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MIT School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences - Great Ideas Change the World

Media Clips | 2013
MIT SHASS in the national and international media

  


 


JUNE 2013

 

Welcome to the New Home Office

Wall Street Journal | 06.21.2013
Younger children feel marginalized by their parents' devotion to mobile devices, said Sherry Turkle, author of "Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other" and director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self. "From the moment the current and the previous generations of children met technology, they saw it as 'the competition.'"
Read Article Online

 

Obama Raises the Cost of Carbon Emissions 60 Percent

Bloomberg Businessweek | 06.21.2013
That obviously didn't make sense, says Michael Greenstone, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor and former White House economist.
Read Article Online

 

Take a Break From Technology

NBCNews.com | 06.20.2013
"We're getting used to a new way of being alone together," said Sherry Turkle, Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor, psychologist and author of "Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other."
Read Article Online

 

Men are disappearing from the U.S. workforce

CNNMoney.com | 06.19.2013
Men who might have found a job in a better labor market were instead turning to this safety net system, according to David Autor, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology economics professor and co-author of Wayward Sons, which looks at the growing gender gap in education and the workforce.
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Hunting for an E.T. Castoff in a Most Terrestrial Place

The New York Times | 06.18.2013
Nick Montfort, an associate professor of digital media at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a co-author of "Racing the Beam: The Atari Video Computer System," said, "It seems really impossible that anyone could have made a good game in that amount of time."
Read Article Online

 

Why Is Russia So Homophobic?

The Atlantic | 06.14.2013
To Elizabeth Wood, a professor of history at MIT, the propaganda ban shows that, "Putin and his cronies are circling the wagons, creating a climate of us versus them."
Read Article Online

 

Hey, It's OK If You're Working This Summer

Huffington Post | 06.12.2013
"FOMO prompts people to use social media to present enviable versions of themselves," Sherry Turkle, Ph.D., of the Initiative on Technology and Self at MIT, tells Women's Health. "One of the weirdest things about FOMO is that people find it hard to live up to not only the images projected by others but also the image they've presented of themselves."
Read Article Online

 

Slot machines: a lose lose situation

Guardian Online | 06.08.2013
In her book Addiction By Design: Machine Gambling In Las Vegas, Natasha Dow Schüll, an anthropologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, writes that in the late 1990s the "prescient audio director" at Silicon Gaming decided that every one of the sounds made by its slot machines – a number that now exceeds some 400 discrete noises – would be issued in what she terms "the universally pleasant tone of C."
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Drawbacks to Ruling With a Heavy Hand

New York Times | 06.06.2013
“For Erdogan, this was a mistake,” Daron Acemoglu, a Turkish-born professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told me. “Once you become prime minister, you have only yes men surrounding you. You are more able to control power and to remove the checks and balances which exist. As that happens, the probability of mistakes increases.”
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Noam Chomsky: America is accelerating the apocalypse

Salon.com | 06.04.2013
(This article was written by former MIT professor Noam Chomsky.) For the first time in the history of the human species, we have clearly developed the capacity to destroy ourselves. That's been true since 1945. It's now being finally recognized that there are more long-term processes like environmental destruction leading in the same direction, maybe not to total destruction, but at least to the destruction of the capacity for a decent existence.
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Economic Crisis Renewed Quest for Answers

Wall Street Journal | 06.02.2013
"Academics are looking…for areas that have lots of unsolved questions," said James Poterba, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and president of the National Bureau of Economic Research. There has been "a substantial uptick in interest and excitement around macroeconomic research."
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MAY 2013

 

Fix ' slippery ladder ' for immigrants

USA Today | 05.31.2013
Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist David Autor has coined a phrase for it: the "polarization of job opportunities." White-collar jobs for the college-educated exist at one extreme. Service jobs for the less educated, including the invisible immigrant workers who do the jobs no one else wants to do, exist at the opposite end.
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U.S. Retailers Announce New Factory Safety Plan

New York Times | 05.30.2013
In assessing the new plan by American retailers, Richard M. Locke, an expert on overseas manufacturing at the Sloan School of Management at MIT, said, “I think they must be feeling the heat because people are asking them, ‘Why don't you join this other initiative?'"
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Why Can't America Be Sweden?

New York Times | 05.29.2013
Daron Acemoglu, an eminent economist at MIT, has ignited a firestorm by arguing that contemporary forces of globalization bar the United States from adopting the liberal social welfare policies of Scandinavian countries.
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Everything you know about employers and Obamacare is wrong

Washington Post | 05.29.2013
"The benefits we were giving guys who left employer-sponsored insurance were way more generous than what the federal plan gives them,” says MIT's Jonathan Gruber, a health economist who helped design the Massachusetts reforms. “And we didn't have much of an employer penalty. I predicted employers would drop coverage.”
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Medieval readers had eclectic 'Internet' tastes

NBC News Network | 05.28.2013
People in 14th-century London consumed a variety of texts, often linked together in bound volumes. Arthur Bahr, a literature professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, explores these habits in his new book "Fragments and Assemblages" (University of Chicago Press, 2013).
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Helper Robots Are Steered, Tentatively, to Care for Aging

New York Times | 05.20.2013
Sherry Turkle, a professor of science, technology and society at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and author of the book "Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other," did a series of studies with Paro, a therapeutic robot that looks like a baby harp seal and is meant to have a calming effect on patients with dementia, Alzheimer's and in health care facilities. The professor said she was troubled when she saw a 76-year-old woman share stories about her life with the robot.
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'Distracted'? Attention must be paid.

Boston Globe | 05.16.2013
On the night I saw Lisa Loomer's “Distracted,'' MIT professor and clinical psychologist Sherry Turkle delivered a pre-show talk in the Central Square Theater's small studio space about the ways digital devices have transformed interpersonal communication.
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Standards Clash in Bangladesh Reforms

Wall Street Journal | 05.16.2013
"It is not helpful for a retailer or brand to simply publish a list of factories they no longer work with," said Richard Locke, a professor of political science and management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who is working on several projects related to globalization and labor standards. "The truth is that factories go in and out of compliance."
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How Two Centuries of Conflict Shaped the Tsarnaevs

The Atlantic | 05.16.2013
(By Elizabeth Wood, MIT professor of Russian history). The Chechens' history is marked by unending fighting and persecution. Could that have influenced the bombers?
Read Article Online

 

After Rana Plaza

The New Yorker | 05.13.2013
Richard Locke, a political scientist at MIT who is an expert on global supply chains and the author of the new book “The Promise and Limits of Private Power,” told me, “Instead of buying lots of inventory with long lead times, brands wait as long as possible before ordering.” That way, they can ramp up production if a product takes off or shut it down if the product bombs.
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Why You Shouldn't Stop Buying From Bangladesh

Bloomberg Businessweek | 05.05.2013
Work by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo at MIT, among others, suggests that for people in the developing world, a steady paycheck is better than small-scale farming, or microenterprise, or scraping by in the informal sector—just as it is preferred by most in the rich world.
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More study needed

The Economist | 05.06.2013
This allowed Harvard's Katherine Baicker and MIT's Amy Finkelstein to examine the effect of Medicaid on the physical and financial health of poor adults, compared with a control group that didn't receive coverage.
Read Article Online

 

Oregon Health Experiment Shows That Having Health Insurance Is Different Than Being Healthy

Forbes - Online | 05.02.2013
The Oregon experiment, led by the talented MIT economist Amy Finkelstein, is based on a situation in Oregon in 2008 when a limited number of Medicaid spots were given out by lottery.
Read Article Online

 

Where China Meets India in a High-Altitude Desert, Push Comes to Shove

New York Times | 05.03.2013
M. Taylor Fravel, a professor of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an expert on China's border issues, said that China might be responding to local concerns about Indian military construction in the disputed area.
Read Article Online

 

Oil drilling technology leaps, clean energy lags

Bloomberg Businessweek | 05.02.2013
"Suddenly, out of nowhere, the world seems to be awash in hydrocarbons," says Michael Greenstone, an environmental economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Read Article Online

 


 

 

APRIL 2013

 

A return to 'Made in America': Why manufacturing is making a comeback

Washington Post | 04.30.2013
“Chinese suppliers have now developed dense supplier networks that now have their own capabilities for introducing new products,” says Suzanne Berger, a political science professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who studies manufacturing. “And, of course, China is a market that's growing extremely rapidly — so many companies will want to stay in close proximity to those customers.
Read Article Online

 

Do patents hinder research?

