Top Secret Palantir User Manual Revealed ; Road-Tripping With the Amazon Nomads ; and More Picks 7/12

Revealed: This Is Palantir’s Top Secret User Manual for Cops (Chris)

The author writes, “The Palantir user guide shows that police can start with almost no information about a person of interest and instantly know extremely intimate details about their lives. The capabilities are staggering.”

In Climate Debate, Texas Lawyer Stands as Possible Roadblock (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “With concerns about climate change gaining urgency — not just among Democrats, but also Republicans — efforts to reduce the nation’s dependence on oil, natural gas and other fossil fuels are intensifying. But potentially standing in the way is Bernard McNamee, a Houston-raised energy attorney and former adviser to Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who as a commissioner on the powerful Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has questioned the legality of efforts to dramatically cut greenhouse gases emitted by the U.S. energy system and replace the fossil fuels that produce them.”

Meet the Economist Behind the One Percent’s Stealth Takeover of America (Judy)

From the Institute for New Economic Thinking: “Nobel laureate James Buchanan is the intellectual linchpin of the Koch-funded attack on democratic institutions, argues Duke historian Nancy MacLean.”

Tracing the Roots: Mapping a Vegetable Family Tree For Better Food (Mili)

The author writes, “Human genetic testing has evolved over the recent decades, allowing people to find their ancestors and even determine specific percentages of their heritage. Much like the advances in human genetic testing recently popularized by commercial organizations have allowed people to gain a better understanding of their ancestry, scientists are now a step closer to determining a genetic family tree for vegetables by linking biology with computer science.”

Road-Tripping With the Amazon Nomads (Chris)

From the Verge: “[Chris] Anderson is an Amazon nomad, part of a small group of merchants who travel the backroads of America searching clearance aisles and dying chains for goods to sell on Amazon. Some live out of RVs and vans, moving from town to town, only stopping long enough to pick the stores clean and ship their wares to Amazon’s fulfillment centers.”