Campus scholars' perspectives on topical issues — in conversation with you

Despite surprising Apple vulnerability, journalists should stick with iPhones

(The following post is reprinted from a post by Geoffrey King for a blog for the Committee to Protect Journalists, covered by Creative Commons.) A rare and serious vulnerability in Apple’s iOS operating system has been discovered by researchers at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab, which just published a report detailing its findings. It … Continue reading »

Trump: Roots of improvisation

From the very start of his campaign, Donald Trump’s case for his superior qualification for the presidency has rested on his vaunted deal-making ability. Here is an excerpt from a fund-raising email his campaign sent around on August 23: “I’ve built my career…by making great deals. I’m known for it — I even wrote a … Continue reading »

Following Trump’s use of language

(Note: This is a follow-up to my previous piece, Understanding Trump  at Please read that piece first.) Responsible reporters normally transcribe political speeches so that they can accurately report them.  But Donald Trump’s discourse style has stumped a number of reporters. Dan Libit, CNBC’s excellent analyst, is one of them. Libit writes: “His unscripted speaking … Continue reading »

Brazil: Zika, Chika, coup d’état

The Brazil Olympic games just ended their two-week run. Cal athletes were well represented, and on Berkeley’s campus we are celebrating Cal student Ryan Murphy’s third gold medal in Rio de Janeiro. Yet, as we cheer on one of our own and take part in the pageantry, we read about the alleged mugging of another Olympic medalist, … Continue reading »

Clusters, class, culture and unfair advantages

I just finished reading J.D. Vance’s excellent book Hillbilly Elegy, and had that funny feeling when you find the story arc of someone else’s life eerily paralleling yours. Vance’s book and the story of my own life suggest that there is an archetypal journey (a pattern of human nature) that describes the flight from a … Continue reading »