Theoretical Work – Radical Philosophy Fri, 11 Jun 2021 17:02:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Theoretical Work – Radical Philosophy 32 32 Chinese censorship spreads to much-vaunted Hong Kong film industry, with global implications Fri, 11 Jun 2021 16:44:50 +0000

For decades, Hong Kong’s film industry has captivated audiences worldwide with ballet shoot-em-ups, epic martial arts fantasies, choppy comedies and shadowy romances. From now on, under orders from Beijing, local authorities will examine this work with the aim of protecting the People’s Republic of China.

The city government announced on Friday that it would start block the distribution of films which are deemed to undermine national security, marking the official arrival of Chinese-style censorship in one of Asia’s most famous film centers.

The new guidelines, which apply to both domestically produced and foreign films, are a brutal slap in the face of the artistic spirit of Hong Kong, where government-protected freedoms of expression and an irreverent local culture had imbued the city with a cultural dynamism that set it apart from the continental megalopolises.

They also represent a widening of the Chinese government’s grip on the global film industry. China’s booming box office has been irresistible to Hollywood studios. Big budget productions go to great lengths to avoid offending Chinese audiences and Communist Party censors, while others find out the expensive way to find out what happens when they don’t.

Hong Kong’s legendary film industry is as much a pillar of its identity as its food, booming skyline or financial services industry.

During its heyday as the capital of cinema in the decades following WWII, the city produced hugely popular genre films and nurtured writers like Wong Kar-wai and Ann Hui. It has hit international stars such as Jackie Chan, Chow Yun-fat, Andy Lau, and Tony Leung. The influence of Hong Kong cinema is visible in the work of Hollywood directors such as Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese, and in blockbusters such as “The Matrix”.

Censorship concerns have plagued Hong Kong’s creative industries since the former British colony returned to China in 1997. But once theoretical concerns have become appallingly real since Beijing enacted a national security law. last year to call off the anti-government protests that rocked the city in 2019.

So while few in the local film industry said they felt totally caught off guard by the new censorship guidelines released on Friday, they still expressed concern that the broad scope of the rules would not only affect films shown in Hong Kong, but also how they are produced and whether they are made.

“How to raise funds? Asked Evans Chan, a filmmaker who has had trouble showing his work in the city. “Can you openly crowdsource and say it’s a film about certain points of view, certain activities? “

Even feature film directors, he said, will be left to wonder with anticipation whether their films will break safety law. “It’s not just about militant cinema or political cinema, but the overall cinema scene in Hong Kong.”

The censorship guidelines are the latest sign of how Hong Kong is being reshaped by Beijing’s security law, which targeted the city’s pro-democracy protest movement but had overwhelming implications for some aspects of its very character.

With the blessing of the Communist government, the Hong Kong authorities changed school curricula, removed books from library shelves and decided to reorganize the elections. Police arrested pro-democracy activists and politicians as well as a prominent newspaper editor.

And in the arts, the law has created an atmosphere of fear.

the updated rules announced Friday to require Hong Kong censors who are planning to distribute a film to monitor not only violent, sexual and vulgar content, but also how the film portrays acts “which may constitute an offense endangering national security.” .

Anything that is “objectively and reasonably likely to be perceived as endorsing, supporting, promoting, glorifying, encouraging or inciting” such acts is a potential ground for deeming a film unfit for showing, the rules now say.

The new rules do not limit the scope of a censor’s verdict to only the content of a film.

“When considering the effect of the film as a whole and its likely effect on those likely to see the film,” the guidelines say, “the censor should take into account the duties to prevent and suppress an act or activity involving endangering national security “.

A Hong-Kong government statement said Friday: “The regulatory framework for film censorship is based on the principle of balancing the protection of individual rights and freedoms on the one hand, and the protection of legitimate societal interests on the other.

The vagueness of the new provisions is in line with what critics of the security law say are its ambiguously defined offenses, giving authorities ample leeway to target activists and critics.

Tin Kai-man, from the Hong Kong Filmmakers Federation, told local broadcaster TVB that the industry needed to better understand whether censors’ decisions could be appealed – after, for example, they decided that a film could not be shown in Hong Kong due to national security risks.

“All of this needs to be clarified first,” Tin said. “We don’t want this thing to happen and get out of hand, so we’re starting to worry about the impact on film production.”

The new censorship guidelines announced on Friday appear to be aimed in part at a specific type of film. They say censors should pay particular attention to any film that “purports to be a documentary” or reports “real events having an immediate connection to the circumstances in Hong Kong.”

Why? “Local audiences can probably feel the content of the film more strongly. “

Censors, according to the guidelines, “should carefully consider whether the film contains any biased, unverified, false or misleading commentary narratives or presentations.”

This could lead to more rigorous scrutiny of films like “Ten Years,” a 2015 low-budget independent production that featured dystopian tales of life in a 2025 Hong Kong collapsing under Beijing’s sway. It could also hamper efforts by documentary filmmakers to chronicle political unrest in Hong Kong.

A short documentary on the 2019 protests, “Do Not Divide,” was nominated for an Oscar this year, raising awareness of the Chinese crackdown in the city. (The film’s nomination may have played a role in Hong Kong broadcasters’ decision not to air the Oscar show this year for the first time in decades, although one station called it a business decision. )

Efforts to bring other politically-themed documentaries to audiences in Hong Kong in recent months have become engulfed in bitter controversy.

A screening of a documentary on the 2019 protests was canceled at the last minute this year after a pro-Beijing newspaper said the film encouraged subversion. The University of Hong Kong urged his student union to cancel the screening of a film about an imprisoned activist.

The screening went as planned. But a few months later the university said he would stop collecting dues on behalf of the organization and stop managing its finances as punishment for its “radical acts”.

Mainland China has long limited the number of films made outside of China that can be shown in local theaters. But Hong Kong has operated pretty much like any other movie market in the world, with theater operators booking anything that could sell tickets.

