facility:harvard university

  • Top University #blockchain Curriculum #rankings of 2018
    https://hackernoon.com/top-university-blockchain-curriculum-rankings-of-2018-d3807b513dc8?sourc

    In the past two years, the soaring price of #bitcoin has brought a wave of attention to blockchain technology. In fact, keywords such as Bitcoin, blockchain, and cryptocurrency have become #academic spotlights that universities are paying attention to.In October this year, Coindesk announced the top ten universities in the United States that have opened blockchain courses. These universities are arguably the world’s top universities, including Stanford University, UC Berkeley, Harvard University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.Blockchain Courses Offered by Top UniversitiesWhat are the characteristics of the courses offered by these schools? Which colleges are offering related courses? SV Insight Research analyzed the top 30 North American universities from US News 2019 (...)

    #education


  • Chinese scientists are creating #CRISPR babies - MIT Technology Review
    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/612458/exclusive-chinese-scientists-are-creating-crispr-babies

    According to Chinese medical documents posted online this month (here and here), a team at the Southern University of Science and Technology, in Shenzhen, has been recruiting couples in an effort to create the first gene-edited babies. They planned to eliminate a gene called CCR5 in hopes of rendering the offspring resistant to #HIV, smallpox, and cholera.

    #recherche #génétique #gattaca


  • Permet de visualiser la distribution géographique de nombreuses variables sociales (revenu, diplôme, chômage, mariage, densité...) et de les croiser entre elles.

    The Opportunity Atlas

    https://opportunityatlas.org

    Which neighborhoods in America offer children the best chance to rise out of poverty?

    The Opportunity Atlas answers this question using anonymous data following 20 million Americans from childhood to their mid-30s.

    Now you can trace the roots of today’s affluence and poverty back to the neighborhoods where people grew up.

    See where and for whom opportunity has been missing, and develop local solutions to help more children rise out of poverty.

    The Opportunity Atlas is an initial release of social mobility data, the result of a collaboration between researchers at the Census Bureau, Harvard University, and Brown University. While the estimates in the Opportunity Atlas are not provisional, we are still testing aspects of the research product, including census.gov integration, planned annual data refreshes, and variable additions.


  • Top Climate Scientist: Humans Will Go Extinct if We Don’t Fix Climate Change by 2023
    https://gritpost.com/humans-extinct-climate-change

    In a recent speech at the University of Chicago, James Anderson — a professor of atmospheric chemistry at Harvard University — warned that climate change is drastically pushing Earth back to the Eocene Epoch from 33 million BCE, when there was no ice on either pole. Anderson says current #pollution levels have already catastrophically depleted atmospheric #ozone levels, which absorb 98 percent of #ultraviolet rays, to levels not seen in 12 million years.

    Anderson’s assessment of humanity’s timeline for action is likely accurate, given that his diagnosis and discovery of Antarctica’s ozone holes led to the Montreal Protocol of 1987. Anderson’s research was recognized by the United Nations in September of 1997. He subsequently received the United Nations Vienna Convention Award for Protection of the Ozone Layer in 2005, and has been recognized by numerous universities and academic bodies for his research.

    #climat #extinction

    • The good news is there are a relatively small amount of culprits responsible for the vast majority of carbon emissions, meaning governments know who to focus on. As Grit Post reported in July of 2017, more than half of all carbon emissions between 1988 and 2016 can be traced back to just 25 fossil fuel giants around the world. 10 of those 25 top emitters are American companies, meaning the onus is largely on the United States to rein in major polluters like ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Chevron, and Marathon Oil. Other offenders include Chinese companies extracting and burning coal, and Russian oil conglomerates like Rosneft, Gazprom, and Lukoil.

      However, the bad news for humanity is that as long as Donald Trump is President of the United States, swift action to combat climate change seems unlikely prior to 2020, given that Trump pulled out of the Paris Climate Accords and refuses to even acknowledge the threat of climate change despite warnings from U.S. government agencies like the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense.


  • Where Philanthropy Dollars Are Concentrated | Statista
    https://www.statista.com/chart/13766/where-philanthropy-dollars-are-concentrated

    A recent landmark study, three years in the making, has revealed where philanthropy dollars are concentrated around the world. It was compiled by the Harvard Kennedy School with support from UBS and it represents the first attempt to understand philanthropic practices and trends in different countries. In recent years, philanthropy has experienced a boom across the world in line with rising global wealth levels.

