Said and Done | In the Media | October 2015


A section of Said and Done
Complete October 2015 edition


U.S. keeping a close eye on North Korean satellite launch site | Jim Walsh
The LA Times quotes MIT Security Studies Associate Jim Walsh in this article on North Korea’s missile capabilities. “These sorts of tests are a way for Kim to build legitimacy — the crisis that it creates makes it easier for him to govern and lift people up behind him,” Walsh said.

Junot Diaz on reading, writing, and America's amnesia about race
"Black Lives Matter more than amply shows we have great difficulty in dealing with the effects and the legacy of white supremacy. It’s not something that, as a nation, we’ve ever handled well....periodically issues of race and the kind of panorama in which we live comes into focus. But we also, historically, have a great habit of allowing these moments to dissipate...Our amnesia around this, and our ability to change the subject, is really unmatched."
Interview at the Los Angeles Times

Hard-nosed compassion | Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo
This Economist article on the question of whether refugees should be offered necessary supplies or cash transfers cites research by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo into the “scarcity mindset.”
Story at the Economist


White men poaching animals in Zimbabwe? Yup, that’s been going on for a long, long time.
This article on poaching in Zimbabwe draws heavily on Transient Workspaces: Technologies of Everyday Innovation in Zimbabwe, a recent book by MIT historian Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga.
Story at the Washington Post

Universal Child Care Outcomes Questioned In New Study | Jonathan Gruber
New research into low-cost childcare systems in Quebec, conducted by MIT economist Jonathan Gruber and scholars from other institutions, throws some doubt into the long-term positive effect of such programs.

Barbie Wants to Get to Know Your Child | Sherry Turkle
This New York Times article on children’s toys with AI capabilities draws upon STS professor Sherry Turkle’s research, in which she introduced children to two lifelike robots, Cog and Kismet. The robots engaged children “through eye contact, gestures, and facial expressions” and the children reported that they believed “Kismet and Cog could listen, feel, care about them and make friends”.
Story at the New York Times

Why have so many men stopped working? | David Autor
CNN reports on the declining workforce participation rate of American men aged 25 to 54, and cites research by MIT economist David Autor: “With declines in the manufacturing and construction industries, there are fewer opportunities for these men to find gainful employment.”
Story at CNN

Craig Stephen Wilder commentary on "Show Me A Hero"
Wilder contributes a blog for the Hollywood Reporter, with Tom Sugrue of NYU, on David Simon's new HBO series, “Show Me a Hero.”  It's a three week, six-episode series on the housing/school desegregation crisis in Yonkers, NY, during the 1980s/90s. Simon is the creator of “The Wire.” 

MIT's Deveau and the Shanghai String Quartet
Pianist David Deveau and the Shanghai String Quartet perform Brahms at the 2015 Rockport Chamber Music Festival.  Johannes Brahms: Piano Quartet in G minor, Op. 25  David Deveau, piano; Shanghai String Quartet

Saving SSDI | David Autor
This article at The Atlantic on Social Security Disability Insurance draws on original research by MIT economist David Autor.

Raising the Bar: John Oliver Reflects on 45 Years Leading the Tanglewood Festival Chorus
Oliver, for decades a music professor at MIT and the founder of his own twenty-singer chorale, is retiring after performances this summer of Mahler's Symphony No. 8 and Beethoven's 9th.
Story at Huffington Post


The Google Search That Made the CIA Spy on the US Senate | Ryan Shapiro
An MIT doctoral candidate in history, Ryan Shapiro, who specializes in national security research, uncovered a document in which ex-CIA Director John Brennan apologizes to Senate Intelligence Committee members for spying on US Senate staff members.


Narcotic Drugs Can Be Coaxed From Yeast | Kenneth A. Oye
This New York Times article on recent advancements in generating opiates from yeast cites analysis by MIT political scientist Kenneth A. Oye, who argues that “drug-regulatory agencies were ill-prepared to control an emerging science that might benefit drug smugglers more than legitimate drug makers.”
Story at the New York Times


Scientists engineer yeast to turn sugar into hydrocodone | Kenneth A. Oye
MIT political scientist Kenneth A. Oye is quoted in this Washington Post article on recent advancements in generating opiates from yeast quotes. Oye says, "the major benefit from this family of research projects will be in production of redesigned opiates that are safer and less addictive than current products.”
Story at the Washington Post

On the value of the Humanities at MIT | Quynh Nguyen
Guest post at MIT Admissions

Everything You Know About the History & Future of Jobs Is Likely Wrong | David Autor
New research by MIT economist David Autor is discussed and analyzed in this article on the history of job growth over the past four decades.
Story at the Huffington Post

The Real Reasons Americans Aren’t Saving Enough for Retirement | James Poterba
This Time Magazine article on the savings habits of American workers draws heavily on research by MIT economist James Poterba, who found that, through the course of their careers, Americans struggle to add significantly to their savings.
Story at Time

Why those working-age men who left the U.S. job market aren't coming back | David Autor
The LA Times includes research by MIT economist David Autor in this report on lagging labor participation. Autor describes the change since 2008 as a “tectonic shift.”
Story at the Los Angeles Times

Disabling Entitlement Reform | David Autor
Exploring the options available to Social Security’s endangered disability and retirement trust funds, this article at the Wall Street Journal includes mention of a 2010 report co-authored by MIT economist David Autor.
Story at the Wall Street Journal



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Complete October 2015 edition