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What We’re Reading: February 25, 2016

A Black Police Officer’s Fight Against the NYPD (New York Times)
by Saki Knafo
“Over the last two years, Raymond has recorded almost a dozen officials up and down the chain of command in what he says is an attempt to change the daily practices of the New York Police Department.”

When Parents and Surrogates Disagree on Abortion (Atlantic)
by Katie O’Reilly
“In January, Melissa Cook, a 47-year-old California surrogate currently pregnant with triplets, sued the commissioning father, a single 50-year-old Georgia postal worker, who wanted her to abort one of the fetuses.”

Why Political Correctness is So Annoying…and Why It Works (Micropolis)
by Arun Venugopal
“Among the many striking aspects of the 2016 presidential race is this: ‘political correctness’ is regularly touted as one of our greatest societal evils.”

Does Ben Carson Suspect His Campaign Was a Scam? (Atlantic)
by David A. Graham
“Carson has taken in incredible amounts of money during the race. His campaign has raised more than any other Republican presidential rival, though they’ve raised more when super PACs are included. But he’s also spent more than any of them, so that despite his prolific fundraising, he has barely $4 million in cash on hand.”

The Scourge of the Female Chore Burden (Atlantic)
by Olga Khazan
“All over the world, women are doing work they’re not getting paid for.”

Texas academics told to avoid ‘sensitive topics’ if gun law goes into effect (Guardian)
by Tom Dart
“Students and academics have warned of a chilling effect on freedom of expression ever since Texas became the latest state to pass a “campus carry” law last year. It compels public universities to allow license holders aged 21 and over to bring concealed handguns on to most areas of campus.”

The Evolution of Shaming (Atlantic)
by Ed Yong
“So why bother? Why censure someone who hasn’t harmed us directly? Some scientists have suggested that it helps to cement human societies together by enforcing social norms and discouraging selfishness or bad behavior.”

What We’re Reading: February 18, 2016

Stop Bernie-Splaining to Black Voters (New York Times)
by Charles M. Blow
“It is not black folks who need to come to a new understanding, but those whose privileged gaze prevents them from seeing that black thought and consciousness is informed by a bitter history, a mountain of disappointment and an ocean of tears.”

If Republicans block Obama’s Supreme Court nomination, he wins anyway (Washington Post)
by Linda Hirshman
“What a moment for Scalia to depart: The court faces a wild array of closely divided decisions. It is an election year. And President Obama has stacked the lower circuit courts with Democrats.”

Is a Surrogate a Mother? (Slate)
by Michelle Goldberg
“The United States is one of the few developed countries where commercial, or paid, surrogacy is allowed—it is illegal in Canada and most of Europe. In the U.S., it’s governed by a patchwork of contradictory state laws.”

Why aren’t all the primaries on the same day? (Vox)
“The power of the media, and how people respond to earlier results, makes a huge difference. A win in Iowa or New Hampshire can give candidates momentum in later states, and a loss can force others to drop out before most states even vote.”

The Power of Buying Less by Buying Better (Atlantic)
by Elizabeth Cline
“Combatting this wastefulness is at the heart of a growing number of clothing brands offering alternatives to so-called ‘fast fashion,’ the trendy, throwaway method of selling clothes pioneered by companies such as H&M, and the cultural force to blame for the world’s overflowing and underutilized closets.”

Finished reading? Check out this video from MTV: Are the Primaries Racist?

What We’re Reading: February 11, 2016

Ai Weiwei’s Photo Reenacting a Child Refugee’s Death Should Not Exist (Hyperallergic)
by Nitasha Dhillon
“Why was this image created, and why is it circulating?”

What happens next in Aleppo will shape Europe’s future (Guardian)
Natalie Nougayrède
“It is hardly a coincidence that the bombardment of Aleppo, a symbol of the 2011 anti-Assad revolution, started just as peace talks were being attempted in Geneva.”

Formation Doesn’t Include Me — And That’s Just Fine (Medium)
Kate Forristall
“How many centuries were our black brothers and sisters relegated to the position of audience — the thrills of competitive sports, television and movie screens, even the petty dramas of middle class servitude demanding their attention.”

Understanding a White Perception (The DePauw)
by Taylor Jones
“You acknowledge that bombing and burning churches is a little extreme, but Black people are out of control for thinking that an infant’s body exploding to pieces or the burning of the only place that brought a run-down community together to pray, eat, and sing is enough to stop someone else from going to work. Why should a city shut down for Black people?”

We May Not Need An Electorate Of Scientists (NPR)
Tania Lombrozo
“Here, then, is a recipe for a more effective democracy: Everyone needs to know science.”

