Signaling such recent activist and aesthetic concepts in the work of Kara Walker, Childish Gambino, BLM, Janelle Monáe, and Kendrick Lamar, and marking the exit of the Obama Administration and the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, this anthology explores the role of African American arts in shaping the future, and further informing new directions we might take in honoring and protecting the success of African Americans in the U.S. The essays in African American Arts: Activism, Aesthetics, and Futurity engage readers in critical conversations by activists, scholars, and artists reflecting on national and transnational legacies of African American activism as an element of artistic practice, particularly as they concern artistic expression and race relations, and the intersections of creative processes with economic, sociological, and psychological inequalities. Scholars from the fields of communication, theater, queer studies, media studies, performance studies, dance, visual arts, and fashion design, to name a few, collectively ask: What are the connections between African American arts, the work of social justice, and creative processes? If we conceive the arts as critical to the legacy of Black activism in the United States, how can we use that construct to inform our understanding of the complicated intersections of African American activism and aesthetics? How might we as scholars and creative thinkers further employ the arts to envision and shape a verdant society?
Contributors: Carrie Mae Weems, Carmen Gillespie, Rikki Byrd, Amber Lauren Johnson, Doria E. Charlson, Florencia V. Cornet, Daniel McNeil, Lucy Caplan, Genevieve Hyacinthe, Sammantha McCalla, Nettrice R. Gaskins, Abby Dobson, J. Michael Kinsey, Shondrika Moss-Bouldin, Julie B. Johnson, Sharrell D. Luckett, Jasmine Eileen Coles, Tawnya Pettiford-Wates, Rickerby Hinds.
Published by Bucknell University Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.
Civil wars, corporate exploitation, AIDS, and Ebola—but also democracy, burgeoning cities, and unprecedented communication and mobility: the future of Africa has never been more uncertain. Indeed, that future is one of the most complex issues in contemporary anthropology, as evidenced by the incredible wealth of ideas offered in this landmark volume. A consortium comprised of some of the most important scholars of Africa today, this book surveys an intellectual landscape of opposed perspectives in order to think within the contradictions that characterize this central question: Where is Africa headed?
The experts in this book address Africa’s future as it is embedded within various social and cultural forms emerging on the continent today: the reconfiguration of the urban, the efflorescence of signs and wonders and gospels of prosperity, the assorted techniques of legality and illegality, lotteries and Ponzi schemes, apocalyptic visions, a yearning for exile, and many other phenomena. Bringing together social, political, religious, and economic viewpoints, the book reveals not one but multiple prospects for the future of Africa. In doing so, it offers a pathbreaking model of pluralistic and open-ended thinking and a powerful tool for addressing the vexing uncertainties that underlie so many futures around the world.
The production, distribution, and perception of moving images are undergoing a radical transformation. Ever-faster computers, digital technology, and microelectronic are joining forces to produce advanced audiovision -the media vanishing point of the 20th century. Very little will remain unchanged.
The classic institutions for the mediation of film - cinema and television - are revealed to be no more than interludes in the broader history of the audiovisual media. This book interprets these changes not simply as a cultural loss but also as a challenge: the new audiovisions have to be confronted squarely to make strategic intervention possible.
Audiovisions provides a historical underpinning for this active approach. Spanning 100 years, from the end of the 19th to the end of the 20th century, it reconstructs the complex genesis of cinema and television as historically relative - and thus finite - cultural forms, focussing on the dynamics and tension in the interaction between the apparatus and its uses. The book is also a plea for "staying power" in studies of cultural technology and technological culture of film.
Essayistic in style, it dispenses with complicated cross references and, instead, is structured around distinct historical phases. Montages of images and text provide supplemental information, contrast, and comment.
Automating technologies threaten to usher in a workless future, but John Danaher argues that this can be a good thing. A world without work may be a kind of utopia, free of the misery of the job and full of opportunities for creativity and exploration. If we play our cards right, automation could be the path to idealized forms of human flourishing.
The inability of forecasters to predict accurately the 1990-1991 recession emphasizes the need for better ways for charting the course of the economy. In this volume, leading economists examine forecasting techniques developed over the past ten years, compare their performance to traditional econometric models, and discuss new methods for forecasting and time series analysis.
This volume presents the most complete collection available of the work of Victor Zarnowitz, a leader in the study of business cycles, growth, inflation, and forecasting..
With characteristic insight, Zarnowitz examines theories of the business cycle, including Keynesian and monetary theories and more recent rational expectation and real business cycle theories. He also measures trends and cycles in economic activity; evaluates the performance of leading indicators and their composite measures; surveys forecasting tools and performance of business and academic economists; discusses historical changes in the nature and sources of business cycles; and analyzes how successfully forecasting firms and economists predict such key economic variables as interest rates and inflation.
