Chipotle is closed this afternoon because the company gave a bunch of people E. coli and now must make a grand public showing of how serious they are about not poisoning us. As part of this savvy public relations gambit, the company announced today that we’re all entitled to a free burrito. In return, Chipotle only wants one thing.
Narcotics have been a fabric of life on this continent for thousands of years. A huge number of academic studies, undertaken by the government and institutions of higher learning, have attempted to plumb the depths of that usage. Now, we join that noble pursuit, with the most important drug question of all: How much do drugs cost in your city? And can you even get good stuff?
Big Data: The phrase conjures up images of nerdy techno-alchemists finessing valuable information about the universe with complicated and expensive computers. It is that, yes—but it's also a necessary progression in technological evolution, a term for any complex analysis of large databases that would have been impossible using older technology. The potential benefits of its use are enormous, and the uses vary widely as the information collected about us grows exponentially and the ability to process it grows in tandem.
Slate columnist Reihan Salam has an important message: He still believes in neoconservatism. He concedes, more or less, that the past 13 years of United States foreign policy have been a hideous spectacle of strategic, tactical, and moral failure, all perpetrated in the name of neoconservative ideas. "Given all of this," he asks, "why am I still a neocon?"
We hear a lot about how valuable our personal information in the age of social networking. There are all these tools to help us calculate how much our Twitter account is "worth" and movements to get Facebook to pay for our data. But, it turns out, our personal information is just worth pennies to the largest data-collection companies.
Attention, data nerds! Numbers from the 2010 Census are being released, which means it's time to start crunching numbers and making colorful maps. New Geography has a bunch, including these two showing the concentrations of black and Hispanic respondents, respectively. Multiply the numbers in the legend by 100 to get the population percentages. [New Geography via Sociological Images]