Boston Globe | 04.29.2013
A study of two sets of genes sequenced during the Human Genome Project a decade ago suggests that intellectual property rights protecting gene sequences reduced scientific research and product development by 20 to 30 percent. The study, published in the Journal of Political Economy by economist Heidi L. Williams at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, took advantage of an rare twist in recent history.
Read Article Online

 

Why Ending Extreme Poverty Isn't Good Enough

Bloomberg Businessweek | 04.29.2013
According to MIT economists Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, among those living on $2 a day or less in urban areas of Tanzania, only 21 percent have a water tap in their house.
Read Article Online

 

The Bengali Villagers Who Migrated to America

Wall Street Journal | 04.28.2013
“Bengali Harlem and the Lost Histories of South Asian America” by Vivek Bald, an assistant professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was published by Harvard University Press in January.
Read Article Online

 

The Naked Man, Watertown, and Conspiracy Theories

New Yorker | 04.27.2013
By Seth Mnookin. It was a little after 1 A.M. last Friday morning when the person who has since become known as “the naked man” was briefly detained by police as they searched for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the streets of Watertown.
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Author Junot Díaz a book award finalist

Boston Globe | 04.23.2013
MIT professor and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz , Louise Erdrich, and Richard Ford are the finalists for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, chosen by the American Library Association.
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Study: Blacks, Hispanics wait longer to vote

USA Today | 04.08.2013
African-American voters waited an average of 23 minutes to vote last year compared with 12 minutes for whites, according to the study by Charles Stewart III, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Hispanics waited an average of 19 minutes, Stewart found.
Read Article Online

 

3 tech-free ways to boost happiness and get connected

CBSNews.com | 04.03.2013
(This is video). Sherri Turkle, a professor of psychology at MIT and the author of "Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less from Each Other," joined Fredrickson on "CBS This Morning" and said that communication methods like texting can give "us the feeling that we can hide from each other. We can construct our texts to be who we want to be...we can sort of hide in plain sight."
Read Article Online

 

Japan Shifting Further Away From Pacifism

The New York Times | 04.02.2013
“China is in their face, giving them the first militarized challenge that Japan has seen since the war,” said Richard J. Samuels, a political scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technologywho has written about Japanese security. “The mood has shifted toward giving more legitimacy to the guys in uniform.”
Read Article Online

 


 


MARCH 2013

 

The Child, the Tablet and the Developing Mind

The New York Times | 03.31.2013
“Conversations with each other are the way children learn to have conversations with themselves, and learn how to be alone,” said Sherry Turkle, a professor of science, technology and society at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and author of the book “Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other.” “Learning about solitude and being alone is the bedrock of early development, and you don't want your kids to miss out on that because you're pacifying them with a device.”
Read Article Online

 

Expanded Definition Of Disability Created Million Dollar Opportunity For Lawyers

NPR - Online | 03.27.2013
(This is audio). So you've got 30,000 people denied disability, who are appealing to a judge; taking their case to the courts. And on the one side, the judge has a passionate, persuasive lawyer making the case that his client is physically or emotionally incapable of working. And on the other side, who's on the other side? Nobody. Nobody - really. David Autor, an economist at MIT, told me with disability cases, there's no person in the room making the government's case.
Read Article Online

 

Aziz Ansari takes his comedy very seriously

Washington Post | 03.23.2013
Ansari connected with Sherry Turkle, a psychology professor at MIT whose book “Alone Together” analyzes how young people have come to rely so heavily on texting that they're losing the ability to communicate in person. He loved her book so much that he blogged about it, and Turkle's students, along with her 21-year-old daughter, insisted she contact him. Turkle and Ansari wound up speaking by phone and meeting in L.A., where Ansari set up a special performance of his act so she could see his work in action.
Read Article Online

 

Q&A: How Will the New Health Law Affect Your Premiums?

Wall Street Journal | 03.22.2013
Jonathan Gruber, an MIT professor who supports the health law, said that in work for state regulators looking at the law's impact, he has projected a range of average premium increases for small business from 0 to 4%. In the individual market, which is consumers buying their own plans, he said the average boosts ranged from 20% to 40%. But once subsidies were factored in, consumers' payments actually went down between 5% and 40%. He also said the health plans got richer — meaning they likely covered more benefits and had smaller out-of-pocket charges, but also became pricier.
Read Article Online

 

Should a Bakery With More Than 50 Employees Offer Health Insurance?

The New York Times | 03.21.2013
Jonathan Gruber, an economics professor at MIT who advised the Obama administration on health care reform: “Rachel and Steve face a difficult decision, but it seems that the third option to reorganize production and outsource functions to end up with fewer than 50 workers will be too expensive to make much sense. Offering insurance won't cost much more than the penalty, and in an industry where many of their competitors don't offer insurance, they could advertise themselves as a better place to work.”
Read Article Online

 

Study of Men's Falling Income Cites Single Parents

The New York Times | 03.20.2013
David H. Autor, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, says that the difference between men and women, at least in part, may have roots in childhood.
Read Article Online

 

An MIT anthropology professor writes about artisan cheese

Boston Globe | 03.20.2013
Heather Paxson, an anthropology professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, uncovered a similar sentiment when she explored the world of modern American artisan cheesemakers for her book “The Life of Cheese.” Both scholarly and accessible, the book profiles people who make cheese and delves into the science, art, politics, and culture, as it were, of these artisan products.
Read Article Online

 

Science, truth, and consequences in 'Operation Epsilon'

Boston Globe | 03.19.2013
Brody, a professor of theater at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, based his play on real events: the 1945 internment of German scientists at Farm Hall, near Cambridge, England, by British and American authorities. The scientists were under constant surveillance, their words recorded; Brody has blended parts of their transcribed conversations with imagined scenes and dialogue.
Read Article Online

 

Are We Plugged-In, Connected, But Alone?

NPR - Online | 03.15.2013
(This is audio; this story also ran on WGBH). But Turkle suggests that digital technology is still in its infancy and there is ample time for us to reshape how we build it and use it. She is a professor in the Program in Science, Technology and Society at MIT and the founder and director of the MITInitiative on Technology
Read Article Online

 

Budget ideas that Democrats and Republicans might agree on

Washington Post | 03.08.2013
Another idea, from MIT's Jonathan Gruber, would attack Medicare costs from the consumer side. It would deal with the current risk of catastrophic costs by adding an out-of-pocket maximum tied to beneficiaries' incomes so that poorer seniors would face less risk.
Read Article Online

 

Tweet, Screech, Hey!

Science Magazine | 03.01.2013
One reason that human language is so unique is that it has two layers, says Shigeru Miyagawa, a linguist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge.
Read Article Online

 


 


FEBRUARY 2013 

 

Committee to vote on school assignment plan

Boston Globe | 02.25.2013
Interest in the MIT proposals extends beyond the advisory committee. The two proposals by theMIT academics won a ringing endorsement last week from the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, after it researched all the proposals.
Read Article

 

MIT report: US manufacturing needs retooling

Boston Herald | 02.23.2013
A new MIT report urges a fresh commitment to manufacturing in the U.S. to spur innovation and growth and stem the flow of jobs to other countries.
Read Article Online

 

Industrial landscape has holes, MIT says

The Boston Globe | 02.23.2013
A new report by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology urgently recommends that the nation rebuild its “industrial ecosystem” of manufacturers, suppliers, research, and skilled labor to support multiple industries, not just clusters of companies dedicated to one particular sector.
Read Article

 

Medicare Needs Fixing, but Not Right Now

New York Times | 02.26.2013
“We don't have to solve this tomorrow; not even next year,” said Jonathan Gruber, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who worked on the design of President Obama's health care reform.
Read Article Online

 

Technology, Trade and Fewer Jobs

New York Times | 02.14.2013
(This piece originated with Reuters and ran with additional outlets, such as CNBC.) All of which is why understanding what is happening to the middle class is urgently important. There is no better place to start than by talking to David Autor, an economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Read Article Online

 

The U.S. Long-Term Unemployment Crisis Stumps Economists

Bloomberg Businessweek Online | 02.07.2013
Peter Diamond, an economist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology who received a Nobel prize for his work on labor markets, says that regardless of the causes of long-term unemployment, the harm it causes justifies strong efforts to stimulate the economy, so even the long-term jobless are absorbed.
Read Article Online

 

The Hidden Cost of Fast Fashion: Worker Safety

Bloomberg Businessweek Online | 02.07.13
“If they don't get the products to the customers on time, at quality, and in the specifications they want, customers will switch to a competitor,” says Richard Locke, a professor at theMassachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management, whose supply chain research has taken him to factories around the globe.
Read Article Online

 

 




JANUARY 2013

ObamaCare's Broken Promises

Wall Street Journal | 01.31.2013
Now, even advocates for the law acknowledge that premiums are going up. In analyses conducted for the states of Wisconsin, Minnesota and Colorado, Jonathan Gruber of MIT forecasts that premiums in the non-group market will rise by 19% to 30% due to the law.  
Article Online

 

Obama wants to tackle poverty and inequality. So why is his economic team so focused on the deficit?