What We’re Reading: February 4, 2016

Letter of Recommendation: Cracker Barrel (New York Times Magazine)
by Jia Tolentino
“Based on my recent investigations, it’s possible to spend an hour, as an adult of middlingly sound mind, enthralled by the offerings of the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, the soul of the Cracker Barrel experience, a buffet of slightly cranky kitsch.”

Why Zika is a huge Catch-22 for pregnant women (Vox)
by Emily Crockett
“Right now, the only sure way for women in Zika-infested areas to avoid giving birth to a baby with microcephaly is not to get pregnant at all.”

Chicago Professor Resigns Amid Sexual Misconduct Investigation (New York Times)
by Amy Harmon
“The professor, Jason Lieb, 43, made unwelcome sexual advances to several female graduate students at an off-campus retreat of the molecular biosciences division, according to a university investigation letter obtained by The New York Times, and engaged in sexual activity with a student who was ‘incapacitated due to alcohol and therefore could not consent.'”

When Texas defunded Planned Parenthood, women got less birth control and had more babies (Vox)
by Sarah Kliff
“This new Texas study is important because it demonstrates that there is a risk that comes with cutting Planned Parenthood out of public programs: Women won’t get the care that they used to, and births can increase as a result.”

What Is Sexual Orientation? (Philosophers’ Imprint)
by Robin A. Dembroff
“Inadequate understandings of sexual orientation can reinforce heteronormative assumptions…”

What We’re Reading: December 17, 2015

Focus Fracas (Chronicle of Higher Education)
by Frank Furedi
“Serious reading, I’m told, has become a lost art. Indeed, the precarious status of people’s attention has acquired the status of conventional truth.”

The Necessary Recklessness of Campus Protests (Atlantic)
by Nshira Turkson
“Over the past few weeks, college students in the U.S. and abroad have turned into activists, demonstrating against racial injustice on their campuses. Critiques, of course, pursue these protests. A large portion focus on behaviors they term reckless.”

When 8-Year Olds Kill: What Happens To The Youngest Murderers (Vocativ)
by James King
“Juveniles who commit murder can also still spend their entire lives behind bars, even when parole is an option, at the discretion of probation boards who’d approve their appeals for release.”

In San Bernardino, an Epidemic of Questionable Arrests at School (KQED)
by By Susan Ferriss and Amy Isackson
“Muniz’s arrest in November 2012 sounds extreme, but it was hardly isolated. In fact, he was one of tens of thousands of juveniles arrested by school police in San Bernardino County over the last decade. The arrests were so numerous in this high-desert region known as the Inland Empire that they surpassed arrests of juveniles by municipal police in some of California’s biggest cities.”

What We’re Reading: December 10, 2015

29 Scholarly Societies’ Statement on ‘Campus Carry’ (Inside Higher Ed)
“Twenty-nine scholarly societies on Monday issued a joint statement opposing the Texas “campus carry” law that will significantly expand the right to carry arms on public university campuses.”

How Mark Zuckerberg’s Altruism Helps Himself (New York Times)
by Jesse Eisinger [PRO PUBLICA]
“Mark Zuckerberg did not donate $45 billion to charity. You may have heard that, but that was wrong. Here’s what happened instead: Mr. Zuckerberg created an investment vehicle. Sorry for the slightly less sexy headline.”

What the Hell Just Happened on MSNBC and CNN? (Atlantic)
by David A. Graham
“Reporters were given free rein to walk through an apartment that is an important part of the investigation, and they were allowed to handle what one would expect to be evidence. Police didn’t appear to know the media tour was going on.”

Trigger Warning Skepticism (Inside Higher Ed)
by Colleen Flaherty
“A majority of respondents — 62 percent — said they believed trigger warnings have or will have a negative effect on academic freedom, and 45 percent think warnings have a negative effect on classroom dynamics. But 17 percent — what the report calls a substantial minority — were favorable to trigger warnings, and many of those said they see them as a sign of respect that builds trust between a professor and students, and helps students better engage with difficult material.”

“Political identity is fair game for hatred”: how Republicans and Democrats discriminate (Vox)
by Ezra Klein and Alvin Chang
“But even as American voters remained relatively centrist, they seemed to be getting angrier and more fearful of the other side.”

How Obama Thinks About Terrorism (Atlantic)
by Peter Beinart
“While Republicans think ISIS is strong and growing stronger, Obama thinks it’s weak and growing weaker.”

