UC Berkeley Journalism professor Ken Light revisits images he captured of child laborers in America’s agricultural fields during the 1970s and 80s.
Things I have learned from my mother.
My mother died 20 years ago. We had a good relationship. I gave her flowers on every occasion possible and told her I loved her, but only now, as I get older, I realize how much she affected my attitude and my thinking. My mother was born during the First World War in Jerusalem. She … Continue reading »
Turkey needs a new path
The Turkish opposition has never been as hopeful as it is today. Despite the many difficulties of the past two decades, never have so many factors lined up against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party, or A.K.P. The economy, after the lira spiraled downward in 2018 and none of the government’s … Continue reading »
Ranking Fatigue is a Worldwide Phenomenon
Ranking fatigue has finally set in, and its a worldwide phenomenon. A number of high-profile law schools in the US recently announced they will no longer participate in one commercial ranking; Dutch universities have begun a move away from using rankings and citation indexes for evaluating university performance, and that of their faculty. China, home … Continue reading »
The Importance of Applied Finance Literacy
My dissertation assessed the impact of water quality regulation in the San Joaquin Valley. We wondered if farmers would adopt cleaner practices and invest in wastewater management under alternative regulations and to what extent the regulations are burdensome economically. I went to the valley and interviewed many farmers and realized that some of the solutions … Continue reading »
Resisting the Russian Culture of Corruption in Ukraine: The Fight for the Rule of Law and Empathy
co-authored with Tymofiy Mylovanov (Kyiv School of Economics) Corruption has been humanity’s scourge since the beginning of time. We may debate when corruption started but frankly it does not matter whether it was Eve or the serpent who corrupted Adam or somebody else who committed this sin for the first time. The important thing is … Continue reading »
Climate Change as an Information Problem
In 2019, I argued that our information and data scientists should use their skills to support colleagues in the environmental sciences and other disciplines doing critical work on climate change. As we approach Earth Day 2023, I’m revisiting my call and my predictions to see how far we’ve come. First, a personal note: I had … Continue reading »
Five lessons on housing for youth impacted by commercial sexual exploitation
By Julie Freccero and Audrey Taylor In December 2022, the UC Berkeley Human Rights Center’s Health and Human Rights Program released Family and Me (FAM): A New Model of Foster Care for Youth Impacted by Commercial Sexual Exploitation in San Francisco in partnership with the San Francisco Safety, Opportunity, and Lifelong Relationship (SF SOL) … Continue reading »
Personal sanctions on Russian oligarchs: purpose and design
coauthored with Anastasia Fedyk (University of California, Berkeley), James Hodson (AI for Good Foundation), Ilona Sologoub (VoxUkraine), and Tatyana Deryugina (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) Recently a representative of Putin’s opposition, Leonid Volkov (who resigned from chairing the Navalny fund upon the revelation of his signature under the letter calling for lifting sanctions off individual … Continue reading »
Equity vs. Equality: What’s the Difference?
There is a clip of US Senator Bernie Sanders making the rounds from a recent episode of Bill Maher’s HBO program, in which the host asked Senator Sanders to distinguish “equality” from “equity.” Senator Sanders explained that “equality” refers to “equality of opportunity,” but admits he is not sure what “equity” means. The host says he thinks … Continue reading »
The Biggest Innovation in ChatGPT? It’s the “T”, Not the Chat
“One day every major city in America will have a telephone.” Alexander Graham Bell Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye Human beings can be forgiven for sometimes not grasping the full impact of the technologies we develop. Occasionally, we miss the forest for the trees. This explains both Alexander Graham Bell’s statement on his own … Continue reading »
Open letter to Jeffrey Sachs on the Russia-Ukraine war
Dear Dr. Sachs, We are a group of economists, including many Ukrainians, who were appalled by your statements on the Russian war against Ukraine and were compelled to write this open letter to address some of the historical misrepresentations and logical fallacies in your line of argument. Following your repeated appearances on the talk shows … Continue reading »
Is ChatGPT a False Promise?
Noam Chomsky, Ian Roberts, and Jeffrey Watumull, in “The False Promise of ChatGPT,” (New York Times, March 8, 2023), lament the sudden popularity of large language models (LLMs) like OpenAI’s ChapGPT, Google’s Bard, and Microsoft’s Sydney. What they do not consider is what these AIs may be able to teach us about humanity. Chomsky, et … Continue reading »
Need Quick Climate Solutions? Check Out UC Berkeley Law’s “Climate Break” Podcast
Climate change news is often quite depressing, with frequent stories on the science and ever-worsening impacts. What gets lost in this otherwise important coverage is the amazing and inspiring tales of innovation and solutions happening all around us, in every sector and walk of life. That’s why Berkeley Law’s Center for Law, Energy and the … Continue reading »
Despotism strikes back: why the free world needs to defeat Russia
Co-authored with Ilona Sologoub (VoxUkraine) The Russian attack on Ukraine rekindled debates about pros and cons of various economic and political models. Do we need a concentration of economic and political power to survive in the current environment? What is the role of the state? How much freedom should people have? China, Russia and others … Continue reading »
Russian aggression against Ukraine meets the criteria for genocide
Co-authored with Ilona Sologoub (VoxUkraine) and James Hodson (AI for Good Foundation) Cemetary in Ukraine; source: individual diary entry on Svidok.org As early as April 2022, when atrocities in Irpin and Bucha (Kyiv region) became widely known, Western media began discussing whether Russia’s actions in Ukraine constitute a genocide. Some of them noted that the … Continue reading »
From Lisbon to Vladivostok: Russian version
Co-authored with Ilona Sologoub at VoxUkraine Winston Churchill, a bigger-than-life statesman and prolific author, observed, “History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.” He was largely successful and received a Nobel prize in literature “for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted … Continue reading »
Can We Take Steps Towards Sharing Water Better in California?
We just returned from a drive up and down the San Joaquin Valley. Being reared on a California almond and water ranch, I have a long-standing interest in water and California agriculture. Consequently, I always view our trip as an opportunity to read the pulse of California’s water situation. This year the landscape was fresh … Continue reading »
Higher Education Policymaking in the US After the Mid-Terms – Blue Versus Red States, Culture Wars and Budgets
The mid-term elections in the US brought a sort of victory for President Biden and Democrats, including the retention of a slim majority in the Senate and suffering only a marginal majority of Republican in the House of Representatives. Avoided was an expected much bigger electoral victory by Republicans and a clear majority in both … Continue reading »
California Takes a First Step Towards Worker Data Rights
Imagine you’re applying for a job via video, and without telling you the company uses software that analyzes your eye contact, facial expressions, and tone of voice to predict whether you’re a good match for the job. Or imagine that you work in an Amazon warehouse and an algorithm fires you for not meeting productivity … Continue reading »