    #philanthropie cc @fil



  • “Hate Speech” Does Not Incite Hatred - Quillette
    http://quillette.com/2018/01/18/hate-speech-not-induce-hatred

    The United States Supreme Court has recently reaffirmed that “[s]peech that demeans on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability, or any other similar ground” is protected under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. However, the protections of the First Amendment extend only to government efforts to punish or censor speech. Private entities remain free to take action against people who engage in speech which ostensibly demeans others, and private actors from Harvard University to Facebook and Twitter have punished or censored individuals whose speech they have found to be “hateful.”

    Those who advocate the censorship of so-called “hate speech” claim that it causes various ills, but perhaps the most common claim is that “hate speech” engenders hatred towards particular groups, and thereby causes violence against members of those groups. Such claims have been particularly common in recent years, and have included allegations that “anti-police hate speech” on the part of Black Lives Matters supporters has led to violence against police officers; that Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric has led to an increase in hate crimes; and that anti-Muslim hate speech on the Internet can motivate some people to commit acts of violence against Muslims.

    The claim that “hate speech” causes hatred, and thereby causes violence, is superficially appealing, but the more one thinks about it, the less sense it makes. Is it really likely that otherwise reasonable people will be driven to hate others, and to violently attack those others, simply because they were exposed to hate speech? The proponents of that view rarely, if ever, offer direct evidence for that claim. There is a simple explanation for that failure: such evidence does not exist.

    At first blush, that would seem to be an outlandish claim. What about the infamous “hate radio” in Rwanda? Doesn’t everyone know that those broadcasts caused people who had peacefully coexisted with their neighbors to engage in genocide? Well, in fact, there is no evidence that that is true. This common understanding of the role of “hate radio” overlooks basic facts of Rwandan history, including the fact that the genocide took place in the midst of a Tutsi-dominated insurgency that had begun in 1990, and which had resulted in hundreds of thousands of internally displaced Rwandans as insurgent forces approached the capital in 1993, just a year before the beginning of the genocide. Thus, the myth that Rwanda was an Arcadia of ethnic harmony before the “hate radio” broadcasts began is just that: a myth.

    A father in Rwanda searches for his lost child. ©ICRC/Benno Neeleman

    Perhaps more importantly, the popular narrative regarding the role of “hate radio” ignores twenty years of scholarship which finds little evidence that the radio broadcasts caused people to engage in genocide. For example, a 2017 study published in Criminology found no statistically significant relationship between radio exposure and killing.1 Moreover, the anthropologist Charles Mironko interviewed one hundred convicted perpetrators and found that many either did not hear the “hate radio” broadcasts or misinterpreted them, and University of Wisconsin political scientist Scott Straus found that peer pressure and personal appeals, not hate radio, is what motivated most perpetrators.2 Similarly, political scientist Lee Ann Fujii’s book-length study of the Rwandan genocide found that those who participated in the genocide did not show unusual levels of fear or hatred of Tutsis. Instead, they participated through personal relationships with local elites, often because they feared repercussions if they did not participate. Hate had nothing to do with it.

    Professor Fujii’s findings are consistent with a recent study that was published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, which found that villages with better radio reception had higher levels of participation in the genocide, but which credited that effect not to the creation of hatred, but rather to the fact that the broadcasts told those who were already willing to participate how to coordinate with others, and assured them that the government supported the killing and hence that they would not be punished.

    At this point, an alert reader might object that several “hate radio” executives were convicted of genocide-related offenses, and might also point to the well-known claim that some of the killers “had a radio in one hand and a machete in the other[.]” That is true, but it is also true that immediately after the assassination of the Rwandan president, the “hate radio” broadcasts shifted from general propaganda to broadcasting specific advice and instructions to those already participating in the genocide regarding who to kill and where to find them.3 It was for only those post-assassination broadcasts that radio executives were convicted, rather than for the pre-genocide, more generalized “hate speech.”

    Finally, these findings regarding the role of “hate radio” in the Rwandan genocide is consistent with what we know about the effects of propaganda in general. Contrary to popular belief, there is little evidence that propaganda is able to change minds; rather, it is generally effective only among those who already agree with it, and counter-productive among those who disagree.4 That was true even of Nazi anti-Jewish propaganda, which decreased denunciations of Jews by ordinary people in areas which had not historically been anti-Semitic.5

    Therefore, the scholarly consensus is clear: “Hate speech” does not engender hatred. Rather, to the extent that is has any effect on violence at all, it makes it somewhat easier for those already inclined towards violence to act, largely by placing an imprimatur of official approval on acts of violence, and thereby making people who are already hateful and prone to violence believe that they can get away with acting violently.