The city’s expanded censorship could therefore take a small but significant bite from Hollywood’s overseas box office returns.

Warner Bros.’s supervillain movie “Joker,” from 2019, has not been cleared in cinemas in mainland China, for example. But he raised more than $ 7 million in Hong Kong, according to entertainment industry database IMDBpro.

China has become more important to Hollywood in recent years because it is one of the few countries where cinema thrives. Ticket sales in the United States and Canada, which are the world’s largest cinema market, stagnated between 2016 and 2019, at $ 11.4 billion, according to the Motion Picture Association. During this period, ticket sales in China increased 41% to reach $ 9.3 billion.

As a result, US studios have stepped up their efforts to work within the Chinese censorship system.

Last year, PEN America, the free speech advocacy group, hollywood frames for having deliberately censored films to appease China, with “content, casting, plot, dialogue and settings” adapted “to avoid upsetting Chinese officials.” In some cases, PEN said, the studios have “invited Chinese government censors directly to their film sets to advise them on how to avoid tripping the censor’s wires.”

Brooks barnes contributed to Los Angeles reporting.

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Florida bans critical teaching of racial theory, but most central Florida school districts don’t teach it Thu, 10 Jun 2021 22:55:33 +0000

ORLANDO, Florida – A new Florida Board of Education ban on critical teaching of racial theory throughout the state will not impact the Central Florida classroom curriculum as school district officials say they didn’t teach it initially.

Amid the death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement, discussions about race in America have taken place in many areas of public life. Classrooms have long been a battleground, and lawmakers in Republican-led states have decided to restrict what can be taught about the country’s sometimes tumultuous history.

At least 16 states are considering or have signed bills that would limit the way schools frame American history.

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Critical Race Theory is a theoretical perspective and a practice for examining the role of race and racism in society, according to Dr. Jonathan Cox, race scholar and assistant professor of sociology at the University of Central Florida.

Spokesmen for school systems in Lake, Marion Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties said critical race theory was not part of the curriculum in social studies or civics education.

Assistant media relations director Lorena Arias, of Orange County Public Schools, said teachers instructed with standards provided by the Florida Department of Education.

Marion County Public Schools also teach by Florida standards and have not changed their social studies curriculum in recent years, according to a district spokesperson.

“Currently, Seminole County public schools do not have a formal, district-based curriculum related to Black Lives Matter, Critical Race Theory or Social Justice. Our courses and programs are aligned with Florida standards and the required subjects of instruction listed in Florida Statute 1003.42According to an email from Seminole County Public Schools.

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The Ministry of Education is still in the process of finalizing the new course material to BEST standards for the 2021-22 school year, which have yet to be released pending approval. These standards will include “foundational concepts” in social studies, social science and civics education courses.

The Board of Education on Thursday approved Gov. Ron DeSantis’ request to restrict how American history should be taught in Florida public schools, but it’s unclear how many schools actually taught the so-called critical theory of race to begin with because the DOE sets education standards for public schools.

News 6 WJXT partner reports the original rule change proposal did not specifically mention “critical race theory”, but the wording was added in an amendment proposed by board member Tom Grady.

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The rule change prohibits teachers from attempting: “… to indoctrinate or persuade students of a particular point of view. “

“Some of these things are, I think, really toxic,” DeSantis told the school board before the approval. “I think it’s going to cause a lot of divisions. I think this will make people see themselves more as a member of a particular race based on skin color, rather than their character content and hard work and what they try. to accomplish in life. “

Critics say a national Conservative effort to limit what is taught in schools risks politicizing classroom instruction by limiting views allowed in classroom discussions.

Brevard Teachers’ Federation vice-president Vanessa L. Skipper said in a statement to News 6 that the Education Council is focusing “on solving a problem that doesn’t exist” instead. to provide the necessary funding to public schools.

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“Whether we are black or white, Latino or Asian, native or newcomer, we want our students to have an education that encourages them to deepen who we are, where we come from and what we are capable of being. But the same lawmakers who blocked funding for our classrooms are now trying to turn our communities against our schools, ”Skipper wrote in an email. “They are spreading lies about the lessons about our history, culture and political system that our teachers teach based on the standards that the State of Florida has given us in the hopes of dividing us so that we do not unite. to demand whatever our schools need. Our teachers come from a wide variety of political backgrounds, and whether they are Republicans, Democrats, or somewhere in between, our teachers work hard every day to encourage students to become critical thinkers. Our students have no R&D after their names on our lists, and politicizing education by accusing Florida teachers of indoctrination is extremely disappointing.

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The Florida Education Association previously called on the board to reject the proposal.

“Students deserve the best education we can offer, which means giving them a true picture of their world and our shared history as Americans. Hiding the facts doesn’t change them. Give kids the whole truth and empower them to form their own minds and think for themselves, ”Florida Education Association president Andrew Spar said in a statement earlier this week.

Wendy Doromal, president of the Orange County Classroom Teachers Association, released a statement saying, “Governor DeSantis had his political agenda and ambitions in mind when pushing for a new rule to be passed that would prevent teachers to indoctrinate children and limit what they can teach. The rule attempts to whitewash and erase the uncomfortable parts of American history. Students deserve to receive a true and thorough education. To claim that certain events never happened simply distorts the truth and prevents people from learning from the mistakes of the past. “

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved.

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“Creative destruction” and why it stimulates innovation and prosperity Thu, 10 Jun 2021 04:00:43 +0000

A person born in 1600 would find the world of 1800 quite familiar. But someone born in 1800 would find today’s world beyond comprehension. What explains this transformation? The answer is: market capitalism.

Why has market capitalism turned out to be so dynamic? The answer is, it contains within it a powerful engine for change. It’s not just economic freedom, although that matters. It’s not science and technology either, although that matters too. This is what the great Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter called “creative destruction”.