Many books offer information about the world’s most populous country, but few make sense of what is truly at stake. Thirty of the world’s leading China experts—affiliates of Harvard’s renowned Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies—answer key questions about where this new superpower is headed and what makes its people and their leaders tick.
In this unique and innovative contribution to environmental security, an international team of scholars explore and estimate the intermediate-term security risks that climate change may pose for the United States, its allies and partners, and for regional and global order through the year 2030. In profiles of forty-two key countries and regions, each contributor considers the problems that climate change will pose for existing institutions and practices. By focusing on the conduct of individual states or groups of nations, the results add new precision to our understanding of the way environmental stress may be translated into political, social, economic, and military challenges in the future.
Countries and regions covered in the book include China, Vietnam, The Philippines, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Central Asia, the European Union, the Persian Gulf, Egypt, Turkey, the Maghreb, West Africa, Southern Africa, the Northern Andes, and Brazil.
During the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, coloniality emerged as a new structure of power as Europeans colonized the Americas and built on the ideas of Western civilization and modernity as the endpoints of historical time and Europe as the center of the world. Walter D. Mignolo argues that coloniality is the darker side of Western modernity, a complex matrix of power that has been created and controlled by Western men and institutions from the Renaissance, when it was driven by Christian theology, through the late twentieth century and the dictates of neoliberalism. This cycle of coloniality is coming to an end. Two main forces are challenging Western leadership in the early twenty-first century. One of these, “dewesternization,” is an irreversible shift to the East in struggles over knowledge, economics, and politics. The second force is “decoloniality.” Mignolo explains that decoloniality requires delinking from the colonial matrix of power underlying Western modernity to imagine and build global futures in which human beings and the natural world are no longer exploited in the relentless quest for wealth accumulation.
John G. Cragg and Burton G. Malkiel collected detailed forecasts of professional investors concerning the growth of 175 companies and use this information to examine the impact of such forecasts on the market evaluations of the companies and to test and extend traditional models of how stock market values are determined.
Will the future be one of economic expansion, greater tolerance, liberating inventions, and longer, happier lives? Or do we face economic stagnation, declining quality of life, and a technologically enhanced totalitarianism worse than any yet seen? The Fabulous Future? America and the World in 2040 draws its inspiration from a more optimistic time, and tome, The Fabulous Future: America in 1980, in which Fortune magazine celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary by publishing the predictions of thought leaders of its time.
In the present volume, the world’s leading specialists from diverse fields project developments in their areas of expertise, from religion and the media to the environment and nanotechnology. Will we be happier, and what exactly does happiness have to do with our economic future? Where is higher education heading and how should it develop? And what is the future of prediction itself? These exciting essays provoke sharper questions, reflect unexpectedly on one another, and testify to our present anxieties about the surprising world to come.
Dr. Harold Koenig was recently interviewed by Newsweek (November 10, 2003) about his book Spirituality in Patient Care (Templeton Foundation Press) and his research in the area of religion and health. He has become the international voice on the subjects of spirituality, health, and aging. In this book he is joined by two other experts on aging and human development. They present a compelling look at one of the most serious issues in today’s society: health care in America.
How will we provide quality healthcare to older adults who will need it during the next thirty to fifty years? Who will provide this care? How will it be funded? How can we establish systems of care now to be in place as demographic and health-related economic pressures mount?
Alongside the sobering reality of the challenges our country faces, there are reasons for optimism. Innovative programs created and maintained by volunteers and religious congregations are emerging as pivotal factors in meeting health care needs. Summarizing decades of scientific research and providing numerous inspirational examples and role models, the authors present practical steps that individuals and institutions may emulate for putting faith into action.
Researchers developed two scenarios to envision the future of mobility in China in 2030. Economic growth, the presence of constraints on vehicle ownership and driving, and environmental conditions differentiate the scenarios. By making potential long-term mobility futures more vivid, the team sought to help decisionmakers at different levels of government and in the private sector better anticipate and prepare for change.
The Futures of American Studies
Donald E. Pease and Robyn Wiegman, eds. Duke University Press, 2002 Library of Congress E175.8.F88 2002 | Dewey Decimal 973.071
Originating as a proponent of U.S. exceptionalism during the Cold War, American Studies has now reinvented itself, vigorously critiquing various kinds of critical hegemony and launching innovative interdisciplinary endeavors. The Futures of American Studies considers the field today and provides important deliberations on what it might yet become. Essays by both prominent and emerging scholars provide theoretically engaging analyses of the postnational impulse of current scholarship, the field's historical relationship to social movements, the status of theory, the state of higher education in the United States, and the impact of ethnic and gender studies on area studies. They also investigate the influence of poststructuralism, postcolonial studies, sexuality studies, and cultural studies on U.S. nationalist—and antinationalist—discourses. No single overriding paradigm dominates the anthology. Instead, the articles enter into a lively and challenging dialogue with one another. A major assessment of the state of the field, The Futures of American Studies is necessary reading for American Studies scholars.
