Democracy and culture

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    Thoughts on the future of human knowledge and machine intelligence

Thoughts on the future of human knowledge and machine intelligence

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Knowledge doubles almost every day and believers are on a mission to display AI’s ‘virtuous goodness’, writes Feras A. Batarseh.

Throughout history, nations and armies have brawled for knowledge. The burning of the Library of Alexandria, the destruction of Xianyang Palace’s archives, the secret investigations of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the destruction of the Mayan Codex, and many other examples […]

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    White, middle-class social capital helps to incarcerate African-Americans in racially diverse states.

White, middle-class social capital helps to incarcerate African-Americans in racially diverse states.

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Social capital is mostly seen as a ‘good’: bringing communities together and, in the case of criminal justice, encouraging social empathy which can lead to less harsh sentencing. But these analyses ignore racial divisions in social capital. In new research, Daniel Hawes finds that while social capital can reduce the Black-White disparity in incarceration rates in states with […]

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    The American Dream eludes many urban youth of color. And they think it’s their own fault.

The American Dream eludes many urban youth of color. And they think it’s their own fault.

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Segregation is not a thing of the past for young people of color in the US; many attend under-resourced and segregated school districts. Despite these disadvantages, America’s leaders tell young people of color that they can achieve the “American Dream” via hard work and determination. In new research, David T. Lardier Jr., Kathryn G. Herr, Veronica R. Barrios, Pauline […]

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    Trump supporters’ resistance to social justice efforts is driven by their meritocratic ideology, not bias.

Trump supporters’ resistance to social justice efforts is driven by their meritocratic ideology, not bias.

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Trump supporters are more resistant to social justice efforts than other Americans, but not because of bias. Rather, many Trump supporters are “rugged meritocratists”- those who resist social justice efforts because they believe that American society is already fair. Erin Cech argues that if rugged meritocratists are to heed calls for social justice, they must first be convinced that inequality actually […]

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    Book Review: Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics by Nicole Hemmer

Book Review: Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics by Nicole Hemmer

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In Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics, Nicole Hemmer argues that broadcasters like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are but the second generation of conservative media activists. Americans, states Hemmer, are used to thinking of such figures as being integral to contemporary conservatism; her book tells the story of the lesser-known […]

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    How Black fraternities are actually harmful to Black culture in the US

How Black fraternities are actually harmful to Black culture in the US

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Now more than a century old, Black Greek Letter Organizations – fraternities – have more than 800,000 members. But are such organizations an asset or do they work against African American culture? Ali Chambers argues that rather than unifying the Black community against the effects of racial prejudice, they have merely become a vehicle for Blacks to assimilate into […]

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    How a failed 17th century rebellion can help explain Donald Trump’s election victory

How a failed 17th century rebellion can help explain Donald Trump’s election victory

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Despite having little in common with Donald Trump, white working class voters were instrumental in his electoral victory last year. Dale C. Tatum argues that to understand why, we need to look back to the 17th century rebellion of Nathaniel Bacon in Virginia. Like the colonial authorities in the wake of Bacon’s failed rebellion, Donald Trump was able to […]

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    “Bathroom bills” don’t take into account that gender isn’t always clear cut

“Bathroom bills” don’t take into account that gender isn’t always clear cut

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Recent years have seen an increase in the number of “bathroom bills” enacted by state legislatures which designate who may use bathrooms in schools and other public buildings depending on their biological gender. Mercedes Wilby argues that the idea of biological gender is unhelpful in these circumstances because it isn’t always clear-cut and physiology isn’t always binary. Such distinctions […]

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    Long Read Book Review: Deplorable Me: The Alt-Right Comes to Power by J.A. Smith

Long Read Book Review: Deplorable Me: The Alt-Right Comes to Power by J.A. Smith

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J.A Smith reflects on two recent books that help us to take stock of the election of President Donald Trump as part of the wider rise of the ‘alt-right’, questioning furthermore how the left today might contend with the emergence of those at one time termed ‘a basket of deplorables’. 

Deplorable Me: The Alt-Right Comes to Power

Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, […]

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    How audiences come to embrace and support new products, ideas or politicians

How audiences come to embrace and support new products, ideas or politicians

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Resonance only occurs when people reach an emotional or rational identification with what (or who) is being sold, writes Simona Giorgi.

During the U.S. presidential campaign of 2016, the media greatly downplayed the chances of Donald Trump’s electoral success, because many of this candidate’s proposals seemed unfeasible, or improbable. What political pundits had overlooked, however, was the power of emotions.

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