Philippe Aghion, professor at the Collège de France and at the London School of Economics, has had a brilliant career in bringing Schumpeter’s model into the rigorous theoretical and empirical world of modern economics. In this important work, written with two collaborators, Céline Antonin and Simon Bunel, he introduces his work to the general public.

The result, The power of creative destruction, is lucid, empirically grounded, broad and well argued. It is also rather dry. But it gives a nice overview of the field. As the authors explain, the model of growth by creative destruction has three components.

First, “innovation and the diffusion of knowledge are at the heart of the growth process”. Growth is cumulative, as today’s innovators rest on the shoulders of all the scientists and technologists who came before them.

Second, innovators are motivated by the possibility of a lucrative monopoly. These rents must be protected by property rights, including intellectual property rights.

Finally, innovation threatens the incumbent operators, who will fight to repress it. Thus, “On the one hand, rents are necessary to reward innovation; on the other hand, yesterday’s innovators should not use their rents to hinder new innovations. Again, assessing today’s debate on why growth has consistently disappointed, the authors argue that a competition policy that protects entrants from incumbent firms is essential.

The book reports a great deal of empirical research, most of it recent, that shows how creative destruction works in practice. It shows, for example, that new businesses create a large part of new jobs. A lot of those businesses and those jobs disappear. But the more intense this Darwinian process, the faster the economy grows.

The authors also note the distinction between “catch-up” economies, such as China, and border economies, such as the United States. In the first case, growth is more about investing in existing ways of doing things. But border economies can only grow by innovating. If the incumbents are allowed to block competitors, a border economy is doomed to stagnate.

Graph showing the share of total electricity generated by major energy sources in the US manufacturing sector (%)

Regarding the well-known “middle income” trap, the book argues that the main failure of these countries is to create the institutions that foster cutting-edge innovation. He also argues that under the current circumstances, in which sophisticated services can be technologically dynamic and marketed internationally, it might be possible to develop without industrializing, as India has done.

Innovation also depends on the trajectory: incumbent companies build on what they know, while new entrants are ready to start from scratch. If governments are to ensure rapid innovation in new directions, they must motivate new actors who are not trapped by past successes.

This is why the emergence of new industrial sectors almost always means the emergence of new companies. For this reason, a necessary condition for creative destruction is a financial system capable and willing to invest in new ventures. The book explains how the United States benefits from a skilled venture capital industry, which knows how to nurture start-up companies, and a large base of institutional investors, who will support these companies as they grow. .

The authors also argue that the impact of creative destruction is complex. Additional competition boosts innovation and productivity in pioneering firms, but kills weaker ones. New fortunes tend to increase higher incomes, compounding this aspect of inequality. But, they note, this is far better than the higher inequality created by lobbying to thwart competitors.

On the great environmental challenges of our time, the authors insist that “degrowth” (a popular cause nowadays) is practically and politically impractical. We can only innovate to get out of our dilemmas. But the right kind of innovation won’t happen without the guidance of incentives, regulation, public spending, and pressure from civil society.

Globalization is another delicate issue. The book concludes that protection is not the right answer to increased competition from imports. The best answer is to support innovation and thus promote new and dynamic companies over older and uncompetitive ones. Yet the political acceptability of this depends on the existence of a safety net that is not tied to specific jobs.

More broadly, there is no compromise between creative destruction and basic security for the population. On the contrary, people will be more willing to accept the first if they like the second. The Danish model of ‘flexicurity’ is, they suggest, the best approach.

Fundamentally, the success of creative destruction depends on the existence of an efficient, uncorrupted, law-ruled, and competitive state. This is only possible in a constitutional democracy, with an active civil society, independent institutions and free media.

Graph showing research productivity and the number of researchers in the pharmaceutical sector (index, 1970 = 1)

Such a state plays a central role as a macroeconomic stabilizer, a funder of basic science, a promoter of applied research and development, an investor in risky new technologies, a financier of education and social insurance, and a promoter of free competition.

It is, in short, a subtle analysis of what has made capitalism such an incomparably successful, but also disruptive, economic system. The success of the system depends on striking a balance not only between competitive economics and social stability, but also between letting capitalism tear itself apart and protecting it from predatory capitalists.

Schumpeter himself feared that capitalism would perish. So far, he seems to have been wrong. Another possibility is that democracy will die, because plutocracy allies itself with demagoguery. Either way, the civilizations of contemporary high-income democracies would perish. By promoting better understanding, this book could, with wisdom and luck, help us avoid this fate.

The power of creative destruction: Economic upheavals and the wealth of nations, by Philippe Aghion, Céline Antonin and Simon Bunel, translated by Jodie Cohen-Tanugi, Belknap Press, RRP $ 35 / £ 28.95 / € 31.50, 400 pages

Martin Loup is the chief economic commentator of the FT

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Here’s what you need to know if you want to become a nurse Wed, 09 Jun 2021 12:18:00 +0000

Through Marie anne isaac 27 months ago

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Durban – The pandemic has highlighted the value of our healthcare workers and the important role they play in our country’s healthcare system.

Nursing is a vital profession, and in South Africa, public and private medical facilities are in dire need of more nurses. More nurses would mean more efficient, better managed and quality care in all medical institutions.

If you want to pursue a career in nursing, you will need immense dedication to learning, care, patience, and thick skin. Nurses are the backbone of the medical fraternity, and without them, surgeries would take longer, doctors in hospitals would be overwhelmed, and patients would not be treated on time. Whether in a large hospital or a small clinic, everyone needs a nurse.

The medical fraternity needs nurses who are passionate about people and want to care for the healthy sick – nothing less would make someone miserable and bad at their job.

If you are passionate about it and meet the soft skills requirements, all you have to do is choose the right subjects in school and complete your postgraduate studies.