Contributors. Lindon Barrett, Nancy Bentley, Gillian Brown, Russ Castronovo, Eric Cheyfitz, Michael Denning, Winfried Fluck, Carl Gutierrez-Jones, Dana Heller, Amy Kaplan, Paul Lauter, Günter H. Lenz, George Lipsitz, Lisa Lowe, Walter Benn Michaels, José Estaban Muñoz, Dana D. Nelson, Ricardo L. Ortiz, Janice Radway, John Carlos Rowe, William V. Spanos
This book shows how to predict wars. More specifically, it tells us how to anticipate in a timely fashion the scope and extent of interstate conflict. By focusing on how all governments--democratic or not--seek to secure public support before undertaking risky moves such as starting a war, Getting to War provides a methodology for identifying a regime's intention to launch a conflict well in advance of the actual initiation.
The goal here is the identification of leading indicators of war. Getting to War develops such a leading political indicator by a systematic examination of the ways in which governments influence domestic and international information flows. Regardless of the relative openness of the media system in question, we can accurately gauge the underlying intentions of those governments by a systematic analysis of opinion-leading articles in the mass media. This analysis allows us to predict both the likelihood of conflict and what form of conflict--military or diplomatic/economic--will occur.
Theoretically, this book builds on a forty-year-old insight by Karl Deutsch--that all governments seek to mobilize public opinion through mass media and that careful analysis of such domestic media activity could provide an "early warning network" of international conflict. By showing how to tap the link between conflict initiation and public support, this book provides both a useful tool for understanding crisis behavior as well as new theoretical insights on how domestic politics help drive foreign policy.
Getting to War will be of interest to political scientists who study international disputes and national security as well as social scientists interested in media studies and political communication. General readers with an interest in military or diplomatic history--particularly U.S. history--will find that Getting to War provides an entirely new perspective on how to understand wars and international crises.
W. Ben Hunt is Assistant Professor of Politics, New York University
The optimism that arrived at the end of the cold war and marked the turn of the Millennium was shattered by September 11. In the aftermath of that event it is not unwarranted pessimism that lines the pages of Grave New World, it is unavoidable reality. Terrorism is but one aspect of many other wider concerns for national and international security, and the contributors to this volume not only warn us, but reward us as well with the clarity of their views into—and possible solutions for—a difficult, complicated future. They speak convincingly of the numerous military and non-military challenges that create security problems—whether those are interstate, intrastate, or transnational—many of which are being dangerously overlooked in public policy debates.
The challenges and complexities might seem insurmountable but the first step in solving problems is recognizing that they exist. Grave New World provides an eye-opening assessment of the prospects for peace and security in the 21st century.
Michael E. Brown frames these issues in his Introduction, "Security Challenges in the 21st Century;" and in his summation, "Security Problems and Security Policy in a Grave New World."
From the cliffs of Big Sur to the dunes at Cape Hatteras, from the bogs of the Boundary Waters to the deserts of the Rio Grande, the landscape of America has shaped us into the people we are. Not only is it central to ecological health and essential to the economy, it has helped form our culture and serves as a basis of national pride. The heart of America lies in the rock and soil, the mountains and the plains that surround us.In this illuminating portrait of America at the threshold of the new millennium, author Tim Palmer explores and assesses the landscape of the United States -- both timeless wonders of natural beauty and lost places scarred by human exploitation. He takes the reader on an informative and inspirational tour of our most vital landscapes, including mountains, forests, grasslands, deserts, rivers, lakes, wetlands, and seashores. He introduces us to the basic geography and ecological value of each landscape, describes historical patterns of land use, considers the most serious threats, and discusses what is being done to protect the landscape for future generations. Throughout, he instills a deeper understanding of the importance of the land, a sense of outrage at the damage that has been done, and a feeling of hope that those working to correct past abuses will succeed.Weaving together geographical, historical, and ecological information and insights, Palmer draws on thirty years of professional experience as a writer, photographer, conservationist, planner, landscape architect, and veteran traveler to present a fresh look at the past, present, and future of our land.Resounding in its account of these landscapes, compelling in the force of its information and the hope of its timely message, The Heart of America offers a fascinating measure of the land around us and a unique look at the place we call home.
Histories of the Future
Daniel Rosenberg and Susan Harding, eds. Duke University Press, 2005 Library of Congress CB158.H57 2005 | Dewey Decimal 303.49
We live in a world saturated by futures. Our lives are constructed around ideas and images about the future that are as full and as flawed as our understandings of the past. This book is a conceptual toolkit for thinking about the forms and functions that the future takes. Exploring links between panic and nostalgia, waiting and utopia, technology and messianism, prophecy and trauma, it brings together critical meditations on the social, cultural, and intellectual forces that create narratives and practices of the future. The prognosticators, speculators, prophets, and visionaries have their say here, but the emphasis is on small narratives and forgotten conjunctures, on the connections between expectation and experience in everyday life.
