When Power Triumphed Over IdealsRoger Berkowitz
On the 20th anniversary of America’s war in Iraq, there is a whole lot of taking stock. James Bennet argues that the War in Iraq helped undermine the American consensus at home and around the world. It is the cynicism that the Iraq war unleashed that opened the door for the rise of Donald Trump at home and other demagogues abroad.
Diversity MathematicsRoger Berkowitz
Three leading mathematicians Percy Deift, Svetlana Jitomirskaya, and Sergiu Klainerman argue that the United States is falling behind in mathematics and other fields in large part because of its rejection of a pedagogy based on merit. The three mathematicians embrace efforts to improve math education for all and claim that this is the best way to support non-immigrant black and hispanic citizens.
Unprincipled PowerRoger Berkowitz
Alexei Navalny was poisoned and almost murdered by Vladimir Putin and the Russian government. Languishing in a Russian prison, Navalny has a front row seat to witness the depravities of the Putin regime. The real danger of contemporary authoritarians, Navalny argues, is corruption.
The College PyramidRoger Berkowitz
Rebecca Gordon asks about the ethics of teaching in Universities where students increasingly graduate with immense debt and few meaningful prospects. She notes that “The average number of doctorates earned over the last decade is almost 53,000 annually. In other words, we're talking about nearly 530,000 PhDs produced by American higher education in those 10 years alone.
The Power of ScienceRoger Berkowitz
Four years ago after the election of Donald Trump, protesters around the country held rallies for science. Few in those rallies noticed the irony, that by engaging in political protests in favor of science they were contributing to the politicization of science. Now Tunku Varadarajan asks how science has become politicized.
In AI We TrustThe Hannah Arendt Humanities Network of OSUN partnered with the Central European University (CEU) and the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna to award Helga Nowotny, former President of the European Research Council and Professor Emerita of Science and Technology Studies, ETH Zurich, the first annual Yehuda Elkana Fellowship.
The Flight from RealityRoger Berkowitz
Last week I linked to an essay by Felix Heidenreich questioning Arendt’s mythic status in Germany. This week Rebecca Panovka publishes an essay arguing that “Hannah Arendt’s fans misread the post-truth presidency.” Panovka, who clearly counts herself one of Arendt’s ardent readers, begins by noting Arendt’s well-known disdain for the famously picayune fact-checkers at The New Yorker...
Revitalizing DemocracyRoger Berkowitz
In October the Hannah Arendt Center will host its conference, “Revitalizing Democracy: Sortition, Citizen Power, and Spaces of Freedom.” We will host activists, thinkers, and scholars from around the world thinking about new ways of reimagining democracy, especially around the idea of sortition—the use of randomly selected citizens to engage in participatory democratic citizen assemblies to suggest and even make legislative changes.
A new study from the Survey Center on American Life confirms what studies have been showing for decades, that Americans increasingly have fewer friends. The number of American men who say they have “no close friends” has increased from 3% in 1990 to 15% in 2021. To live without friends is terrifying; it is to risk being adrift, without support and love.
Revitalising Democracy: Citizen Juries as a Response to the Failure of Expert RuleRoger Berkowitz
I was in Ljubljana in early June to speak at a conference, “What Kind of Government?” You can watch recordings of the talks including my own talk “Revitalising Democracy: Citizen Juries as a Response to the Failure of Expert Rule.”