Monthly Archives: July 2016

victory in the Fourth Circuit

Today, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a wide-ranging North Carolina voting law that was passed in 2013 and upheld by a federal district court. The Fourth Circuit found that the legislature enacted these provisions with the intention (and not only the effect) … Continue reading

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to the European Institute of Civic Studies

I am fleeing the country heading to Augsburg, Germany for the 2016 Summer Institute of Civic Studies. It is aimed at participants from Ukraine, Belarus, and Poland, but they are convening this summer in Germany (thanks to the generosity of the DAAD). … Continue reading

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Massachusetts Citizens Initiative Review: the movie

At Tufts’ Tisch College of Civic Life, we are working with State Rep. Jonathan Hecht and Healthy Democracy to bring the Citizens Initiative Review to our commonwealth this summer. I’ve blogged about the project already, but this 2-minute video by Suffolk student … Continue reading

Posted in deliberation | Leave a comment

Everyday Democracy: racism, policing, and community change

At this moment, I am especially grateful to serve on the board for Everyday Democracy, which works at the intersection of deliberative democracy, community organizing, and anti-racism. The organization has deep experience with “dialogue and action” efforts that “address community-police relations.” They … Continue reading

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what is the political economy that people are revolting against?

(Hartford, CT) One interpretation of Trump, Brexit, and related phenomena is that people fear losing their privileges and are reacting with prejudice against immigrants and racial and religious minorities. That thesis must contain a lot of truth. But a different–and compatible–interpretation is that … Continue reading

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on inhabiting earth with inaccessibly beautiful things

I unfortunately know no Chinese. The sounds, resonances, allusions, and calligraphy of traditional Chinese poetry can reach me only through paraphrase or as abstract patterns, each character looking not much different from the next. However, Perry Link writes, Should we compare poetry across civilizations? … Continue reading

Posted in fine arts, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hillary Clinton on spending for infrastructure

There’s an important exchange about government spending in Ezra Klein’s long, wonky interview with Hillary Clinton. Klein notes that the government can currently borrow very cheaply, paying virtually no interest. The US has grave infrastructure needs. Businesses normally borrow in order … Continue reading

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progress on civics

I’m back from a very inspiring meeting of civic activists, civic educators, and students in the White House. It was convened by the Domestic Policy Council along with Civic Nation and the Beeck Center, with support from Tisch College and others. Committed … Continue reading

Posted in advocating civic education, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

the metaphysics of latent variables in psychology

(Washington, DC) The search for “latent variables” is so common in psychology that I would almost call it definitive of the discipline today. Other disciplines also study people’s thoughts and actions, but the distinctive contribution of psychology seems to be the use … Continue reading

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generational differences in attitudes toward racism

(New York City) As the nation grapples with racism and deep divisions over race, it is important to understand trends in opinions on these issues. Here is a small contribution to that topic. In 1977, and then consistently since 1985, the … Continue reading

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