Aaron Swartz was, in addition to being a young man of conscience, a poster child for the terms “computer whiz” and “child prodigy”. He was still just a child of 12 when he created the Info Network, a forerunner of Wikipedia, and by the age of 13, he’d already become a co-founder of Reddit and one of the authors of Creative Commons(1).… [Read more]
What issues change society's social order? Here we discuss social progress and the issues that impede that progress such as poverty, negative impacts upon the environment, and disparities among peoples.
In the past, there was no doubt about which road to take when it came to having the best opportunities for a promising future. College was dangled in front of the youth of America like a golden ticket to make their career dreams come true. Today, a higher education has lost its luster due to a struggling economy and an extremely competitive job market.… [Read more]
As a society we often consider college life a rite of passage. Young adults go off to college and learn to be independent. Sure, we think our kids are now adults and that they can handle themselves, after all isn’t that what college is about? But over the years there has been an aspect of college life that has been overlooked.… [Read more]
Initiation rituals, humiliating and sometimes downright deadly acts required of individuals seeking to be accepted into a group, are known as “hazing.” But it’s perfectly clear that these stunts can cause short-term and life-long physical and emotional harm.
Athletic teams, high school social clubs, college sororities and fraternities . . . these are some of the groups known to subject wannabes or newbies to hazing, often concentrated in a short period of time called “hell week.” Sadly, the damage can last a lot longer than that.… [Read more]
Maybe the naysayers don’t have it completely wrong. Maybe there is something to be said about the dangers of getting swept up in every gust of opinion that blows its way across the national stage. Perhaps it’s true that bowing to public pressure isn’t always the best course of action, and a mob mentality shouldn’t decide whether or not people should get to keep their jobs.… [Read more]
Even before Colorado Amendment 64 was passed, there had been a long-standing public debate concerning the illegality of marijuana. The public support for marijuana decriminalization has been noticeably strong, especially since Colorado legalized the drug recreationally for those 21 and older. Popular media outlets tend to touch on the topic frequently, often highlighting how the country’s public opinion is currently in favor of decriminalization.… [Read more]
I know what you’re driving, what you pay every month, and when your lease expires. I know what bank you got a loan from and the interest rate.
I know your house payment and if you like red shoes. When you go online I can have a banner appear that shows your favorite brand of coffee.… [Read more]
A gay rights movement has the potential of taking off from a somewhat unlikely area: a group of small businesses in Mississippi. The movement comes in light of Mississippi state legislation that could allow businesses to openly discriminate against homosexuals based on religious grounds. In late April, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed a short provision into law which said the state could not significantly burden people’s religious freedom unless there was a compelling reason.… [Read more]
There are many ways to examine and quantify America’s illicit drug use. Geography is one such method, but even then there are a number of ways to look at the same data. Each of the nation’s 50 states have a “drug of choice” – that is, the narcotic most frequently cited by law enforcement officials as the greatest threat to the health and safety of the public.… [Read more]
Is there really more racism? Or has it always been here but just on the DL? Are more racists emboldened because of their anger at our first African-American president? Or was it there and nobody said anything?
I don’t know the reason but suddenly you can hardly read the news without somebody getting caught on tape, an open mic or writing something racist and hateful.… [Read more]
A controversial questionnaire has recently appeared in the media as Western Washington University contemplates ways to diversify its student body. Specifically, the school-wide survey posed a question prompting respondents to brainstorm ways to make their student body “less white.” This controversial question carries the message University President Bruce Shepard has been supporting in recent speeches and blogs.… [Read more]
Women’s rights, as understood by American women, are often limited to what impacts us immediately. At times, we have a narrowed point of view that unintentionally excludes the experiences of women in other parts of the world. In truth, women’s rights are a global fight, impacting women of various ethnic groups, religions and economic standings.
As a woman traveling around the world, it may only then become clear how different the status of women is from region to region.… [Read more]
Despite some economic and political setbacks, the U.S. remains a land of opportunities. For that reason, it attracts immigrants from across the world. Your immigration lawyer will tell you in detail how the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have provisions to help various categories of immigrant aspirants to gain citizenship in the U.S. In case, a citizen or a permanent resident of U.S.… [Read more]
Although the term “corporate social responsibility” (CSR) is an idea that’s been part of the corporate lexicon for more than four decades, it’s still a relatively unknown concept in many business circles. In many ways, it’s an esoteric umbrella term that encompasses many things, ranging from environmental policies and hiring practices to corporate philanthropy.
Ultimately, CSR is a top-down philosophic approach evocative of Google’s old mantra, “don’t be evil.” Although it’s arguable whether Google has actually been following this core value, especially since it has recently started producing robots for the military, the underlying sentiment is clear: Corporations should behave in a socially responsible manner.… [Read more]
Ah marijuana…or weed, or ganja whatever you wish to call it. It has divided opinions all over the world, and especially in our country. Some cultures extol its virtues, others deride it, still others are indifferent or on the fence. It is a hot topic though, wherever you go. In pop culture too, from rappers to film stars, and even The Simpsons and South Park, everyone has an opinion on that little green plant and aren’t afraid to share it.… [Read more]
When our students and teachers returned to school, they may have been thinking about the changes ahead for the spring term of the school year. One of the big changes on the minds of many in education, and one that is likely to weigh on public school teachers’ is the concept of BYOD, or bring your own device.… [Read more]
I’m not one to admit when I’m wrong about a thing, however, in the face of undisputed and overwhelming evidence, I have no alternative but to acknowledge I’ve been wrong all of these years. There really is such a thing as reverse racism. And here’s the proof.
It’s true, Blacks, Asians, Hispanics and other people of color can no longer claim a monopoly on persecution.… [Read more]
Amandla is a Xhosa and Zulu word that means ‘power’. Many of us who live outside of African nations first heard the word used as a rallying cry during the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. It was also during that time, many of us who were coming of age became aware of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela — who, at age 95, after spending much of his life being the greatest embodiment of peace and non-violent resistance.… [Read more]
In the recent week there have been a number of articles touching on the wearing of blackface for Halloween and its appropriateness, or rather inappropriateness. And in reading the comments posted by many it dawned on me not how many Caucasian Americans are still covert racists (I don’t need to read an article to know that) but, rather, how many not only have no knowledge of American history but understanding of Sociology 101.… [Read more]
Throughout rural China, controversial land acquisitions have been taking place since 2009, often without consent of or compensation to the local residents. In an effort to continually expand China’s growing cities, the Party has been forcibly acquiring land in the surrounding rural areas. Here we would call this eminent domain, and most of the victims of this process are pretty angry, but China has allowed things to go to a whole new level.… [Read more]