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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 …

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What Happens When Our Personal Information Gets Weaponized

By | April 1, 2017

Michael Greenberger is a professor at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law and the founder and director of the University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security. The following is an edited version of a phone interview with him about data collection in the age of cyberwarfare.
When you’re talking about information that can be used, or useful, in conducting cyberwarfare, that type …

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Princeton Sociologist Mitchell Duneier Wins the 2017 Zócalo Book Prize

By | March 31, 2017

Mitchell Duneier, author of Ghetto: The Invention of a Place, the History of an Idea and a sociologist at Princeton University, is the winner of the seventh annual Zócalo Book Prize. Duneier traces the ghetto from its 16th century origins—when the Jews of Venice, Italy were forced to live in il ghetto—to Nazi Germany and America today. Duneier shows how the idea of the ghetto …

Headline, The Takeaway »

Art Can Help Us Understand Reality, Even While Transforming It

By | March 30, 2017

In their different ways, David Simon and Jamel Shabazz both have transformed gritty reality into art, drawing inspiration from the complex, often troubled urban-scapes of places like New York, Baltimore, and New Orleans.
On Wednesday night, Simon and Shabazz came together before a packed auditorium at a Zócalo/Getty “Open Art” event to consider the question, “Does Art Capture Reality Better Than the News?” It’s a subject that Simon, …

Headline, Inquiry »

What Does War Look Like in the Cyber Age?

By | March 29, 2017

This is an Inquiry, produced by the Berggruen Institute and Zócalo Public Square, on what war looks like in the cyber age.

Headline, Nexus »

The Backlash Against International Trade Is Rooted in Real but Misplaced Fears

By | March 28, 2017

Can we have all the adults in the room stand up and chant in unison: “Who’s Afraid of Global Trade? Who’s Afraid of Global Trade?” That should calm us down. It worked for the three little pigs.
I understand that when things are going badly it is our human instinct to find the culprit among the “others,” which often means foreigners (excluding the countries from which …

Headline, What It Means to Be American »

The Anti-Capitalist Woman Who Created Monopoly—Before Others Cashed In

By | March 27, 2017

For decades, the story of Monopoly’s invention was a warm, inspiring, Horatio Alger narrative. A version of it, tucked into countless game boxes, told the tale of an unemployed man, Charles Darrow, who went to his Great Depression-era basement desperate for money to support his family. Tinkering around, he created a board game to remind them of better times, and finding modest success selling it …

Headline, What It Means to Be American »

How the Bloodiest Mutiny in British Naval History Helped Create American Political Asylum

By | March 24, 2017

The United States has a special history, and thus bears a unique stake, when it comes to the flight of foreign refugees, particularly those seeking sanctuary from oppression and violence. Political asylum has long been a defining element of America’s national identity, beginning most forcefully in 1776 with Thomas Paine’s pledge in Common Sense that independence from Great Britain would afford “an asylum for mankind.” …

Connecting California, Headline, Joe Mathews »

How California’s Open Meetings Law Became a Gag Rule

By | March 23, 2017

The Ralph M. Brown Act, first approved in 1953, is celebrated for its supposed guarantees that we citizens have a voice in the decisions of all our local governments.
But today, it is little more than a gag rule.
Over the past six decades, the Brown Act—famous for its guarantee of a 72-hour notice for public meetings—has become a civic Frankenstein, threatening the very public participation it …

Headline, Nexus »

Why the Housing Crisis Won’t Get Fixed by Building Cheaper Homes

By | March 22, 2017

This time of year, the swallows return to Capistrano, and I return to my birthplace, San Francisco, for the city’s annual pre-budget finance conference. For the last few years I have kicked things off with an economic outlook for the coming year, replete with a discussion of risks. This being San Francisco, naturally, I had to talk about the high costs of housing as one …