• The Kids Are Not All Right: College Mental Health Needs an Intervention
    Articles,  Blog

    The Kids Are Not All Right: College Mental Health Needs an Intervention

    There’s no legal requirement for schools to provide health or mental health services to their students. Colleges do it because it’s the right thing to do and because it’s prudent. I think there’s a growing understanding and it’s something that we at the Jed Foundation are trying to really make schools aware of that it’s in the school’s and the student’s best interest to provide a really broad array of support services to their students. The more we can keep students on track doing well in school and getting to the graduation line, the better it is for everybody involved. One of the big challenges in providing services is that…

  • How Rebel Victories Stop Civil Wars While Foreign Intervention Prolongs Them | Monica Duffy Toft
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    How Rebel Victories Stop Civil Wars While Foreign Intervention Prolongs Them | Monica Duffy Toft

    So when one country intervenes in another country’s civil war, one of the things that happens is: it extends the war. And if you think about it, what’s happening is that you’re having more resources coming into that conflict; and it’s bringing in new resources, bringing in new interests, basically complicating and complexifying that war that was already a very complex war. There are ways in which intervention might be good, which is you’re trying to pull the parties apart, not trying to pick sides—one side picking the other side—and that can sort of stop the killing, but typically before that happens if outside states are getting involved in a…

  • The oil wars: How America’s energy obsession wrecked the Middle East | Eugene Gholz
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    The oil wars: How America’s energy obsession wrecked the Middle East | Eugene Gholz

    So for a long time oil has played a special role in American foreign policy and military strategy. Oil is a uniquely important commodity in global affairs. It’s an input to everything in our modern way of life; it’s very important for protecting our prosperity; and at a certain level oil is essential for high-quality military power: to fight you need access to oil. And in the Cold War the United States was concerned that the Soviet Union could interrupt American access to Persian Gulf oil, which we needed in order to defend Europe, defend our own interests against the Soviet Union. And so we took it on as a…

  • How the Confederate Flags Came Down at the University of Mississippi | Harold Burson
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    How the Confederate Flags Came Down at the University of Mississippi | Harold Burson

    I went to college at Ole Miss, the University of Mississippi, and I got a telephone call from the chancellor one day and he said, “Harold, I have got to get the flags—the confederate flags—off the campus.” And I said, “Robert, I think you’re smoking pot.” And he said, “No I’m not kidding you,” he said, “we’ve got to do it.” And I said, “Why have we got to do it?” And he said, “You know, I’ve been here for one year, I expect to be here for nine more, and I want my legacy to be that I made this a great public university.” And he said, “As long…

  • Universal Mathematics: All Life on Earth Is Bound by One Spooky Algorithm | Geoffrey West
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    Universal Mathematics: All Life on Earth Is Bound by One Spooky Algorithm | Geoffrey West

    So I think it’s one of the more remarkable properties of life actually, but just taking mammals: that the largest mammal, the whale, is—in terms of measurable quantities of its physiology and its life history—is actually a scaled up version of the smallest mammal which is actually the shrew, but a mouse is very close to that. And everything in between, that they are scaled version of one another and in a systematic predictable way to sort of 80 percent or 90 percent level. So the kinds of things that you might measure might be as mundane as the length of the aorta, which is the first tube coming out…

  • How does academic freedom change society for good? | Ryan Stowers
    Articles,  Blog

    How does academic freedom change society for good? | Ryan Stowers

    The concerns that we have regarding academic freedom is first of all I think it’s underappreciated and maybe taken for granted how unique it is, and how absolutely critical it is. Universities historically have been places where people have the freedom to pursue courses of study that maybe weren’t as popular at the time or maybe controversial. And to prevent academics from being able to do that is dangerous. It’s dangerous for the future of our culture, of society. You think about all the ideas that have come out of universities over the centuries. It’s really been a driver of innovation and progress. And it was because people were in…

  • Fairness is a universal value. So why all this inequity? | Dr. Monica Sharma
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    Fairness is a universal value. So why all this inequity? | Dr. Monica Sharma

    We’ve generally worked on problems by looking at how can we solve the problem. But that’s very much a fix it mindset. Here’s a problem and what can we do to solve it? And technology, advances in technology, have enabled us to do that. And is that important? Of course it is. It’s necessary but it’s not sufficient. So how can we solve problems in an enduring way, in an equitable way, in a way where nobody really loses? Because too often we look at an issue from a scarcity mindset and frankly we have an abundant planet and we have people with so much creativity, can we engage that…

  • Universal Basic Income, the 30-Hour Workweek, and the Economics of Poverty | Michael Slaby
    Articles,  Blog

    Universal Basic Income, the 30-Hour Workweek, and the Economics of Poverty | Michael Slaby

    Look, I think change is scary. I think there is no way around that. I think what is familiar is easier for people, and not everybody wants disruption and innovation and entrepreneurship; not everybody wants to have seven jobs. That sounds terrible to a lot of people. I think the idea, the sort of assumption that “everybody is an entrepreneur” is a bit of a mistake. I think many people are willing to be entrepreneurs given no other option, but a lot of those people would rather just have a job. Like not everybody is a founder. That’s okay, this is not some failure. Founders are sort of unique animals…

  • The colossal problem with universal basic income | Douglas Rushkoff
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    The colossal problem with universal basic income | Douglas Rushkoff

    DOUGLAS RUSHKOFF: For a long time I was a fan of universal basic income. And the logic I had was that I always hear politicians talking about, ‘Let’s create jobs for people. That’s what we need is jobs, more jobs,’ as if that’s what’s going to solve the economic problem. So the government is supposed to lend money to a bank, who can then lend money to a corporation, who will then build a factory in order for people to have jobs. Do we really need more jobs? In California, they’re tearing down houses as we speak, because the houses are in foreclosure, and they want to keep market values…

  • Why libertarianism is a marginal idea and not a universal value | Steven Pinker
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    Why libertarianism is a marginal idea and not a universal value | Steven Pinker

    Sometimes people say that in the absence of religion there can be no moral values and, in fact, for that reason, there can never be values that everyone agrees upon. “We are inherently conflictual. The human condition is conflict among peoples because they could just never agree on values.” Well, putting a lie to that are developments like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 and the Millennium Development Goals where the nations of the world agreed on a number of milestones that humanity should strive for—having to do with health and longevity and education—and some of which were met years early, such as reduction of extreme poverty, usually…