Jacob Weisberg talks to David Miliband about helping refugees stay in work and in school.
David Miliband is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and a former Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom. He oversees IRC’s humanitarian relief operations in more than 40 war-affected countries and its refugee resettlement and assistance programs in 28 United States cities.
Malcolm Gladwell talks to Rosanne Haggerty about ending homelessness for everyone. Forever.
Rosanne Haggerty is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Community Solutions, which assists communities throughout the US and internationally in solving the complex housing problems facing their most vulnerable residents. Earlier, she founded Common Ground Community, a pioneer in the design and development of supportive housing and research-based practices that end homelessness.
The world’s biggest challenges are #Solvable.
In the early ’90s, Hank Rowan gave $100 million to a university in New Jersey, an act of extraordinary generosity that helped launch the greatest explosion in educational philanthropy since the days of Andrew Carnegie and the Rockefellers. But Rowan gave his money to Glassboro State University, a tiny, almost bankrupt school in South Jersey, while almost all of the philanthropists who followed his lead made their donations to elite schools such as Harvard and Yale. Why did no one follow Rowan’s example?
“My Little Hundred Million” is the third part of Revisionist History’s educational miniseries. It looks at the hidden ideologies behind giving and how a strange set of ideas has hijacked educational philanthropy.
The key idea laid out stunningly here is strong links versus weak links.
I’m generally flabbergasted by the general idea proposed here and will have to do some more research in the near future to play around further with the ideas presented. Fortunately, in addition to the education specific idea presented, Gladwell also comes up with an additional few examples in sports by using the differences between soccer and basketball to show the subtle differences.
If he and his lab aren’t aware of the general concept, I would recommend this particular podcast and the concept of strong and weak links to César Hidalgo (t) who might actually have some troves of economics data to use to play around with some general modeling to expand upon these ideas. I’ve been generally enamored of Hidalgo’s general thesis about the overall value of links as expressed in Why Information Grows: The Evolution of Order, from Atoms to Economies1. I often think of it with relation to political economies and how the current administration seems to be (often quietly) destroying large amounts of value by breaking down a variety of economic, social, and political links within the United States as well as between our country and others.
I wonder if the additional ideas about the differences between strong and weak links might further improve these broader ideas. The general ideas behind statistical mechanics and statistics make me think that Gladwell, like Hidalgo, is certainly onto a strong idea which can be continued to be refined to improve billions of lives. I’ll have to start some literature searches now…
The Atlantic's editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg talks with Mayor Eric Garcetti about what people misunderstand about Los Angeles, whether a mayor could win the presidency, and where he goes to find the best tacos.
There was an interesting question about the difference between Mexican and Mexican-Americans protesting/marching and Irish-American immigrants celebrating events like St. Patrick’s day. While these seem to be drastically different to mainstream Americans now, the primary difference between the two is over 100 years of the change of perception. Not many will easily recall the harsh history and racial slurs that Irish immigrants endured over a century ago and even fewer will appreciate the racial differences from that time period in which the Irish were also not considered “white”. It’s amazing the difference a hundred years of progress and change will effect. If only we could learn from the past and be a lot more open-minded.
I also really appreciate the subtle response about Los Angeles having experienced its own “Ferguson moment” over a decade ago with the Rodney King and other race-related riots, but that we experienced them without the benefit (or maybe harm) of social media amplifying them.
This episode had an odd audio effect that made Garcetti sound a bit “far away”. Perhaps it was potting him up/down between questions that created the problem? Either way, a small blip in an otherwise solidly produced podcast.
My friend died $50 short. It doesn’t have to be that way.
This is just a heartbreaking cartoon. I hope everyone will read it in full.
This is one of the most subtly poigniant panels:
Less clear is whether the move signals an opening for further action on gun control.
Producers, sellers, and consumers waste tons of food. John Oliver discusses the shocking amount of food we don’t eat.
This episode dispels a lot of common misconceptions about food and food donations in the United States.
Some of the potential legislation discussed here could be tremendously helpful not only to a lot of Americans, but to other countries as well. I find it difficult to believe that legislators work on a bunch of knucklehead things when “simple” things like this are left to fester away. Not only could it help out millions of people, but could create jobs, and drastically effect world efficiency as well as improve the economy.
Donald Trump plans to withdraw the United States from the Paris agreement on climate change. That's bad news for anyone who happens to live on this planet.
Since the passage of the American Health Care Act, Republican members of Congress have tried to swing public opinion to their side. ProPublica has been tracking what they’re saying.
We really do need more transparency in government. A bit of truth wouldn’t hurt either.
Without grown-ups in charge, the government could stop working.
Robert Mercer, who bankrolled Donald Trump, played key role with ‘sinister’ advice on using Facebook data
📖 Read loc 1-682 of 12932 (5.27%) of American Amnesia by Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson
This portends to be very interesting in that they plan to show what has changed over much of the 1900’s to indicate the drastic evolution in American politics, life, and philosophy over the recent decades. In light of the political battles between the left and the right over the past several years, this could provide some much needed help and guidance.