In tightly linked studies, the contributors excavate forgotten and emergent futures of art, religion, technology, economics, and politics. They trace hidden histories of science fiction, futurism, and millennialism and break down barriers between far-flung cultural spheres. From the boardrooms of Silicon Valley to the forests of Java and from the literary salons of Tokyo to the roadside cafés of the Nevada desert, the authors stitch together the disparate images and stories of futures past and present. Histories of the Future is further punctuated by three interludes: a thought-provoking game that invites players to fashion future narratives of their own, a metafiction by renowned novelist Jonathan Lethem, and a remarkable graphic research tool: a timeline of timelines.
Contributors. Sasha Archibald, Susan Harding, Jamer Hunt, Pamela Jackson, Susan Lepselter, Jonathan Lethem, Joseph Masco, Christopher Newfield, Elizabeth Pollman, Vicente Rafael, Daniel Rosenberg, Miryam Sas, Kathleen Stewart, Anna Tsing
In the spirit of great utopian writing that dares to hope for a better world, Imagining America in 2033 takes place in a fictional yet achievable future America---a time when progressive, liberal ideals inform politics and citizens alike.
At the heart of Herbert J. Gans's utopian narrative is the vision of progress with fairness on which the best of American idealism has been built. Part utopia, part realism, Imagining America in 2033 is also a liberal's dream of life after Bush and a set of progressive yet practical guidelines for restoring sanity and intelligence to nearly every aspect of public and political life post-Bush.
Herbert J. Gans, one of the most influential and prolific sociologists and social commentators of our time, achieves a realistic utopia set mostly in the second and third decades of the century. In Gans's imagined future, elected officials, policymakers, activists, and citizens have transformed America into a much more humane and effective democracy. The book features three Democratic presidents; the major new domestic, foreign, and social policies their administrations pursue; and the political battles they fight.
Gans provides chapters on an exhaustive list of social, political, and economic policy issues: jobs; war; tax reform; global warming; economic, racial, gender, and religious equality; family policies; the creation of affordable housing and energy saving communities; education reform; and more. While hopeful and idealistic, many of Gans's proposals---such as the concept of the nurse-doctor, in which nurses increasingly take on tasks previously handled only by medical doctors within a framework of national health care---are ideas innovative enough that they should be taken seriously by actual policymakers.
Imagining America in 2033 is lively and accessible, with an appeal for general readers, policy hounds, and the politically savvy alike.
Herbert J. Gans is Robert S. Lynd Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Columbia University.
Social Security is now the federal government's largest, and probably its most popular, program. It has performed well and grown hugely over the twentieth century, with the trust fund that pays benefits generally being kept financially solvent and paying people a decent return on their contributions.
But all of that could change, with the slowdown in fertility, longer life expectancies, and slower economic growth expected for the twenty-first century. Now it looks as though a continuation of the present system will entail progressively higher payroll tax rates and progressively lower rates of return on people's contributions, especially for younger Americans.
Edward M. Gramlich, who chaired the Social Security Advisory Council that concluded its two-and-a- half-year investigation in January 1997, believes there is just one way to preserve the main social protections of Social Security while still restoring its financial affordability. This approach involves moving to more advanced funding of future benefit costs.Gramlich argues for a sensible way to bring about such a change, by combining modest curbs on the future growth of benefits with mandatory saving accounts on top of Social Security. The combination cuts the future growth in pension spending, restores the finances of the trust fund, and makes Social Security benefits affordable to the nation as a whole.
The book also reviews some prominent Social Security-type program reform efforts also underway in other parts of the world. It shows how the type of Social Security reform suggested above compares favorably to the reforms now being undertaken in countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, and Chile.
Written in an accessible and engaging style, the book is a must-read for all people who wish to be well informed about Social Security reform, the outcome of which will affect all U.S. citizens, how we view and save for our future, and how we will live once we retire.
"Social security is one of the most talked about economic and social policy issues of the decade. Almost everybody knows something about it, but few of us know what should be done to keep it solvent and sufficient. In plain language, Gramlich lays out the issues and explains the options. Is It Time to Reform Social Security? will be an informative guide for the concerned public and a valued reference for responsible policy makers." --Lana Pollack, President of the Michigan Environmental Council and former Michigan State Representative
". . . a clear, concise, nontechnical overview of Social Security and its future funding problems by a very knowledgeable and well-respected analyst. Gramlich discusses a wide range of reform options, drawn from both home and abroad. His own proposal, to 'mend it rather than end it,' is an attractive compromise between those who prefer as little reform as possible, and thos who want to change fundamentally a system that has worked well for sixty years." --Joseph Quinn, Boston College
Edward M. Gramlich is Professor of Economics and Dean of the School of Public Policy, University of Michigan.
