Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner – Freakonomics

What has the legalization of abortion to do with the crime drop rate in the late 1990s? Nothing, you might think at first. The authors of the book Freakonomics would argue against your thought. Steven Levitt is a professor of economics at the University of Chicago. Stephen Dubner is a journalist working for ABC News and The New York Times. They met at an interview and decided to work together on several books. This book was a result of their productive cooperation.

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Choice of Games – The Great Tournament

In a time when videogames are as expansive and as time-consuming to produce like Hollywood blockbusters, text-based games appear to be out of time. Choice of Games LLC, a small company from California, want to convince players from the opposite. They are specialized on interactive smartphone games. The Great Tournament, a 180,000 word interactive fantasy novel, is one of their hosted games.

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Robert A. Dahl – On Democracy

Democracy is not a new invention. During 600 C.E. to 1000 C.E. the Vikings hold meetings called Ting. There they settled disputes, discussed, accepted or rejected laws and even decided to change their religion (from the old Norse religion to Christianity). Later, they created a kind of supra-Ting, a National Assembly called Althing. Other historic examples of democratically ruled societies are the city-states of ancient Greece, ancient Rome (before the reign of Julius Caesar) and some Italian cities during the Middle Ages. But in which aspects do they differ from today’s democracy? What are the key elements of democracy and what challenges do they have to face?

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Star Wars – Is the prequel trilogy really that bad?

Star Wars is one of the most famous science fiction franchises in history. The first three movies (Star Wars IV-VI) become an important part of today’s pop culture. Overwhelmed by the success of the trilogy, director George Lucas decided to make a sequel trilogy, in which the young Anakin Skywalker turned to the dark side. This trilogy consists of three movies, The Phantom Menace (I), Attack of the Clones (II) and Revenge of the Sith (III).

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Jonathan Haidt – The Righteous Mind

Everyone agrees that human psychology consists of reasoning and moral intuition, otherwise known as head and heart. The point of contention is which part is more important and more dominant. The ancient Greek philosopher Plato argues that reason could always be the master and in control of the human body. Jonathan Haidt, a moral psychologist at New York University’s Stern School of Business disagrees with this view. In his work, he tries to analyze the origin of morality, the conflict between the head and the heart, why people gather themselves in groups and what implications his findings have on topics like religion or politics.

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Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee – The Second Machine Age

In 1996 the U.S. government developed the then fastest supercomputer in the world. The project cost about $55 million and occupied a floor space of about 80 percent of a tennis court. The machine reached the power of 1.8 teraflops. Just nine years later another computer hit this benchmark. The difference: It could fit into every living room and cost only about five hundred dollars. The computer was the PlayStation 3, developed by Sony.

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Bernie Sanders – Our Revolution

Bernie Sanders is currently serving his second term in the Senate of the United States. He considers himself a democratic socialist and a progressive politician. He rose to fame because of his rather unconventional run for presidency, which he lost in the end against his democratic rival, Hillary Clinton. Clinton then lost to the republican candidate Donald Trump, who is the 45th president of the United States.

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