Supreme Court Justices’ Comments Don’t Bode Well for Affirmative Action (New York Times)
by Adam Liptak
“In a remark that drew muted gasps in the courtroom, Justice Antonin Scalia said that minority students with inferior academic credentials may be better off at ‘a less advanced school, a slower-track school where they do well.'”

What We’re Reading: November 19, 2015

When Free Speech Becomes a Political Weapon (Chronicle of Higher Education)
by Kate Manne and Jason Stanley
“The notion of freedom of speech tends to be ambiguous. It is used to refer to both the political right it enshrines, and the ethical ideal it embodies.”

Did the media ignore the Beirut bombings? Or did readers? (Vox)
by Max Fisher
“The media has, in fact, covered the Beirut bombings extensively. The New York Times covered it. The Washington Post, in addition to running an Associated Press story on it, sent reporter Hugh Naylor to cover the blasts and then write a lengthy piece on their aftermath…”

China’s Bold Push into Genetically Customized Animals (Scientific American)
by Christina Larson
“The goats were made not by breeding but by directly manipulating animal DNA—a sign of how rapidly China has embraced a global gene-changing revolution.”

Do women and minorities have an advantage on the job market? (What Is It Like to Be a Woman in Philosophy?)
by Jenny Saul
“This story is for everyone who thinks women and minorities have an unfair advantage on the job market in philosophy.”

What We’re Reading: November 12, 2015

A clash between administrators and students at Yale went viral. Why that is unfortunate for all concerned. (Washington Post)
by Daniel W. Drezner
“As you can see, I was one of the people who found the op-ed problematic. Indeed, it’s problematic in many of the ways that Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt chronicled in an Atlantic cover story a few months ago. That said, I also find the outsize reaction to this campus contretemps — including my own tweet — to be troubling as well.”

Terry Gross and the Art of Opening Up (New York Times Magazine)
by Susan Burton
“This fall, Gross marks her 40th anniversary hosting “Fresh Air.” At 64, she is ‘the most effective and beautiful interviewer of people on the planet,’ as Marc Maron said recently, while introducing an episode of his podcast, “WTF,” that featured a conversation with Gross.”

Analysis: At The University Of Missouri, An Unlearned Free Speech Lesson (NPR)
by David Folkenflik
“…you expect college students to make mistakes during their years on campus. It’s part of the point of coming to campus. You screw up, you learn, and you take those lessons with you. You don’t expect people holding positions of authority to make those same mistakes. Yet in several instances, faculty members and administrators were documented — some on video — harassing those merely seeking to report what was unquestionably news while standing in an unquestionably public space.”

There’s a good reason protesters at the University of Missouri didn’t want the media around (Washington Post)
by Terrell Jermaine Starr
“We in the media have something important to learn from this unfortunate exchange. The protesters had a legitimate gripe: The black community distrusts the news media because it has failed to cover black pain fairly.”

Should I Help a Classmate Who Sexually Harassed My Friend Get a Job? (New York Times)
by Kwame Anthony Appiah, Amy Bloom and Kenji Yoshino
“He would probably be a leading candidate, and by passing his résumé on, I would be implicitly giving my stamp of approval. The problem is that freshman year he sexually harassed and attempted to sexually assault a good friend of mine.”

Please Pass the Cheese (On Being a Black Philosopher at a PWI in Rebellious Times) (Philosophical Percolations)
Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò
“But in philosophy, it would seem, a Black person must do serious work to advance the discussion to the value comparison stage. This is because, in philosophy, one must first argue that Black people exist.”

What We’re Reading: November 5, 2015

Jeb Bush has a liberal arts degree. It didn’t stop him from belittling liberal arts majors. (Washington Post)
by Valerie Strauss
“Not surprisingly, liberal arts majors, especially psychology majors, were not amused.”

The Narrative Frays for Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes (New York Times)
by James B. Stewart
“Her wealth and fame rest almost entirely on a simple but nonetheless ‘revolutionary’ and ‘disruptive’ technology: Theranos’s ability to run a wide range of lab tests from a tiny sample of blood from a finger prick, in that way eliminating the need for intravenous blood draws.”

Republicans ‘cautious’ about confronting Black Lives Matter on campaign trail (The Guardian)
Sabrina Siddiqui
“Many in the conservative media, along with candidates such as Christie and Cruz, have sought to delegitimize the Black Lives Matter movement by seizing on a handful of examples in which protesters have used controversial rhetoric.”

Zip it: GOP students ‘intimidated’ on campus, say views less tolerated (Washington Examiner)
by Paul Bedard
“The rise of the Tea Party and a rowdy 2016 Republican presidential primary has done little to boost conservative speech on the nation’s college campuses where right-leaning students say they feel intimidated and their views sneered at.”

