Mary Lucia Darst
Mary Lucia Darst
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Mary Lucia Darst
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Mary Lucia Darst graduated from Columbia University with an MA in History and Literature. In addition to working as a writer and researcher, she is a filmmaker and an active classical musician. She is a DPhil student in Music at University of Oxford.
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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…

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…

Great Expectations: welfare reform

Great Expectations: welfare reform

The British government is currently rolling out a welfare reform, called Universal Credit, that looks quite promising. Despite Brexit taking much of the news cycles, the Universal Credit rollout has triggered protests and angry responses. Considering what the reform represents, it really ought to be receiving international, as well as, domestic attention. Universal Credit reform has become a…

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…

Politics to Porcelain

Politics to Porcelain

I must study Politicks and War that my sons may have liberty to study Painting and Poetry Mathematicks and Philosophy. My sons ought to study Mathematicks and Philosophy, Geography, natural History, Naval Architecture, navigation, Commerce and Agriculture, in order to give their Children a right to study Painting, Poetry, Musick, Architecture, Statuary, Tapestry and Porcelaine. John Adams wrote…

Job shaming: a new American bias

Job shaming: a new American bias

At the beginning of September, social media and celebrity watchers ganged up on actor Geoffrey Owens to “job shame” him for working as a cashier and bagger at a Trader Joe’s grocery between acting roles. As a young man, Owens was a principle player on the television series The Cosby Show (1984 – 1992), which launched him into stardom and kept him before the public since…

The Pilgrim's Retreat

The Pilgrim's Retreat

Humans like systems. They give a sense of security and structure. There is nothing wrong with liking systems, but they can be problematic if people believe that they have built their lives on one that failed. Rod Dreher, author of The Benedict Option, described in an interview with The New Yorker his roots in Louisiana and small-town America: He [Dreher] wrote a book, “Crunchy Cons,”…

Student debt and educational protectionism

Student debt and educational protectionism

About a month ago, I finished a hazing ritual that most American university students endure annually: completion and submission of the federal loan forms. Pretty much everyone has to suffer this process since even financial awards – i.e. the person is being paid to attend the institution rather than paying – cannot be disbursed without a federal financial record. Immediately before…

The American "neo-family"

The American "neo-family"

Since the end of World War II, the United States has experienced prosperity unimaginable for preceding generations. With it has come a variety of anxieties and concerns. The most pressing one today is the question of maintaining prosperity. With this question has come uncomfortable realizations about the societal framework and family. Culturally, Americans place tremendous importance on the…

Yankee spirit lost

Yankee spirit lost

In general, Americans have regressed from those studied by Alexis de Tocqueville in De La Démocratie en Amérique. The Frenchman expressed perplexity at contemporary Americans’ focus on money and attitude toward thrift that passed into parsimony. Conversely, he also recognized that such values were appropriate for a young, developing nation and, coupled with what he deemed…

Whose rules?

Whose rules?

The word “beneficiary” is a legal term defining simply the person or persons designated as the lawful heirs upon the decease of a third person. In the hands of the social justice warriors (SJW), the term has assumed a new and sinister significance. The word’s original usage requires an object, i.e. the full phrase is “beneficiary of –.” The SJWs use the word…

Coins in the jungle

Coins in the jungle

There is a myth about the clearing of Penang Island during British colonization that can serve as a modern morality tale. According to the story, Captain Francis Light (1740 – 1794), the military officer charged with clearing the jungle, loaded his unit’s cannons with gold coins and fired them into the jungle, which promptly swallowed them. Knowing that retrieval of the coins required…

Literati - or not

Literati - or not

On 20 December, 2017, the BBC published an article titled “Educationism: The Hidden Bias,” explicating the idea that those with less formal education suffer prejudice at the hands of the more formally educated and society at large. While there is an undeniable conflation of formal education with intelligence that is very concerning, there is another facet to the socio-cultural dynamic…

Intergenerational difference

Intergenerational difference

Millennials are socially cast as schizophrenic. One view of holds them to be ultra-perfectionists and super-achievers whose drive ruins their lives and those of others around them; the other version casts them as special snowflake narcissists who have been protected and shielded all their lives by helicopter parents to whom they cling with unhealthy attachment. Both visions, though, share blaming…

Inequality on the escalator

Inequality on the escalator

Following the implementation of school choice in Michigan, some parents declined to move their children from failing to successful schools, and the scheme’s opponents claimed that the consequent demographic change represented racial segregation. One could arm chair psychologist his way into speculating that the decision to remain in a losing situation was based on class sentiment, rather…

Education and inequality

Education and inequality

It is better to tolerate the rare instance of a parent refusing to let his child be educated, than to shock the common feelings and ideas by the forcible transportation and education of the infant against the will of the father.…

Protectionism in education

Protectionism in education

The modern public education system is a shambles. While the problems vary country to country, complaints from parents and students remain the same: lack of choice, lack of quality preparation, and, frequently, lack of good ratios between instructors and students. There is a reason for this situation, though, and it is tied to its history. The American commentator and career coach, Zachary…

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