City Built on Sand Is a Monument to China’s Problems: Here’s What’s Happening Today

The Daily 5 is Sharp’s essential reading list for what’s happening in the world today. Make sure to follow us on Twitter or subscribe to the Sharp Insider newsletter to stay up to date.

Here’s what we’re reading:

1. Build your house upon a rock

“Hundreds of hills on the dry, sandy Loess Plateau were flattened by bulldozers to create the 315-square-mile city. But today, cranes stand idle in planned industrial parks while newly built residential blocks loom empty. Streets are mostly deserted. Life-size replicas of the Parthenon and the Sphinx sit surrounded by wasteland, monuments to profligacy.”

The Langzhou New Area epitomizes what is wrong with China’s economic model, in particular a reliance of debt to prop up a slowing economy with projects that make little to no commercial sense.

2. Paying the price in the attention economy

“It costs nothing to click, respond and retweet. But what price do we pay in our relationships and our peace of mind?” Aeon explores the cumulative impact of those dings and buzzes you get throughout the day.

+1: Why is it easier to make decisions for other people?

3. Trapped on Europe’s doorstep

“Politicians called it a symbol of European failure. Media reports called it squalid. But until it was bulldozed this week, the Idomeni refugee camp offered hope to the thousands of people who lived there.”

4. A tale of two parties

The Liberals and Conservatives both wrapped up their party conventions this weekend. One eliminated it’s membership fees, opening up the party to a new generation of members, the other finally adopted same-sex marriage. The Toronto Star writes about what this weekend tells us about the state of Canadian politics.

5. Ever wonder why spaceship sounds are so relaxing?

It turns out there’s a lot that goes into making your favourite sci-fi ship sound the way it does.