    This implies that censoring “hate speech” by ordinary persons is pointless – it is only “hate speech” by elites that can be dangerous (and even then not by creating hatred). There is no evidence that “hate speech” by ordinary persons has any effect on violence whatsoever. Thus, the efforts of such private actors as Facebook and Twitter to scrub the internet of what they deem to be “hate speech” by ordinary persons are, at best, misguided. But such efforts can also be dangerous because they help create excuses for governments to use allegations of “hate speech” to silence ideas that they dislike. Indeed, Freedom House has noted that that has already occurred in Russia, French courts have upheld “hate speech” convictions of advocates of the BDS movement to boycott of Israel, and in Spain, Catalan separatists who burned photographs of the Spanish monarch were fined on the grounds that they had incited violence and promoted hate speech.

    Finally, efforts to censor extremists can backfire by causing them to see themselves as a persecuted minority who are justified in using violent means to be heard. Therefore, as painful as American law’s protection of “hate speech” can be, the alternative is almost certainly worse. In addition, given that even the Supreme Court recognizes that, in the contemporary world, “the most important places … for the exchange of views … is cyberspace …, and social media in particular[,]” Twitter, Facebook, and other private actors should resist calls to censor hateful speech; they might believe that doing so serves the public interest, but in fact it does quite the opposite.

    Gordon Danning is History Research Fellow at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). He has published a law review article on the free speech rights of high school students and conducted research on political violence.

    References:

    1 Hollie Nyseh Brehm. 2017. Subnational Determinants of Killing in Rwanda. Criminology, 55(1): 5-31. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1745-9125.12126/full
    2 Scott Straus, 2007. What is the relationship between hate radio and violence? Rethinking Rwanda’s “Radio Machete”. Politics & Society, 35(4): 609-637. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0032329207308181
    3 Richard Carver. 2000. Broadcasting and Political Transition: Rwanda and Beyond. African Broadcast Cultures: Radio in Transition, edited by Richard Farndon and Graham Furniss, 188-197. Oxford: James Currey 190.
    4 Hugo Mercier. 2017. How Gullible Are We? A Review of the Evidence from Psychology and Social Science. Review of General Psychology, 21(2): 103-122. http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/gpr/21/2/103
    5 Maja Adena, Ruben Enikolopov, Maria Petrova, Veronica Santarosa, Ekaterina Zhuravskaya. 2015. Radio and the Rise of The Nazis in Prewar Germany. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 130(4): 1885–1939. https://academic.oup.com/qje/article-abstract/130/4/1885/1916582?redirectedFrom=PDF


  • Facebook is re-sculpting our memory
    https://qz.com/1029139/facebook-is-re-sculpting-our-memory

    For much of history, the only way to chronicle life was to write about it. Now, many of us take selfies on our smartphones to share on Facebook, and create picturesque albums of our daily meals on Instagram. And as the mediums we use to recall and review the past change, so do our very memories. Daniel Schacter, a psychology professor at Harvard University, first established the effects of photographs on memories in the 1990s. In one experiment, he showed that it was possible to implant (...)

    #Facebook #domination


  • Common sense: An examination of three Los Angeles community WiFi projects that privileged public funding over commons-based infrastructure management » The Journal of Peer Production
    http://peerproduction.net/issues/issue-10-peer-production-and-work/varia/common-sense-an-examination-of-three-los-angeles-community-wifi-proj

    Several high-profile incidents involving entire communities cut off from broadband access—the result of natural disasters such as Superstorm Sandy in the Northeastern United States in 2012, to totalitarian governments in Egypt and Tunisia shutting down infrastructure in 2011—have raised awareness of the vulnerabilities inherent in a centralized internet. Policymakers are increasingly interested in the potential of community mesh networks (Harvard University, 2012), which use a decentralized architecture. Still, government agencies rarely fund community WiFi initiatives in U.S. cities. Three grassroots mesh networks in Los Angeles are distinct, however, as both local and state agencies subsidized their efforts. By comparing a public goods framework with theory of the commons, this study examines how government support impacted L.A.-based community wireless projects.

    By examining public investments in peer-to-peer networking initiatives, this study aims to better understand how substantial cash infusions influenced network design and implementation. Stronger community ties, self-reliance and opportunities for democratic deliberation potentially emerge when neighbors share bandwidth. In this sense, WiFi signal sharing is more than a promising “last mile” technology able to reach every home for a fraction of the cost required to lay fiber, DSL and cable (Martin, 2005). In fact, grassroots mesh projects aim to create “a radically different public sphere” (Burnett, 1999) by situating themselves outside of commercial interests. Typically, one joins, as opposed to subscribes to, the services. As Lippman and Reed (2003, p. 1) observed, “Communications can become something you do rather than something you buy.” For this reason, the economic theories of both public goods and the commons provide an ideal analytical framework for examining three community WiFi project in Los Angeles.

