16-year-old Nick Rubin invents BS detection device to use on politicians

July 11, 2014

Friday, July 11, 2014

Good afternoon:

I love stories like this.

16-year-old Nick Rubin has invented a new browser plug-in that provides a breakdown of a politician’s campaign contributions when the politician’s name comes up in an article. He calls it Greenhouse. As VICE put it,

As you can imagine, reading about how your member of Congress voted in a recent health bill becomes all the more enlightening if you know how much money the health industry showered him in at the last election.

During an interview by Tim Mak of vice.com, Nick explains how he came up with the idea:

Back in seventh grade, I gave a presentation on corporate personhood, and ever since then I’ve been really interested in that issue. I think the one problem is that the sources of income for members of congress haven’t been simple and easily accessible when people have needed it. More recently, I’ve been teaching myself how to code, and I thought that something like Greenhouse that puts the data at people’s fingertips would be a perfect solution. It really is the intersection of these two passions of mine—coding and politics. I made it after school and on weekends on my computer.

Greenhouse is available for free with Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.

You can read the rest of this fascinating interview right here.

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