• Rabbi of Strasbourg inspects vandalized cemetery. Cover photo for Modern Political Dialogue Has Broken Down.
    Culture and Society,  Politics,  Quick Read

    The Breakdown of Modern Political Dialogue

    When people begin to assume the worst of any given outgroup – the rate of which is increasing between today’s political tribes – that group becomes subject to attacks by the ingroup. Its members are often perceived as vile or sub-human. This designation can be used to justify even the most horrific acts against them. It is the catalyst which turns passionate hate to violent action. And it has.

  • Cover photo for Social Media and the Virtual Cult
    Culture and Society,  Politics,  Psychology

    Social Media and Virtual Cultism

    It is undeniable that people on social media tend to be a bit more…extreme. Some blame it on the oft-anonymous nature of the internet. Others believe the cult-like extremism to be nothing more than an unrepresentative vocal minority. And others still believe that the most outrageous posts simply garner the most attention. Maybe social media users fall into the same “if it bleeds it leads” trap as the news. All of this is true…in part. But there is something about social media that brings out this behavior in even the most sensible people—something that causes our calm, rational conduct to be replaced by a passionate, irrational, cult-like behavior...

  • Student body at Philip Harding Harvard Commencement, May 2014
    Civil Rights,  College and University

    Affirmative Action: A Band-Aid on Student Inequality

    Last year, Harvard University celebrated its second consecutive year of a non-white majority freshmen class, with 50.9% of admitted students coming from minority groups. On the surface, this would seem to be an indictment of the White House’s recent reversal of the Obama administration’s stance on affirmative action as proof that the system has yielded what was promised by it: diversity and equal-opportunity in American universities. However, a closer look at how Harvard managed to achieve these goals suggests that these achievements exist only on the surface, as the opportunities afforded by affirmative action are anything but equal.