Said and Done | In the Media | February 2018

A section of Said and Done
Full February 2018 Edition

MIT undergraduates uncover the Institute's complicated legacy with slavery
Prompted by MIT President Reif and SHASS Dean Nobles, historian Craig Steven Wilder and archivist Nora Murphy co-taught a course in which students investigated MIT's connections to slavery. Their findings reveal that MIT founder William Barton Rogers possessed enslaved persons in Virginia before moving to New England.
The Boston Globe | WBUR | The Tech

The rise of illiberal hegemony | Barry Posen
Although the Trump administration has pared or abandoned many of the pillars of liberal internationalism, writes MIT political scientist Posen, its security policy has remained consistently hegemonic.
Story at Foreign Affairs

Is tech dividing America? | David Autor
National policy has a huge impact on how countries weather technological changes, MIT economist Autor tells Politico, and there's reason for the US to worry about how its leaders are facing the next wave.
Story at Politico

Naming and faming (not shaming) to hold public officials accountable
The Accountability Lab and Integrity Idol, a gameshow where audience vte for the highest-integrity beurocrat, have been featured in The Economist. MIT GOV/LAB is supporting MIT Political Science doctoral student Stuart Russell to do fieldwork with Integrity Idol’s Mali office.
Blog post at GOV/LAB's website

In defense of Social Security Disability Insurance | James Poterba
A recent study co-authored by by MIT economist James Poterba found that "a large component of the relationship between education and DI participation — more than one-third for men, and over two-thirds for women — can be attributed to the correlation of education with health, and of health with DI receipt."
Story at Vox

Reviews of Peter Child’s “Lamentations” continue
This new piece by the MIT professor of music is the 15th score commissioned by the Cantata Singers, reflecting the group’s tradition of interest in music with oblique or explicit ties to history, politics, and current events.
Boston Globe | Arts Fuse | Boston Musical Intelligencer

Cantata Singers, 2014. Photo by James Luo.

Nobel winner warns central bank cryptos would court catastrophe | Bengt Holmström
Speaking at a seminar in Helsinki on Monday, Holmstrom said the very safety promised by a digital currency managed by a central bank would be its undoing. “It’s a terrible idea because it’s great, so to speak, when it’s not needed and the times are good. But if there is a crisis,” that safety “is actually the prescription for bank runs.”
Story at Bloomberg Technology

Most ICBM tests like India's are routine and expected | Vipin Narang
Associate Professor Narang tells CNN that this latest ICBM test conducted by India didn't demonstrate any "new capability," but was "simply a developmental test before India inducts it into operational range."
Story at CNN

Justin Trudeau tells Davos: tackle inequality or risk failure
David Autor, the Ford professor of economics at MIT, pointed out that companies that appear all-powerful can actually fade pretty fast, either because regulators act or markets change.
Story at The Guardian

Author Nick Montfort tells us how to define the future
Although no one can predict the future, notes Montfort in this podcast interview, we can easily see where things are headed by extrapolating from the present.
Listen at Technotopia

Foreign policy hands debate US role in Europe | Barry Posen
What will the future hold for NATO? “The United States needs to pull on its horn, it has to find ways to set priorities,” says MIT political scientist Posen. “It has to find ways to get others to pay the cost of managing global security.”
Story at Politico

5 things you need to know about the World Economic Forum | John Van Reenan
MIT economics professor John Van Reenen spoke with Marketplace Weekend about the five things everyone should know about the World Economic Forum.
Story at Marketplace

Students defend the future of facts on Wikipedia
MIT Comparative Media Studies faculty Amy Carleton once had a sign in her classroom that read: “Wikipedia is not a source”. Fast forward to 2018 and not only has Dr Carleton taken down the sign but she is now using the online encyclopedia to help teach her courses.
Story at Times Higher Education

How the Moby Dick marathon in New Bedford celebrates an American literary classic
MIT Literature faculty Wyn Kelly and 200 others braved near-zero temperatures to take turns reading sections of Melville's classic novel Moby Dick for 24 hours straight.
Story at WGBH

Ahead of Davos, even the 1 percent worry about inequality | David Autor
“Where you lose your job matters as much as what job you lost,” said MIT economist David Autor, who is speaking on numerous Davos panels. “I worry a lot about urban and nonurban divide. The United States has never been this geographically unequal.”
Story at The Washington Post

How a NAFTA breakdown could jeapordize Trump energy goals
Dr. Lourdes Melgar, Mexico’s former deputy secretary of energy for hydrocarbons and now a fellow at MIT, points out that Mexico's energy reforms were enacted via changes to the constitution — and, therefore, tough to reverse — and were grounded in rising concerns about energy security, which would hardly be alleviated if NAFTA collapsed. 
Story at Bloomberg

At long last, 'Raisin In The Sun' playwright's story is told
Former SHASS staff member Tracy Heather Strain's documentary on Lorraine Hansberry, “Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart,” airs on PBS' American Masters on Friday, Jan. 19. She will appear with her film to answer audience questions at DocYard on Monday, Jan. 29 and at the Bright Lights Film Series on Tuesday, March 20, presented in partnership with Wicked Queer and the MIT Women Take the Reel series.
Story at WBUR

The effects of 137 minimum wage hikes, in one chart
“I think the current generation of [minimum wage] research is better than ever,” Autor said. “And the debate around that research is also better.”
Story at The Washington Post


A section of Said and Done
Full February 2018 Edition