Their basic thesis seems to be that a shift away from a mixed economy has slowed American growth and general prosperity. While they do seem to have a pointed (political) view, so far it’s incredibly well documented and footnoted for those who would like to make the counter-argument. They’ve definitely got some serious evidence to indicate how drastic the situation is, but I’m curious if they can directly tie their proposed cause to the effect. If nothing else, they’ve created a laundry list of problems in America which need to be addressed by some serious leadership soon.
In some sense I’m torn about what to think of a broader issue this touches upon and which I mentioned briefly while reading At Home in the Universe. Should we continue on the general path we’ve struck out upon (the mixed economy with government regulation/oversight), or should we continue evolving away? While we can’t see the complexity effects seven levels further in, they may be more valuable than what we’ve got now. For example Cesar Hidalgo looks at the evolution along a continuum of personbyte to larger groups: firms (firmbyte), governments, and mega-corporations in Why Information Grows, so I can easily see larger governments and corporations like Google drastically changing the world in which we live (operating at a level above what most humans can imagine presently), but the complexity of why and how they operate above (and potentially against) the good of the individual should certainly be called into question and considered as we move forward.
The world’s connections have become more important than its divisions. To reap the rewards and avoid the pitfalls of this new order, the United States needs to adopt a grand strategy based on three pillars: open societies, open governments, and an open international system.
This may be one of the most interesting things I’ve read in the past six months. I like the overarching philosophy of the policy direction the writer presents. It feels to me like a policy built from the basic principles from César Hidalgo‘s book Why Information Grows: The Evolution of Order, from Atoms to Economies, which describes some of the underpinning science and physics for such an approach without getting too deep into the weeds of the underlying mathematics.
This article also definitely seems to take a broader historical approach to the general topics and is nearly close enough in philosophy that I might even begin considering it as a policy case with a Big History point of view.
Highlights, Quotes, & Marginalia
Think of a standard map of the world, showing the borders and capitals of the world’s 190-odd countries. That is the chessboard view.Now think of a map of the world at night, with the lit-up bursts of cities and the dark swaths of wilderness. Those corridors of light mark roads, cars, houses, and offices; they mark the networks of human relationships, where families and workers and travelers come together. That is the web view. It is a map not of separation, marking off boundaries of sovereign power, but of connection.
…the Westphalian world order mandated the sovereign equality of states not as an end in itself but as a means to protect the subjects of those states—the people.
The people must come first. Where they do not, sooner or later, they will overthrow their governments.
Open societies, open governments, and an open international system are risky propositions. But they are humankind’s best hope for harnessing the power not only of states but also of businesses, universities, civic organizations, and citizens to address the planetary problems that now touch us all.
…when a state abrogated its responsibility to protect the basic rights of its people, other states had a responsibility to protect those citizens, if necessary through military intervention.
But human rights themselves became politically polarized during the Cold War, with the West championing civil and political rights; the East championing economic, social, and cultural rights; and both sides tending to ignore violations in their client states.
The institutions built after World War II remain important repositories of legitimacy and authority. But they need to become the hubs of a flatter, faster, more flexible system, one that operates at the level of citizens as well as states.
U.S. policymakers should think in terms of translating chessboard alliances into hubs of connectedness and capability.
According to systems theory, the level of organization in a closed system can only stay the same or decrease. In open systems, by contrast, the level of organization can increase in response to new inputs and disruptions. That means that such a system should be able to ride out the volatility caused by changing power relationships and incorporate new kinds of global networks.
Writing about “connexity” 20 years ago, the British author and political adviser Geoff Mulgan argued that in adapting to permanent interdependence, governments and societies would have to rethink their policies, organizational structures, and conceptions of morality. Constant connectedness, he wrote, would place a premium on “reciprocity, the idea of give and take,” and a spirit of openness, trust, and transparency would underpin a “different way of governing.” Governments would “provide a framework of predictability, but leave space for people to organise themselves in flatter, more reciprocal structures.”
Instead of governing themselves through those who represent them, citizens can partner directly with the government to solve public problems.
…an open international order of the twenty-first century should be anchored in secure and self-reliant societies, in which citizens can participate actively in their own protection and prosperity. The first building block is open societies; the second is open governments.
The self-reliance necessary for open security depends on the ability to self-organize and take action.
The government’s role is to “invest in creating a more resilient nation,” which includes briefing and empowering the public, but more as a partner than a protector.
…much of the civil rights work of this century will entail championing digital rights.
Hard gatekeeping is a strategy of connection, but it calls for division, replacing the physical barriers of the twentieth century with digital ones of the twenty-first.
In this order, states must be waves and particles at the same time.
The legal order of the twenty-first century must be a double order, acknowledging the existence of domestic and international spheres of action and law but seeing the boundary between them as permeable.
In many countries, legislatures and government agencies have begun publishing draft legislation on open-source platforms such as GitHub, enabling their publics to contribute to the revision process.
The declaration’s three major principles are transparency, civic participation, and accountability.