In the decades after the Civil War, the world experienced monumental changes in industry, trade, and governance. As Americans faced this uncertain future, public debate sprang up over the accuracy and value of predictions, asking whether it was possible to look into the future with any degree of certainty. In Looking Forward, Jamie L. Pietruska uncovers a culture of prediction in the modern era, where forecasts became commonplace as crop forecasters, “weather prophets,” business forecasters, utopian novelists, and fortune-tellers produced and sold their visions of the future. Private and government forecasters competed for authority—as well as for an audience—and a single prediction could make or break a forecaster’s reputation.
Pietruska argues that this late nineteenth-century quest for future certainty had an especially ironic consequence: it led Americans to accept uncertainty as an inescapable part of both forecasting and twentieth-century economic and cultural life. Drawing together histories of science, technology, capitalism, environment, and culture, Looking Forward explores how forecasts functioned as new forms of knowledge and risk management tools that sometimes mitigated, but at other times exacerbated, the very uncertainties they were designed to conquer. Ultimately Pietruska shows how Americans came to understand the future itself as predictable, yet still uncertain.
The concept of “the city” —as well as “the state” and “the nation state” —is passé, agree contributors to this insightful book. The new scale for considering economic strength and growth opportunities is “the megaregion,” a network of metropolitan centers and their surrounding areas that are spatially and functionally linked through environmental, economic, and infrastructure interactions.
Recently a great deal of attention has been focused on the emergence of the European Union and on European spatial planning, which has boosted the region’s competitiveness. Megaregions applies these emerging concepts in an American context. It addresses critical questions for our future: What are the spatial implications of local, regional, national, and global trends within the context of sustainability, economic competitiveness, and social equity? How can we address housing, transportation, and infrastructure needs in growing megaregions? How can we develop and implement the policy changes necessary to make viable, livable megaregions?
By the year 2050, megaregions will contain two-thirds of the U.S. population. Given the projected growth of the U.S. population and the accompanying geographic changes, this forward-looking book argues that U.S. planners and policymakers must examine and implement the megaregion as a new and appropriate framework.
Contributors, all of whom are leaders in their academic and professional specialties, address the most critical issues confronting the U.S. over the next fifty years. At the same time, they examine ways in which the idea of megaregions might help address our concerns about equity, the economy, and the environment. Together, these essays define the theoretical, analytical, and operational underpinnings of a new structure that could respond to the anticipated upheavals in U.S. population and living patterns.
The past decade has been characterized by remarkable advances in meteorological observation, computing techniques, and data-visualization technology. However, the benefit of these advances can only be fully realized with the introduction of a systematic, applied approach to meteorological education that allows well-established theoretical concepts to be applied to modernized observational and numerical datasets.
This textbook links theoretical concepts to modern technology and facilitates the meaningful application of concepts, theories, and techniques using real data. As such, it will both serve those planning careers in meteorological research and weather prediction, and provide a template for the application of modern technology in a classroom and laboratory setting.
Synoptic-dynamic meteorology, synoptically driven mesoscale phenomena, weather forecasting, and numerical weather prediction are covered in depth in this text, which is intended for undergraduates and beginning graduate students in the atmospheric sciences.
Trends have become a commodity—an element of culture in their own right and the very currency of our cultural life. Consumer culture relies on a new class of professionals who explain trends, predict trends, and in profound ways even manufacture trends. On Trend delves into one of the most powerful forces in global consumer culture. From forecasting to cool hunting to design thinking, the work done by trend professionals influences how we live, work, play, shop, and learn. Devon Powers' provocative insights open up how the business of the future kindles exciting opportunity even as its practices raise questions about an economy increasingly built on nonstop disruption and innovation. Merging industry history with vivid portraits of today's trend visionaries, Powers reveals how trends took over, what it means for cultural change, and the price all of us pay to see—and live—the future.
In recent years, the concept of “peak oil”—the moment when global oil production peaks and a train of economic, social, and political catastrophes accompany its subsequent decline—has captured the imagination of a surprisingly large number of Americans, ordinary citizens as well as scholars, and created a quiet, yet intense underground movement.
In Peak Oil, Matthew Schneider-Mayerson takes readers deep inside the world of “peakists,” showing how their hopes and fears about the postcarbon future led them to prepare for the social breakdown they foresee—all of which are fervently discussed and debated via websites, online forums, videos, and novels. By exploring the worldview of peakists, and the unexpected way that the fear of peak oil and climate change transformed many members of this left-leaning group into survivalists, Schneider-Mayerson builds a larger analysis of the rise of libertarianism, the role of oil in modern life, the political impact of digital technologies, the racial and gender dynamics of post-apocalyptic fantasies, and the social organization of environmental denial.
