicine.” We have repeatedly defended health care as a business venture against the threat that it might become a public institution oriented around rights rather than revenue. .......... We sit ‌at our patients’ bed sides and counsel them on their duty to counteract the risks of obesity, heart disease and diabetes, for example, while largely ignoring how those diseases are tied to poor ‌access to quality food because of economic inequities. .......... teaches us to suppress critical thinking and trust the system, even with its perverse incentives. ........ a system of billing codes invented by the American Medical Association as part of a political strategy to protect its vision of for-profit health care now dictates nearly every ‌aspect of medical practice, producing not just endless administrative work, but also subtly shaping treatment choices. .........

Any illusion that medicine and politics are, or should be, separate spheres has been crushed under the weight of over ‌‌1.1 million Americans killed by a pandemic that was in many ways a preventable disaster.

........ our institutions, and much of our work inside them, primarily serve a moneymaking machine. .......... We have a responsibility to use our collective power to insist on changes: for universal health care and paid sick leave but also investments in community health worker programs and essential housing and social welfare systems. .......... If we can build an organizing network through doctors’ unions, then proposals to demand universal health care through use of collective civil disobedience via physicians’ control over health care documentation and billing, for example, could move from visions to genuinely actionable plans. ......... until doctors join together to call for a fundamental reorganization of our medical system, our work ‌won’t do what ‌we were promised it would do, nor will it prioritize the people we claim to prioritize. To be able to build the systems we need, we must face an unpleasant truth: Our health care institutions as they exist today are part of the problem rather than the solution.

The rise and rise of Xi Jinping — the strongman of China. Even before the Congress approved his third term, he laid out his decade-long vision for China....