Washington Post - Online – 01.26.2013
Within the administration, the deficit has become a “black hole” of economic policy discussion, said MIT's Michael Greenstone, a former chief economist in Obama's Council of Economic Advisers.
Article Online

 

Will Smart Machines Create a World Without Work?

ABC News - Online | 01.25.2013
(This piece originated with the AP and ran with additional outlets, such as Boston.com, NPR and the Washington Post.) "Technological change is more encompassing and moving faster and making it harder and harder to find things that people have a comparative advantage in" versus machines, says David Autor, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who has studied the loss of midpay jobs to technology... "Computers can do calculus better than any human being," says Andrew McAfee, principal research scientist at MIT's Center for Digital Business. But "restaurant bus boy is a very safe job for a long time to come."
Article Online

 

In Mass. law, states get a health overhaul model

U.S. News & World Report | 01.24.2013
(This AP piece ran with additional outlets, such as the Huffington Post.) Officials from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Colorado, West Virginia and Rhode Island have worked with Jonathan Gruber, an MIT economics professor who helped craft both the state and federal laws, to set up their exchanges.
Article Online

 

Wal-Mart issues "zero tolerance" policy for suppliers subcontracting work without knowledge

Washington Post - Online | 01.23.2013
(This AP piece ran with additional outlets, such as the Huffington Post.) Richard Locke, head of political science at MIT and an expert in global supply chains, said that Wal-Mart also needs to re-evaluate its purchasing practices so its demands are not putting excessive pressure on factories to cut corners on safety.
Article Online

 

Boston Chamber Music Society goes solar

Boston Globe | 01.22.2013
Since becoming artistic director of the Boston Chamber Music Society, violist Marcus Thompson has taken advantage of his other position, professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to curate programs built around connections, both solid and speculative, between music and science.
Article Online

 

The Obama Coalition vs. Corporate America

The New York Times | 01.09.2013
Daron Acemoglu of MIT, who wrote the highly regarded book "Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty" with James A. Robinson of Harvard, argues that concentrations of wealth and market power allow "the already well off and already well organized" to exercise excessive leverage through "lobbying, campaign contributions and otherwise" that distort market processes.
Article Online

 

China-Japan Dispute Takes Rising Toll of Asia's Top Economies

Bloomberg Businessweek - Online | 01.09.2013
“The row has changed the landscape of China-Japan relations,” said Taylor Fravel, a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology who specializes in Chinese politics. “As a territory dispute, it's prone to spirals of escalation.”
Article Online

 

Obamacare Guarantees Higher Health Insurance Premiums -- $3,000+ Higher

Forbes - Online | 01.07.2013
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Economics Professor Jonathan Gruber, one of Obamacare's chief architects, estimated that premiums in Wisconsin would rise by about 30 percent by 2016 following implementation of the law. 
Article Online

 

Have we become addicted to gadgets?

San Jose Mercury News - Online | 01.07.2013
Sherry Turkle, a professor of the social studies of science and technology at MIT and author of "Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other," said she thought more companies would adopt similar policies. "I'm optimistic, because I think that everybody is feeling the pinch," she said. Employees are too busy using devices to have the conversations that matter and are necessary to get business done, she said.
Read Online

 

Top business books of 2012

CBSNews.com | 01.07.2013
"The south forged a society that created incentives, rewarded innovation, and allowed everyone to participate in economic opportunities," according to the authors, MIT economics professor Damon Acemoglu and and Harvard University economist and political scientist James Robinson. 
Article Online

 

Financial Lessons From the Third World

NBC News Network Online | 1.1.2013
The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab at MIT (yes, that MIT in Cambridge, Mass.) published a book “Poor Economics.” A must read for anyone concerned about world poverty.
Article Online

 


 

DECEMBER 2012 
 

Silencing the Smartphone

The New York Times | 12.31.2012
Sherry Turkle, a professor of the social studies of science and technology at MIT and author of “Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other,” said she thought more companies would adopt similar policies.
Article Online

 

Britain's austere cutbacks a cautionary tale for US

Boston Globe | 12.30.2012
“An austerity drive now would raise our already painfully high unemployment rate and might trigger another recession,” said economist Peter ­Diamond, a Nobel laureate and professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “If the cuts are big enough, it can derail the economy and set it back, which is what we are seeing in Britain.”
Article Online

 

Where Ethnicity Was Fluid

The New York Times | 12.29.2012
Vivek Bald, who teaches writing and digital media at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has produced an engaging account of a largely untold wave of immigration: Muslims from British India who arrived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Article Online


Exploring the Scandinavian model
CNN - Cable News Network
“Because of their more limited inequality and more comprehensive social welfare systems, many perceive average welfare to be higher in Scandinavian societies than in the United States. Why, then, does the United States not adopt Scandinavian-style institutions?” asked three researchers in a recent MIT paper that can be downloaded here. “More generally, in an interdependent world, would we expect all countries to adopt the same institutions?”
Article Online


Stop guessing whether a bill will work. Instead, let's test it.

Washington Post - Online  | 12.08.2012
Economists such as MIT's Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee and Yale's Dean Karlan, along with their research groups, the Jameel Poverty Action Lab (JPAL) and Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), have run dozens of randomized experiments in developing countries to see which forms of aid work and which are worthless or counterproductive. The goal, as the JPAL puts it, is to “reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is based on scientific evidence, and research is translated into action.”
Article Online


Rocky road ahead for implementation of Obamacare
AFP / Agence France-Presse - Washington DC Bureau | 12.09.2012
"A lot of the reason we succeeded in Massachusetts is because we ran ads during Red Sox games telling people you have to sign up for health insurance," said John Gruber, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who helped design Obamacare and was a key architect of the northeastern state's 2006 reforms.
Article Online


Howard Zinn: A Life on the Left' by Martin Duberman

Washington Post - Online | 12.08.2012
John Tirman, executive director of the MIT Center for International Studies, provided this book review.
Review Online

 


 


NOVEMBER 2012 
 

"I Didn’t Write That" | Op-Ed by David Kaiser

The New York Times 
"The essay, which has been promoted on blogs across the Internet, is attributed to a person named David Kaiser. As it happens, my name is David Kaiser. We are not the same person."  By David Kaiser, the MIT Professor of the History of Science, and author of How the Hippies Saved Physics.  
More


The Death of the Novel: How E-Lit Revolutionizes Fiction

The Huffington Post | 11.09.2012
The Electronic Literature Organization, currently headed by Nick Montfort at MIT "was founded in 1999 to foster and promote the reading, writing, teaching, and understanding of literature as it develops and persists in a changing digital environment," as it states on the website. I recently had the opportunity to interview Nick, a well-respected interactive poet and writer, about the origins of e-lit and its evolution over the last few decades. His responses are below.
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Six fixes for American democracy

Salon.com | 10.22.2012
There are recent reports—like Harper's November cover story—telling readers to worry that 2012's votes will be electronically stolen. That's troubling, to be sure, but the same week that issue hit the newsstands came a report by academics at CalTech/MIT finding that several million votes have been lost in each recent presidential race by more mundane means: due to voter registration bureaucracy, poll worker error and uncounted ballots.
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No More Industrial Revolutions?

The New York Times | 10.15.2012
Includes comments from MIT economists David Autor and Daron Acemoglu.  
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OCTOBER 2012


MacArthur Fellowship Winners Junot Diaz & Chris Thiel

CBS This Morning - CBS News Network | 10.02.2012
This is a video clip with MIT Professor Junot Díaz.
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MacArthur 'genius' grants go to Junot Díaz and Dinaw Mengestu

The Guardian | 10.02.2012
Each fellow is told of his or her grant in a phone call "out of the blue", said the foundation. Díaz said it would be "transformational." "It allows you to focus on your art with very little other concerns. It's kind of like a big blast of privilege," said the author, who is also a professor at MIT.
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'MacArturos': Junot Díaz, Natalia Almada Become Newest Latino MacArthur 'Genius' Grant Recipients

The Huffington Post | 10.02.2012
Dominican-American writer (and MIT professor) Junot Díaz and Mexican-American filmmaker Natalia Almada both officially became MacArturos on Monday, each receiving a prestigious MacArthur 'Genius' Grant. More


Author Junot Díaz Among 2012 MacArthur 'Genius' Fellows

Time | 10.02.2012
Writer Junot Díaz, 43, a professor at MIT and the Pulitzer-winning author of 2007′s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and the brand-new story collection This Is How You Lose Her, is perhaps the most recognizable name...among the fellowship winners in cultural fields. But that's not surprising. Genius Grants are forward-looking, based on the winner's creativity and potential, rather than on their fame or past work; the grants are also free of any expectations or requirements on the recipient's end.
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2012 MacArthur Foundation 'genius grant' winners

Wall Street Journal | 10.01.2012
Junot Díaz, 43, Cambridge, Mass. Fiction writer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology who uses raw, vernacular dialogue and spare, unsentimental prose to draw readers into the various and distinct worlds that immigrants must straddle.
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Do presidential debates usually matter? Political scientists say no.

