Here’s a link to a long piece by The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza that explores the nature of partisanship/polarization in American domestic politics, with a focus on some interesting primary sources. Does/can a President change Washington or must they ‘only’ strive to get stuff done?
There’s a great piece on the internet economy in today’s New York Times. Here’s some food for thought:
"It is hard to estimate how much more it would cost to build iPhones in the United States. However, various academics and manufacturing analysts estimate that because labor is such a small part of technology manufacturing, paying American wages would add up to $65 to each iPhone’s expense. Since Apple’s profits are often hundreds of dollars per phone, building domestically, in theory, would still give the company a healthy reward."
“It was called the “First All-American Tush Tally,” an informal test to measure the behinds of two dozen New Yorkers to see if they could fit into the prescribed space in new subway cars made by Kawasaki.”—From an article discussing the butt-to-seat-size calculations on mass transit in the New York Times...
This class will interrogate the geographic elements that underpin several important contemporary issues. It is a political course in that we will emphasize and explore the connections between power, space, and knowledge. It is a historical endeavor in that we seek to expose the fragments that will help us make sense of the present. Together, we will work to open spaces for critical discussion about the ways that spatial processes, technological change, and human action are central to the evolving backdrop of the present and future.
We are living in an era consistently refracted through a lens of insecurity. With the proliferation of nuclear weapons, resource degradation, and international conflict, the global population has long had the capacity to not only change the future, but to annihilate it. If, at the turn of the 20th century, some held fast to the idea that progress was limited only by the powers of imagination, by the 21st, we are now left looking for ways to approximate control of the future, to anticipate it, to secure ourselves from it, and to guide potential disorder elsewhere. Discourses of security are so pervasive that it is becoming commonplace to engage with current world affairs using the rhetoric of war: there is of course the war on terror, but we are also ostensibly living through wars on poverty, hunger, disease, drugs, obesity, racism, and corruption.
Taking this framework as our entry point, in this course we will ask questions that help us sketch the contours of these conflicts: Why do these battles happen where they happen? Who ‘fights’ them? How has the relationship between humans and their environment affected these contests? How has the spatial extent of certain issues changed over time? In what ways does the rhetoric of crisis, security, and warfare aid or limit discussion of world affairs?