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The Tragedy of the Knowledge Commons

Date: Friday, September 5, 2014
Summary: Several years ago, my seven-year-old and I were out walking when we met a young man who had recently returned from military service in Afghanistan. In response to my son’s obvious fixation on the titanium rod protruding from his shorts, the man volunteered that he had been injured in a skirmish with Taliban fighters near the Pakistan border. Once out of ear-shot, my son peppered me with questions he would not dare pose to a stranger, and I found myself reconstructing the possible circumstances of the veteran’s injury, the reasons for war, and the probable course of treatment he had received after his wound. After a thoughtful pause, my son remarked: “Well, at least he got to keep his foot.” more…

The Concept: A Well-Informed Electorate

Date: Friday, January 30, 2015
Summary: This is the first in a series of articles on the evolution of the press in America. The American form of government was considered an “Experiment” by the Founders. No other nation in the history of civilization had determined that it would start at the bottom. By giving the vote to ordinary citizens the Founders deliberately sought to create a “sovereign people” – from the bottom up. Emigrants to America had come from countries where power always emanated from the top – royal families, church officials, landowners. To provide the information the people would need to make their judgments of political candidates and public policies, the Founders – without exception – endorsed a free and independent press. more…

The Poisoned Well of Public Discourse: Anita Sarkeesian, #GamerGate, and the Value of Humanities Education

Date: Saturday, November 8, 2014
Summary: At the University of Massachusetts in 1975, Chinua Achebe delivered a lecture criticizing Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness for perpetuating colonial stereotypes of Africans. more…

Evolution of the Press in America

Date: Monday, April 13, 2015
Summary: The colonial years in America became a long and troubled rehearsal for a new form of democracy called the United States. Scattered among the rural towns and rising cities, like Boston and New York, were many small newspapers. They covered the local political life and ultimately planted the seeds of rebellion. more…

Popular Perceptions and Dehumanization in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Date: Friday, April 10, 2015
Summary: During the Gaza War in the summer of 2014, Israelis in the streets of Tel Aviv chanted "There's no school in Gaza, there are no more kids left” and concluded their chant with "Gaza is [now] a cemetery." Similarly, a New York Times study found that 93 percent of Palestinians hold anti-Semitic views. The consensus is that Arabs and Jews have always held these views and since the conflict has raged for so long there is nothing that can be done. However, Arabs and Jews have not always held these opinions and the loss of human values, such as the respect for human life between them, began in the early 20th century. Disengagement from the conflict serves the cultural forces of dehumanization. It is the responsibility of an engaged citizenry to recognize the necessity for context building in order find a way back to humanity. more…

Origins of Antifeminism

Date: Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Summary: There is a recent trend of women publicly taking their stance on feminism. Influential feminist Lininaz Evans stated she was "not a fan of men" causing a stir about how modern feminists operate. Conversely, on September 20th 2014 Emma Watson gave a speech on gender equality at the UN addressing the misguided beliefs of feminism. Evans' statement in particular caused journalist A. Ages to comment that statements like these have cast a shadow on how the mainstream views feminists. more…