Washington Post | 10.03.2012
Several studies suggest that a candidate's appearance during the debates could have a big impact. MIT's Gabriel Lenz and Chappell Lawson have found that attractive candidates disproportionately benefit from debates, with new support coming especially from less informed voters.
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Small companies in poor countries: Looking for a Google

The Economist | 10.04.2012
The result has been growing pessimism about what Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology call “reluctant entrepreneurs”—poor people who run their own businesses only because they cannot find a job. “We are kidding ourselves if we think they can pave the way for a mass exit from poverty,” they wrote last year in a book called “Poor Economics”.
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Science to history: the Raman Effect

Nature | 10.04.2012
Abha Sur, part of the humanities faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and author ofDispersed Radiance: Caste, Gender, and Modern Science in India tells Vijaysree Venkataraman what brought about her transformation from a physical chemist into a science historian.
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Americans have mixed feelings about healthcare: Reuters/Ipsos poll

Reuters | 10.04.2012
(This piece ran with additional outlets, such as NBC News.) Jonathan Gruber, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology economics professor who advised the White House on the Affordable Care Act as well as Massachusetts on the law enacted by Governor Mitt Romney in 2006 doesn't buy it. "I spend a lot of time trying to critique moves made by the general manager of the Red Sox. But at the end of the day, he's better at this than I am," he said. "It's the same thing with Obama. If there was an easy, good message, they would have found it."
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COLUMN-For government, it is not just size that matters-Chrystia Freeland

Reuters | 10.04.2012
(This piece ran with additional outlets, such as the New York Times.) The larger caveat is that Farrell's quest for apolitical improvements in government goes only so far. The truth, as Daron Acemoglu, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, points out in the most important essay in this collection, is that governing is an innately political act.
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Maybe US Economic Growth Won't Persist Forever

Forbes | 10.03.2012
This radically pessimistic idea flies directly in the face of the generally accepted wisdom from MIT economist Robert Solow in the 1950s that “economic growth is a continuous process that will persist forever.”
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FOMO: Affliction, or Lust for Life?

The Huffington Post | 10.03.2012
...50-plus-year-olds attending this ideas festival/policy-wonk conference are experiencing. But I digress. Technology has brought FOMO upon the under-25 generation, MIT professor Sherry Turkle argues in her book Alone Together: "Technology promises to let us do anything from anywhere with anyone. But it...
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Economics Journal: A Theory Why India's Muslims Lag

India Real Time | 10.03.2012
In their book, “Why Nations Fail,” MIT economist Daron Acemoglu and Harvard political scientist Jim Robinson persuasively argue that institutional structures going back centuries to colonial times help explain the different performances of countries today. The same logic that they apply to nations may also apply to communities within a given nation. Where we came from might well affect where we are today, and history casts a longer shadow than we might think.
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Health Care As Income For the Poor

The New York Times | 10.03.2012
But if you ask Jonathan Gruber, the MIT economist who advised the White House on health care reform, government health benefits are being undervalued even when reported at full cost. "I think it is likely that this is too low because folks have utility value from being insured, which goes above and beyond the cash cost of insurance," he wrote in an e-mail. Not counting it at all, he added, is a "major shortcoming."
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Junot Díaz Aims to Fulfill His Dream of Publishing Sci-Fi Novel With Monstro

Wired - Online | 10.03.2012
Wired: You currently teach at MIT, which I would imagine would expose you to a lot of science fiction fans. Is that true? Díaz: Yeah, but I wouldn't overplay it, though.
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Massachusetts health care hints at future doc shortage

Boston Herald - Online | 10.02.2012
...otherwise doctor-rich Bay State, the Massachusetts Medical Society's latest physician workforce study shows. But don't blame that on Romneycare, insists MIT health economics professor Jon Gruber, who helped shape the state and national health reform laws. “If anything, it shows that things...
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Why We Are So Rude Online

Wall Street Journal | 10.01.2012
We're less inhibited online because we don't have to see the reaction of the person we're addressing, says Sherry Turkle, psychologist and Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor of the social studies of science and technology. Because it's harder to see and focus on what we have in common, we tend to dehumanize each other, she says.
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Surprise Grants Transforming 23 More Lives

The New York Times | 10.01.2012
This year the boldface names belong to writers and musicians: Junot Díaz, 43, the writer and professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Chris Thile, 31, a mandolinist and composer in New York City; David Finkel 56, a Washington Post reporter; Dinaw Mengestu, 34, a novelist and journalist in Washington; and Claire Chase, 34, a flutist and arts entrepreneur in Brooklyn.
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Netanyahu Bomb Joins Castro Chickens in UN Theater of Absurd

Bloomberg News | 10.02.2012
Six years ago, Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez brandished a copy of political activist and Massachusetts Institute of Technology linguistics professor Noam Chomsky's “Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance.” (Chomsky repaid the favor last year by accusing Chavez of concentrating too much power in his hands.)
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SEPTEMBER 2012

 


Does the Seralini Corn Study Fiasco Mark a Turning Point in the Debate Over GM Food?

Forbes - Online | 09.30.2012
The London-based Science Media Centre, which assists reporters when major science news breaks, posted an entire page of criticisms, most notably its poor design, the use of tumor prone rodents, the small sample size and the selective presentation of data. MIT's Knight Science Journalism Tracker documented a slew of problems.
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Texting: Can we pull the plug on our obsession?

CBSNews.com | 09.30.2012
"These days, the minute that people are alone, at a stop sign, at the checkout line in a supermarket, they panic, they reach for a phone," said MIT psychologist Sherry Turkle.
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Information revolution yet to pay off

Financial Times | 09.30.2012
By comparison with its predecessors, the information revolution has proved disappointing. As MIT economist Robert Solow famously observed a quarter of a century ago: “You can see the computer age everywhere except in the productivity statistics.”
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Texting While Parenting: What Effect Can It Have On Your Children?

Forbes | 09.30.2012
The issue of whether parents' involvement with distracting technology can affect their social and emotional connections to their children has been explored by well known social psychologists such as Dr. Sherry Turkle from MIT over the past decade.
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Technology creating a tribe of one

CNN - Cable News Network | 09.28.2012
(This is a CNN video clip, posted on YouTube.) MIT Professor Sherry Turkle explains how an increasingly mobile world is affecting human nature.
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China Communists Set Nov. 8 Date for Congress Amid Upheaval

Bloomberg News | 09.28.2012
“The looming transition has probably increased Chinese willingness to respond to what it viewed as Japan's challenge with greater resolve,” Taylor Fravel, a political science professor specializing in China at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said in an e-mail interview. 
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Japan-China Politics Risk Prolonging Worst Tensions Since 2005

Bloomberg Businessweek | 09.27.2012
“A large part of this is due to domestic political considerations,” said Richard Samuels, a political science professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and author of ‘Securing Japan: Tokyo's Grand Strategy and the Future of East Asia.' “The whole region is roiling amid the uncertainty over leadership and that creates room for mischief. There's a period we're going to have to get through, hopefully without conflict.”
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Snapshot Of Obama, Romney Care From Guys Who Were There

WBUR | 09.27.2012
He really likes President Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Heck, Gruber, the MIT economist, even wrote an entire comic book about the law (and served as an advisor to the president in developing the national plan).
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Amid Protests, Iran's President To Address U.N.