Thirty years ago, our global energy landscape did not look remarkably different from what it does today. Three or four decades from now, it certainly will: dwindling oil reserves will clash with skyrocketing demand, as developing nations around the world lead their citizens into the modern energy economy, and all the while, the grave threat of catastrophic climate change looms ever larger. Energy worries are at an all-time high—just how will we power our future?
With The Powers That Be, Scott L. Montgomery cuts through the hype, alarmism, and confusion to give us a straightforward, informed account of where we are now, and a map of where we’re going. Starting with the inescapable fact of our current dependence on fossil fuels—which supply 80% of all our energy needs today—Montgomery clearly and carefully lays out the many alternative energy options available, ranging from the familiar, like water and solar, to such nascent but promising sources as hydrogen and geothermal power. What is crucial, Montgomery explains, is understanding that our future will depend not on some single, wondrous breakthrough; instead, we should focus on developing a more diverse, adaptable energy future, one that draws on a variety of sources—and is thus less vulnerable to disruption or failure.
An admirably evenhanded and always realistic guide, Montgomery enables readers to understand the implications of energy funding, research, and politics at a global scale. At the same time, he doesn’t neglect the ultimate connection between those decisions and the average citizen flipping a light switch or sliding behind the wheel of a car, making The Powers That Be indispensible for our ever-more energy conscious age.
The idea that predictive science can simplify the decision-making process by creating a clearer picture of the future is deeply appealing in principle, but deeply problematic in practice.
Prediction offers a fascinating and wide-ranging look at the interdependent scientific, political, and social factors involved in using science-based predictions to guide policy making. Through ten detailed case studies, it explores society's efforts to generate reliable scientific information about complex natural systems and to use that information in making sound policy decisions. The book:
provides an overview of predictive science from historical, scientific, political, and behavioral perspectives offers case studies of the use and misuse of scientific predictions on subjects ranging from asteroids to nuclear waste disposal
proposes a practical analytical framework for the use of predictive science in setting policy
recommends actions and policies that can increase the likelihood of effective decisions
Contributors include Clark Chapman, Charles Herrick, William H. Hooke, Orrin Pilkey, Steve Rayner, Naomi Oreskes, Daniel Metlay, Stanley Changnon, Donald Gautier, Robert Moran, Joanne Nigg, and Thomas Stewart.
Prediction is the first book to look at the numerous and varied scientific, social, and political factors involved in making and using predictions relevant to a wide range of current environmental controversies and challenges. It provides much-needed context for understanding predictions and scientific pronouncements, and is an important work for anyone concerned with interactions between science and policy making.
The essays in this collection, written by some of the leading scholars in Popular Culture Studies, turn the page on the new millennium to see what are the directions of approach and the opportunities to be gained in recognition of the compelling need for studies in everyday cultures.
This book employs a careful, rigorous, yet lively approach to the timely question of whether we can justly generalize about members of a group on the basis of statistical tendencies of that group. For instance, should a military academy exclude women because, on average, women are more sensitive to hazing than men? Should airlines force all pilots to retire at age sixty, even though most pilots at that age have excellent vision? Can all pit bulls be banned because of the aggressive characteristics of the breed? And, most controversially, should government and law enforcement use racial and ethnic profiling as a tool to fight crime and terrorism?
Frederick Schauer strives to analyze and resolve these prickly questions. When the law "thinks like an actuary"--makes decisions about groups based on averages--the public benefit can be enormous. On the other hand, profiling and stereotyping may lead to injustice. And many stereotypes are self-fulfilling, while others are simply spurious. How, then, can we decide which stereotypes are accurate, which are distortions, which can be applied fairly, and which will result in unfair stigmatization?
These decisions must rely not only on statistical and empirical accuracy, but also on morality. Even statistically sound generalizations may sometimes have to yield to the demands of justice. But broad judgments are not always or even usually immoral, and we should not always dismiss them because of an instinctive aversion to stereotypes. As Schauer argues, there is good profiling and bad profiling. If we can effectively determine which is which, we stand to gain, not lose, a measure of justice.
The Religion of the Future
Roberto Mangabeira Unger Harvard University Press, 2014 Library of Congress BL51.U645 2014 | Dewey Decimal 200
How can we live in such a way that we die only once? How can we organize a society that gives us a better chance to be fully alive? How can we reinvent religion so that it liberates us instead of consoling us? These questions stand at the center of The Religion of the Future--a book about religion and a religious work in its own right.
In the past ten years, we have seen great changes in the ways government organizations and media respond to and report on emerging global epidemics. The first outbreak to garner such attention was SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome). In Rhetoric of a Global Epidemic, Huiling Ding uses SARS to explore how various cultures and communities made sense of the epidemic and communicated about it. She also investigates the way knowledge production and legitimation operate in global epidemics, the roles that professionals and professional communicators, as well as individual citizens, play in the communication process, points of contention within these processes, and possible entry points for ethical and civic intervention.
