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To End Infectious Disease, We Must Cure Our Societal Ills

By | April 11, 2017

It once was stated that, “man’s weakness is not achieving victories, but in taking advantage of them.” Indeed, this is the case for global infection control. Throughout history we have so far eradicated only a single major infectious disease threat, a feat accomplished through the leadership of Dr. D.A. Henderson, who passed away in 2016 at the age of 87.
Beginning in 1966, Henderson led a …

Headline, Nexus »

Why the Ancient Greeks Saw Immigrants as Both a Boon and Threat to Homeland Security

By | April 10, 2017

Even though the United States is worlds away from ancient Greece, we still sometimes use the Greeks’ vocabulary for describing immigrants and our fear of them. Like the ancient Greeks, some of the more xenophobic among us decry foreigners as “barbarians.” The Greeks named non-natives barbaroi because foreign languages to their ears sounded like bar-bar-bar. The term carried a lot of baggage: Barbarians were ruled …

Headline, In the Green Room »

Photographer Jamel Shabazz Talks Fashion Statements and Brooklyn Neighborhoods

By | April 8, 2017

Jamel Shabazz is a fine art, documentary, and fashion photographer whose work focuses on the African American experience. Before taking part in a Zócalo/Getty “Open Art” panel discussion at the Getty Center in Los Angeles to consider the question, “Does Art Capture Reality Better Than the News?” he chatted in the Zócalo green room about Kangol hats, Kool and the Gang, and the pleasures of …

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“The Wire” Creator David Simon Talks Film Sets vs. Newsrooms

By | April 8, 2017

David Simon is an author, journalist, television writer, and producer, known for such acclaimed TV series as Treme and The Wire, as well as the 1991 book Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets about his experiences as a Baltimore Sun reporter. Before taking part in a Zócalo/Getty “Open Art” panel discussion at the Getty Center in Los Angeles to consider the question, “Does Art Capture …

Headline, Poetry »

Announcing Zócalo’s Sixth Annual Poetry Prize Winner

By | April 7, 2017

Zócalo Public Square’s daily ideas journalism and free public events aim to shed light on critical issues that explore our shared human condition and ask questions about how we navigate the world we’ve made. We publish a new poem each Friday in the same spirit, and for the last six years, it’s why we’ve awarded a prize to the poem that best evokes a connection …

Connecting California, Headline, Joe Mathews »

It’s Time to Get on Board with Golden Gate Bridge Train Transit

By | April 6, 2017

If California is as serious about public transit as its urban leaders claim, why isn’t there a commuter rail service running over the Golden Gate Bridge?
There’s no good reason why our state’s iconic span must devote all six of its lanes to cars. For more than 50 years, engineering studies have shown that the bridge could accommodate trains.
And now would be the perfect time to …

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Where’s the Laid-Back Fun in Kids’ Summer Vacations?

By | April 5, 2017

My grade school summer vacations seemed to last forever, pairing well with the Beach Boys’ Endless Summer double album I wore out on the record changer.
During those hot and humid Northern Virginia summers, I headed each weekday to the summer camp held in my elementary school’s nearly-abandoned cafeteria. It was a low-key affair—ping pong and table hockey on the cafeteria lunch tables, kickball and football …

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To Understand the Future of Cyber Power, Look to the Past of Air Power

By | April 4, 2017

Approximately 75 years ago, a new technology was married to warfare on a mass scale, and its impact spilled across continents, shaping the fighting of wars and international politics while raising a new set of terrifying fears about the future of the human race.
Anybody seeking to understand what war might look like in the cyber age should consider the disruptive force of air power and the revolution it wrought. One lasting …

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Is the Cyber Era the New Cold War–Elusive, Shadowy, and with No Clear Endgame?

So-called cyberwarfare has blurred the boundaries of what war is, raising profound questions about how the U.S. should respond to attacks that occur online and in information networks. This was obvious in the hacking of the Clinton campaign during the 2016 presidential election, which was then magnified by U.S. media attention. Still, the U.S. has yet to determine what happened or how to respond. According …

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In San Diego, Building a Cybersecurity State Is Good Business

By | April 2, 2017

When I joined the Navy in 1970, the projection of Naval sea power was all about strategies to deploy Marines, ships, submarines, and aircraft above, below, and on the sea. Today, there’s a new complication—cybersecurity— as data has become weaponized and hackers seek to attack all manner of targets—companies, cities, nations, even the ships where I once worked.
At the same time, cyberattackers, and their rising …