The Robots at Labor’s Gate

The World Wide Web debuted 30 years ago. More than half of humanity now has access to surf the internet, up from just 20 percent a decade ago. That’s an amazing transformation.

But the breathless predictions of Silicon Valley’s starry-eyed utopians that the internet would unleash prosperity for all and end inequality have sadly not been realized. In fact, arguably it has widened the world’s chasm between the haves and have-nots.

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The Undiscussed Backsliding of Women’s Rights in Egypt and Arab World

When I lived in Cairo last year, many Egyptians told me that the Arab Spring hadn’t improved anything. Things were worse than they were before the 2011 revolution. Food prices shot up. Young people still didn’t have jobs and didn’t care to vote. The military government crushed dissent, arresting journalists and activists alike. A Thomson Reuters poll named Cairo as the world’s most dangerous city for women in 2017, testifying to the double whammy of oppression Egyptian women endure.

Misogyny – the child of patriarchy and religious fundamentalism – grows stronger as Egypt enters one of the most repressive climates in recent history. In Egypt, the global outcry against sexual abuse is not even close to making a dent on the culture where women are second-tier citizens.

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The Chinese Ghettoization of American Campuses

A record number of foreign students, 890,000 and climbing, are enrolled in American universities. A third of them are from China. Their high tuitions might be a godsend for universities facing slashed state budget cuts. After all, in 2014 foreign students contributed $27 billion to the U.S. economy. Plus they provide a veneer of diversity every college covets.

But their presence on campus has stoked a backlash, as middle-class American students are increasingly crowded out of the admissions process. Campus life has also been negatively affected, as these students cluster themselves off from the rest of their classmates.

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Why the Pentagon Needs a War on PowerPoint

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter became the latest top Pentagon official to recognize the threat posed by the indiscriminate and ingrained use of PowerPoint, when he banned his commanders from using it during a summit in Kuwait. According to his spokesman, it was so that they could have thoughtful analysis and discussions, instead of fixed briefings.

He should go further and ban PowerPoint throughout the defense department. It will boost the quality of analysis and briefings, among others, as officers will no longer be able duck behind indecipherable, mumbo-jumbo slides to bury inconvenient facts or their own lack of understanding of the issue at hand.

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Ferry tragedy exposes pitfalls of South Korea’s education

Here in London, everyone’s been asking me about the ferry disaster. What plagues me the most is that in the two and a half hours it took the ship to tip over and sink, people didn’t manage to escape. Six hundred divers are working round-the-clock pulling out bodies. A girl, recovered Thursday morning, was clutching a mobile phone in hand. About 130 remain missing.

The surviving crew members said they believed if the passengers tried to evacuate in a mad rush, it would make things worse. There wasn’t time to consult the manual, one said. Having told everyone to sit tight, they fled the ship.

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How to stop hammering the nail that sticks out

Just make stuff up.  That is the best way to ace the essay portion of the SAT, according to Matthew J. X. Malady. This is because time-pressured essay graders don’t care about facts. Students just need to show that they have the writing competency. It’s an abomination to coach kids to write like this.

Still, “the ability to bullshit on demand” by whipping out five paragraphs, with an intro, body and conclusion, taking sides on issues you don’t know or care about will not hurt your chances to thrive in a salaried job as a paper pusher.

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Choose both the arms and the legs

Emotional resilience is a key to surviving the challenges of today. It helps us adapt more easily to constantly changing circumstances.

So why do we continue to over-zealously support our children’s intellectual development over their emotional growth? In doing so, we are overlooking more than a decade of brain research that has confirmed children engage in learning at all levels.

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Rwanda’s Reforms Boost Progress on School Enrolment

7 May 2010, Kigali, Rwanda — When the Rwandan Government drafted the first status report on the Millennium Development Goals in 2003, the main focus was economic stabilisation. Poverty and maternal mortality targets were completely off track.

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