WBUR - Online | 09.27.2012
Outside, on his way to one of his meetings with Ahmadinejad, MIT Professor Jim Walsh predicted the Iranian leader's U.N. speech would be acerbic and biting, as they always are. But he says he has seen some differences in his private contacts with the Iranian leader this time. Walsh been coming to this rodeo, as he puts it, for six years now.
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David Kaiser's top 10 books about quantum theory

The Guardian | 09.26.2012
Now over a century old, quantum theory remains one of physics' most beguiling - and baffling - concepts. From Richard Feynman's introductory lectures to Chad Orzel's How to Teach Physics to Your Dog, (MIT professor) David Kaiser picks his 10 favourite books on the subject.
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Taiwan Joins Fray Over Disputed Pacific Islands

Time | 09.26.2012
Although Taiwan was long occupied by Imperial Japan, relations between the two neighbors are generally far better than between Japan and China. That's something Ma won't want to risk by further escalating the dispute, says M. Taylor Fravel, a China expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “I don't think there is much potential, though the photos from [Tuesday] were dramatic,” he said via email.
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In West Bengal, Cashless Microfinance Opens Doors for Women

India Ink | 09.25.2012
In 2011 the MIT economist Abhijit Banerjee co-authored a randomized test of Bandhan's program. He says that the team found “very strong positive results” and that it was clear that “beneficiaries were substantially better off in terms of how much they ate, measures of depression, schooling for children and other indicators.”
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Recommended: The real vote-fraud opportunity has arrived: casting your ballot by mail

MSNBC - Online | 09.25.2012
Some see mail as a step backward from the Help America Vote Act of 2002. Charles Stewart, a political scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said the law mandated improved voting equipment. That improved technology made vote counts more accurate, he said, leading to 1 million more votes being counted.
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Wait, campaigns don't work?

Boston Globe | 09.23.2012
But it's well known in political science that most of those "independents" have already chosen a side. "You don't have to push them very far to get them to say, 'Well, you know, I lean toward one party or the other,"' said Charles Stewart, a professor of political science at MIT.
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'World of Wires' at ICA is all smoke and mirrors

Boston Globe | 09.22.2012
If you were an “identity unit” rather than a flesh-and-blood person, how would you know? That's the premise of MIT theater professor Jay Scheib's “World of Wires,” a 90-minute mindbender at the Institute of Contemporary Art.
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CNN Saturday Morning News 

CNN Newsroom - Cable News Network (CNN) | 09.22.2012
Jim Walsh, an expert on international security at MIT, joins us now this morning. Jim, good morning to you. You're one of a handful of Americans who have traveled to both Iran and North Korea for talks with officials about nuclear issues. Should what do you think about this? Should the White House set a red line?
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The Government's Trust Deficit Overhangs the Economy

The Huffington Post | 09.22.2012
In the same session, Peter Diamond, Nobel Prize Laureate, Institute Professor, and Professor of Economics at MIT, said, "We need to reinvest and increase expenditures in education for children and improve re-education to put people in jobs. There's a lack of adequate demand. There are a bunch of things we can do with infrastructure. We need infrastructure. We also need reform that goes beyond laying people off and not spending more."
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5 Ways to Put Global Poverty Back on (Whichever) President's Agenda

TheDailyBeast.com | 09.22.2012
In their groundbreaking book Poor Economics, MIT professors Abihjit Banerjee and Esther Duflo highlight how “the deficit of hope can be the source of a poverty trap, and, conversely … hope can fuel an exit from the poverty trap.”
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A Capital Gains Primer

Wall Street Journal | 09.21.2012
But that ignores the vital link between tax rates and capital investment. The lower the tax, the greater the incentive to take risks. And though Warren Buffett may not believe that tax rates matter, studies by economists such as James Poterba of MIT have documented the "significant influence" of capital gains taxes on the "demand for venture funds."
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Inspectors Certified Pakistani Factory as Safe Before Disaster

The New York Times | September, 19 2012
But Richard M. Locke, a professor of political science at the MIT Sloan School of Management (and Head of MIT's Department of Political Science) who has written extensively about monitoring, said the Ali Enterprises fire suggested that such claims were exaggerated. 
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James Medoff; Harvard professor helped many grasp economics

The Boston Globe | September, 20 2012
Robert Solow, an MIT professor emeritus who received the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1987, said Dr. Medoff “was the sort of old-style labor economist who came to it because he was genuinely interested in how working people live and how their lives can be improved.”
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Jay Scheib completes his sci-fi trilogy with 'World of Wires'

The Boston Globe | September, 20 2012
But Jay Scheib's “World of Wires,” which the adapter-director is staging at the Institute of Contemporary Art this weekend, comes with a more serious pedigree. Scheib is an associate professor of theater arts at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and well known as a writer and director of plays and opera. He was a 2011 Guggenheim fellow and won a 2012 Obie Award for directing “World of Wires” at the Kitchen in New York, where it premiered in January.
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The Social Cost of Carbon: How to Do the Math?

Green Blog | September, 18 2012
Michael Greenstone (of MIT), a former chief economist for the president's Council of Economic Advisers who helped create the $21 price tag back in 2010, said he stands by the 2010 analysis.
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Number of the Week: Top 20% of Earners Take Home 51% of All Income

Wall Street Journal | September, 15 2012
“When they transition to some other sector they can't draw on their 10 or 15 years of experience — they have to start over,” said Michael Greenstone, an economist professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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China and Japan relations tense after standoff over disputed islands

Guardian.co.uk | September, 14 2012
Taylor Fravel of the security studies programme at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said: "Neither side wants to see the situation spiral out of control, but both felt that they had to act. We should be concerned, but it has not yet crossed a point of no return."
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This Is How You Write Seductively

WBUR - Online | September, 14 2012
Just as most mystery writers do their best writing without a standing detective, (Junot) Díaz might find richer soil without the encumbrance of an alter ego. I'd love to read a nonfiction book about his experiences teaching creative writing at MIT.
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Does Obama or Romney Really Know Better? Do We?

The Huffington Post | September, 17 2012
Over the course of his administration President Obama's economic advisers have included Timothy Geithner (Dartmouth grad, former President of the New York Federal Reserve), Lawrence Summers (MIT grad, former Secretary of the Treasury and Chief Economist of the World Bank), Christine Romer (UC Berkeley grad and a former Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers) and John Podesta (Georgetown Law grad and former Chief of Staff under Bill Clinton).
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Merkel Backs ECB Bond Buying

Wall Street Journal - Online | September, 17 2012
Mr. Draghi, an Italian economist with a Ph.D. from MIT who made his name as a reformer and driver of Italy's bid to join the euro, insists that the central bank's policies are in line with its core mission to ensure the stability of the euro.
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The Chicago Teachers Union has a plan to fix the city's schools. But it's pricey.

Wonkblog | September, 13 2012
Joshua Angrist, Parag Pathak and Christopher Walters (G) at MIT found that students randomly assigned to Massachusetts “no excuses” charters did much better than urban students in noncharters and than nonurban students as well.
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Income Gap Shows Need for Better Education, Diamond, Chao Say

Bloomberg News | September, 13 2012
“What we need to do is increase the quality of education, that has to start with preschool all the way up,” Diamond, professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said at the Bloomberg Markets 50 Summit in New York today.
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The war in Syria: Death from the skies

The Economist | September, 13 2012
General Dempsey claims that no contingency planning for such a campaign has been ordered beyond what he calls “the commander's-estimate level of detail”. A sense of what it might require, though, comes from a detailed open-source analysis by Brian Haggerty (G) of MIT's Security Studies Programme, which looked at a campaign to suppress Syrian air defences and establish safe zones in the north-west of the country.
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U.S. Missile Defense Strategy Is Flawed, Expert Panel Finds

The New York Times | September, 12 2012
On Tuesday, a number of experts faulted the new plan. Theodore A. Postol, a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a prominent antimissile critic, called the calculations behind the proposed radars “completely wrong and unrealistic.” He continued, “They're claiming they can do things that are not physically possible.”
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Nuclear Mullahs, Continued

The New York Times | September, 11 2012
Barry Posen, a professor of political science at MIT, has been making the case for at least six years, including in a 2006 Op-Ed for The Times.
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Book World: 'This is How You Lose Her,' by Junot Díaz

Washington Post - Online | September, 11 2012
Reading saved him, and he graduated from Rutgers, received an advanced degree from Cornell, and now teaches creative writing at MIT.
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Medical debt issues and health care reform 

Boston Globe | September, 10 2012
“There's always going to be some issue of some people having medical spending that stretches their budget,” said Jonathan Gruber, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology health economist who was an author of the Oregon study and former consultant to the Obama administration and Massachusetts lawmakers. “The question is, do you make the number smaller with health care reform? And the answer is, undoubtedly, yes.”
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Candidates' economic advisers offer rival visions

Boston Globe – 09/14/2012
Mankiw, who described Summers ('75) as a mentor while he was a graduate student at MIT, said the question of whether the richest should pay more is a "political question and a question of values" about the role of government. Like other conservative economists, he said he was more concerned about the long-term outlook and unchecked government borrowing that could lead to crippling debt. "Borrowing without repaying, that's when we become like Greece," he said.
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That's Dr. So-and-So to You

The Chronicle of Higher Education - Online | September, 10 2012
Ms. Malveaux has a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, holds three honorary degrees, and recently stepped down as president of Bennett College after five years in office. "I don't mean to be picky or petty, but I do not know if it is gender, ignorance, or general disrespect," she wrote on her status update. "At 58, I am too old, and have paid too many dues for this."
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Black Women Face Health Discrimination in America

Forbes - Online | September, 8 2012
A former president of Bennett College, a historically black women's college, and a decorated academic with a doctorate in economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Malveaux is a politically progressive commentator. She has written for many well-known black media outlets–including...
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Say goodbye to your manhood

CNNmoney.com | September, 7 2012
Industrial towns across America are experiencing similar trauma, Rosin writes. As the men pine for the golden days, the women push nostalgia aside and take on the provider role. "When men start to flame out, women by necessity have to become self-sufficient, to take care of the kids," says MIT economist David Autor. "They don't marry the men, who are just another mouth to feed."
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My So-Called Second Life: Are You Your Avatar?