A matrix pass is important if you are applying for an entry level nursing course and requires a pass greater than 50% in academic subjects such as life sciences (biology), English, mathematics (pure or literacy) and the direction of life.

Once you have obtained your qualification, you must register with the SANC (South Africa Nursing Council).

The Fundi Connect careers website states that in order to become a nurse you have four options. These are:

  • A four-year bachelor’s degree in nursing;
  • A one-year advanced certificate in practical nursing;
  • One year advanced diploma in nursing and midwifery in addition to your diploma.

Higher Certificate in Licensed Practical Nursing

A one-year qualification that aims to equip you with the skills you will need to provide basic nursing care to people while working under the supervision of a registered nurse with a national diploma or degree. After obtaining your higher certificate, you will be able to register as a registered nursing assistant.

This course will teach you how to apply your knowledge of basic nursing theory, practice, and how to assess, plan, implement and evaluate basic nursing care for individuals and groups.

Diploma in Nursing

This is a three-year course that consists of practical and theoretical work. Once completed you are able to work as a registered nurse and during this course you will cover similar work as you would cover as part of the Bcur degree. The course is shorter than a BCur and you will learn how to provide nursing care, apply your knowledge in nursing practice, diagnose and treat minor illnesses, and provide reproductive health care.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BCur)

This diploma includes both a compulsory practical clinical training component and a theoretical component. Once you have completed a BCur or the equivalent, you can enroll in SANC. La Bcur generally prepares you in four specific areas:

  • General nursing care (working in hospitals and doctor’s offices);
  • Midwife (care of mothers and babies).

This course will have a practical component and you will learn how to do the type of practical work that you will need when you become a nurse. The theoretical component includes what it is like to be a nurse and studies in medical, biological and natural sciences, psychological and social sciences, and pharmacology. This will provide you with vital medical knowledge.

Graduate Diploma in Nursing

This course helps you specialize as a nurse, midwife or midwife, and is designed to strengthen and deepen your nursing and midwifery knowledge. This is a 12 month course and can only be completed after obtaining a nursing diploma or diploma.

This course is primarily academic, and the qualification will also come in handy if you want to pursue a career in nursing management. This is the postgraduate course for someone with a nursing degree who will need to complete to work as a nurse-nurse in South African hospitals.

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Effectively activate bacteria to produce high-value chemicals Tue, 08 Jun 2021 19:03:40 +0000

PICTURE: Computer-designed genetic switch diagram showing that when adding an inducer, chemical production is always on (top left). This switch can enable more scalable and sustainable production … After

Credit: University of Warwick

– Most high-value chemicals are currently produced from fossil fuels – industrial chemical use of petroleum accounts for 14% of all greenhouse gas emissions.
– An interesting alternative is to design bacteria as “cell factories” with a genetic switch that hijacks their chemistry to produce high-value chemicals, such as biofuels, polymers and pharmaceuticals.
– Using expensive chemicals to activate them drastically limits their commercial potential, researchers used mathematical models to develop a new genetic switch that can use a cheap natural nutrient to permanently activate production – dramatically reducing that cost .
– It brings closer the achievement of a sustainable and economically viable industrial scale production of high-value chemicals from cheap raw materials, for a greener and cleaner future.

High-value chemicals used in biofuels and pharmaceuticals can be made from bacteria by changing their chemistry to produce new products. Researchers at the University of Warwick have found a way to significantly reduce the cost of activating these switches.

We use chemicals for almost everything from food preservatives to pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, and even biofuels. Many of them are petrochemical derivatives and their synthesis is therefore not sustainable. It is therefore essential to seek alternative ways to manufacture chemicals, on an industrial scale, in a sustainable and inexpensive manner – paving the way for a greener and cleaner future.

Bacteria can be thought of as nature’s microchemical factories, and many researchers are trying to figure out how their complex network of chemical reactions can be rewired to convert cheap raw materials like glucose into chemicals useful for our use. The use of genetic switches to redirect the chemistry of bacteria is an exciting development in the field of synthetic biology.

Typically, genetic switches are turned on by adding a chemical called an inducer. However, inductors are expensive and often need to be added continuously to avoid turning off, such as a “light switch with a spring” that turns off when you let go. This makes this switching approach expensive and therefore the scaling up of industrial production is economically impractical.

In the article “Design of an irreversible metabolic switch for an evolutionary induction of microbial chemical production”, published in the journal Nature Communication, researchers at the School of Engineering at the University of Warwick have found an inexpensive way to switch bacteria into chemical production mode.

Led by Dr Ahmad A. Mannan and Professor Declan G. Bates of the Warwick Center for Integrative Synthetic Biology at the School of Engineering, new theoretical research has examined how E. coli that respond to cheap natural nutrients like oleic acid can be harnessed to create switches. Using mathematical models and the engineering principles of feedback control loops, commonly used in flight control systems, they discovered how to design a genetic switch in bacteria that suppresses the feedback “spring” so that the addition of a single pulse of an inexpensive natural nutrient can change the cell to chemical production mode constantly – significantly reducing costs.

Dr Ahmad Mannan, from the Warwick Center for Integrative Synthetic Biology at the School of Engineering, comments: “The ability to permanently switch bacteria into chemical production mode is a big step forward in achieving a economically viable scale of chemical production from microbes. be widely applicable to many industrially relevant microbes and for the synthesis of almost all chemicals – a versatile component in the synthetic biology toolkit. The next steps in our research would be to uncover the principles to understand where in the chemical roadmap to apply this “traffic light” and perhaps consider working with industry where it could be easily incorporated into existing fermentation processes. . “

Professor Declan Bates, of the Warwick Center for Integrative Synthetic Biology at the School of Engineering, adds: “Using state-of-the-art synthetic biology techniques, our work set the framework for the construction of the proposed irreversible switch in the laboratory. chemical industries manufacture high-value chemicals, this also contributes to a broader view of how humans can move away from reliance on non-renewable resources, to enable the sustainable synthesis of biochemicals, for a greener and cleaner future. ”



JUNE 8, 2021

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Jewish Day Schools Should Not Teach Critical Race Theory as Established Dogma Mon, 07 Jun 2021 21:08:34 +0000

When about 10 years ago I ran a pro-Israel organization that educated and trained high school and college students, I often heard a refrain from Jewish students, especially those who had gone to Jewish day schools, alleging that they had been lied to by the Jewish community about Israel. They were introduced to the “Disneyland” version of the Jewish state, a magical kingdom that could do no wrong. Once these students got to college and heard alternative opinions, they felt cheated. Some have joined protest groups like “IfNotNow”.

