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Some big news: Axios has signed a deal with HBO to produce a limited docu-news series airing this fall. The series will feature breaking news, interviews with the world’s most influential leaders, and short documentaries on the topics that matter most. Axios will work with HBO and a cast of Emmy®-winning producers to help viewers better understand the collision of politics, technology, business and the world.
Okay, let's start with ...
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
For years, becoming "connected" has been the zeitgeist — to long-lost family, friends, whole new communities, potential business partners at home and abroad, perhaps a romance. What's not to like?
The big picture: Since 2016, we've learned in drip-drip-drip revelations how our social media giants, especially Facebook, have made us disconnected — divided, discordant, isolated into like-minded silos, and manipulated by hackers working for the Kremlin.
What would the world look like if — tomorrow — Facebook simply ... vanished?
I posed this question to experts from a number of fields. All suggested that, given what we continue to learn, something is seriously wrong with the current state of affairs. Yet none cheered the idea of losing Facebook entirely.
Scott Galloway, a NYU professor and author of The Four, a critique of U.S. big tech, called for Facebook's breakup — not disappearance — under anti-trust laws. Similarly, Nicholas Wright, a British neurologist who studies artificial intelligence and politics, said that a government shutdown of the platform "would be a terrible blow to the U.S. capitalist system. How could anyone trust the Government not to shut down other companies and lay off tens of thousands of workers etc.?"
But both Galloway and Wright found plenty to like about the absence of Facebook, too.
Since chief Paul Volcker in the late 1970s and 1980s, the Fed has maintained the same mental framework — keep interest rates down when the economy is slowing, and raise them when it starts to grow fast.
Driving the news: Now, with roaring GDP growth and rising wages, the Fed has signaled that it will increase interests rates next month to tap the brakes and ward off the possibility of uncontrolled inflation.
What we're hearing:
"There's further room for the tides to rise so that all boats will be lifted (including but not limited to the vessel of middle-wage earners, though an even greater concern is for low-wage earners)," Autor adds.
Go deeper: Read the whole post.
For decades, U.S. workers won higher pay in lockstep with productivity growth — as businesses became more efficient, they rewarded employees with commensurate wage increases.
Go deeper: Bernstein's Aug. 3 blog post on the wages and productivity puzzle.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
The University of Michigan is backing new technology that captures carbon dioxide emissions from the air, and turns them into beer, lipstick and concrete.
Axios' Amy Harder writes: The technology is too expensive at the moment to commercialize, but if the cost can be brought down, it could be profitable to capture CO2, the emissions contributing to climate change.
One level deeper: Until now, the focus of such efforts has been on simply storing carbon dioxide. Now, the idea is to both capture and transform CO2 into a commodity for everyday products.
The types of products that can be made can seem limitless, as long as you have the right chemical reactions. Here’s a sampling:
China's Xi Jinping with Russia's Vladimir Putin. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty
N.Y. enacts first U.S. big-city cap on ride-hailing cars (Emma Fitzsimmons – NYT)
How to save the American heartland (Noah Smith – Bloomberg)
Crisis in the humanities (Ben Schmidt – Sapping Attention) (h/t Azeem Azhar)
China's very different cyber strategy (David McCabe – Axios)
Options out, the retired file for bankruptcy (Tara Siegel Bernard – NYT)
Dota 2 team to beat: OpenAI (Jamie Rigg – Engadget)
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
It turns out that the Indian fare you've come to love — curry, tandoori chicken, chicken tikka masala — often isn't in fact very Indian after all, Axios' Marisa Fernandez writes.
Instead, they and many other "Indian" dishes, served at restaurants in the U.S. and around the world, are more British and Portuguese — either modified to suit foreign palates and stomachs, or invented entirely from whole cloth.
The big picture: Indians are going back to their roots, re-introducing centuries-old ingredients and recipes, and showing that foods aren’t as static as people think.
The bottom line: Tandoori chicken, butter chicken and tandoori roti — staples of Indian restaurants — are also not originally Indian, but creations of the British under their rule, Colleen Sen, author of Feasts and Fasts: A History of Food in India, tells Axios.
What's new: In a growing trend, people in India are returning to more purist cuisine — using millets, vegetables and spices that had disappeared from kitchen tables.
Plus, India's middle class is seeing huge growth in social mobility, with large numbers going out to eat more. For the first time, Indians are out eating authentic Indian cuisines, with the original spices and ingredients, Sen says.
"There's a proliferation of regional Indian restaurants. Not a western version — its own authentic cuisine. It's quite a dramatic change," she says.