Scientific American | September, 6 2012
The Twitterati likely already know that last week, I joined MIT science writing professor (and fellow author/physics aficionado) Tom Levenson in the virtual world, Second Life, for the Virtually Speaking Science (VSS) podcast, hosted by BlogTalk Radio. We chatted about math and calculus, Hollywood “science,” the dismal (or not so dismal?) future of science writing, and commiserated on the writerly angst that invariably accompanies a book project.
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Social Insurance and Layoffs

Economix | September, 5 2012
David Autor of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has studied the United States federal disability-insurance program and finds that it “provides no incentive to employers to implement cost-effective accommodations that would enable disabled employees to remain on the job.”
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Economy: Why the Minimum Wage Doesn't Explain Stagnant Wages

Economix | September, 5 2012
That was down from 8 percent of hours in 1979, according to research by David Autor of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Alan Manning of the London School of Economics and Christopher L. Smith of the Federal Reserve.
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Five questions for 'Oscar Wao' author Junot Díaz

USA Today | September, 5 2012
MIT's Junot Díaz is interviewed.
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Without A Career, How Do We Know Who We Are?

NPR – September, 1 2012
Daron Acemoglu, the MIT professor who won the John Bates Clark medal for economics, explains that people typically change jobs in their first 10 years of work.
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We never talk any more: The problem with text messaging

CNN - Cable News Network | August, 31 2012
As TIME has reported previously, MIT psychologist Sherry Turkle is one of the leading researchers looking into the effects of texting on interpersonal development. Turkle believes that having a conversation with another person teaches kids to, in effect, have a conversation with themselves — to think and reason and self-reflect. "That particular skill is a bedrock of development," she told me.
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Mexican President-elect Pena Nieto unveils transition team

Reuters | September, 4 2012
Videgaray, an economist educated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is part of a new generation of PRI technocrats whom analysts consider well-qualified to keep Mexico's finances healthy.
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Bernanke: Both Tobin and Friedman Would Support QE

Wall Street Journal - Washington DC Bureau | August, 31 2012
When Ben Bernanke was studying economics at Harvard and MIT, there was a continuing argument between two giants of 20th century economics: Nobel Prize laureates James Tobin at Yale, one of the leading Keynesians of the time, versus Milton Friedman at the University of Chicago, the leading monetarist.
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August 2012


Academic Sways Central Bankers

Wall Street Journal - Online | August, 30 2012
Mr. Woodford earned his B.A. in economics at the University of Chicago, a J.D. at Yale University and his Ph.D. in Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Mr. Woodford has known Mr. Bernanke for years. They both taught economics at Princeton University in the 1990s.
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The MIT will help us make better and faster

O Estado | August, 30 2012
(This article was published by one of the top outlets in Brazil. It includes a quote by MIT Associate Provost Philip Khoury, as well as comments by ITA Rector Pacheco.) Pacheco said that, this week, a first version of the proposal will be sent to MIT, detailing the activities to be developed in the next five years.
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Small Talk: Anita Desai

FT.com | August, 24 2012
Anita Desai was born in India in 1937 to a German mother and a Bengali father. Three of her novels – Clear Light of Day (1980), In Custody (1984) and Fasting, Feasting (1999) – have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. She is a professor of humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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Convention host cities hope for financial boost

USA Today | August, 25 2012
The list of cities that can hold a convention has certainly changed." MIT economist William Wheaton estimated that cities on that list had dropped from 30 or 40 to 10. Those without a big budget, a big police force and a big buffer around the hall need not apply.
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Literary news from around New England

Boston Globe – August, 25 2012
Junot Díaz's first novel, “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao,” published in 2007, was a literary sensation that won a Pulitzer and a host of other honors. Díaz, who teaches writing at MIT, is a sought-after speaker and a slow writer, as he himself admits.
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Why is Europe avoiding the F-word?

BBC News | August, 26 2012
"The United States, whatever it was, was bankrupt," says Pauline Maier, Kenan Professor of History at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "This was of great concern to George Washington because, as he said, the United States was not a respectable nation, because a respectable nation paid its debts."
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Fact-Checking Obama's Campaign Ad About Romney's Proposal for Medicare Reform

Forbes - Online | August, 27 2012
In contrast, traditional Medicare keeps paying out claims without any regard to cost-efficiency, driving spending higher, and increasing the cost of health care for every American. As Amy Finkelstein of MIT showed in a widely-cited paper, Medicare's impact on increased hospital spending is over six times greater than what a normal expansion of health insurance would have been expected to yield.
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Report on Iran's nuclear capabilities to show increase in enrichment equipment

Guardian.co.uk | August, 29 2012
"It's more of the same," said Jim Walsh, an expert on the Iranian nuclear programme from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, arguing that Iran's desire to install more of its centrifuges underground was understandable under threat of air strikes.
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Who Wears the Pants in This Economy?

The New York Times | August, 30 2012
“An important long-term issue is that men are not doing as well as women in keeping up with the demands of the global economy,” says Michael Greenstone, an economist at MIT and director of the Hamilton Project, which has done some of the most significant research on men and unemployment. “It's a first-order mystery for social scientists, why women have more clearly heard the message that the economy has changed and men have such a hard time hearing it or responding.”
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The GOP's Hypocrisy on Small Businesses and Regulation

Bloomberg Businessweek – August, 30 2012
The CBO has found that once tax credits and other incentives are taken into account, the total cost of those penalties will be about $10 billion. That's “very small,” says Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist Jonathan Gruber.
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Junot Díaz: By the Book

The New York Times | August, 31 2012
You teach creative writing at MIT. What books do you find especially useful as a teacher? All depends on the class. If I'm teaching straight creative writing I try to flood the students with great fiction, from Jamaica Kincaid to Pam Houston, and essays on craft by folks like Samuel R. Delany (his “About Writing” is spectacularly useful). I'm always trying to sneak Octavia Butler into all my syllabi. She is a master for all seasons.
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Unleashing the Campaign Contributions of Corporations

The New York Times | August, 28 2012
Ten years ago, Stephen Ansolabehere, John M. de Figueiredo, and James M. Snyder from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology picked up the theme with a study called “Why Is There So Little Money in U.S. Politics?” They noted that campaign spending over the last 100 years had remained stagnant and perhaps even declined as a share of the nation's gross domestic product.
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Economics Journal: Why Rumors Spread

WSJ Blogs | August, 22 2012
Abhijit Banerjee, an economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, built a conceptual model of the spreading of rumors that offers us some guidance. At the root of whether to accept or reject a rumor is a fundamental information asymmetry: Someone receiving a rumor doesn't know for sure whether it's grounded in reality or not.
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Sure, We Can Build a Better Toilet. But Will People Use It?

Wired | August, 18 2012
Mobarak is supported by the Gates Foundation in studying how best to promote the new toilets. He's also part of MIT's Poverty Action Laboratory, a group that's applied the methodology of pharmaceutical drug testing — rigorously quantified randomized control trials — to the traditionally fuzzy world of social policy.
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Big Income Losses for Those Near Retirement

Economix – August, 23 2012
(This piece also ran with the Boston Globe.) People with the least education and people with the most education had smaller income losses, supporting the idea that the job market in the United States is “hollowing out,” as the MIT economist David Autor has proposed, meaning that high-skilled and low-skilled jobs are growing while midskilled jobs are thinning out.
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House Hunting in...Turkey

The New York Times | August, 22 2012
Turkey could be in the midst of a real estate bubble, said the Turkish economist Daron Acemoglu, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “I wouldn't say a drop in prices is imminent,” Mr. Acemoglu wrote in an e-mail. “Nevertheless, it does raise the possibility that real estate is overpriced and is a more risky investment than many people might appreciate, and there might be a drop in prices sometime in the next several years.”
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Love Is a Many-Splintered Thing

Wall Street Journal | August, 21 2012
Sherry Turkle, a psychologist and professor at MIT and the author of "Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other," points out that digital communication, especially texting, limits our ability to carry on conversations.
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What's the Right Age to Give Your Kid a Cell Phone?