Most Jewish day schools became more nuanced over time and began to teach varied Zionist thinkers, competing narratives, and diverse perspectives. But the damage was already done.

You would think that Jewish day schools would have learned their lesson not to instill dogma in their students. Indeed, many pride themselves on imparting critical thinking skills. But I hear that many Jewish schools, like so many other educational institutions, teach a unique perspective on social issues. They were swept away by “The Great Awakening”, teaching on race and racism with all the nuances of my Zionist Youth Director’s enthusiastic endorsement of Menachem Begin’s peace policies. Like many public and private schools, they adopted Critical Race Theory (CRT) not as one of many theoretical lenses through which to see the world, but as the only true path.

CRT is a cadre who claims that racial oppression is ingrained in the very structures of American society and is often invisible to the ruling class. Supporters of the CRT generally view America as a white supremacist society and racism as the only legitimate explanation for the disparity between the groups. TRC is, of course, a perfectly valid way of analyzing social issues. A hallmark of applied CRT, however, is its insistence on its own unchallenged and inviolable truth. And following the murder of George Floyd by police last year in Minneapolis, many educators acceded to the request for unconditional acceptance.

The Heschel School, for example, one of the nation’s first pluralist Jewish day schools in New York City, appears to adopt a CRT framework. “We will learn from all our attempts to strengthen an anti-racist position in our agenda and our community and, true to the teachings of Rabbi Heschel, to embrace the imperative to take responsibility for systemic racism and injustice, as well as our roles in perpetuating these systems of inequality, ”say school administrators.

I don’t question the school values. Jewish day schools should teach Jewish children to be respectful and tolerant, to oppose racism and prejudice, and to work for a just and equitable society. But How? ‘Or’ What they make it count. The “anti-racist” language suggests that the school considers these values ​​through the prism of Ibrahim X. Kendi How to be anti-racist, a staple of the modern cathode ray tube. If, as the school asserts, there is “systemic racism” in America, to what extent does systemic racism exist and where it manifests itself are matters of notice, not an expression of values. These are questions that should be discussed and debated, not answers that should be promulgated and instilled. How would teachers view a student who argues that systemic racism is exaggerated? Would they regard the student’s arguments as a legitimate inquiry or would they lecture him on heresy? Does Heschel teach systemic racism as truths or theories? The language they use suggests the first.

The mission of Jewish day schools should be to teach students how to think, not what to think. I’m sure Heschel and other day schools see themselves doing just that. But the school’s anti-racist statement suggests otherwise, at least in the realm of the most important social problem of our time.

How many anti-racism Jewish day school programs examine the various assumptions of the CRT and offer competing theoretical approaches, such as the role of economics, culture, and past oppression in explaining disparities?

How many schools assign students to read How to be anti-racist also assign them the reading of a black heterodox thinker such as John McWhorter? I will be pleasantly surprised if this is the case. Books like How to be anti-racist and Robin DiAngelo White fragility are often treated more like sacred texts than books.

Is this really the only way Jewish schools can teach racial equality? The obvious answer is no.

New Trier Township High School, a magnetic school in the Chicago area, expresses very clearly its commitment to a diverse educational approach. He unequivocally states that “a fundamental aspect of our mission is to develop critical thinkers capable of navigating a complex world through civil discourse, respectful inquiry, engaged listening and open consideration of multiple perspectives… exchange. open to ideas is at the heart of a democratic system. a society in which people are responsible for their actions and treat each other with dignity, compassion and respect.

Jewish day schools should not be less dedicated to critical thinking and diversity of viewpoints. All Jewish day school parents should insist that their children have access to a full range of perspectives. Every day school director should express the value of the diversity of points of view explicitly in the declaration of the school in Trier. Every day, teachers should teach several perspectives, not just about Israel and Zionism, but about race and racism, gender and sexuality.

In today’s polarized environment, riddled with fake news and manipulation, if there was ever a time to double down on teaching critical thinking skills without dogma, it is now.

David Bernstein is the founder of the Jewish Institute for Liberal Values ​​( Follow him on Twitter @DavidLBernstein.

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“The Disordered Cosmos” reveals how dark matter and social justice connect Sun, 06 Jun 2021 14:00:25 +0000

Chanda Prescod Weinstein, a theoretical physicist at the University of New Hampshire, believes everyone has a right to know the universe. But sometimes there are obstacles that prevent you from having a good view of the cosmos.

“The first step is to realize that, in fact, we don’t all have access to the same dark night sky,” Prescod-Weinstein said. Reverse. “Those of us who live in areas where the air is very polluted – the version of the night sky that we see is very confusing and not representative of what exists.”

Polluted skies are predominant in poor or marginalized areas, where the right to clean air is an afterthought. As the heavens inform us of our origin history and our place in the universe today, such disparities make it difficult for many to access.

In his first book, The messy cosmos, Prescod-Weinstein goes beyond the depths of space, exploring humanity’s place in the universe while advocating fairness and diversity in the realm that governs the study of the surrounding universe.

The book mixes the mystery of dark matter with the own experience of Prescod-Weinstein who grew up in east Los Angeles with an unwavering curiosity for the mathematics of the universe.

