The worldly turn

After generations of ‘blackboard economics’, Berkeley and MIT are leading a return to economics that studies the real world Tom Bergin is an investigative financial journalist for Reuters. His work has prompted parliamentary inquiries and won numerous awards in Britain, the United States and Asia. He is the author of Spills and Spin: The Inside Story of BP (2011) and Free Lunch Thinking: How Economics Ruins the Economy (2021). He lives in London. For the workers who are curious why their wages have not increased in the past decade – while the incomes of some, such as footballers, have soared – the Bank of … Continue reading The worldly turn

THE AGE OF INTOLERANCE: CANCEL CULTURE’S WAR ON FREE SPEECH

John W. Whitehead, Rutherford Waking Times “Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners.”—George Carlin Cancel culture—political correctness amped up on steroids, the self-righteousness of a narcissistic age, and a mass-marketed pseudo-morality that is little more than fascism disguised as tolerance—has shifted us into an Age of Intolerance, policed by techno-censors, social media bullies, and government watchdogs. Everything is now fair game for censorship if it can be construed as hateful, hurtful, bigoted or offensive provided that it runs counter to the established viewpoint. In this way, the most controversial issues of our day—race, religion, sex, sexuality, politics, science, health, government … Continue reading THE AGE OF INTOLERANCE: CANCEL CULTURE’S WAR ON FREE SPEECH

The end of travel

Driven by the need for a storied life, I relished the opportunity for endless travel. Is that a moment in time, now over? Henry Wismayer is a writer based in London. His essays and features have appeared in more than 80 publications, including The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, The Washington Post Magazine, The Guardian and The Wall Street Journal. I am a clown … and I collect moments.– Heinrich Böll, The Clown (1963) The first thing I linger over, when I upturn the box onto my bedsheet, is an overexposed photograph of two skinny boys. It depicts me, aged 19, with a collegial arm slung over the … Continue reading The end of travel

How disruptions happen

Major disruptions in world history follow a clear pattern. What can upheavals of the past tell us about our own future? David Potter is Francis W Kelsey Collegiate Professor of Greek and Roman History and Arthur F Thurnau Professor at the University of Michigan. His books include Constantine the Emperor (2013), Theodora: Actress, Empress, Saint (2016), The Origin of Empire: Rome from the Republic to Hadrian (2019), and Disruption: Why Things Change (2021). On 3 April 1917, a crowd gathered to meet a train arriving from Helsinki at Petrograd’s Finland Station. The train carried Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. He greeted his audience with a speech calling for the overthrow … Continue reading How disruptions happen

Trolls be gone

Anonymous users generate most toxic abuse and conspiracy theories online. The right to be anonymous should be curtailed Stephen Kinsella is founder of Clean Up the Internet, and a competition lawyer with a longstanding interest in human rights, digital technology, and democracy. He lives in Stroud, UK. We have come a long way from the optimism that surrounded the internet in the early 1990s. As Tim Berners-Lee has remarked several times, there was a ‘utopian’ view of its potential to democratise news and reinforce social cohesion. Indeed, only 10 years ago, we were celebrating the role that online communications played in the Arab Spring. Now, … Continue reading Trolls be gone

He Did Right by Animals. And Didn’t Take Bull from Anyone.

Bernard Rollin was a pioneer in animal rights. He left us with this scalding interview. BY BRANDON KEIM Well into the 1980s, doctors would perform open-heart surgery on infants without giving them pain-relieving drugs. This is hard to believe: By the standards of contemporary medicine, not to mention common sense, the practice is akin to torture. Yet then-conventional wisdom held that babies did not feel pain, at least not in any meaningful way. Their brains and nervous systems were considered undeveloped. And regardless of what they felt, they wouldn’t remember it. One can read about this in Science and Ethics, … Continue reading He Did Right by Animals. And Didn’t Take Bull from Anyone.

The Amazon, a Counterweight to Global Warming, Is Under Assault

Far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has escalated deforestation to dire proportions. Activists accuse him of “ecocide.” BY GEORGINA GUSTIN JAIM TEIXEIRA SURVEYS his property near Trairão, Brazil from the back of a motorcycle, wearing jeans and a long-sleeved, sun-proof shirt to shield him from the jungle’s breathtaking heat. It’s the end of the dry season and, like everything and everyone in this part of the Amazon, the lean, 51-year-old rancher is covered in a fine brick-red dust. Nearby, a plume of smoke rises at the edge of the jungle canopy, heading skyward until it blurs into an indistinct haze. Burning trees crackle and spit. … Continue reading The Amazon, a Counterweight to Global Warming, Is Under Assault

Reweaving the wild

Human roads have utterly fragmented the world of wild animals but the engineering to reconnect the pieces is in our grasp Darryl Jones is professor emeritus of ecology at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia. His books include The Birds at My Table: Why We Feed Wild Birds and Why It Matters (2018) and A Clouded Leopard in the Middle of the Road New Thinking about Roads, People, and Wildlife (forthcoming in 2022). He lives in Brisbane. It is almost certain that you recently interacted closely with an invisible giant, as the Harvard landscape ecologist Richard T T Forman has described it. Others have called roads ‘the … Continue reading Reweaving the wild

The world as we know it is ending. Why are we still at work?

From the pandemic to climate change, Americans are still expected to work no matter what happens. By Anna North   For a moment in early 2020, it seemed like we might get a break from capitalism. A novel coronavirus was sweeping the globe, and leaders and experts recommended that the US pay millions of people to stay home until the immediate crisis was over. These people wouldn’t work. They’d hunker down, take care of their families, and isolate themselves to keep everyone safe. With almost the whole economy on pause, the virus would stop spreading, and Americans could soon go back to normalcy with … Continue reading The world as we know it is ending. Why are we still at work?

The humane asylum

As a society we are failing people with severe, persistent mental illness. It’s time to reimagine institutional care Madeleine Ritts is a researcher, writer, and social worker based in Toronto, Canada. Her work has appeared in the Toronto Star, Healthy Debate, and Jacobin magazine. Her interests include mental health, public policy, housing, practical ethics, inequality, and labour. She has more than five years’ experience working in community mental health and addictions. Daniel Rosenbaum is a psychiatrist, researcher, and clinical lecturer at the University of Toronto in Canada. He works on interdisciplinary outreach-based community mental health and palliative-care teams. He is also interested in … Continue reading The humane asylum