Apps are changing the industry, but experts warn against dispensing with human therapists entirely

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Photo: Robin Worrall

By Elena Kadvany

The road to therapy is often inscrutable, windy and unsatisfying, with availability, cost and fit frequently preventing people from getting the care they need.

A new wave of Bay Area startups is turning to tech to change that, using algorithms and automation to take the guesswork out of finding the right therapist. At a time when mental health care is rapidly moving from clinics and hospitals on to our phones, they’re building software to enhance the human relationship at the heart of successful therapy. …

Politicians and corporations have placed the burden of environmental responsibility on the consumer — but how easy is it to go green when you’re barely getting by?

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Photo: Clark Young

By Alison Stine

How easy is it to go green, to make deliberate, eco-friendly choices when you’re barely getting by? Can you be green and poor, as I am?

This is the question I have been pondering as politicians and corporations have placed the burden of environmental responsibility on the consumer: stop using plastic straws, carry reusable shopping bags, recycle everything.

I live in an environmentally conscious place: a rural town with thriving local food businesses, a farmers’ market and many organic farms. But it’s also a small town in central Appalachia, in the poorest county in my state: Ohio. Many people here go hungry. They can’t afford food, let alone organic food. A gas station is the closest source of “groceries” for some people without cars. …

As businesses look to save money and space, providers such as WeWork are booming. But co-working is not all it’s cracked up to be.

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Photo: Eloise Ambursley

By Filipa Pajević

Co-working isn’t just booming — it’s taking over our cities. The co-working space provider WeWork is the biggest occupier of office space in London after the government. It has surpassed JP Morgan as the top commercial real estate holder in New York. This week we learned it is being paid £55m in “inducements” to fill Brexit-related office vacancies in Canary Wharf.

It’s not just WeWork. Amsterdam-based Spaces (Regus’s answer to WeWork) just unveiled 9,000 sq ft of co-working spaces in New York’s Chrysler building and is speedily adding new locations across Eastern Europe and Asia and the Pacific to its already impressive arsenal. …

I was a climate scientist in a climate-denying administration — and it cost me my job

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Photo: Martin Adams

By Maria Caffrey

The Trump administration’s hostility towards climate science is not new. Interior climate staffer Joel Clement’s reassignment and the blocking of intelligence aide Rod Schoonover’s climate testimony, which forced both federal employees to resign in protest, are just two of the innumerable examples. These attempts to suppress climate science can manifest themselves in many ways. It starts with burying important climate reports and becomes something more insidious like stopping climate scientists from doing their jobs. In February 2019, I lost my job because I was a climate scientist in a climate-denying administration. …

Action may finally be taken over claims Facebook, Google Apple and Amazon have monopolised chosen fields

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Photo: Damien Meyer/AFP/Getty Images

By Alex Hern

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has announced a wide-ranging antitrust review of “market-leading online platforms”, suggesting that long-awaited action may finally be taken against some of the world’s largest companies.

But the confirmation of the investigation is sparse on detail, revealing only that the review “will consider the widespread concerns that consumers, businesses and entrepreneurs have expressed about search, social media, and some retail services online”.

Who could they be talking about? What concerns could people be expressing? …

If what it takes to create are long stretches of time alone, that’s something women have never had the luxury to expect

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A woman writes with a typewriter in Central Park, New York, 1942. Photo: Fred Stein Archive/Archive Photos/Getty Images

By Brigid Schulte

A few months ago, as I struggled to carve out time in my crowded days for writing, a colleague suggested I read a book about the daily rituals of great artists. But instead of offering me the inspiration I’d hoped for, what struck me most about these creative geniuses — mostly men — was not their schedules and daily routines, but those of the women in their lives.

Their wives protected them from interruptions; their housekeepers and maids brought them breakfast and coffee at odd hours; their nannies kept their children out of their hair. Martha Freud not only laid out Sigmund’s clothes every morning, she even put the toothpaste on his toothbrush. Marcel Proust’s housekeeper, Celeste, not only brought him his daily coffee, croissants, newspapers and mail on a silver tray, but was always on hand whenever he wanted to chat, sometimes for hours. Some women are mentioned only for what they put up with, like Karl Marx’s wife — unnamed in the book — who lived in squalor with the surviving three of their six children while he spent his days writing at the British Museum. …

The trailblazing computer scientist talks about being in charge of the software for the 1969 Apollo moon landing

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President Barack Obama awards the Presidential Medal of Freedom to NASA mathematician and computer software pioneer Margaret Hamilton. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

By Zoë Corbyn

Computer pioneer Margaret Hamilton was critical to landing astronauts on the moon for the first time on 20 July 1969 and returning them safely a few days later. The young Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) computer programmer and working mother led the team that created the onboard flight software for the Apollo missions, including Apollo 11. The computer system was the most sophisticated of its day. Her rigorous approach was so successful that no software bugs were ever known to have occurred during any crewed Apollo missions. “She symbolises that generation of unsung women who helped send humankind into space,” said President Barack Obama in 2016 when he awarded Hamilton the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian award. In 2017, she was one of a handful of NASA women to be immortalised as a Lego figurine. …

The Democratic party mega-donor has to distinguish himself from other candidates with no widespread name recognition in the 2020 field

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Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

By Sam Levin

Tom Steyer entered the Democratic primary with a singular advantage: the largest fortune of any 2020 candidate. It could also be his biggest liability.

Reflecting on the ethics of a billionaire candidate at a time when growing inequality is a key election issue, the former hedge fund manager and Democratic party mega-donor offered up an unusual defense: Queen Bey.

“Should we put a limit on what Beyoncé makes? I don’t see why,” Steyer told the Guardian by phone. …

As a child I was fascinated by the moon landings. But after once gazing at the stars, our leaders now only look inwards.

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Photo: Lee Balterman/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images

By Suzanne Moore

“I am very grateful that this wonderful event should happen in my lifetime. I was precisely 11 years, 0 months, 1 day old,” I wrote diligently in my moon scrapbook. I was obsessed with the moon landings, to put it mildly, collecting every newspaper clipping. I wrote “Man on the moon” on every surface. Scratching it on to my desk meant I got a clip round the ear.

No one else in my family understood it. It was yet another sign of my unbelonging. No one in Ipswich got the huge significance of it all the way I did, and I was made to go on a stupid school camping trip instead of watching it on television. …

The founder of the online classifieds site is a survivor from the era of internet optimism. He has given significant sums to protect the future of news — and rejects the idea his website helped cause journalism’s financial crisis.

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Craig Newmark,poses in front of the Craigslist office March 21, 2006 in San Francisco, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

By David Smith

As the Craig in Craigslist, the free online noticeboard that changed everything, Craig Newmark can surely get his hands on just about anything. His new home in Greenwich Village, New York, contains everything from an ancient Roman mosaic to 18th-century British portraits to Simpsons figurines to artworks by his beloved Leonard Cohen. But something is missing. Something vital.

“We’re low on bird seed now,” Newmark observes anxiously. “That’s a crisis.”

The scale and scope of the crisis become evident when you understand Newmark’s ornithological obsession. During an hour-long conversation, his eye keeps wandering to the small garden where mourning doves, house sparrows, cardinals, blue jays and “a hopefully limited number of pigeons” come and go. Just last night he installed a webcam so he can watch them all remotely. …


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