Monthly Archives: February 2009

Everyday Democracy

I’m proud to announce that I’ve joined the board of the Paul J. Aicher Foundation (official release here). That’s an operating foundation that funds one major project: Everyday Democracy. In turn, Everyday Democracy assists communities in holding diverse conversations about … Continue reading

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learning about social media

My head is swimming with recent conversations that touch on social media, civic engagement, and young people. I’d define “social media” as any of the Internet technologies that make it easy to distribute your own creations and form relationships with … Continue reading

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the Kennedy-Hatch Serve America Act

Last night, the president spoke strongly and explicitly in favor of the Kennedy-Hatch Serve America Act, which would expand the number of slots for paid national and community service and increase the quality of those positions. I have blogged in … Continue reading

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the politics of negative capability

Zadie Smith’s article “Speaking in Tongues” (The New York Review, Feb 26) combines several of the fixations of this blog–literature as an alternative to moral philosophy, deliberation, Shakespeare, and Barack Obama–and makes me think that my own most fundamental and … Continue reading

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consolation of mortality

I just finished Jonathan Barnes’ Nothing to be Frightened Of, which is the memoir of a novelist who fears death. I read it because the quotations in reviews were very funny; because, as a fellow chronophobiac, I hoped that some … Continue reading

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announcing the Summer Institute of Civic Studies

This summer, at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University, we will offer a 2-week intensive Summer Institute of Civic Studies. It is aimed mainly at PhD students from all disciplines and universities. The … Continue reading

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the “Millennial Generation and Politics” event

C-SPAN II broadcast yesterday’s event at the New America Foundation. The video is here. Neil Howe and Reena Nadler first present their broad overview of the Millennials as a poilitical generation. I then summarize our new study that argues that … Continue reading

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fundamental orientations to reform

(This is a rambling post written during a flight delay at Washington National. It lacks an engaging lead. In brief, I was thinking about various conservative objections to utopian reform and how social movements, such as the Civil Rights Movement, … Continue reading

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thoughts on Hugo Chavez

After President Chavez of Venezuela won the right to seek perpetual reelection, it occurred to me that: 1. Venezuela poses no risk to the United States. Its government must sell oil on the international market or it will collapse economically. … Continue reading

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national service in the stimulus

The final stimulus bill that the president will sign on Tuesday includes $201 million for AmeriCorps, an increase of roughly one fourth. I don’t know whether positions in AmeriCorps programs count as “jobs” and will thus help the president to … Continue reading

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