“Even though we are not the center of the universe, because indeed the universe has no center, we are the reason we care about the universe at all.”provided by Chanda Prescod-Weinstein

“If you pick up a popular science book written by a scientist, you’ll find it’s all about telling our stories,” Prescod-Weinstein says. “I happen to have a different perspective on the aspects of our life that are shaped by science and how we have shaped science.”

How? ‘Or’ What The messy cosmos arrived at

As a child, his passion for astrophysics was ignited by a documentary by Stephen Hawking directed by Errol Morris, A brief history of time, which she watched when she was 10 years old.

“I was cool, you can get paid to do math that explains the universe all day,” Prescod-Weinstein says. “It seemed like a really good job if you were to have a job. “

Growing up, Prescod-Weinstein questioned incidents of racism and sexism she would observe whether at school or against her single mother.

Thinking about the universe has become a sort of escape from the harsher reality of Earth and has helped her come to what she says is her book’s main message: freedom.

“Because of the white-skinned privilege, many whites believe they experienced America as a democracy, not a colonial state ruled by racism,” Prescod-Weinstein writes in his book.

“I start off by talking about wanting black children to have this special positive relationship with darkness and also this ability to access the dark night sky, and the wonders and beauty of thinking about the world through the lens of particle physics. and cosmology, “Prescod- says Weinstein. “I think every chapter of the book relates in some way or another to this mission, which is freedom.”

In her book, she explains that she is a descendant of indigenous Africans forcibly evicted from their lands as a result of Western colonization. This fuels his quest to find out where we as humans belong in the universe.

“I don’t know and probably will never know for sure which Indigenous communities my ancestors came from, so the question of location remains a delicate one for me,” she writes in her book.

Entrance to the academy

Prescod-Weinstein’s interest in the universe led her to enter a field predominantly dominated by white male colleagues. She started out as an undergraduate physics student at Harvard before earning her masters at the University of California at Santa Cruz and her doctorate. at the University of Waterloo in Ontario.

When she graduated from Waterloo in 2011, she became one of less than 100 black American women to earn a doctorate. of a physics department. She would eventually work as a member of MIT and NASA Goddard and research associate at the University of Washington before her post at the University of New Hampshire.

Even though she thought she could separate her curiosity from the universe and the intimidating reality of racism, Prescod-Weinstein would soon learn that racism and sexism were very present when she discovered the universe in an academic setting – not just from leaving. of their own experiences, but to hear those of others.

This is why his exploration of the cosmos is intimately linked to a fight for social justice in his field. Prescod-Weinstein, an advocate for equality in science, received the 2017 Recognition Award of Excellence for LGBT + Physicists for his efforts to change the culture of physics to be more inclusive of marginalized people.

But Prescod-Weinstein does not want to be confined to the role of the activist because his passion for the universe persists.

“One of the challenges I am currently facing is reminding my colleagues that just because I am really good at explaining racism and sexism in science does not mean that I am not also an expert on dark matter.” , said Prescod. Weinstein said.

“His beautiful but it’s also really weird.

Prescod-Weinstein is often invited to lecture on racism and sexism in science, but admits that these often fuel the main problem.

“It’s funny because people are like, yeah, I want to talk about diversity and inclusion, let’s invite Chanda to give a talk,” she said. “But one of your diversity issues is that when you are introduced to a black scientist, instead of giving her the opportunity to talk about science, you invite her to talk about diversity and inclusion.”

But to deal with these situations, Prescod-Weinstein found a useful solution: “Part of it is feeling comfortable being a bitch,” she says. This involves turning down invitations to conferences and educating people on how to properly deal with these issues.

Towards the end of her book, Prescod-Weinstein discusses the importance of including black feminists in the field of physics. She wants to be able to benefit from science without being weighed down by the problems of racism and sexism.

“I want people to see why I’m excited about this,” she says. “I think there’s this kind of belief in the community that the public can never understand science the way we understand science, so we have to find these ways to bring them into science.”

But Prescod-Weinstein believes that at some level scientists need to be confident that they can just show the public what science means to them. She describes her book as a tour of how her brain thinks about science.

One of the most important lessons she has learned from observing the universe is humility.

Prescod-Weinstein gives the example of the Standard Model of particle physics, a theory that describes three of the four forces known in nature: gravity, electromagnetic force, weak nuclear force, and strong nuclear force.

“It’s beautiful, but it’s also very weird,” she said. “I think it’s such a reminder that we don’t know what’s to come, and we should always be ready for something different and be comfortable being uncomfortable.”

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How Maharashtra plans to open up Sat, 05 Jun 2021 19:24:20 +0000


  • The district authorities, after having disaggregated the parameters – positivity rate and occupancy of oxygen beds – for the administrative units of its jurisdiction, will decide on the level of restrictions to be imposed.
  • In the case of Mumbai and its suburbs, for which BMC is the disaster management authority, the civic body will decide the level of unlocking.
  • In districts like Thane, Pune, Nashik, Nagpur, and Solapur with more than one municipal corporation, the district disaster management authority should work with the corporations to decide the level of unlocking.


Areas with less than 5% positivity rate and 25% oxygen bed occupancy.

Ahmednagar, Aurangabad, Chandrapur, Dhule, Gondia, Jalgaon, Jalna, Latur, Nagpur, Nanded, Osmanabad and Yavatmal.


  • Stores and shopping centers are functioning normally.
  • Restaurants, local trains and operational parks.
  • Private and government offices, sports, shooting, weddings, funerals, construction, agriculture, gymnasiums, salons, buses, authorized inter-neighborhood transport.


Areas with a positivity rate less than 5%, oxygen bed occupancy of 25 to 40%.

Hingoli and Nandurbar.


  • All shops are open, normal hours.
  • Shopping malls and theaters, gymnasiums and lounges will operate at 50% of their capacity.
  • Restaurants will operate at 50% of their catering capacity.
  • Trains for the specified categories.
  • Parks, private and government offices open.
  • 50% limit on gatherings, no limit on funerals.
  • No standing passengers in the buses, inter-district travel is allowed.