Silence is Broken (Real Change)
by Rianna Hidalgo and Martha Tesema
“The two stayed nearly silent while “think pieces on think pieces on think pieces” — as Willaford calls them — swept the Internet. On volatile online forums and around the water cooler, questions were rehashed: Why Bernie? Why be so disrespectful? Are they real Black Lives Matter activists or secret plants by Hillary Clinton’s campaign? Aren’t they harming their own cause?”

What We’re Reading: October 29, 2015

Women’s Groups Urge Colleges and Government to Rein In Yik Yak (The Chronicle of Higher Education)
by Peter Schmidt
“Seventy-two women’s and civil-rights groups on Wednesday announced a campaign to enlist the federal government in pressuring colleges to protect students from harassment via anonymous social-media applications like Yik Yak.”

Hummus Diplomacy: Israeli Cafe Discounts Meals Shared By Jews And Arabs (NPR)
by Daniella Cheslow
“On Oct. 13, Kobi Tzafrir, owner of the Humus Bar in a shopping mall in Kfar Vitkin, north of Tel Aviv, advertised a 50 percent discount to Jews and Arabs who eat together on his restaurant’s Facebook page.”

San Francisco’s Last Gun Shop Calls It Quits (NPR)
by Sam Harnett
“The store announced on Facebook that it would close for “a variety of reasons” — among them, gun regulations in San Francisco. Specifically, new measures the city is currently considering would require the store to videotape gun purchases and report ammunition sales to the police.”

When Education Wasn’t Enough (The Atlantic)
by Julie A. Mujic
“Improving educational opportunities to shrink income disparities depends on increasing the resources available to school districts. But funding alone is not enough to equalize access to a quality education. Schools need new and innovative approaches to turn resources into student results that beget success in the world beyond the classroom.”

What We’re Reading: October 22, 2015

Self-Driving Cars Hit the Streets, Sort Of (NPR)
by Aarti Shahani
“Just as I’m lifting my foot from the accelerator, I feel the steering wheel take on a life of its own. I jerk my hands away, surprised. My hands and feet are doing nothing and the car is moving.”

For Students Accused of Campus Rape, Legal Victories to Win Back Rights (NPR)
by Tovia Smith
“As colleges crack down on sexual assault, some students complain that the schools are going too far and trampling the rights of the accused in the process. In recent months, courts around the nation have offered some of those students significant victories, slamming schools for systems that are stacked against the accused.”

Secret source code pronounces you guilty as charged (Ars Technica UK)
by David Kravets
“The results from a Pennsylvania company’s TrueAllele DNA testing software have been used in roughly 200 criminal cases, from California to Florida, helping put murderers and rapists in prison. Criminal defense lawyers, however, want to know whether it’s junk science.”

The FDA ordered 23andMe to stop offering users unapproved health tests. Now it’s back (Vox)
by Julia Belluz
“The genetic testing company 23andMe announced today that it’s relaunching its direct-to-consumer health testing kits after shutting them down two years ago when the Food and Drug Administration charged the company with failing to provide evidence that their tests were ‘analytically or clinically validated.’ ”

We suggest you go check out this comic featured on Daily Nous.

What We’re Reading: October 15, 2015

An Oklahoma Execution Done Wrong (Atlantic)
by Matt Ford
“Oklahoma used the wrong drug to execute Charles Warner in January, according to autopsy records obtained by the The Oklahoman on Thursday.”

Victimhood is a real, brutal fact, and Ben Carson’s Holocaust logic denies that (Guardian)
Gayatri Devi
“The denial of “victimhood” to those who have suffered atrocities is one of the reasons Carson has traction with a particular group of voters rooting for him – and those who advocate for unfettered, unregulated gun ownership are just one part of that constituency.”

Would You Pull the Trolley Switch? Does It Matter? (Atlantic)
by Lauren Cassani Davis
“A runaway streetcar is hurtling towards five unsuspecting workers. Do you pull a switch to divert the trolley onto another track, where only one man works alone? Or do you do nothing? This haunting choice is a variation of the “trolley problem,” an iconic philosophical thought experiment.”

Why do North Korean defector testimonies so often fall apart? (Guardian)
by Jiyoung Song
“With the flow of information from North Korea fiercely controlled, outsiders have long relied on defector testimonies to gain an understanding of what goes on inside the secretive state. But relying on the anecdotes of individuals – all with different views and experiences – can also be risky.”

