Does Cass Sunstein Regret Ruining Your Popcorn?

The Legal Scholar Who Put Nutrition Facts in Movie Theaters and Fast Food Joints Helps Us Figure Out What Information We Need

When Cass R. Sunstein was serving as administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs under President Barack Obama, he oversaw major new legislation requiring chain restaurants to disclose nutrition information. After an extremely long debate, Sunstein and his colleagues decided to include movie theaters. “A lot of people consume a lot of stuff at the movie theater, and it would be good for people to make informed choices,” Sunstein recalled thinking at the time. When he told a friend the good news, she replied with three …

When Numeracy Superseded Literacy—and Created the Modern World

The Renaissance's Embrace of Numbers Revolutionized Commerce, Science, and Art

In 1025, two learned monks, Radolph of Liége and Ragimbold of Cologne, exchanged several letters on mathematical topics they had encountered while reading a manuscript of the sixth-century Roman philosopher, …

Forget Fake News. Social Media Is Making Democracy Less Democratic.

Hyperconnectivity Allows Demagogues to Micro-Target and Manipulate the Masses

Anxieties that new communications technologies and media formats would undermine democratic citizenship go back more than a century. In the late 19th century, critics worried about sensationalistic “yellow journalism”; a …

What Happens When Personal Information Gets Weaponized

The Government Needs Data to Protect Infrastructure, Without Imperiling Privacy

Michael Greenberger is a professor at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law and the founder and director of the University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security. …