Areas with a positivity rate of 5 to 10%, occupancy of oxygen beds greater than 40%.

Mumbai, Akola, Amravati, Beed and Palghar.


  • No movement after 5 p.m.
  • Stores open until 4 p.m., shopping centers, theaters closed.
  • Restaurants can operate at 50% of their catering capacity until 4:00 p.m.
  • Local trains for employees of essential services.
  • Private offices open until 4 p.m., 50% presence of government offices.
  • Shooting of films in bio bubble.
  • Social gatherings at 50% participation, up to 50 people at weddings, 20 at funerals.
  • Lounges and gymnasiums can operate at 50% of their capacity.
  • In public transport, no standing authorized.


Areas with a positivity rate of 10 to 20%, oxygen bed occupancy greater than 60%.

Kolhapur, Satara and Sindhudurg.


  • No movement after 5 p.m., no movement on weekends except emergencies.
  • The essential shops open until 4 p.m.
  • Shopping centers, closed theaters, restaurants can do take out.
  • Local trains for the essential services category.
  • Exemption category authorized in private offices, government offices can operate at 25% of their capacity.
  • Social gatherings are not allowed, weddings with no more than 25 people, 20 for funerals.
  • Lounges and gymnasiums, public transport to operate at 50% of their capacity.


Areas with a positivity rate greater than 20%, oxygen bed occupancy greater than 75%. This category is theoretical for the moment.


  • No movement at all.
  • Shops essential to operate until 4 p.m., no pharmacy borders.
  • Restaurants open for deliveries.
  • Trains reserved for medical personnel.
  • Private offices for exempt categories, government offices can operate with a 15% stake.
  • Weddings can be attended by family members, funerals by 20 people.
  • Public transport at 50% of their capacity.

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Nuclear clocks could surpass atomic clocks as the most accurate watches Fri, 04 Jun 2021 19:48:08 +0000

Nuclear clocks could be the GOAT: the largest of all watches.

If physicists could build them, nuclear clocks would be a whole new type of clock, which would tell time based on the physics of the core of atoms. Today’s most accurate clocks, called atomic clocks, rely on the behavior of the electrons in atoms. But a clock based on atomic nuclei could achieve 10 times the accuracy of these atomic clocks, the researchers estimate.

Better clocks could improve the technologies that depend on them, like gps navigation, physicist Peter Thirolf said on June 3 at an online meeting of the Division of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics of the American Physical Society. But “it’s not just about timing. Unlike the electrons of atoms, atomic nuclei are subject to strong nuclear force, which holds protons and neutrons together. “A nuclear clock sees another part of the world,” said Thirolf, of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München in Germany. This means that nuclear clocks could allow new tests of fundamental ideas in physics, including whether supposedly immutable numbers in physics known as fundamental constants are, in fact, constant.

Atomic clocks keep track of time using the energy jumps of the electrons in atoms. According to quantum physics, electrons in atoms can only carry certain amounts of energy, at specific energy levels. To move the electrons of an atom from one energy level to another, the atoms in an atomic clock must be struck with laser light of the correct frequency. This frequency – the rate of oscillation of the electromagnetic waves of light – serves as a very precise timekeeper.

Like electrons in an atom, protons and neutrons in atomic nuclei also occupy discrete energy levels. Nuclear clocks are said to be based on jumps between these levels of nuclear energy, rather than those of electrons. In particular, the nuclei are resistant to the effects of parasitic electric or magnetic fields which can hamper atomic clocks. As a result, nuclear clocks “would be more stable and more precise,” explains theoretical physicist Adriana Pálffy of Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg in Germany.

But there is a problem. To keep track of time with nuclei, scientists must be able to trigger the jump between nuclear energy levels with a laser. “Nuclear levels are not normally accessible with lasers,” theoretical physicist Marianna Safronova of the University of Delaware said at a June 2 conference at the meeting. For most nuclei, this would require light of more energy than the proper lasers can reach. Fortunately there is only one exception in all known nuclei, said Safronova, “a bizarre thing of nature”. A variety of thorium called thorium-229 has a pair of energy levels close enough in energy that a laser could potentially trigger the jump.

Recent measurements have made it possible to locate more precisely the energy of this jump, a crucial step towards the construction of a thorium nuclear clock. Thirolf and his colleagues estimated energy by measuring the electrons emitted when the nucleus jumps between the two levels, as shown in Nature in 2019. And in an article from 2020 in Physical examination letters, physicist Andreas Fleischmann and his colleagues measured other energy jumps that the thorium nucleus can make, subtracting them from deduce energy from nuclear clock jump.

microscope image of detectors
An array of highly sensitive detectors (shown in a false-color scanning electron microscope image) measured the energy of light emitted when thorium-229 atoms jumped between energy levels. These measurements allowed Andreas Fleischmann and his colleagues to estimate the jump energy that physicists want to use to make a nuclear clock.Matthäus Krantz

The teams agree that the jump is just over 8 electron volts of energy. This energy corresponds to ultraviolet light in a range for which triggering the jump with a laser is possible, but at the limit of the capabilities of scientists.

Now that physicists know the size of the energy jump, they aim to trigger it with lasers. At the meeting, physicist Chuankun Zhang of the JILA Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, reported efforts to use a frequency comb (NS: 10/05/18) – a method of creating an array of discrete frequencies of laser light – to initiate the jump and measure your energy even better. “If it’s successful, we can directly build a nuclear-based optical clock from it,” he said at the meeting. Thirolf’s team is also working with frequency combs, aiming for a functional nuclear clock within the next five years.

Meanwhile, Pálffy plans to use what is called an “electronic bridge”. Rather than using a laser to directly initiate an energy jump through the nucleus, the laser would first excite the electrons, which transfer energy to the nucleus, Pálffy reported at the meeting.

