Sunday, March 25, 2012

Openness: Introduction

In lieu of any actual social commentary or interesting thing that I would love to do if I had the time, here is a brief introduction to the chapter my group is writing on openness.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Openness: An Annotated Bibliography

Note: Unfortunately, this blog is for the moment a necessary vehicle for me to present class assignments. As a result, I have to post this despite the fact that I would not actually post this on a blog were it my decision. Soon enough I'll get back to blogging about things that I care about.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Glasnost: Unpredictable Openness

“My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.”

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

On the Civic Duty of Voting

Have you ever been told that to vote is your civic duty? What does that even mean? Here is a loosely Platonian approach to see whether or not voting is a civic duty and why.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Where Have All the Scientists Gone?

This post will be a little less rigorously founded than some of my others (partially because I lack the time at the moment to do the sort of rigorous study necessary for a more well-sourced post), but I think the subject matter can readily be seen. A classmate in the class for which I initiated this blog wrote last week about the conspicuous absence of big-name scientists today. She cited examples from biology and medicine like Pasteur and Salk, as well as Einstein from the field of physics. She then pointed out that there don't seem to be many parallels to these names today. Essentially, she discusses how lamentable it is that today's scientists are not in the public eye like those of the past, and she suggests that the attention of the public has turned away and that this is the main cause of the lack of focus on scientists in the media.

I have been aware of this lack of attention myself, and I have wondered about the cause. I'm afraid I must break with my classmate and suggest an alternative view of the situation. In the process I believe that it will be possible to abstract from it a more general rule about success in our society: our current culture discourages individual advancement in favor of group achievement.