Said and Done | In the Media | January 2016


A section of Said and Done
Full January 2016 edition


How Economics and Race Drive America's Great Divide | Peter Temin
The Huffington Post reports on a new paper by MIT economist and historian Peter Temin, who argues that "America has now diverged into a top thirty percent, where children receive excellent educations and grow up to work in sectors like finance, technology and electronics industries" and "the rest...whose kids have little hope of joining the lucky ones at the top. Temin explains what drives this "dual economy," what race has to do with it, how children are hurt, and why our political system is challenged to create remedies. 
Story at Huffington Post

MIT celebrates Gunther Schuller
A concert organized by MIT conductor, and Schuller student, Frederick Harris Jr., celebrated Schuller, who died in June 2015. The concert event came complete some of Schuller’s tools and talismans: scores, a flamboyant sport coat, Schuller’s own French horn.

The Accidental Universe | Alan Lightman
At Time Magazine, Shane Parrish reviews The Accidental Universe: The World You Thought You Knew, a collection of essays (Knopf/DoubleDay, 2014), by MIT’s Lightman, professor of the practice of the Humanities. The theoretical physicist and author of Einstein's Dreams offers a soulful contemplation of science, the cosmos, belief, and knowledge. 
Review at Time Magazine

Economists Take Aim at Wealth Inequality | David Autor
The New York Times reports on this year’s meeting of the American Economic Association, and cites a presentation by MIT economist David Autor on the links between college performance and increased financial aid.
Story at the New York Times

Phones could be making us less human, but does it matter? | Sherry Turkle
The New Scientist reviews MIT anthropologist Sherry Turkle’s new book, Reclaiming Conversation, which analyzes "the loss – and recovery – of sustained conversation and of a kind of intimacy it brings.”
Story at New Scientist

Don't Punish Entrepreneurs Because They're Richer Than You | Daron Acemoglu
A Fortune article on the possible benefits to some forms of income inequality cites MIT economist Daron Acemoglu, who says that raising taxes "could have negative consequences for growth and prosperity not only in the United States, but throughout the world."
Story at Fortune

Go Ahead, Sing 'Auld Lang Syne' Badly  | Ruth Perry
For auld acquaintance be forgot… at NPR, MIT literature professor Ruth Perry explains why it’s ok to forget the words to Robert Burns’ famous New Year Eve song.
Story at NPR

How Economics Went From Theory to Data | Thomas Piketty
At Bloomberg, Justin Fox details the shift in the field of economics from theory to empiricism, recently exemplified by MIT PhD alumnus Thomas Piketty.
Story at Bloomberg

Olivier Blanchard: 'This Is the Time' for Fed Rate Increase
Bloomberg's Tom Keene recaps his interview with MIT Professor of Economics and former IMF chief economist Olivier Blanchard on the timing of a Federal Reserve rate hike and the collapse in commodities prices.
Story at Bloomberg

The Race to Remake the World’s Energy | Ben Armstrong
This Atlantic article on international efforts to cut carbon national emissions quotes a recent blog post by MIT-SHASS political science PhD candidate Ben Armstrong.
Story at the Atlantic

Leaving it behind | Esther Duflo
An article at the Economist reports on how to rescue people from deep poverty, and why the best methods work, citing research by JPAL economist Esther Duflo.
Story at The Economist

The Pilgrim Way | Kieran Setiya
MIT philosopher Kieran Setiya lends insight into the idea of “The Pilgrim Way,” a way of life that encourages simplicity and communalism.
Story at Huffington Post

Hasbro’s new toy is meant for an older crowd. A much older crowd.
A new life-like cat toy aimed at adults worries MIT anthropologist Sherry Turkle, who says the robotic companion pet robs people of “our deepest connection with ourselves and our humanity.”

A Star-Crossed 'Scientific Fact': The Story Of Vulcan, Planet That Never Was | Thomas Levenson
MIT professor of science writing Thomas Levenson speaks to Michel Martin on NPR’s "All Things Considered" about his new book, The Hunt for Vulcan. "The blind alleys are most of what science actually does,” Levenson says.
Story at NPR

Long before Pluto, a false planet confused scientists | Thomas Levenson
The Washington Post reviews MIT science writing professor Thomas Levenson’s new book, The Hunt for Vulcan, "a story about how science advances, one insight at a time. But the immediacy, almost romance, of Levenson’s writing makes it almost novelistic."
Story at the Washington Post


The Growing Value of Social Skills in the Age of Automation | David Autor
This article in the Wall St Journal on the importance of social skills cites research by MIT economist David Autor, whom they call "a leading authority on the impact of technological change on the US labor market.”
Story at Wall Street Journal


Said and Done
Full January 2016 edition