Focusing on the rhetorical interactions among the World Health Organization, the United States, China, and Canada, Rhetoric of a Global Epidemic investigates official communication and community grassroots risk tactics employed during the SARS outbreak. It consists of four historical cases, which examine the transcultural risk communication about SARS in different geopolitical regions at different stages. The first two cases deal with risk communication practices at the early stage of the SARS epidemic when it originated in southern China. The last two cases move to transcultural rhetorical networks surrounding SARS.
With such threats as SARS, avian flu, and swine flu capturing the public imagination and prompting transnational public health preparedness efforts, the need for a rhetoric of global epidemics has never been greater. Government leaders, public health officials, health care professionals, journalists, and activists can learn how to more effectively craft and manage transcultural risk communication from Ding’s examination of the complex and varied modes of communication around SARS. In addition to offering a detailed case study, Rhetoric of a Global Epidemic provides a critical methodology that professional communicators can use in their investigations of epidemics and details approaches to facilitating more open, participatory risk communication at all levels.
2016 CCCC Best Book Award in Technical and Scientific Communication
This collection of sixteen essays on the history of science in America ranges chronologically from the early nineteenth century to the present. The essays reflect the ever-broadening scope of the discipline: from the pursuit of science in elite academic, industrial, and governmental settings to science at home and in the movies. Such timely issues as women and science, the ethics of science, and the bomb are examined.
Contributions include Sally Gregory Kohlstedt, "Parlors, Primers, and Public Schooling: Education for Science in Nineteenth-Century America;" Margaret Rossiter, "'Women's Work' in Science, 1880-1910;" Philip J. Pauly, "The Development of High School Biology: New York City, 1900-1925;" Susan E. Lederer, "Political Animals: The Shaping of Biomedical Research Literature in Twentieth-Century America;" Stanley Goldberg, "Inventing a Climate of Opinion: Vannevar Bush and the Decision to Build the Bomb;" Daniel J. Kevles, "The National Science Foundation and the Debate over Postwar Research Policy, 1942-1945: A Political Interpretation of Science: The Endless Frontier;" David A. Hollinger, "Science as a Weapon in Kulturkämpfe in the United States During and After World War II;" and others.
These essays originally were published in Isis, a publication of the History of Science Society.
A Stanislaw Lem Reader
Peter Swirski Northwestern University Press, 1997 Library of Congress PG7158.L392A35 1997 | Dewey Decimal 891.8537
This collection assembles in-depth and insightful writings by and about, and interviews with, one of the most fascinating writers of the twentieth century. Anyone interested in Lem's provocative and uncompromising view of literature's role in the contemporary cultural environment, and in Lem's opinions about his own fiction, about the relation of literature to science and technology, and the dead ends of contemporary culture, will be fascinated by this eclectic collection.
For the first time in half a century, real transformative innovations are coming to our world of passenger transportation. The convergence of new shared mobility services with automated and electric vehicles promises to significantly reshape our lives and communities for the better—or for the worse.
The dream scenario could bring huge public and private benefits, including more transportation choices, greater affordability and accessibility, and healthier, more livable cities, along with reduced greenhouse gas emissions. The nightmare scenario could bring more urban sprawl, energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, and unhealthy cities and individuals.
In Three Revolutions, transportation expert Dan Sperling, along with seven other leaders in the field, share research–based insights on potential public benefits and impacts of the three transportation revolutions. They describe innovative ideas and partnerships, and explore the role government policy can play in steering the new transportation paradigm toward the public interest—toward our dream scenario of social equity, environmental sustainability, and urban livability.
Many factors will influence these revolutions—including the willingness of travelers to share rides and eschew car ownership; continuing reductions in battery, fuel cell, and automation costs; and the adaptiveness of companies. But one of the most important factors is policy.
Three Revolutions offers policy recommendations and provides insight and knowledge that could lead to wiser choices by all. With this book, Sperling and his collaborators hope to steer these revolutions toward the public interest and a better quality of life for everyone.
China’s rising status in the global economy alongside recent economic stagnation in Europe and the United States has led to considerable speculation that we are in the early stages of a transition in power relations. Commentators have tended to treat this transitional period as a novelty, but history is in fact replete with such systemic transitions—sometimes with perilous results. Can we predict the future by using the past? And, if so, what might history teach us?
With Transition Scenarios, David P. Rapkin and William R. Thompson identify some predictors for power transitions and take readers through possible scenarios for future relations between China and the United States. Each scenario is embedded within a particular theoretical framework, inviting readers to consider the assumptions underlying it. Despite recent interest in the topic, the probability and timing of a power transition—and the processes that might bring it about—remain woefully unclear. Rapkin and Thompson’s use of the theoretical tools of international relations to crucial transitions in history helps clarify the current situation and also sheds light on possible future scenarios.