The Case for Getting Rid of Borders–Completely (Atlantic)
by Alex Tabarrok
“Not every place in the world is equally well-suited to mass economic activity. Nature’s bounty is divided unevenly. Variations in wealth and income created by these differences are magnified by governments that suppress entrepreneurship and promote religious intolerance, gender discrimination, or other bigotry. Closed borders compound these injustices, cementing inequality into place and sentencing their victims to a life of penury.”

What We’re Reading: October 8, 2015

Everyone you know will be able to rate you on the terrifying ‘Yelp for people’ — whether you want them to or not (Washington Post)
by Caitlin Dewey
“You can already rate restaurants, hotels, movies, college classes, government agencies and bowel movements online. So the most surprising thing about Peeple — basically Yelp, but for humans — may be the fact that no one has yet had the gall to launch something like it.”

Are Independents Just Partisans in Disguise? (NPR)
by Shankar Vedantam
“Every election cycle, independents generate enormous amounts of interest as candidates, pollsters and the media probe their feelings. These voters are widely considered to hold the key to most elections.”

Kickstarter’s Campaign for Syrian Refugees Has Already Raised $1 Million (The Atlantic)
by Bouree Lam
“This is Kickstarter’s first-ever non-profit campaign. Previously, the site prohibited campaigns that raised money for a charity or cause. Earlier this year, Kickstarter reincorporated as a public benefit corporation—a legal designation that states that the company’s aim will aid the public.”

Anatomy of a Black Actress: Viola Davis (The Toast)
by Fanta Sylla
“Viola Davis is not going anywhere. As spectators, our responsibility is to start training our gaze to look at her in a way that enables her to explore her creativity and express herself uncensored. In a way that is, if not loving, liberating.”

What We’re Reading: October 1, 2015

Skin Feeling (New Inquiry)
by Sofia Samatar
“What it is to be encountered as a surface, to be constantly exposed as something you are not.”

Fact Check: Your Demand for Statistical Proof is Racist (The Society Pages)
by Candice Lanuis
“This past December, most major American news outlets ran a story about police shooting statistics and race. No matter where they were situated on the political spectrum, journalists, pundits, and researchers tried to answer the question: Are American police disproportionately targeting and killing black people? The answers were universally supported by data, statistics, claims of objectivity, and a rhetoric of uncomfortable truths. Their conclusions, however, were all over the map.”

Give Poor People Cash (Atlantic)
by Charles Kenney
“And the good news is that growing evidence around the world suggests there’s a simple design for a safety-net system that may not create dependency—and may help lift people up and out of poverty: Give poor people cash without conditions attached, and it turns out they use it to buy goods and services that improve their lives and increase their future earnings potential.”

Report Questions Free Community College (Inside Higher Ed)
“A new report from the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research — a conservative think tank — argues that community colleges aren’t ready for the consequences of providing “free” tuition until they provide intensive counseling and “emulate” the for-profit college sector with relevant course work and internships.”

Are Peter Singer’s Ideas Too Dangerous to Hear? (The Star)
by Peter Kavanagh
“If you are an animal, Peter Singer might be the closest thing you have to Moses. If you are a severely disabled human baby — or a disability activist — he’s more akin to the Angel of Death.”

Race and Class Collide in a Plan for Two Brooklyn Schools (New York Times)
by Kate Taylor
“To the city, the solution for the overcrowding at P.S. 8 seemed obvious: move those two neighborhoods from P.S. 8’s zone and into that of P.S. 307, which is nearby and has room to spare. The proposal, however, has drawn intense opposition, and not only from the families who would be rezoned from the predominantly white P.S. 8 to the mostly black P.S. 307. Some residents of the housing project served by P.S. 307 also oppose the rezoning, worried about how an influx of wealthy, mostly white families could change their school.”

What We’re Reading: September 24, 2015

More Food Banks Serve Hungry College Students (CNN)
Katie Lobosco
“They may be studying at high-priced institutions, but a growing number of U.S. college students rely on food pantries for their next meal.”

It’s Time to Get Serious about Reducing Food Waste, Feds Say (NPR)
by Allison Aubrey
“We consumers let a lot of food wilt or go sour in our refrigerators. And we may toss out items when they pass their sell-by dates — even though the food is still safe to consume.”

Ex-hedge funder buys rights to AIDS drug and raises price from $13.50 to $750 per pill (Raw Story)
by Tom Boggioni
“This is not the first time the fledgling pharmaceutical executive has come under scrutiny. He started the hedge fund MSMB Capital while in his 20’s and was accused of urging the FDA to not approve certain drugs made by companies whose stock he was shorting.”