    The value of this commons is derived from the fact that no one owns or controls it—not people, not corporations, not the government (Benkler 2001; Lessig, 2001). The peer-to-peer architecture comprising community wireless networks provides ideal conditions for fostering civic engagement and eliminating the need to rely on telecommunications companies for connectivity. Instead of information passing from “one to many,” it travels from “many to many.” The primary internet relies on centralized access points and internet service providers (ISPs) for connectivity. By contrast, in a peer-to-peer architecture, components are both independent and scalable. Wireless mesh network design includes at least one access point with a direct connection to the internet—via fiber, cable or satellite link—and nodes that hop from one device to the next

    As the network’s popularity mounted, however, so did its challenges. The increasing prevalence of smartphones meant more mobile devices accessing Little Tokyo Unplugged. This required the LTSC to deploy additional access points, leading to signal interference. Network users overwhelmed LTSC staff with complaints about everything from lost connections to computer viruses. “We ended up being IT support for the entire community,” the informant said.

    Money, yes. Meaningful participation, no.

    Despite its popularity, the center shut down the WiFi network in 2010. “The decision was made that we couldn’t sustain it,” the informant said. While the LTSC (2010) invested nearly $3 million in broadband-related initiatives, the center neglected to seek meaningful participation from the wider Little Tokyo community. The LTSC basically functioned according to a traditional ISP model. In a commons, it is imperative that a fair relationship exists between contributions made and benefits received (Commons Sommerschule, 2012). However, the LTSC neither expected nor asked network users to contribute to Little Tokyo Unplugged in exchange for free broadband access. As a result, individual network users did not feel they had a stake in ensuring the stability of the network.

    HSDNC board members believed free WiFi would facilitate more efficient communication with their constituents, coupled with “the main issue” of digital inclusion, according to an informant. “The reality is that poor, working class Latino members of our district have limited access to the internet. A lot of people have cell phones, but we see gaps,” this informant said. These comments exemplify how the pursuit of public funding began to usurp social-production principles associated with a networked commons. While closing the digital divide and informing the public about community issues are laudable goals, they are clearly institutional ones.

    Rather than design Open Mar Vista/Open Neighborhoods according to commons-based peer production principles, the network co-founders sought ways to align the project with public good goals articulated by local and federal agencies. For instance, an informant stressed that community WiFi would enable neighborhood councils to send email blasts and post information online. This argument is a direct response to the city’s push for neighborhood councils to reduce paper correspondence with constituents (City of Los Angeles, 2010). Similarly, the grant application Open Neighborhoods submitted to the federal Broadband Technologies Opportunities Program—which exclusively funded broadband infrastructure and computer adoption initiatives—focused on the potential for community WiFi networks to supply Los Angeles’ low-income neighborhoods with affordable internet (National Telecommunications & Information Administration, 2010). The proposal is void of references to concepts associated with the commons, even though this ideological space can transform broadband infrastructure from a conduit to the internet into a technology for empowering participants. It seems that, ultimately, the pursuit of public funding supplanted initial goals of creating a WiFi network that fostered inclusivity and collaboration.

    There’s little doubt that Manchester Community Technologies accepted a $453,000 state grant in exchange for a “mesh cloud” it never deployed. These findings suggest an inherent conflict exists between the quest to fulfill the state’s public good goals, and the commons-based community building necessary to sustain a grassroots WiFi network. One could argue that this reality should have prevented California officials from funding Manchester Community Technologies’ proposal in the first place. Specifically, a successful community WiFi initiative cannot be predicated on a state mandate to strengthen digital literacy skills and increase broadband adoption. Local businesses and residents typically share bandwidth as part of a broader effort to create an alternative communications infrastructure, beyond the reach of government—not dictated by government. Grassroots broadband initiatives run smoothly when participants are committed to the success of a common enterprise and share a common purpose. The approach taken by Manchester Community Technologies does not reflect these principles.

    #Communs #wifi #mesh_networks #relations_communs_public


  • How Facebook Sees the World - Pacific Standard
    https://psmag.com/news/how-facebook-sees-the-world

    “Fake news” became the media’s favorite electoral boogeyman during the presidential election, and with good reason: Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University found that Facebook and Twitter indeed precipitated an unprecedented level of misinformation, creating what the Columbia Journalism Review called a “media network anchored around Breitbart developed as a distinct and insulated media system, using social media as a backbone to transmit a hyper-partisan perspective to the world.” Research confirms that the wave of anti-establishment fake news that came crashing down on social media users in the months leading up to the election is very real.

