Mass extinction & the 7 keys to the Internet

After what's felt like weeks of light reading, this week erupted with a number of great articles that are worth sharing. I originally had even more than what's here, but pared it down to a more manageable six choice pieces of reading.

Three quarters of white people have no non-white friends
While it's certainly true that the vast majority of my friends are white, I have a large number of non-white friends. It never occurred to me that the overwhelming majority of white people don't associate with people different from them. This article looks at the racial diversity of friendships, and their homogeny informs a lot of our current issues in the wake of Ferguson.

Churchill at 140
This past week would have been Winston Churchill's 140th birthday. Churchill is my favorite political icon of the 20th Century. This article explores what our modern world can learn from his leadership both through the World Wars and into the Cold War. The world urgently needs another strong, democratic leader in the vein of Sir Winston.

The coming mass extinction
Some scientists believe the world is creeping toward a sixth mass extinction. Human behaviors (both directly and indirectly) are accelerating the rate at which species vanish from the Earth, and the impact will be irreversible.

Teaching writing in North Korea
I often wonder how countries like North Korea are sustainable - how do they continue to oppress their people so easily? A first-hand account of a teacher who taught essay writing to North Korean students provides a sad, clear glimpse into how young people are taught to think in autocratic countries.

The seven keys to the Internet
This article is almost a year old, but it popped up on my Facebook feed this week and is incredible! There are quite literally seven keys that control the entire Internet, shared among 14 keyholders and alternates who gather quarterly to ensure the Internet's continued operation.

The fall of Bill Gross
Bill Gross' exit from PIMCO was fast and surprising. Bloomberg researched a complete look at what went wrong and drove him away from the firm he founded (and where he was largely successful). We often see people with his combination of wealth, personality and success as invulnerable, and here's an interesting look and how things can all go wrong.