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The epistemic Wild West

Joel Sati, PhD Student, Jurisprudence and Social Policy | December 28, 2016

“Post-truth (/ˌpəʊs(t)ˈtruːθ/) adj.: Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.  2016 Word of the Year, Oxford Dictionaries “Are you real?” “Well, if you can’t tell, does it matter?” Westworld, Season 1 Episode 2: “Chestnut” I do not remember a year … Continue reading »

My annual review 2016

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics | December 23, 2016

This year wasn’t a good year in many aspects. On February 13, we lost Leorah’s mom, Hana, who was 94. She stayed with us during the last 18 months of her life and Leorah did an incredible effort to make her last few months on earth as pleasant as possible. We miss her and will … Continue reading »

Policy uncertainty discourages innovation and hurts the environment

Lucas Davis, Professor, Haas School of Business | December 19, 2016

Large-scale changes are anticipated for U.S. environmental policies heading into 2017. The new administration has promised a “comprehensive review of all federal regulations,” which include policies aimed at carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, fuel economy standards, oil and gas production, and tax credits for solar panels, wind turbines and electric cars. Exactly what form … Continue reading »

Radical for each other right now

Savala N. Trepczynski, director, Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice | December 16, 2016

If certain things about President-elect Trump remain unclear — policy positions, his taxes, his ultimate vision — one thing is certain: he has peeled back the worn-out bandage on America’s most infected wounds and summoned some of humanity’s darkest impulses. How we respond to his presence may, indeed, determine not just who we include when … Continue reading »

California: America’s egalitarian and inclusive refuge? Not so fast

Stephen Menendian, assistant director, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society | December 14, 2016

The great state of California is known for many things: its sublime national parks, stunning beaches, Hollywood and Silicon Valley, world-class public universities and dominant professional sports teams. And as the greater portion of the “left coast,” California enjoys a reputation for inclusive politics and liberal attitudes. It was the home of the anti-war movement … Continue reading »

Democrats, stop kicking yourselves

Robin Lakoff, professor emerita of linguistics | December 12, 2016

Since November 9, it has become a platitude, especially among Democrats, that their party suffered a “stunning defeat.” They did no such thing. The fact that Trump won an electoral college plurality, while Clinton is ahead by nearly 3 million in the popular vote, merely suggests that the Electoral College isn’t working any more, if … Continue reading »

To move forward, Democrats must address class and race

Ian Haney López, Earl Warren Professor of Public Law |

How can the Democratic Party best respond to Donald Trump’s election? The current debate rages around whether to unify around class or instead to build a coalition of identity groups, key among them racial minorities. We reject as fundamentally flawed the implicit assumption that class and race are incompatible bases for moving forward. Race is … Continue reading »

Stop blaming ‘populism’ for everything

Bruce Newsome, Lecturer in International Relations | December 11, 2016

The word “populism” is being used to explain almost every trend or event of 2016, including Brexit, the election of Donald Trump as America’s next President, and shifts in French, German, Italian, Dutch and Austrian politics. The term “populism” has been used interchangeably with “right-wing politics” and “nationalism.” Now the magazine Foreign Affairs is blaming autocratization on … Continue reading »

How the tech industry can lead in the Trump era

Sonia Katyal, Chancellor's Professor of Law, Berkeley Center for Law & Technology codirector | November 30, 2016

Co-authored by Simone C. Ross, co-founder and chief program officer at Techonomy. This presidential election has kicked off tempestuous debates and much soul searching about the role of technology, especially social media, in the democratic process. These questions are vital, but now it is time to look forward. The core issue is the question of … Continue reading »

What the Harvard Business Review and the People’s Daily think about leadership succession

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | November 29, 2016

I had to laugh when my post about what happens when innovative CEOs retire or die appeared in both the bastion of capitalism – the Harvard Business Review — and in the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party – The People’s Daily. Then I didn’t. A Story is just a story Why the Harvard … Continue reading »

Resistance and the rebirth of inclusion

john a. powell, director, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society | November 28, 2016

  My, our, disagreement with Trump is in fact rooted in his support for oppression against people that he and his supporters see as other, and against their denial for their humanity and their right to exist. According to systems scholar and political scientist Scott E. Page, diversity of experience and views can be a … Continue reading »

Climate change and the post-election blues

Meredith Fowlie, Associate Professor and Class of 1935 Distinguished Chair in Energy |

I am living in a very blue state. The graph below charts Google searches for “stages of grief.” The spike in grief-stricken web/soul searching corresponds with — you guessed it — the 2016 election. The map shows where, in the days following the election, these searches were happening. Not surprisingly, post-election blues show up disproportionately … Continue reading »

Mistaken for Muslim, Indian American man beaten in Pittsburg bar

Purushottama Bilimoria, visiting scholar, Institute for South Asia Studies; doctoral faculty, Graduate Theological Union | November 26, 2016

The incident reported in Indian-American media reminds me of this story I penned sometime back, from which I excerpted this blog. An itinerant Indian nationalist activist, Pandit Totaram Sanadhya, found himself in the impoverished islands of British-colonized Fiji quite by accident, being deceptively recruited in 1893 as a girmitiya, a Hindiised term for indentured “coloured” … Continue reading »

No church in the wild: the politics of the sanctuary campus

Joel Sati, PhD Student, Jurisprudence and Social Policy | November 23, 2016

“Lies on the lips of a priest/Thanksgiving disguised as a feast”   — Jay-Z and Kanye West, No Church in The Wild (from Watch the Throne) It has been two weeks since the election that saw Donald Trump elected president of the United States. And here at Berkeley, I and many undocumented scholars and activists … Continue reading »

Building a Western Union

Chris Kutz, professor of law | November 18, 2016

The voters of the West Coast spoke unequivocally on November 8th, giving Hillary Clinton 60% of the vote, with 7.5 million votes, to Donald Trump’s 4.5 million, or 35%. These voters had good reasons. A Trump presidency endangers a range of policies common to California, Oregon, and Washington. These three states are committed to ensuring … Continue reading »

Machine learning meets the lean startup

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business |

We just finished our Lean LaunchPad class at UC Berkeley’s engineering school, where many of the teams embedded machine learning technology into their products. What struck me, as I watched the teams try to find how their technology would solve real customer problems, is that machine learning is following a similar pattern of previous technical … Continue reading »

Is empathy a luxury in the age of Trump?

Jeremy Adam Smith, Editor, Greater Good Magazine | November 15, 2016

The election of Barack Obama marked the emergence of the Tea Party, a radical right-wing movement that challenged the Republican establishment and ultimately fueled the rise of Donald Trump. Where did the Tea Party come from? That’s the question renowned sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild set out to explore in her new book, Strangers in Their Own … Continue reading »

A letter to Mr. Trump: the economic case for energy, equity and climate leadership

Daniel Kammen, Class of 1935 Distinguished Professor of Energy |

Summary: The economic case for clean energy is as compelling as is the climate science. Pursuing both brings together economic advancement and political leadership. The election of Donald Trump in the United States and the installation of a team at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy who are climate change skeptics … Continue reading »