    Facebook’s old existential crisis appears over: By necessity, it is a publisher rather than simply a technology company—and it needs editors.

    But this poses an interesting question: How does Facebook see the world? The company says its mission is to “give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.” But it’s far from a neutral platform. In addition to individual products like its much-maligned “Trending News” module, which has vacillated from left-leaning editorial node to hoax whisperer, the platform’s fundamental design subtly shapes our behavior and, in turn, the structure of the digital social relations that reflect and augment our real-life ones, from the media we share to the “filter bubbles” we build for ourselves.

    The full corpus of the Guardian’s “Facebook Files” offers a fascinating look at how a technology company long in denial of its editorial responsibilities is suddenly grappling with its new role as the largest de facto censor of information on the planet, one that reportedly deals with more than 6.5 million reports regarding allegedly fake accounts each week. “Facebook cannot keep control of its content,” one company employee told the Guardian. “It has grown too big, too quickly.”

    This, in some ways, may mark the beginning of the end of Facebook as a somewhat unfiltered reflection of our “real” social and political worlds—and, in turn, our best and worst impulses. Facebook has become “the most powerful mobilizing force in politics, fast replacing television as the most consequential entertainment medium,” as Farhad Manjoo wrote for the New York Times Magazine in April. “But over the course of 2016, Facebook’s gargantuan influence became its biggest liability.” Now all-powerful, Facebook has adopted the unilateral policing power of a state—a power that may one day control flow of information at the behest of government

    #Facebook #médias_sociaux #censure #fake_news


  • #WEB_Du_Bois: retracing his attempt to challenge racism with data | Culture | The Guardian

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/feb/14/web-du-bois-racism-data-paris-african-americans-jobs

    Quelle merveille...

    Any African American to be admitted to Harvard University in 1888 had to be exceptionally gifted. But that description doesn’t come close to capturing the talent of WEB Du Bois, a man who managed to write 21 books, as well as over 100 essays while being a professor and a relentless civil rights activist.
    The 100 best nonfiction books: No 51 – The Souls of Black Folk by WEB Du Bois (1903)
    Read more

    Du Bois saw no trade-off between those pursuits – his scholarship was protest and his protest was scholarship. He deeply understood something that every activist scrawling a banner in Washington knows today – messaging matters.

    #visualisation #racisme #états_unis #précurseurs #cartoexperiment


  • Geographies of Extraction: How Global Trade Has Impacted Urban Inequality - Architizer
    http://architizer.com/blog/saskia-sassen-geographies-of-extraction

    “Right now, the dominant geographies are geographies of extraction; they’re geographies of power,” says Saskia Sassen in an interview with Ibai Rigby of urbanNext at the “Decoding Asian Urbanism” conference at Harvard University. Sassen, a professor of sociology at Columbia University and a member of its Committee on Global Thought, sees the development of new global geographies whose boundaries are dictated not by physical borders, but rather by financial markets.

    via @cdb_77 :) #extraction #épuisement #destruction


  • Spark of Science : Pardis Sabeti - Issue 44 : Luck
    http://nautil.us/issue/44/luck/spark-of-science-pardis-sabeti

    During the outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa in 2014, Pardis Sabeti led a team that sequenced virus genomes from infected patients, determining that the disease had most likely diverged from a strain in central Africa a decade earlier, and was transmitted through human contact, this time from a funeral in Guinea to Sierra Leone. Since then, Sabeti, a computational geneticist at Harvard University and the Broad Institute, has continued studying the genomes and evolution of a range of other microbes, looking for factors that play a role in epidemics in order to develop methods of intervention. “What an amazing and fulfilling life the life of a scientist can be,” she says. Sabeti was born in Tehran, Iran. Her family fled the coming 1979 Iranian Revolution when she was 2 years old (...)


  • Sale of the Century : Russia’s Wild Ride from Communism to Capitalism by Chrystia Freeland
    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1232497.Sale_of_the_Century


    L’histoire de la transformation de l’URSS en la Russie capitaliste de nos jours racontée par la ministre pour les affaires étrangères canadiennes

    In the 1990s, all eyes turned to the momentous changes in Russia, as the world’s largest country was transformed into the world’s newest democracy. But the heroic images of Boris Yeltsin atop a tank in front of Moscow’s White House soon turned to grim new realities: a currency in freefall and a war in Chechnya; on the street, flashy new money and a vicious Russian mafia contrasted with doctors and teachers not receiving salaries for months at a time. If this was what capitalism brought, many Russians wondered if they weren’t better off under the communists.