Turn Food Waste into Ice Cream for Fun and Profit (The Plate)
Tracie McMillan
“When Obama administration officials announce the nation’s first-ever goals for reducing wasted food Wednesday morning, most people probably think of donating surplus food to charity. But a new study from researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University and Cabrini College suggests that part of the solution might be a little more tasty—and profitable: House-made ice cream, freshly fried veggie chips, and smoothies.”

Extreme altruism: should you care for strangers at the expense of your family? (Guardian)
Larissa MacFarquhar
“Julia believed that because each person was equally valuable, she was not entitled to care more for herself than for anyone else; she believed that she was therefore obliged to spend much of her life working for the benefit of others.”

Hey, media: Those gentrifying neighborhoods had residents before the yuppies moved in (The Grist)
by Ben Adler
“The New York Times is being racist, classist, and colonialist when it writes about rich white people discovering off-the-radar neighborhoods.”

Check out these links related to our latest writing on The Prindle Post:
Sarah Ertelt: Alternatives to Incarceration: The Impact of Prison on the Black Community
The Black Family in the Age of Incarceration (Atlantic)
by Ta-Nehisi Coates

What We’re Reading: September 17, 2015

6 Things You Should Know about the Iran Nuclear Deal (Politifact)
by Linda Qiu
“With 41 Senate Democrats backing the historic agreement between Iran and five world powers, the Iran nuclear deal is on its way to becoming a done deal, notching a foreign-policy win for President Barack Obama…The 159-page deal may hinge on nuclear physics, but understanding the basics shouldn’t be rocket science. We’re here to help. Here are six points you need to know.”

Meet the Companies That Are Trying to Profit from Global Warming (Vox)
by Brad Palmer
“Global warming won’t necessarily be bad news for everyone. For some companies and countries, it might even prove quite lucrative.”

Scientists Want to Study the World’s Best Humans (NY Mag)
by Melissa Dahl
“Researchers at Wake Forest University recently won a $3.9 million grant intended to fund a three-year research initiative studying the most morally upright people they can find, nominated by the people who know them. They hope that these ‘moral superstars,’ as the researchers dubbed them, will provide some lessons for the rest of us on how to be good.”

California Approves Physician-Assisted Suicide (NPR)
by April Dembosky
“A controversial bill to legalize physician-assisted suicide in California is headed to the governor for consideration, after almost nine months of intense — often personal — debate in the legislature. If Gov. Jerry Brown signs the bill, California would become the fifth state to allow doctors to prescribe lethal medication to terminally ill patients who request it, after Oregon, Washington, Vermont and Montana.”

Judging a Person by Their Friends (Practical Ethics)
by Jim A.C. Everett
“Is it a legitimate strategy to infer an person’s ethics through their friends? On the basis of limited information, should we judge a person by their friends?”

Here are some great ethics-related videos to watch when you’re finished with your reading:
Jonathan Haidt: The Moral Roots of Liberals and Conservatives
Sarah Silverman: Being Put Off By Political Correctness is a Sign of Being Old

What We’re Reading: September 10, 2015

Brutal Images of Syrian Boy Drowned Off Turkey Must Be Seen, Activists Say (New York Times)
by Robert Mackey
“A sense of weary resignation at the plight of the Syrians — and hundreds of thousands of other refugees and migrants taking desperate risks to reach the safety of Europe — was briefly punctured by horrifying images of one of the young victims, a small boy whose body was discovered, face down in the sand, by a Turkish police officer.”

Does the Tech Industry Even Deserve Women? (Broadly)
by Cecilia D’Anastasio
“It’s hard to be a feminist in tech, as countless horse-beating articles have confirmed over the last few years. It can feel like you’re ride-or-die with women or you’re just another complicit brogrammer. Potential whistleblowers weigh being tolerant of abuse or out of a job. Harassment happens, startlingly often and unprovoked, and it can feel it comes with the territory of tech jobs—just like a signed contract and a fridge stuffed with craft beer. ‘Lean in’ all you like, but in an industry where women largely lack the structural support to remain happy and healthy, there’s an underrated third option: ‘leaning out.’ ”

Public Goodbyes (Inside Higher Ed)
by Colleen Flaherty
“Like most breakups, those between higher education and the academics who choose to leave it typically happen quietly. But as in romance, sometimes these breakups become very public affairs — usually when an academic decides to reflect on the decision in a blog or other medium. The genre, called ‘quit lit,’ has been around for several years, at least according to social media.”

