David Bowie - Changes

by David Galenson Added 19.02.2017
Britain’s Royal Mail has announced it will honor the late David Bowie with a set of 10 stamps – the first time it has dedicated a set of stamps to a single musician. A spokesman explained that the issue will honor Bowie’s “many celebrated personas.” David Bowie, 1967 Joyce Carol Oates once mused that Bob Dylan “went through so many transformations, emotionally and musically and even physically, that he must be a fictional character.” Her...

Trump's America and the rise of the authoritarian personality

by Magnus Linden Added 18.02.2017
Since the horror of Hitler’s Holocaust, psychologists have investigated why certain individuals appear more prone to follow orders from authority figures, even if it means that they have to sacrifice humanitarian values while doing so. Apart from the Nazi regime, this issue is central to military atrocities such as the massacre in My Lai during the Vietnam war, and the systematic abuse of detainees in Abu-Ghraib prison in post-invasion Iraq....

The Politics of Business, and the Business of Politics, in the World of Donald J. Trump

by David Coates Added 18.02.2017
The Chinese curse, “may you live in interesting times,” has a renewed resonance this side of January 20th. As we now all presumably realize, there is never a dull day in American politics with Donald J. Trump in the White House, and there is never likely to be one. Oh, that there was. And because there is not, miles and miles of printed commentary chase each daily absurdity in turn, running the risk as they do so both of exhausting their...

Dear White, Christian Trump Supporters: We Need To Talk

by Susan M. Shaw Added 13.02.2017
Plenty of pundits keep telling us progressives that we didn’t listen to them in the heartland ― to you of the white working class, to you of conservative Christianity. Actually, I grew up as one of you. I’ve listened to you my whole life, but I don’t think I know how to understand you at all. I suppose now you’d consider me part of the so-called liberal elite. I’m a west coast university professor with a Ph.D. and almost 30 years of teaching...

Why cancer rates are increasing disproportionately in women – and what we can do about it

by Sarah Allinson Added 12.02.2017
Recent reports that cancer rates in UK women are set to rise six times faster than in men over the next two decades will have alarmed many. It is likely to be a similar story across the western world. In the US, cancer rates have been steadily decreasing in men but not in women. And although it is still the case that more men than women get cancer, the gap is narrowing. The new prediction of future trends for cancer in women by Cancer...

Murdoch's access to British prime minister shows media power still in hands of the few

by Des Freedman and Justin Schlosberg Added 10.02.2017
In 1996, when the web was in its infancy, the American technology writer Nicholas Negroponte predicted that the coming digital revolution would facilitate a “cottage industry of information and entertainment providers”. Twenty years on and the story of “fake news”, which had wide currency during the US election, and was found emanating from basements, cafes and computer labs in the small Macedonian city of Veles would appear to prove...

Why Trump’s travel ban is so harmful to the tech economy

by Vivek Wadhwa Added 01.02.2017
Silicon Valley exports technology and imports the world’s best talent. That is how it has helped grow America’s economy and boosted its competitive advantage. President Trump’s executive order banning immigrants from some Muslim countries sent shock waves through the tech industry over the weekend because it was a loud and clear message to the world that America’s doors are now closed, and xenophobia and bigotry are the new rules of law. It...

Vitamin B1 and Alzheimer's

by Richard Hoffman Added 31.01.2017
A feeling of apathy or being a little forgetful from time to time is nothing unusual. But for some, this could be an early sign of not getting enough thiamine (also known as vitamin B1). Long term, this can have serious consequences, including an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. There is often a fatalistic attitude towards Alzheimer’s disease, with the belief that it’s a consequence of old age or it’s in our genes. But most...

How globalisation brought the brutality of markets to Western shores

by Benjamin Selwyn Added 27.01.2017
The story of contemporary globalisation is, at its heart, the story of how we created a vast and impoverished working class. It is abundantly clear that the dynamics behind this have now hit home. First Brexit, then Donald Trump. We have been told that these votes were a primal scream from those forgotten parts of society. Both campaigns identified immigration as a core cause of worker impoverishment and social exclusion. Both argued that...

Five reasons why you might be driving electric sooner than you think

by Stephen Hall Added 26.01.2017
There is huge potential for using electric vehicles to tackle climate change, give us cleaner air and grow the green economy. The question is, when it will make sense for most of us to ditch diesel and petrol, and go electric? Given the pace of innovation in the sector, it might be sooner than you think. New research from the University of Leeds has investigated innovations in electric mobility that could take the electric car from a niche...

