Tag Archives: Leadership

Take Away Harvard’s Nonprofit Status


By Annie Lowrey – There’s an old line about how the United States government is an insurance conglomerate protected by an army.

Harvard is a real-estate and hedge-fund concern that happens to have a college attached.

From a purely utilitarian perspective, there are causes that need that $350 million more. Groups like GiveWell are devoted to figuring out where a dollar does the most good. It recommends initiatives like deworming in very low-income countries.

Harvard, at the same time, is spending a billion dollars upgrading its coeds’ convenient, riverfront housing. If it wanted to maximize its $32 billion worth of utility, it could, say, admit more students, especially poor ones, reduce its focus on property development, and double down on its focus on research, which currently makes up $800 million of its $4.2 billion in annual operating expenses. more> http://tinyurl.com/lr6ldlt

How To Trick Your Brain To Hold On To Positive Habit Changes


BOOK REVIEW

Making Habits, Breaking Habits, Author: Jeremy Dean.

By Jane Porter – The notion that a habit takes 21 days to form if you stick to it every day is a myth.

On average, a habit takes more like 66 days to form, with more intensive habits like doing 50 sit-ups every morning taking around 84 days to form. But these figures will often vary greatly from person to person.

Forming habits that stick isn’t about finding a magic number. It’s about being aware of your behaviors and environment and their effects on your brain. more> http://tinyurl.com/orahkqu

Financialization in telecom


By George Mattathil – With all these things going on, one would think that there would be an earnest effort to find out what is wrong.

Instead, the preoccupation in the media and industry is with “net neutrality” confusion, which the FCC Chairman summed up: “the idea of net neutrality has been discussed for a decade with no lasting results.” more> http://wp.me/p4erPG-5j

How We Think


BOOK REVIEW

How We Think, Author: John Dewey.

By Maria Popova – What separates thinking, a basic human faculty we take for granted, from thinking well?

What it takes to train ourselves into mastering the art of thinking, and how we can channel our natural curiosity in a productive way when confronted with an overflow of information.

A subject urgently relevant today, in our age of snap judgments and instant opinions. more> http://tinyurl.com/knfc3fz

Which candidate should you vote for this fall?


By Matthew Yglesias – Most of American politics can be explained with a single liberal-conservative axis, but that at certain points in time — notably the middle of the 20th century — a second axis related to racial equality issues was also very important.

During the time when the racial axis was scrambled, the parties were not perfectly sorted around liberalism versus conservatism.

A lot of southerners with conservatives views on economics were in the Democratic Party for reasons related to white supremacy, and some northerners with moderate views on economics and liberal views on race were Republicans. more> http://tinyurl.com/pvxv7hb

A Principled Fight Against Surveillance


By Katitza Rodriguez – Years before Edward Snowden leaked his first document, human rights lawyers and activists have been concerned about a dramatic expansion in law enforcement and foreign intelligence agencies’ efforts to spy on the digital world.

It had become evident that legal protections had not kept pace with technological – that the state’s practical ability to spy on the world had developed in a way that permitted it to bypass the functional limits that have historically checked its ability to spy.

  • It’s time to move beyond the fallacy that information about communications (metadata) does not pose as serious a threat to privacy as the content of communications
  • In a world of highly integrated digital networks, where individual interactions and data routes defy any semblance of territorial correspondence, such distinctions are meaningless
  • “Law” implies certain minimum qualitative requirements of clarity, accessibility, and predictability. Laws limiting human rights cannot be secret or vague enough to permit arbitrary interference
  • Laws should only permit communications surveillance by specified State authorities to achieve a Legitimate Aim that corresponds to a predominantly important legal interest that is necessary in a democratic society
  • Any restrictive measure which undermines the essence or core of a right is inherently disproportionate and a violation of that right
  • No law should impose security holes in our technology in order to facilitate surveillance
  • Notification must be the norm, not the exception. Individuals should be notified that access to their communications has been authorized with enough time and information to enable them to appeal the decision, except when doing so would endanger the investigation at issue
  • Governments should not bypass national privacy protections by relying on secretive informal data sharing agreements with foreign states or private international companies. Individuals should not be denied privacy rights simply because they live in another country from the one that is surveilling them. Where data is flowing across borders, the law of the jurisdiction with the greatest privacy protections should apply

It’s clear that under the cloak of secrecy, malfunctioning oversight and the limited reach of outdated laws, the practice of digital surveillance in countries from the far north to the far south, have overrun the bounds of human rights standards. more> http://tinyurl.com/l7qj7td

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Don’t Be Rude, You Loser


By Noah Smith – In other words, civility gives an unfair advantage to bad arguments. Being polite to someone can easily be mistaken for taking their idea seriously — and many ideas simply don’t deserve to be taken seriously.

But there’s an important question that I think Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig fails to consider:

What if your own viewpoint is wrong? more> http://tinyurl.com/kzvs6ul