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Tech and achievement: a new "problem"

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Tech and achievement: a new "problem"

Recently, I attended a workshop given by a man who had obtained his PhD in the early 1990s. When he was a student he was the only person that to finish the entire programme and graduate, not only from his admission year but also from several groups on either side of him. The explanation was that the technological difficulty of doing research, assembling, organizing, and then publishing…

Linguistic inclusion or social mobility?: A dilemma

Linguistic inclusion or social mobility?: A dilemma

Language and accents are a veritable passion for anglophones. Upon landing in the UK for the first time, my new comrades at university asked me to explain President Trump, but their curiosity was focused on his accent, not his policies. The power of linguistic tonality and musicality has long been a sore topic with those of a social justice inclination, who have long waged war on British Received…

A neglected hero - worthy of the admiration given the Founding Fathers: part II

A neglected hero - worthy of the admiration given the Founding Fathers: part II

Grover Cleveland’s reforms, both real and abortive, during his first term (1885 – 1889) cost him his mandate in the 1889 election. Despite the efficacy with which he shrank the federal government, his resolute disregard toward special interests, and his focus on constitutional limits and fiscal responsibility, he became very unpopular with the majority of the electorate.…

A neglected hero: part I

A neglected hero: part I

American President Grover Cleveland (1837 – 1908) is rather neglected in the sequence of US leaders. For schoolchildren, he appears as the man who was both the 22nd and the 24th president – he lost his reelection bid the first time to Benjamin Harrison but then defeated Harrison in his reelection bid four years later. Cleveland deserves to be remembered for much more than his dramatic…

Crowhurst: An allegory

Crowhurst: An allegory

Afficianados of yacht racing are aware of the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, a solo circumnavigation contest. Merely finishing the race is a major achievement, and there is a significant amount of prize money attached, as well as professional recognition and honors. The 1968 Race welcomed a curious entry: Donald Crowhurst (1932 – 1969), whose misadventures nearly destroyed the viability of…

Preferential treatment and anti-competition

Preferential treatment and anti-competition

On 16 June 2018, the association Students for Fair Admission (SFFA) filed suit against Harvard University for using racially biased admissions policies. This is not the first time SFFA has sued on these grounds. SFFA sued both the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, a prominent state university, and the US Department of Education for discriminatory admissions in the case of the…

Can a map be a tool of propaganda?

Can a map be a tool of propaganda?

Presenting Crimea as a Russian land on a map is a trick of the Russian propaganda that even pro-Ukrainian people fall for.   In March 2014, Russian troops - disguised as members of “local militia” - invaded the Crimean peninsula and Russia soon annexed it via setting up an ad-hoc, unfair and internationally unrecognized referendum. The act was instead named by the vast majority…

Anti-competition and "unfair" advantage

Anti-competition and "unfair" advantage

For the last two or three years, the BBC has sporadically published articles on “smart drugs,” or nootropics (amphetamines used to increase concentration), and the effect their use have on the work place. Immediately, the narrative is distorted because while nootropics are a type of drug, they are not in the same category as the substances traditionally stigmatized by the word…

Humankind versus machine

Humankind versus machine

Columbia University announced in 2016 that the School of Engineering had created a 3D printer for food. The announcement received little, if any, attention in the mainstream, despite the benefits of the device: 3D food printing offers revolutionary new options for convenience and customization, from controlling nutrition to managing dietary needs to saving energy and transport costs to creating…

Fortune or opportunity?

Fortune or opportunity?

Audentis Fortuna iuvat                                                                       ~Virgil A quick google search of the English translation “fortune favors the bold” reveals that Americans have an…

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