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Amor Mundi 1/11/15

In this week's Amor Mundi, we discuss several different observers' reactions to the Charlie Hebdo attacks, meditate on the use of satire as a form of political commentary, reflect on the legacy of Ferguson, and much more. Posted on 12 January 2015 | 11:30 am

Amor Mundi 1/4/15

In this week's Amor Mundi, we reevaluate our basic understanding of liberty, reflect on whether economic inequality undermines democracy, realize the blame of the Bush-Cheney White House in allowing torture to flourish in the CIA, and much more. Posted on 5 January 2015 | 11:30 am

Canard of Decline

The secret of American exceptionalism may very well be the uniquely American susceptibility to narratives of decline. From the American defeat in Vietnam and the Soviet launch of Sputnik to the quagmire in Afghanistan and the current financial crisis, naysayers proclaim the end of the American century. And yet the prophecies of decline are nearly…Read more Canard of Decline Posted on 1 November 2013 | 12:26 pm

In the Age of Big Data, Should We Live in Awe of Machines?

In 1949, The New York Times asked Norbert Wiener, author of Cybernetics, to write an essay for the paper that expressed his ideas in simple form. For editorial and other reasons, Wiener’s essay never appeared and was lost. Recently, a draft of the never-published essay was found in the MIT archives. Written now 64 years…Read more In the Age of Big Data, Should We Live in Awe of Machines? Posted on 7 June 2013 | 3:21 pm

Beware of the Drones!

Thomas Levin of Princeton came to Bard Tuesday to give a lecture to the Drones Seminar, a weekly class I am participating in, led by my colleague Thomas Keenan and conceived by two of our students Arthur Holland and Dan Gettinger.  Levin has studied surveillance techniques for years and he came to think with us…Read more Beware of the Drones! Posted on 22 March 2013 | 4:45 pm

John Adams on Education

One of the great documents of American history is the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, written in 1779 by John Adams. In Section Two of Chapter Six, Adams offers one of the most eloquent testaments to the political virtues of education. He writes: Wisdom and knowledge, as well as virtue, diffused generally among the…Read more John Adams on Education Posted on 1 February 2013 | 11:25 am

The New Class War: Public vs. Private

Occupy Wall Street focused attention on one conception of class conflict-the super wealthy against the 99%.  As successful as OWS was in spreading its message, almost no legislative agenda emerged. The Tea Party focused its attention on the tax burdens faced by the middle classes and the upper middle classes.  The villain for the Tea…Read more The New Class War: Public vs. Private Posted on 7 June 2012 | 11:40 am