Headline, Poetry »

Inside, America was throbbing #poem

By | June 23, 2017

He lived in a city that doesn’t exist. Substantive trash—tractor tires, the skeleton of a yesteryear truck—was planted in the frontyards, and he liked it. The sci-fi-green plastic cups that came free with the copyrighted 1,000-calorie alcoholic drink enjoyed by visiting conference-goers and bachelor party attendees traced arcs on pavement 20 miles from place of sale. A subtle bar buzzed at the end of every …

Headline, Inquiry »

The Arts Don’t Need New Audiences, They Need Communities.

By | June 22, 2017

 
This is a Zócalo Inquiry on arts engagement, produced with support from The James Irvine Foundation.

Headline, Nexus »

Why Marijuana Needs Middlemen to Reach the Mainstream Market

By | June 21, 2017

California’s marijuana industry will soon begin its transition from an illicit ecosystem fraught with guns, cash, and cartels into a regulated economic juggernaut.
The stakes of getting it right are high. Not only will the industry produce an expected $1 billion in annual tax dollars for youth drug prevention, restoration of the environment, and enforcement against the black market, but legal marijuana will influence the …

Headline, Nexus »

Why We’ll Always Have (the) Paris (Accord)

By | June 20, 2017

The United States is out of the Paris Agreement on climate change, and the Trump administration says we will burn coal and fossil fuels if we like, and no one will tell us otherwise.
The United States, we are told, will have a burst of economic growth, now that it is unshackled from an agreement that required (suggested is more accurate) our nation to do …

Connecting California, Headline, Joe Mathews »

Why San Diego and The Donald Are On a Collision Course

By | June 19, 2017

If you wish to inspect the frontlines of the conflict between Donald Trump and California, head for San Diego.
Yes, it’s true that the Golden State’s fight against the president has so far taken place in the courts and in cyberspace. And, sure, challenging The Donald’s legitimacy is not a mere local pastime but an all-consuming statewide prizefight. But as a matter of geography, culture and …

Headline, The Takeaway »

Yes, Classroom Tech Can Tackle Inequality—but Change Takes Politics and Patience

By | June 16, 2017

Even as digital technology has grown exponentially more sophisticated, accessible, and integral to our lives, social inequality has cast a deeper shadow across the United States in recent decades. Simultaneously, getting a quality education has become ever more essential for individual success and fulfillment.
The question of whether tech-enhanced education can help break down—or perhaps even erase—growing social divisions confronted a panel of educators brought together …

Headline, What It Means to Be American »

The North Carolina Trucker Who Brought the World to America in a Box

By | June 15, 2017

On April 26, 1956, a crane lifted 58 aluminum truck bodies onto the deck of an aging tanker ship moored in Newark, New Jersey. Five days later, the Ideal-X sailed into Houston, Texas, where waiting trucks collected the containers for delivery to local factories and warehouses. From that modest beginning, the shipping container would become such a familiar part of the landscape that Americans would …

Headline, Nexus »

For a More Prosperous Society, Keep the Internet Open

By | June 13, 2017

Why would someone who spent much of his career working for a multinational telecommunications company care so much about preserving “net neutrality?”
That someone would be me. I worked for Vodafone, the British telecom giant that serves Asia, Africa, Europe and Oceania, while living in both London and The Hague. I went on to work with young technology companies, then at the U.S. State Department, and …

Connecting California, Headline »

Is A/B Product Testing Turning Us into Silicon Valley’s Lab Rats?

By | June 12, 2017

A:
Test me all night, baby.
No, really. Sign me up to be the subject of A/B testing. I’d even be willing to sign a blanket consent form, right now, so that all of Silicon Valley’s biggest brains can test me for the purpose of improving the human future.
Everybody’s doing it. In fact, you’ve likely been A/B tested without your knowledge if you’ve ever used …

Headline, The Takeaway »

This Color Can Be Dirty, Deceptive—and Divine

By | June 9, 2017

The meaning of blue lies in its contradictions.
The color is associated with introversion and introspection, but it’s also associated with the expansiveness and openness of oceans and skies. It’s a sacred color in the world’s religions, but blue movies are obscene movies. And while the color can represent life in many ways, it’s also true that “when we die, we turn blue,” said art …

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