Time - Healthland | August, 20 2012
Empathy and the ability to home in on social cues can also take a hit, says Sherry Turkle, an MIT professor and author of Alone Together, about the drawbacks of social media use.
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Temperature rise 'slows economy in poor countries'

The Guardian | August, 17 2012
"Temperature fluctuations can have large negative impacts on poor countries," said Benjamin Olken, an economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and one of the authors of the study.
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We Never Talk Anymore: The Problem with Text Messaging

Time | August, 16 2012
As TIME has reported previously, MIT psychologist Sherry Turkle is one of the leading researchers looking into the effects of texting on interpersonal development. Turkle believes that having a conversation with another person teaches kids to, in effect, have a conversation with themselves — to think and reason and self-reflect.
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Economic recovery is weakest since World War II

The Huffington Post | August, 15 2012
(This AP piece ran with additional outlets, such as ABC News, Bloomberg Businessweek, the Boston Herald, NPR, Salon, San Jose Mercury News, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post.) "A housing collapse is very different from a stock market bubble and crash," says Nobel Prize-winning economist Peter Diamond of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "It affects so many people. It only corrects very slowly."
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China Politics, Oil Needs Risk Conflict in S. China Sea

Bloomberg News - Online | August, 12 2012
“The U.S. is unlikely to get involved directly, as that would alter a long-standing policy of maintaining neutrality in territorial disputes and complicate its broader relationship with China,” said Taylor Fravel, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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Growth and climate change: how emerging markets feel the heat

Financial Times - New York Bureau | August 10, 2012
Rising temperatures across the globe also hurt developing nations' economic growth more than developed countries, according to a new study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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High temps hit developing countries hard

UPI - United Press International | August 07, 2012
Increased temperatures from climate warming will hurt poor countries and limit their long-term growth, a U.S. researcher says. Ben Olken, a professor of economics at MIT who co-authored the study, said every 1-degree-Celsius increase in a poor country over the course of a given year reduces its economic growth by about 1.3 percentage points.
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Nearly Half Of Americans Die Without Money, Study Finds

The Huffington Post | August 06, 2012
Nearly one in two Americans—46 percent—die "with virtually no financial assets," or less than $10,000, according to a recent study by economics professors at MIT, Dartmouth and Harvard.
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Excerpt: Sabotage: How the Republican Party Crippled America's Economic Recovery

The Huffington Post | August 05, 2012
Economists at Stanford, MIT, and the University of California at Berkeley studied the effect of federal aid for state Medicaid programs on jobs.
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Study: Nearly half of Americans die with 'virtually no financial assets'

The Washington Post, Wonkblog | August 03, 2012
“Many of these households also have no housing wealth and rely almost entirely on Social Security benefits for support,” says the study, co-authored by MIT's James Poterba, Dartmouth's Steven Venti, and Harvard's David Wise.
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Pensions: Fulfilling promises

The Economist | August 09, 2012
These pressures have turned the “pre-funded” part of China's pension system into a de facto “pay-as-you-go” system, where today's payroll taxes pay for today's pensioners. Some economists, including Peter Diamond, a Nobel prizewinner from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, think China should make its peace with this fact. It could emulate Sweden, Italy and Poland by converting its empty accounts into “notional” accounts.
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Nobel Economist: Inequality Weighs On US Economy

NPR - Online | August 09, 2012
(This AP piece ran with additional outlets, such as CBS, the Huffington Post, San Jose Mercury News, the Washington Post and U.S. News & World Report.) Stiglitz has taught at Yale, Oxford and MIT. He served on President Bill Clinton's council of economic advisers, then left the White House for the World Bank, where he was the chief economist. He's now a professor at Columbia University.
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JULY 2012

 

Interview with Thomas Levenson
Scientific American | 7/27/2012
Thomas Levenson is a Professor of Science Writing at MIT in the USA.
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Human Rights in the Humanities

Chronicle of Higher Education | 7/23/2012
Human rights are rapidly entering the academic curriculum, with programs appearing all over the country—including at Duke, Harvard, Northeastern, and Stanford Universities; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the Universities of Chicago, of Connecticut, of California at Berkeley, and of Minnesota; and Trinity College.
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Will China Be Nicer When It is Richer?

U.S. News & World Report | July, 19 2012
[Is the] economy and autocratic political system in China likely to be self-resolving—that is, will growth lead to liberal government? Daren Acemoglu from MIT and James Robinson from Harvard, whose book Why Nations Fail, provides a neat matrix for thinking through the issue.
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Mass Exit From Poverty

Forbes India | July, 17 2012
Do the poor have too many choices? MIT economists Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo answer in the affirmative in their book Poor Economics. They argue that government intervention circumscribing choices can be beneficial and that "we are kidding ourselves if we think that these [small] businesses can pave the way for a mass exit from poverty."
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Squirrel Away Money While You Can

Forbes | July, 16 2012
In 1985, Franco Modigliani, an economics professor at MIT, won the Nobel Prize for a simple technique that squirrels know intuitively from birth. You have to squirrel away some nuts during times of plenty so you can survive during times of scarcity. Modigliani looked at the income and expenses of typical people over the life span. He found that household income was sometimes more than sufficient to meet expenses and that at other times money was tight. Preparation during these times of surplus help families avoid going into debt when they must increase their spending.
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The Trouble with iComm

The Huffington Post | July, 16 2012
...writing (or reading) more than a sentence or two a pain in the ass. Can you go deep without going long? Do our relationships suffer as a result? MIT professor Sherry Turkle, author of Alone Together: Why We expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other, suspects we may be sacrificing...
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Mass. health coverage architects in demand in other states

Boston Globe | July 13, 2012
The band of consultants offering advice extends to academia. MIT economics professor Jonathan Gruber, who was an adviser on the Bay State and US health care initiatives, is peddling computer modeling of health insurance trends to Minnesota, Colorado, Maine, Wisconsin, and Michigan.
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New Republic: Obamacare Means Higher Employment

NPR - Online | July 12, 2012
MIT's Jonathan Gruber penned this piece. Forget death panels. Lately critics of the Affordable Care Act have been promoting a different claim — that "Obamacare" is a job-killer. Specifically, they say, it will stifle the economy with regulations and taxes. But the economic literature doesn't support this claim. If anything, it suggests the opposite: The Affordable Care Act will boost the economy.
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MIT Economist: Big Banks Have 'Hijacked' The Political Process

The Huffington Post | July 10, 2012
"No politician in the United States can take financial decisions without getting the okay of the powerful financial firms," said Daron Acemoglu, an economics professor at MIT and co-author of the book "Why Nations Fail," in a video interview on Friday with Reuters TV.
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Tom Keene Talks to Economist Jonathan Gruber

Bloomberg Businessweek | July 05, 2012
This is a brief interview of MIT's Jonathan Gruber.
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MIT’s Robert M. Townsend wins Frisch Medal, his second

Boston.com | July 03, 2012
"Robert M. Townsend, a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has won the Frisch Medal of the Econometric Society for the second time, the first economist to do so."
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After health ruling, will U.S. be ready for the law?

CNBC | June 29, 2012
MIT's Jonathan Gruber is quoted in this article about US health care policy and its future implementation. The story originated with Reuters.
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Authors of Affordable Care law astounded by its trials

The Boston Globe | June 30, 2012
"After countless hours crafting the universal health care law in Massachusetts as an adviser to Governor Mitt Romney and then on the national level for the Obama administration, MIT economics professor Jonathan Gruber couldn’t believe that any judge would seriously entertain arguments against the central plank of both plans."
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When computers listen to music, what do they hear?

