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Why Didn’t the U.S. React More Forcefully to the DNC Hacking?

By | March 31, 2017

Last year, Russian intelligence mounted an unprecedented attack on the integrity of the U.S. election. Russian hackers broke into the email of the Democratic National Committee and of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, and released the stolen documents strategically via the website WikiLeaks to help Donald Trump. Or so the U.S. intelligence community found in a “high confidence” assessment that was partly declassified in …

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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 …

Connecting California, Joe Mathews »

Stop Blaming California for Donald Trump

By | March 30, 2017

Is California to blame for Donald Trump?
That may seem a preposterous question to ask of a state that voted so decisively against the new American president that it was responsible, all by itself, for his loss of the popular vote. It seems even stranger given California’s near-total resistance to Trump’s presidency, and the way our state embodies so many of the good things—diversity, immigration, …

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Why It’s So Hard to Stop a Cyberattack—and Even Harder to Fight Back

By | March 30, 2017

Imagine that the United States is hit by a cyberattack that takes down much of the U.S. financial infrastructure for several days. Internet sites of major banks are malfunctioning. ATMs are not working. Banks’ internal accounting systems are going haywire. Millions of people are affected.
The first question that policymakers might debate is whether such an attack deserves a military response. But several problems immediately arise. First, …

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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, …

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The Cyber Age Demands a New Understanding of War—but We’d Better Hurry

By | March 29, 2017

It seems highly reckless to prod into flight Hegel’s Owl of Minerva—the goddess of wisdom and war—for an assessment of war in a cyber age that is barely 30 years old.
You will not find it in the Oxford English Dictionary, but “cyberwar” made its first inauspicious appearance in 1987 when an anonymous editor from Omni—Bob Guccione’s other magazine—attached the neologism as a title for an …

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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.

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As Machines Wage War, Human Nature Endures

By | March 29, 2017

Over the past quarter century, the information technology revolution has transformed relations between people and between states, including in the conduct of warfare.
For the U.S. military, the manifestations of this revolution have covered the full spectrum from the dramatic to the prosaic. Unmanned aerial vehicles, ships, and ground systems now carry increasingly sophisticated surveillance capabilities and precision guided weapons. Less visible, but also hugely important, …

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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 …