In the middle of the Mojave Desert, Las Vegas casinos use billions of gallons of water for fountains, pirate lagoons, wave machines, and indoor canals. Meanwhile, the town of Orme, Tennessee, must truck in water from Alabama because it has literally run out.
Robert Glennon captures the irony—and tragedy—of America’s water crisis in a book that is both frightening and wickedly comical. From manufactured snow for tourists in Atlanta to trillions of gallons of water flushed down the toilet each year, Unquenchable reveals the heady extravagances and everyday inefficiencies that are sucking the nation dry.
The looming catastrophe remains hidden as government diverts supplies from one area to another to keep water flowing from the tap. But sooner rather than later, the shell game has to end. And when it does, shortages will threaten not only the environment, but every aspect of American life: we face shuttered power plants and jobless workers, decimated fi sheries and contaminated drinking water.
We can’t engineer our way out of the problem, either with traditional fixes or zany schemes to tow icebergs from Alaska. In fact, new demands for water, particularly the enormous supply needed for ethanol and energy production, will only worsen the crisis. America must make hard choices—and Glennon’s answers are fittingly provocative. He proposes market-based solutions that value water as both a commodity and a fundamental human right.
One truth runs throughout Unquenchable: only when we recognize water’s worth will we begin to conserve it.
Looking to the 2030–2040 time frame, U.S. policy and military strategy will need to strike a balance among maintaining a cooperative relationship with China, deterring Chinese aggression in regional disputes, and preparing for the possibility that China could become more assertive. The U.S. Army will have an important role to play in preparing for these developments and for protecting and furthering U.S. interests in the region.
In courts across the country, judges depend on mental health experts to determine whether mentally disordered people are dangerous. But experts' ability to predict violence is severely limited, and they are wrong as often as they are right. This study reviews two decades of research on mental disorder and offers new empirical and theoretical work that will pave the way for more accurate predictions of violent behavior.
"Essential for all those who are interested in the study of risk assessment of violence. It is particularly important for the researcher in this area. . . . For the clinician who must make violence assessments it is important reading as well."—Stewart Levine, Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law
Just as people schedule regular check-ups with physicians, our planet needs regular check-ups to catch issues as early as possible, before they become more serious and harder to heal. That is the much-needed service provided on a global scale by the Worldwatch Institute in this new book, Vital Signs 2012.
By taking stock of global consumption, Vital Signs 2012 offers the facts that need to guide our stewardship of the Earth's resources-and some of these facts are shocking. The report covers topics from obesity to ecosystem services, from grain production to nuclear power. Taken as a whole, it paints a picture of skyrocketing population, disappearing forests, and increasing consumption peppered with bright spots like growing investment in high-speed trains and other efficient transportation systems.
Vital Signs 2012 is based on Worldwatch's online project of the same name, which provides up-to-date figures on important global concerns, as well as the Institute's own additional research. The book compiles the most important of these into an accessible, informative resource for policymakers and anyone who wants a realistic look at the state of our planet.
In the event of a Sino-U.S. war, intense conventional counterforce attacks could inflict heavy losses and costs on both sides, so leaders need options to contain and terminate fighting. As it takes steps to reduce the likelihood of war with China, the United States must prepare for one by reducing force vulnerabilities, increasing counter–anti-access and area-denial capabilities, and using economic and international effects to its advantage.
For better or worse, museums are changing from forbidding bastions of rare art into audience-friendly institutions that often specialize in “blockbuster” exhibitions designed to draw crowds. But in the midst of this sea change, one largely unanswered question stands out: “What makes a great exhibition?” Some of the world’s leading curators and art historians try to answer this question here, as they examine the elements of a museum exhibition from every angle.
What Makes a Great Exhibition? investigates the challenges facing American and European contemporary art in particular, exploring such issues as group exhibitions, video and craft, and the ways that architecture influences the nature of the exhibitions under its roof. The distinguished contributors address diverse topics, including Studio Museum in Harlem director Thelma Golden’s examination of ethnically-focused exhibitions; and Robert Storr, director of the 2007 Venice Biennale and formerly of the Museum of Modern Art, on the meaning of “exhibition and “exhibitionmaker.”
A thought-provoking volume on the practice of curatorial work and the mission of modern museums, What Makes A Great Exhibition? will be indispensable reading for all art professionals and scholars working today.
In Which World?, scientist Allen Hammond imaginatively probes the consequences of present social, economic, and environmental trends to construct three possible worlds that could await us in the twenty-first century: Market World, in which economic and human progress is driven by the liberating power of free markets and human initiative; Fortress World, in which unattended social and environmental problems diminish progress, dooming hundreds of millions of humans to lives of rising conflict and violence; and Transformed World, in which human ingenuity and compassion succeed in offering a better life, not just a wealthier one, and in seeking to extend those benefits to all of humanity.