The Worst of the Worst (New Yorker)
by Patrick Radden Keefe
“Clarke may be the best death-penalty lawyer in America. Her efforts helped spare the lives of Ted Kaczynski (the Unabomber), Zacarias Moussaoui (the so-called ‘twentieth hijacker’ in the 9/11 plot), and Jared Loughner (who killed six people and wounded thirteen others, including Representative Gabrielle Giffords, at a Tucson mall).”

What We’re Reading: September 3, 2015

The Ethics of Watching and Sharing Violent Viral Videos (Vice)
by Allie Conti
“Questions about whether to publish upsetting content used to be the purview of media outlets…but thanks to social media everyone gets to decide whether to share graphic, disturbing videos with their followers and friends.”

Taking My Parents to College (New York Times)
by Jennine Capó Crucet
“It was a simple question, but we couldn’t find the answer in any of the paperwork the college had sent. How long was my family supposed to stay for orientation? This was 1999, so Google wasn’t really a verb yet, and we were a low-income family (according to my new school) without regular Internet access.”

The Widening World of Hand-Picked Truths (New York Times)
by George Johnson
“On one front after another, the hard-won consensus of science is also expected to accommodate personal beliefs, religious or otherwise, about the safety of vaccines, G.M.O. crops, fluoridation or cellphone radio waves, along with the validity of global climate change.”

Why the Rich Love Burning Man (Jacobin)
by Keith A. Spencer
“Burning Man is earning a reputation as a ‘networking event’ among Silicon Valley techies, and tech magazines now send reporters to cover it. CEOs like Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Larry Page of Alphabet are foaming fans, along with conservative anti-tax icon Grover Norquist and many writers of the libertarian (and Koch-funded) Reason magazine. Tesla CEO Elon Musk even went so far as to claim that Burning Man ‘is Silicon Valley.'”

The Upsurge in Uncertain Work (Guernica Magazine)
by Robert Reich
“As Labor Day looms, more Americans than ever don’t know how much they’ll be earning next week or even tomorrow. This varied group includes independent contractors, temporary workers, the self-employed, part-timers, freelancers, and free agents. Most file 1099s rather than W2s, for tax purposes. On demand and on call–in the “share” economy, the “gig” economy, or, more prosaically, the “irregular” economy–the result is the same: no predictable earnings or hours.”

Check out this article written by Prindle Post contributor Pamela Hobart:
4 Reasons You Should Stop Flipping Off Your Baby (The Federalist)

What We’re Reading: August 27, 2015

The Hell You Say (New Yorker)
by Kelefa Sanneh
“The new battles over free speech are fierce, but who is censoring whom?”

How Google Could Rig the 2016 Election (Politico Magazine)
by Robert Epstein
“America’s next president could be eased into office not just by TV ads or speeches, but by Google’s secret decisions, and no one—except for me and perhaps a few other obscure researchers—would know how this was accomplished.”

Against Charity (Jacobin)
by Matthew Snow
“Rather than creating an individualized “culture of giving,” we should be challenging capitalism’s institutionalized taking.”

Inside the Migrant “Jungle” in Northern France (New Republic)
by Peter Wieben
“When you go through the desert it is only sand for two weeks. There is no way to know where you are. Many trucks got lost or ran out of water and those people died.”

The Myth of Cuba May Appeal to Tourists, but It Ignores the Country’s Complexity (Slate)
by Juliana Jiménez Jaramillo
“To visit a country because it’s ‘frozen in time’ is to glorify poverty.”

When a Snuff Film Becomes Unavoidable (Atlantic)
by Robinson Meyer
“On Wednesday morning, thousands of Twitter and Facebook users watched the lives of two Americans end, without ever having a choice in the matter.”

Check out these links related to our latest writing on The Prindle Post:
Conner Gordon: A Student Perspective on Trigger Warnings
The Trigger Warning Myth (New Republic)
by Aaron R. Hanlon

What We’re Reading: August 20, 2015

Pics or It Didn’t Happen (Medium)
by John de Jong
“Is Photography Even a Healthy Pastime? Considering Susan Sontag’s ‘On Photography’”

The Movement Against Solitary Confinement (New York Magazine)
by Benjamin Wallace Wells
“Why this focus now? For most of the past half-century, the single moral cause of the prison-reform movement, to the degree that such a movement has even existed, was death-penalty abolition.”

I Live in Iran. Here’s How Sanctions Have Shaped My Life (Vox)
by Pedestrian
“It is 2007, and I am an undergraduate at the University of Tehran. I’m very particular. I take notes with Staedtler Triplus Fineliner pens, in purple and green, and on this particular day I’ve run through the stash I keep in my desk at home. There is a small office supply store next to the university cafeteria, I’ve bought my pens there before. Before lunch I go to pick up some more Fineliners.”

