Exercising the democracy muscle

We have this view of America as a place of rugged individualism, but a piece in The Atlantic argues this is precisely why it faces a democratic crisis: …participation in civic groups and organizations of all kinds declined precipitously in the last decades of the 20th century. The trend has, if anything, accelerated since then; […]

Fixing the news

…the news actually fails to deliver on its single biggest promise: to tell us whats happening in the world… It portrays the world to us as a never ending string of sensational, unusual, terrible, rapidly forgotten events. In contrast to fake news, which is misleading because its simply untrue, real news misleads us in a […]

Truth as a process

Wikipedia’s governance is a clever mix of technology, norms and processes. It started with the wiki technology invented by Ward Cunningham, which allowed anyone to write and publish (and edit) live web pages, together with an acceptance that while “truth” might be unattainable, nevertheless achieving what it called “a neutral point of view” was a […]

Immigrants assimilate

…Overall though, lessons from the Age of Mass Migration suggest that fears that immigrants cannot or will not fit into American society are misplaced. It would be a mistake to determine immigration policy based on the belief that immigrants will remain foreigners, preserving their old ways of life and keeping themselves at arm’s length from […]

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