PICKS are stories from many sources, selected by our editors or recommended by our readers because they are important, surprising, troubling, enlightening, inspiring, or amusing. They appear on our site and in our daily newsletter. Please send suggested articles, videos, podcasts, etc. to picks@whowhatwhy.org.

As Rents Rise, So Do Pressures on People at Risk of Eviction (Maria)

The author writes, “Tenants and advocates have dreaded a wave of evictions that was predicted to follow the end of the federal ban on evictions during the pandemic. Yet in many areas nationwide, eviction filings have increased only moderately since the Supreme Court ruled President Biden’s extension of the eviction moratorium unconstitutional. Evictions remain well below pre-pandemic averages, according to the Eviction Lab at Princeton University. But those numbers do not capture evictions … that were filed during the pandemic but are only now being executed — right as rents surge far beyond pre-pandemic prices and the budgets of many renters.”

Facebook’s AI Is Removing Just Two Percent of Hate Speech Posts (Sean)

The author writes, “Facebook‘s Artificial Intelligence programs detect and remove as little as two per cent of hate speech posted on the platform — despite promises from Mark Zuckerberg that it was the future for content moderation. Internal documents obtained by The Wall Street Journal showed the scale of the problem with the social media giant’s machine-learning software, while senior figures at the tech giant were insisting publicly that their AI schemes were efficient and effective.”

Does Raising the Minimum Wage Kill Jobs? (Doug)

From The Conversation: “For decades it was conventional wisdom in the field of economics that a higher minimum wage results in fewer jobs. In part, that’s because it’s based on the law of supply and demand, one of the most well-known ideas in economics. Despite it being called a ‘law,’ it’s actually two theories that suggest if the price of something goes up — wages, for example — demand will fall — in this case, for workers. Meanwhile, their supply will rise. Thus an introduction of a high minimum wage would cause the supply of labor to exceed demand, resulting in unemployment. But this is just a theory with many built-in assumptions.”

Texas Prosecutor Drops Charges After Migrants Claim They Were Marched to Private Property, Then Arrested for Trespassing (Dan)

From The Texas Tribune: “Charges have been dropped against 11 migrants arrested under Gov. Greg Abbott’s border security initiative after the men told attorneys they were marched for about 20 minutes to a fenced ranch by law enforcement, then arrested for trespassing. Without video evidence or a written report of the August incident from U.S. Border Patrol, Val Verde County Attorney David Martinez dismissed the trespassing charges … after the men had spent nearly two months in state prison.”

These Clinics in Mexico Are Trying to Stop Abortions by Duping Women (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Elena Cauduro Perez was finishing high school in 2019 when she took a home pregnancy test and it was positive. She scheduled an abortion at a Mexico City hospital where her boyfriend’s sister worked. But heavy traffic slowed the drive from her home in the state of Morelos, and she missed her appointment. Searching online for an alternative, Cauduro found a clinic that offered her an abortion for less than $100. The woman who opened the door walked her into the back for an ultrasound — which showed she was five weeks along — then handed her a plastic model of a fetus and began to explain the sanctity of life. Cauduro had been duped.”

‘It Comes From Bacteria, and Goes Back to Bacteria’: The Future of Plastic Alternatives (Inez)

The author writes, “When people think about plastic waste, they often think of the packaging that swaddles supermarket fruits and vegetables — shiny layers that are stripped away and thrown in the bin as soon as the produce is unloaded at home. It’s a wasteful cycle that California-based company Apeel says it can help end. The firm has developed an edible, tasteless and invisible plant-based spray for fruits and vegetables that works as a barrier to keep oxygen out and moisture in, increasing shelf life without the need for single-use plastic.”

Robot Dogs Now Have Assault Rifles Mounted on Their Backs (DonkeyHotey)

From The Drive: “Ghost Robotics and SWORD International have teamed up to create a rifle-toting ‘robot dog.’ Called the Special Purpose Unmanned Rifle, or SPUR, the system adds a 6.5mm Creedmoor rifle from SWORD to one of Ghost Robotics’ quadrupedal unmanned ground vehicles, or Q-UGVs. The SPUR made its debut on the show floor at the Association of the U.S. Army’s (AUSA) main annual convention in Washington, D.C., which opened [this month].”

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