The Ethics of Bloodless Medicine (New Yorker)
by Amanda Schaffer
“Jehovah’s Witnesses object to transfusion because they believe that scriptural passages forbid it. But the attendant reasoning—that an individual’s singular qualities, life and soul, are carried in blood—does not fall so far outside of the mainstream imagination.”

As Voluntourism Explodes in Popularity, Who’s It Helping Most? (NPR)
Carrie Kahn
“It’s called volunteer tourism, or “voluntourism,” and it’s one of the fastest growing trends in travel today. More than 1.6 million volunteer tourists are spending about $2 billion each year. But some people who work in the industry are skeptical of voluntourism’s rising popularity. They question whether some trips help young adults pad their resumes or college applications more than they help those in need.”

Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace (New York Times)
by Jodi Kantor and David Streitfeld
“The company is conducting an experiment in how far it can push white-collar workers to get them to achieve its ever-expanding ambitions.”

Check out these links related to our latest writing on The Prindle Post:
Conner Gordon: Dissecting the Deathstagram
When Death is a Fascination (Atlantic)
   by Leah Sottile

What We’re Reading: August 13, 2015

The Makeup Tax (The Atlantic)
by Olga Khazan
“Women who wear makeup earn more and are treated better. This has steep costs, in both money and time.”

This may be the biggest threat to Facebook right now (Fortune)
by Michal Addady
“…Facebook’s video efforts are drawing controversy lately. Some observers say the social network is littered in video content lifted from its original source, meaning the content creators aren’t seeing a dime for their work. And while YouTube has built-in mechanism for content creators to report such theft, Facebook has no such solution.”

My Position on the Iran Deal (Medium)
by Chuck Schumer
“Every several years or so a legislator is called upon to cast a momentous vote in which the stakes are high and both sides of the issue are vociferous in their views. Over the years, I have learned that the best way to treat such decisions is to study the issue carefully, hear the full, unfiltered explanation of those for and against, and then, without regard to pressure, politics or party, make a decision solely based on the merits.”

My life without gender (The Guardian)
by Tyler Ford
“I have always felt like a walking brain, living in my head while everyone around me seemed to have some innate understanding of their bodies: how they moved, what they desired.”

Why ‘Do What You Love’ Is Pernicious Advice (The Atlantic)
by Bourree Lam
“If passion is a job requirement, says the writer Miya Tokumitsu, employees have little room to complain about mistreatment at work.”

How White Users Made Heroin a Public Health Problem (The Atlantic)
by Andrew Cohen
“When heroin users were disproportionately black, they faced severe punishments. Now, as new users are overwhelmingly white, states are turning toward treatment.”

Why Bernie Sanders’ run-in with Black Lives Matter activists made me squirm (The Guardian)
By Heather Barmore
“Grassroots activists are pushing their way through spaces and forcing conversation. That makes us all a little tense but that’s the whole point, isn’t it?”

New York cops are photographing homeless people (Dazed)
by Hannah Rose Ewens
“New York City cops have gotten tired of homeless people on the streets of New York. So tired that they’ve decided to start posting pictures of them online.”

What We’re Reading: August 6, 2015

So You Flunked A Racism Test. Now What? (Codeswitch)
by Maanvi Singh
“You’re probably at least a little bit racist and sexist and homophobic. Most of us are. Before you get all indignant, try taking one of the popular implicit-association tests.”

Google refuses French order to apply ‘right to be forgotten’ globally (Reuters)
by Julia Fioretti
“Google Inc is refusing to bow to an order from the French privacy watchdog to scrub search results worldwide when users invoke their ‘right to be forgotten’ online, it said on Thursday, exposing itself to possible fines.”

Do We Cheapen Philosophy When We Use It as Therapy? (Chronicle of Higher Education)
by Tom Stern
“You can do whatever you want in life — take inspiration from The Smurfs, for all I care — but I’m here to teach you how to read a philosopher, slowly and carefully, which is not an easy thing to do. If you want to be inspired by Nietzsche, you have to read him precisely, to make sure that it is Nietzsche who inspires you, not a preconception or a misappropriation or a scholarly reading, mine or anybody else’s, which is vulnerable to the interpreter’s peculiar agenda or the fashions of the hour.”

The Long History of Political Idiocy (New York Times)
by Joanne B. Freeman
“We are currently enjoying a master class in the art of political stupidity.”