    This new society did not just appear ready-made: it was created by a handful of powerful men who came to be known as the oligarchs and the young reformers. The oligarchs were fast-talking businessmen who laid claim to Russia’s vast natural resources. The young reformers were an elite group of egghead economists who got to put their wild theories into action, with results that were sometimes inspiring, sometimes devastating. With unparalleled access and acute insight, Chrystia Freeland takes us behind the scenes and shows us how these two groups misused a historic opportunity to build a new Russia. Their achievements were considerable, but their mistakes will deform Russian society for generations to come.

    Along with a gripping account of the incredible events in Russia’s corridors of power, Freeland gives us a vivid sense of the buzz and hustle of the new Russia, and inside stories of the businesses that have beaten the odds and become successful and profitable. She also exposes the conflicts and compromises that developed when red directors of old Soviet firms and factories yielded to — or fought — the radically new ways of doing business. She delves into the loophole economy, where anyone who knows how to manipulate the new rules can make a fast buck. Sale of the Century is a fascinating fly-on-the-wall economic thriller — an astonishing and essential account of who really controls Russia’s new frontier.

    Avant elle était ...

    Chrystia Freeland is the Global Editor-at-Large of Reuters news since March 1, 2010, having formerly been the United States managing editor at the Financial Times, based in New York City. Freeland received her undergraduate education from Harvard University, going onto St Antony’s at University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. She attended the United World College of the Adriatic, Italy, 1984-86.

    #politique #histoire #Russie #Canada


  • Spark of Science : Melissa Franklin - Issue 43 : Heroes
    http://nautil.us/issue/43/heroes/spark-of-science-melissa-franklin

    Experimentalists are the cowboys of physics,” says Melissa Franklin, an experimental particle physicist at Harvard University. They have to be able to tell theorists, “I don’t care about your stupid theory, I’m going to measure this.” That feeling of being on the edge, she says, is part of what makes science so exciting. Scientists can also be on the leading social edge. One of Franklin’s heroes, the experimental physicist Ernest Rutherford, had many women graduate students in his lab. “He was ahead of his time in supporting women scientists,” Franklin explains. It’s a history that she added to, when she became the first tenured woman professor at Harvard University. Her storied career also included being on the FermiLab team that found some of the first evidence for the top quark. In this (...)


  • The Ocean Gets Big Data - Issue 37: Currents
    http://nautil.us/issue/37/currents/the-ocean-gets-big-data

    I think that for some people,” says Peter Girguis, a deep-sea microbial physiologist at Harvard University, “the ocean seems passé—that the days of Jacques Cousteau are behind us.” He begs to differ. Even though space exploration, he says, “seems like the ultimate adventure, every time we do a deep sea dive and discover something new and exciting, there’s this huge flurry of activity and interest on social media.” But the buzz soon fizzles out, perhaps because of ineffective media campaigns, he says. But “we’re also not doing a good job of explaining how important and frankly exciting ocean exploration is.” That might change with the launch, this month, of the Ocean Observatories Initiative, an unprecedented network of oceanographic instruments in seven sites around the world. Each site features (...)


  • The Secret of Our Evolutionary Success Is Faith - Facts So Romantic
    http://nautil.us/blog/the-secret-of-our-evolutionary-success-is-faith

    The staunch atheist and essayist Christopher Hitchens once said that “the most overrated of the virtues is faith.” It’s a reasonable conclusion if you believe, as the astrophysicist Carl Sagan did, that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”1 To believe something without evidence—or have faith—is, in their view, something to avoid (and, when called for, to mock). Yet it was arguably faith—rather than reason—that had been instrumental to our ancestors’ survival. That’s just one of the many intriguing and paradoxical claims that Joseph Henrich, an evolutionary anthropologist at Harvard University, defends in his new book, The Secret of Our Success: How Culture Is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter. His central thesis, reiterated confidently, (...)