Nuclear clocks could allow researchers to design new tests to determine whether fundamental constants in nature vary over time. For example, some studies have suggested that the fine structure constant, a number that defines the strength of electromagnetic interactions, might change (NS: 11/2/16). “This nuclear clock is a perfect system to look for the variation of fundamental constants, ”said Victor Flambaum of the University of New South Wales in Sydney at the meeting. The devices could also test a foundation of Einstein’s general theory of relativity called the equivalence principle (NS: 12/04/17). Or they could search for dark matter, elusive, undetected particles that physicists believe make up most of the matter in the universe, which could change the ticking of the clock.

The potential of nuclear clocks is so promising that for Fleischmann, of the University of Heidelberg in Germany, it only took a moment to resolve the dilemma of how scientists could build a nuclear clock, he says. It was “from the first second clear that this is an issue to be worked on”.

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What are the limits on public borrowing? Fri, 04 Jun 2021 02:04:12 +0000

TIT SCALE of Joe Biden’s plans is hard to overstate. Where the former boss of US President Barack Obama quickly turned to reducing deficits after the ordeal of the global financial crisis, Mr Biden’s first budget, which he unveiled on May 28, will borrow shameless. The plans assume that annual budget deficits will exceed 4% of the GDP until the end of the decade; net public debt will rise to 117% GDP in 2030 against 110% today. Generosity raises two big questions. One is whether, on top of past stimulus packages, this will contribute to overheating the US economy in the near term. The other important question is whether, in the longer term, America can prudently afford to loosen the purse strings for an extended period of time. As the crisis hit and interest rates fell, politicians felt more able to take on debt than in the past. But the question of whether and when borrowing limits might apply remains. Recent research highlights these constraints.

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In a new working paper, Atif Mian of Princeton University, Ludwig Straub of Harvard University and Amir Sufi of the University of Chicago attempt to assess the leeway of governments. Their analysis (which does not incorporate the effects of the pandemic) draws on recent work that estimates how the “convenience yield” on government bonds – or the amount by which the yield on a bond is reduced because of the security and liquidity benefits it offers to investors – varies depending on the size of the debt burden. All other things being equal, the greater the volume of bonds in circulation, the higher the return demanded by investors. The work of Arvind Krishnamurthy of Stanford and Annette Vissing-Jorgensen of the University of California at Berkeley suggests, for example, that a 10% increase in the debt / GDP pushes government bond yields up 0.13 to 0.17 percentage points. (In practice, of course, other factors are not always equal: the long-term effect of increased bond supply on safety and liquidity premiums may be offset by other factors, such as a short-term surge in asset demand instability, leading to lower bond yields amid growing leverage.)

Because the supply of bonds is large, write Mian and his co-authors, too low a level of public debt can lead to an interest rate tending towards zero. But the rates cannot go much further below zero; this results in a narrower room for maneuver for central banks to stimulate activity, and therefore lower economic growth and higher unemployment. Debt sustainability issues are often associated with high debt levels, which push the interest rate above the rate of economic growth. When this condition is met, the debt burden increases steadily, even in the absence of new borrowing. But the authors point to the theoretical possibility of another source of fiscal sustainability problems: when too low a debt level leads to significant deflation, pushing the growth rate into negative territory and below the interest rate.

Between these two extremes, say the researchers, is a “Goldilocks zone” in which a tax-free lunch is possible. They flesh out a point made in 2019 by Olivier Blanchard of the Peterson Institute for International Economics: when the interest rate on public debt is lower than the rate of growth of the economy, the burden of existing debt has virtually no cost. budgetary. In such cases, existing debt will decrease in proportion to output even if no new taxes are levied, although a government that continues to run deficits may nonetheless increase its debt. Assuming a balanced budget and based on estimates of the convenience yield of Treasuries, the authors estimate that the US Goldilocks Zone – the maximum level of debt you could reach and then stabilize without raising taxes – could extend up to about 260% of GDP. (The uncertainty surrounding their estimates means that the limit could be between 230% and 300% of GDP.)

There is also a range of debt through which governments can run deficits in perpetuity without increasing the debt burden. America, they estimate, could run a deficit of 2.1% of GDP as long as its debt is less than 130% of GDP (beyond this threshold, the largest deficit that could be managed in a sustained manner without increasing the debt burden falls steadily towards zero).

This logic suggests that while oversized deficits may be appropriate now, America cannot handle them forever. This would lead to increased debt, potentially outside the Goldilocks zone and into riskier territory. And the longer America waits to reduce its deficit to the maximum sustainable level, the closer that level will be to surplus (or further into surplus). Mr. Biden can be reassured that his borrowing is manageable at the moment. Even so, it could potentially limit America’s tax freedom.

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It is important to note that a Goldilocks window is not fixed. A slowdown in economic growth could reduce the safety zone by narrowing the gap between growth and interest rates, unless an economic slowdown also causes interest rates to drop sharply, bringing them closer to zero and in need of fiscal stimulus. Rising inequalities can lead to calls for redistribution, but as the rich tend to buy government bonds in disproportionate numbers, leveling the income distribution can reduce the possibilities of a free meal plan. tax. It also means, the authors note, that efforts to close large deficits through progressive taxes may not bear much fruit: taxes on high incomes will accumulate money that could be used to buy obligations.

Analyzes like these attempt to understand circumstances outside of historical experience and are necessarily accompanied by great uncertainties and assumptions. Politicians in charge of budgeting also have uncertainties to deal with and should do so with caution. Public borrowing plays a leading role in today’s macroeconomic trend. Some kind of balance is always needed, between making good use of the state’s borrowing capacity and recognizing that the limits of public borrowing are not so far off that they can be completely ignored.

This article appeared in the Finance and Economics section of the print edition under the title “Rythme tes dettes”

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