What the U.S. can learn from India’s move toward a cashless society

by Vivek Wadhwa Added 25.01.2017
Silicon Valley fancies itself the global leader in innovation. Its leaders hype technologies such as bitcoin and blockchain, which some claim are the greatest inventions since the Internet. They are so complex that only a few mathematicians can understand them, and they require massive computing resources to operate — yet billions of dollars are invested in them. India may have leapfrogged the U.S. technology industry with simple and...

Rich and famous lifestyles are damaging the environment in untold ways

by Peter Wells and Anne Touboulic Added 24.01.2017
To be rich is a thing that many in our society spend their whole lives striving for. Not having to worry about money and indeed, splashing it on designer clothes, chains of diamonds and private planes is seen by some to be the ultimate dream. Peter Wells But life like this comes at more of a cost than we realise. To coincide with the 2017 World Economic Forum, Oxfam published a new report, which claimed that the eight richest people in the...

M. L. King Day 2017: A Time for Principled Defiance

by Robert Creamer Added 16.01.2017
This M. L. King Day, 2017 is an especially important time for us to celebrate and emulate the principled defiance of Dr. Martin Luther King.  Persistent, unapologetic – doggedly non-violent – Dr. King stood like a rock – defiant of the bigotry, racism and disenfranchisement of his time.  Refusing to bend, he inspired a movement that changed America.  In May, 1940, much of the British army was surrounded by German forces – its backs to the...

How Finland could see benefits from its basic income experiment

by Surraya Rowe and Chris Parry Added 14.01.2017
One of the greatest political challenges in the 21st century is coming up with a welfare system which is both effective and fair. Recipients and non-recipients of benefits payments are both quick to point out apparent deficiencies in the status quo – as well as problems with any potential alternatives. But some countries are clearly ready for change. As of January 1 2017, Finland became the first European country to implement a plan whereby...

Why 2017 is the year of the bot

by Vivek Wadhwa Added 07.01.2017
In the 2013 movie “Her,” Theodore Twombly, a lonely writer, falls in love with a digital assistant designed to meet his every need.  She sorts emails, helps get a book published, provides personal advice and ultimately becomes his girlfriend.  The assistant, Samantha, is A.I. software capable of learning at an astonishing pace. Samantha will remain in the realm of science fiction for at least another decade, but less-functional digital...

Preparing for the Normalization of a Neofascist White House

by Juan Cole Added 03.01.2017
It is 2017, and shortly the White House will be inhabited by an unscrupulous, corrupt narcissist who has shamelessly mobilized the Neo-Nazi fringe of the Republican Party to get into power. Despite all the cries of ‘no’ to normalization on the left, Trump will be normalized by the same corporate media that virtually boycotted Bernie Sanders. He will be respectfully called “the president” and his wishes and goals will be praised on cable...

2017: The Beginning of the Era of Disruption

by Daniel Wagner Added 02.01.2017
In this era of dramatic, rampant, and incessant political change, predictions about the future can no longer be based either on conventional wisdom or historical precedent. We are, after all, in the middle of a paradigm shift that is shredding prognosticators and their prognostications with voraciousness. Just as virtually all of those highly paid political pundits missed by a mile the Brexit and Trump’s electoral victory, economic pundits...

Was 2016 just 1938 all over again?

by Julie Gottlieb Added 31.12.2016
On December 31 1937, Cambridge classicist and man of letters F L Lucas embarked on an experiment. He would keep a diary for exactly one calendar year. It was, as he put it: “an attempt to give one answer, however inadequate, however fragmentary, to the question that will surely be asked one day by some of the unborn – with the bewilderment, one hopes, of a happier age: ‘What can it have felt like to live in that strange, tormented and...

Troubling Omens as We Approach the Presidency of Donald J. Trump

by David Coates Added 31.12.2016
  These are early days of course. Nothing has happened yet to directly justify a rush to judgment. But enough happened during the campaign, and enough is happening now in the interregnum between the election and the inauguration, to give genuine cause for concern. These three large concerns at the very least. The Prospect of Bad Policies to Come  Had Hillary Clinton won, we would now be contemplating the possibilities of extending access to...

Fringe helped elect Trump by crossing over into mainstream

by Lawrence Rosenthal Added 19.12.2016
The self-described “alt-right” represents what for many decades has been an offshoot of radical conservatism, mixing racism, white nationalism and populism. At its most extreme, we find virulently antiblack and anti-Semitic groups like the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazi political parties. Now, in an astonishingly short period of 18 months, white nationalism made the leap from the fringe of American politics to the commanding heights of the...
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