  • Dont Panic. Making Progress on Going Dark Debate
    https://cyber.law.harvard.edu/pubrelease/dont-panic/Dont_Panic_Making_Progress_on_Going_Dark_Debate.pdf

    Just over a year ago, with support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University convened a diverse group of security and policy experts from academia, civil society, and the U.S. intelligence community to begin to work through some of the particularly vexing and enduring problems of surveillance and cybersecurity. #montre_connectée #TV_connectée #voiture_connectée #Internet_of_things #contrôle_de_l'État


  • Interview – H.A. Hellyer
    http://www.e-ir.info/2015/10/10/interview-h-a-hellyer

    Dr H.A. Hellyer is nonresident Fellow with the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World at the Centre for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, and Associate Fellow in International Security Studies at the Royal United Services Institute in London. An analyst & political scientist on Arab affairs, Muslim-Western communities, Egyptian politics, European security policies, and political theory, Dr Hellyer was appointed as Deputy Convenor of the UK Government’s Taskforce for the 2005 London bombings. He served as the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) first Economic & Social Research Council Fellow attached to the ‘Islam’ & ‘Counter-Terrorism’ teams with FCO security clearance, as a non-civil servant, independent academic with security clearance. He was previously Senior Research Fellow at the University of Warwick (UK) and Research Associate at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Some of his publications include “Muslims of Europe: the ‘Other’ Europeans” for Edinburgh University Press, “Engagement with the Muslim Community and Counter-Terrorism: British Lessons for the West” for Brookings Institution Press, and “The Chance for Change in the Arab World: Egypt’s Uprising” for Chatham House’s Journal of International Affairs. He is currently writing a book on the Egyptian revolutionary uprising of 2011 and its aftermath.

    Where do you see the most exciting research/debates happening in your field?

    I tend to focus on three different fields – and at the moment, I’m truly fascinated by the current developments in all three. The first relates to the politics of the Arab world, including Islamist politics; the second pertains to Muslim Western populations and their challenges to, as well as challenges from, the countries in which they reside; and the third around the interchange between Islam and modernity.

    Many of our assumptions have been challenged in the past 5 years, since the revolutionary uprisings took place in the Arab world. I can still remember a world where academics wrote about the ‘resistance axis’ in the region, and the likes of Hizbollah and Bashar al-Assad’s Damascus were a part of that, described as ‘counter-weights’ to the machinations of right-wing neoconservatism and imperialism. The frames are wholly different now, on both of those points, due to the Syrian revolutionary uprising – and that leads to an important question for the Arab anti-imperialist left, as well as the old left in the West. Is this what left-wing politics is about, where we sacrifice the Syrian revolutionary uprising on the altar of some kind of imagined ‘resistance’ – while another type of foreign interference, be it from Tehran, Moscow, or Hizbollah, is critical in propping up a regime that has overseen the killing of tens of thousands of Syrian civilians? That’s a question that ought to be asked. In so doing, I hope the answer is not for the left to decide that they ought to become akin to the right-wing, whether in the West or the Arab world, and lose their time-honoured commitments to social justice as leftists. But rather, that the left ought to become more nuanced, and really take seriously the autonomy of people as a motivating factor, even when it is politically inconvenient.

    I’ve also been interested to see the discussion unfold around Islamism. Pre 2011, there were certain basic elements that more progressive, liberal and left-wing thinkers had when it came to Islamism in general. The first was that Islamism was, generally, to be considered as ‘political Islam’ – i.e., that it was normative, mainstream, historically authentic Islam, but simply put into politics. The second was that the Muslim Brotherhood, as the mainstream of Islamism, was, across the board, rather moderate, pluralistic, and democratic.


  • This Is How A Prison’s Debate Team Beat Harvard
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bard-prison-initiative-debate-team-defeat-harvard_5614124ee4b022a4ce

    hree men currently incarcerated at the Eastern New York Correctional Facility in Ulster County beat Harvard University in a recent debate.

    How they did it, though, is as inspiring as it is heartbreaking. Almost everywhere in the United States, time spent in prison is at best wasted, at worst spent in a swirl of violence and humiliation. But prisoners fortunate enough to be situated near Bard College have a chance to participate in a program founded on a radical insight: Prison need not be only about punishment, but can also be a place where people grow and blossom into the educated, responsible citizens they will need to be when they’re released.

    The men who stomped Harvard were part of the Bard Prison Initiative. “The most important thing that our students’ success symbolizes is how much better we can do in education in the U.S. for all people,” BPI founder Max Kenner told The Huffington Post. “Our program is successful because we operate on a genuinely human level.”

    Beating Harvard wasn’t the first time the Bard team had tasted success. Their first debate victory came last year, when they defeated the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.