The Boston Globe | 8 July 2012
Article on conputational musicology, wtih focus on MIT professor Michael Cuthbert. "Computational musicology, as the relatively young field is known within academic circles, has already produced a range of findings that were out of reach before the power of data-crunching was brought to bear on music...Michael Cuthbert, an associate professor at MIT, has studied music from the time of the bubonic plague, and discovered that during one of civilization’s darkest hours, surprisingly, music became much happier, as people sought to escape the misery of life."
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Mass. model coincides with favorable jobs numbers

The Boston Globe | June 29, 2012
"MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, who has advised both Governor Romney and President Obama on health care law, has written a commendable op-ed on why Massachusetts must remain a model for health care reform (Op-ed, June 29). I wish he’d included one more salient fact: The unemployment rate in our state is 6 percent, and it’s 8.2 percent in the nation."
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The Miscommunicators

The Wall Street Journal | July 02, 2012
"It's a growing, yet unspoken problem in many relationships these days: We've become communicatively incompatible. There are too many ways to converse, each of us has a favored method (mine is email), and no one wants to compromise." MIT's Sherry Turkle is quoted throughout this article.
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MIT professor wins 2d Frisch award

The Boston Globe | July 04, 2012
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Roberts Ruling On Obamacare Calls Into Question Definition Of Tax, Penalty

The Huffington Post | June 29, 2012
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JUNE 2012 

 

Faces of Health Care Reform

ABC News | June 28, 2012
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Health Care Law Mandate ‘Tax’: How Many People Will It Affect?

ABC News Blogs | June 28, 2012
The health insurance mandate upheld today by the Supreme Court will impact roughly 26 million Americans, or 8 percent of the population, according to a recent study by the Urban Institute and an independent analysis by MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, who advised both Mitt Romney and President Obama on health care law."
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For Obama, after Supreme Court comes court of public opinion

The Washington Post | June 28, 2012
"People could choose instead to pay the penalty, and as MIT health care economist Jonathan Gruber told Kliff, 'there’s certainly a risk that a large opposition could mitigate the effects of the mandate.'"
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Obama, Romney, Cloobeck Own Words on Health Ruling

Bloomberg Businessweek | June 28, 2012
"President Barack Obama, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, and Stephen Cloobeck, chairman and chief executive officer of Diamond Resorts Corp., offer their views on the Supreme Court's ruling upholding the core of the president's health-care overhaul. This report also contains comments from U.S. Republican Senators Marco Rubio of Florida and John Cornyn of Texas; Democratic Senator Benjamin Cardin of Maryland; Jonathan Gruber, an economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Michael McCallister, chief executive officer of Humana Inc." This is a video clip.
Video Clip


On ACA, the Court Reduces the Stigma of Going 'Naked'

Bloomberg Businessweek | June 28, 2012
"Jubilant supporters of the Affordable Care Act have paid little attention to the language the Supreme Court used to uphold the act’s individual coverage mandate. Opponents of the act, having failed to kill the mandate as a power grab by the government, may turn now to undermining it as something quite easy to ignore—not really a mandate at all...Not everyone agrees. Jonathan Gruber, an influential health-care economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, writes in an e-mail that the difference between a tax and a mandate 'is a pretty subtle distinction.'"
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MIT's Gruber on Supreme Court Health-Care Ruling

Bloomberg Businessweek | June 28, 2012
"Jonathan Gruber, a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, talks about the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the core of President Barack Obama’s health-care overhaul, the potential impact of the ruling on the nation's economy and the implications for the presidential election. Gruber speaks with Erik Schatzker and Stephanie Ruhle on Bloomberg Television’s 'Market Makers.'" This is a video clip.
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Obamacare architect: "relieved" with high court decision (6:30)

Reuters Video News|June 28, 2012
"The MIT economist credited as the architect of the Obama health care plan and Mitt Romney's plan in Massachusetts reacts to Supreme Court backing of measure and explores economics of it." 
Video Clip

 

What will the Affordable Care Act decision mean for Mass.?

The Boston Globe | June 28, 2012
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The Supreme Court Ruling on Obamacare: 11 Experts Weigh In

The Daily Beast | June 28, 2012
MIT's Jon Gruber is among the experts who weigh in on the supreme court ruling on healthcare.
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Romneycare Architect: Individual Mandate 'Very Similar' In Obama, Romney Bills

The Huffington Post | June 29, 2012
"One of the few individuals who worked on health care reform under both Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama said on Friday that the controversial individual mandate provision was virtually identical in the bills signed into law by each of them. 'They are very similar,' said Jonathan Gruber, a Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in an interview with The Huffington Post."
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Will Time Heal Health Care Wounds?

The New York Times | June 28, 2012
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Adjustment Fatigue

Bloomberg Businesweek | June 15, 2012
"Professor Blanchard, recently of MIT, presently of the IMF, writes a short and concise jewel on the summoning of Rigaian courage."
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Too young for status updates

Los Angeles Times | June 11, 2012
"Social media for tweens? No. It's better to keep things face to face...Sherry Turkle, a professor at MIT and author of the book 'Alone Together,' writes about the 'presentation anxiety' that affects young people as they craft their Facebook profiles—assembling the ideal amalgam of pictures, products, 'likes.'"
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Interview With Jim Manzi: From Business to Politics, Experimenters Win

Forbes.com | June 15, 2012
"Leading indicators of future leaders are rife with experimentalists. Obvious examples are the Poverty Action Lab at MIT and EdLabs at Harvard."
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Washington state provides case study on effects of heath-care reform

The Washington Post | June 16, 2012
"Washington is among a handful of states that have pursued universal access to health insurance. The challenges they have faced could give some clues about the federal overhaul’s fate should the individual mandate get struck down." MIT's Jonathan Gruber is quoted.
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Many Excluded From Health-Care Tax Credit

The Wall Street Journal | June 20, 2012
"Jon Gruber, an economics professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a health-care reform adviser to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and to President Barack Obama, defends the limited-scope approach. 'It is really the low-wage firms that don't offer' health insurance, Mr. Gruber said. 'When you change the tax price, it does change their decision to offer health insurance.' By broadening eligibility, 'you reduce the bang for the buck for the policy.'"
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Democracy Is Inevitable: Why Warren's Way Still Works

The Huffington Post | June 15, 2012
"Hierarchies were the assumed order of organizational life, until people such as Warren Bennis made an unusual discovery more than a half-century ago: Democracy matters...Before Bennis became a bestselling author and the most in-demand management consultant of the past generation, he was a social scientist at places such as MIT, where he conducted landmark studies on how democratic groups compared with hierarchical groups in performing a variety of tasks."
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Paul Krugman's Solution to Getting Fiscal Stimulus? It Involves Aliens

PBS NewsHour | June 18, 2012
"Amid a tough economy, economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has probably captured as much attention as anyone else in his field. Part of his "Making Sen$e" of financial news series, Paul Solman speaks with Krugman whose new book End This Depression Now suggests some radical policy-making." 
Video and Transcript

 

DarwinTunes software 'evolves' music without composers

Los Angeles Times | June 19, 2012
"Noise filtered through generations of listeners eventually becomes melodic, offering insights into how our tastes evolved." MIT computational musicologist Michael Scott Cuthbert comments on the work.
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MAY 2012


The Campus Tsunami

NYT- The New York Times | May 04, 2012
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Health care economist Amy Finkelstein wins the Clark Award

Ezra Klein - Washington Post Blog | April 27, 2012
"M.I.T.’s Amy Finkelstein has won the American Economic Association’s Clark Medal, given every year to the nation’s most promising economist under 40."
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How Peter Diamond thinks about taxes and jobs

Ezra Klein - Washington Post Blog | April 27, 2012
"Peter Diamond, the MIT economist who won the 2010 Nobel prize, thinks we’re asking the wrong question. In his view, we don’t much care whether lawyers work a few more hours, or whether CEOs can take home absurd compensation packages. In fact, we don’t primarily care about individuals at all. We care about businesses."
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The State Senate Shows Its HandGame On

Boston.com | May 10, 2012
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We now have initial legislative proposals from both the House of Representatives and the Senate to create new mechanisms to control the rising growth of health care costs. After reading both of them, I agree with MIT economist Jon Gruber who notes that the similarities vastly outweigh the differences."
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Senate Health Cost Bill: ‘Darn Similar’ To House Plan With A Few Departures

CommonHealth - WBUR | May 09, 2012
"The Massachusetts Senate today released its version of a sweeping plan to control health care costs. And guess what? It’s pretty close to the sweeping plan the House released last week...Jonathan Gruber, the MIT economist who served as an advisor on the state’s 2006 health insurance reform law as well as the national Affordable Care Act, emailed that the two bills 'look pretty darn similar to me.'"
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Chronicle of a premature death foretold

Financial Times Print Edition (UK) | May 09, 2012
This year's book of the year is discussed. "The winner last year was Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty by MIT professors Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo."
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White House Burns as Krugman Gnashes Teeth in Top Business Books

Bloomberg | May 05, 2012
"Nations fail, the White House burns and economists including Simon Johnson and Paul Krugman debate U.S. taxes and spending in some of the best business books so far this year." Multiple books by members of the MIT community are included in this roundup.
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