    #Harvard #débat #prison


  • Why Red Means Red in Almost Every Language - Issue 26: Color
    http://nautil.us/issue/26/color/why-red-means-red-in-almost-every-language

    When Paul Kay, then an anthropology graduate student at Harvard University, arrived in Tahiti in 1959 to study island life, he expected to have a hard time learning the local words for colors. His field had long espoused a theory called linguistic relativity, which held that language shapes perception. Color was the “parade example,” Kay says. His professors and textbooks taught that people could only recognize a color as categorically distinct from others if they had a word for it. If you knew only three color words, a rainbow would have only three stripes. Blue wouldn’t stand out as blue if you couldn’t name it. What’s more, according to the relativist view, color categories were arbitrary. The spectrum of color has no intrinsic organization. Scientists had no reason to suspect that (...)


  • A Guide to Mass Shootings in America | Mother Jones
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/07/mass-shootings-map

    Editor’s note, July 16, 2015: We have updated this database with the mass shooting at a military center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, which came a month after the one at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina. The interactive map below and our downloadable database, first published in July 2012, have been expanded with nine additional cases from 2013-2015.* Other public shooting attacks in that period—such as a rampage at Fort Hood, another in Isla Vista, California, and another on a bridge in Wisconsin—have not been added because there were fewer than four victims shot to death in each of those cases. For more about that distinction and its limitations, see this piece and this piece.

    It is perhaps too easy to forget how many times this has happened. The horrific mass murder at a movie theater in Colorado in July 2012, another at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin that August, another at a manufacturer in Minneapolis that September—and then the unthinkable nightmare at a Connecticut elementary school that December—were some of the latest in an epidemic of such gun violence over the last three decades. Since 1982, there have been at least 71 public mass shootings across the country, with the killings unfolding in 31 states from Massachusetts to Hawaii. Thirty-four of these mass shootings have occurred since 2006. Seven of them took place in 2012 alone, including Sandy Hook. A recent analysis of this database by researchers at Harvard University, further corroborated by a recent FBI study, determined that mass shootings have been on the rise.

    We’ve gathered detailed data on more than three decades of cases and mapped them below, including information on the shooters’ profiles, the types of weapons they used, and the number of victims they injured and killed. The following analysis covers our original dataset comprised of 62 cases from 1982-2012.


  • Ramy Essam : on Revolutionary Stories, Struggles, & Guitar Strings
    http://muftah.org/ramy-essam-revolutionary-stories-struggles-guitar-strings

    Le « rebelle arabe » est encore un produit qui se vend bien ! (enfin, sur les campus US)

    Earlier this month, the “Singer of the Revolution,” as he came to be known during Egypt’s eighteen-day uprising, which ousted former president Hosni Mubarak, concluded his first U.S. tour with a small but well-attended event at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Around forty audience members, most of whom were Egyptian (a fact that allowed Essam to speak comfortably in his native tongue), listened, laughed, and sang along as the up-and-coming rockstar belted out some old Tahrir Square favorites, as well as a few newer pieces.


  • Archive avril 2013: Current Top Pentagon Official Urged Bombing North Korea… When He Was on the Sidelines
    http://nation.time.com/2013/04/03/current-top-pentagon-official-urged-bombing-north-koreawhen-he-was-on-t

    In one of those strange twists of fate TV writers love, Ashton Carter, the current deputy secretary of defense, advocated bombing North Korea seven years ago when he was safely in his bunker at Harvard University.

    Along with Clinton-era defense secretary William Perry, Carter urged in Time in 2006 that the Republican George W. Bush Administration conduct a “surgical strike” on a North Korean missile as it was readied for launch

    Ce matin: Obama Is Said to Pick Ashton Carter, Physicist and Ex-Deputy, as Defense Secretary
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/03/us/politics/ashton-carter-may-replace-chuck-hagel-at-defense-department-official-says.h

    President Obama has selected Ashton B. Carter to be the next defense secretary, senior administration officials said on Tuesday, elevating a physicist and the Pentagon’s former chief weapons buyer to succeed Chuck Hagel, who was ousted last week.


  • Biden blames US allies in Middle East for rise of ISIS
    http://rt.com/news/192880-biden-isis-us-allies

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11l8nLZNPSY

    America’s “biggest problem” in Syria is its regional allies, Biden told students at the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University on Thursday.

    “Our allies in the region were our largest problem in Syria,” he said, explaining that Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the UAE were “so determined to take down Assad,” that in a sense they started a “proxy Sunni-Shia war” by pouring “hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of tons of weapons” towards anyone who would fight against Assad.

    “And we could not convince our colleagues to stop supplying them,” said Biden, thus disassociating the US from unleashing the civil war in Syria.

    “The outcome of such a policy now is more visible,” he said, as it turned out they supplied extremists from Al-Nusra Front and Al-Qaeda.