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In early March, the entire Dartmouth community was emailed an invitation from the College president’s office to participate in “Inside Dartmouth’s Budget,” a five-session lecture series on higher education finance at the College. The email advertised the program as a chance to “unpack Dartmouth’s budget by exploring our revenue and expenditures in the context of national trends and external forces that impact higher education.” Intrigued, I signed up and was randomly selected to participate.
“The causes of death were family, finances and fatigue. The tasteful tombstone is set amid the soothing green of a field of Perrier bottles,” wrote Time magazine in an “obituary” of the yuppie. The year of death: 1991.
In 1944, one year before the end of World War II, the British Special Operations Executive — a secret wing of the British military formed for the purposes of espionage and sabotage behind enemy lines — devised a plan to kill Adolf Hitler. In its design, a German-speaking marksman fluent in the dialect of the Bavarian district of Berchtesgadener Land would parachute in and assassinate Hitler from afar as he walked to his morning tea at the Berghof, his Alpine retreat in Bavaria, Germany. Using information provided by one of Hitler’s personal guards, captured at Normandy on D-Day, plans were drawn up for Operation Foxley, which would be the third attempted execution of the Fuhrer. But those plans, and the operation, were never realized.
When you hear about algorithms — like the one Facebook uses to construct your personal newsfeed or the one Google is fine-tuning to fight the spread of fake news — it’s likely that you’re hearing about predictive analytics. An algorithm is just a series of instructions: Multiply the two, carry the three or go to class at these three times every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Predictive analytics, as the name might imply, are algorithms meant to collect and use data to generate a prediction about an outcome that cannot be definitively known until the event occurs. Based on what you know, is a given person going to make it to class? If it’s Green Key Friday, then that probability might go down.
When I leave Streeter Hall every morning, I am usually too distracted to notice my surroundings, but last weekend I felt unsettled after registering that my daily route is adjacent to a cemetery. There is nothing particularly odd about the cemetery itself, but its integration into campus feels unusual. What bothered me about the cemetery was not that it was there, that it lacked a border or the feeling of encroachment on a spiritual space, but rather what its vicinity symbolized about Dartmouth.
If French president-elect Emmanuel Macron’s victory in the French presidential election can be called a landslide, then the column inches hyperbolically trumpeting it as the wholesale rejection of global populism can rightly be called a tsunami. The authors of a Washington Post piece on the election couch the French people’s decision in mythological terms, saying that “France ... shrugged off the siren call of right-wing populism.” CNN asserts, in heroic language, that Macron defeated populism in the “great political battle between globalism and nationalism that is underway in Western democracies.” The Huffington Post calls Macron’s victory “somewhat comparable to Napoleon Bonaparte.”
I don’t have Netflix. Therefore, whenever my friends discuss “13 Reasons Why,” I can only sit and listen. From the information that I’ve gathered, this show vividly illustrates — rather dangerously — the hyper-judgmental environment that many of us lived through in high school. As much as we attempt to overcome the peer pressure surrounding how we speak, act, dress and exist, many fail to do so. “13 Reasons Why” did not catch my attention because of its accurate portrayal of high school or shock-value; it caught my attention because of its stark contrast to Dartmouth’s culture of embracing embarrassment.
When French president-elect Emmanuel Macron’s victory in Sunday’s election was announced, my first reaction was a breath of relief. My second was an inane little voice inside my head whispering, “Oh, no. It’s still just us.” The fact that Front National candidate Marine Le Pen failed in France — and by a wide margin — while President Donald Trump succeeded in the United States gives us one less excuse for our now cartoonish image on the world stage.
The Met Gala is arguably fashion’s biggest night. It’s an event where attendees are expected to abandon traditional conventions and be creative with their outfits, presenting their interpretation on the night’s theme. This year’s theme, “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between,” had the potential to be amongst the most innovative to date.
With the introduction of flat-screen TVs, the option to “text Foco” and musical accompaniments at mealtime — to name a few of the changes Dartmouth Dining Services has implemented in the past few months — it seems like DDS is doing everything it can to increase student satisfaction. The sad truth, however, is that DDS can dress up overpriced food and basic service with all the bells and whistles it wants, but none of those Band-Aid fixes address the real problem: DDS has a virtual monopoly over student dining choices.
In the age of social media and of President Donald Trump’s administration, our bodies are out of our hands. Trump has already signed legislation intended to defund Planned Parenthood and other services providing abortions, placing self choice in the hands of the government. Police forces continue to brutalize communities, especially those of African-American men.
Among the countless animal videos, fashion ads and memes in my Facebook feed, I noticed one striking trend: a massive amount of political content. Then I noticed another: Throughout the hour or so I spent scrolling through my feed, every political status or shared article represented views that I already agreed with.
Nothing is more in vogue than claiming that America is getting a “bad deal” because of free trade and all of the nasty pitfalls of globalization — namely, that ugly beast “outsourcing.” The truth is that 88 percent of American manufacturing jobs are lost to automation, not to foreigners or illegal immigrants.
Islam is whatever a practicing Muslim says it is for them. Period.
We once used tribalism to describe the circumstances of ethnic conflict or to explain warring factions in failed states, but now the word is just as commonly thrown around in the political op-ed pages of the New York Times as it is in academic papers on foreign policy. It’s a useful term — a succinct way of explaining humans’ proclivity to group, categorize and create social identity. And it’s been remarkably apt at describing the worst parts of our political climate: hostility toward immigrants, anti-globalization, “America First” policies, bans on Muslim immigration and the increasingly visible white supremacy of the alt-right. All these issues clearly demarcate an in-group, such as whites or Americans, showing hostility to an out-group, such as Muslims.
An admitted student and his father walked through the admissions office door during one of my shifts last week. The father asked me, “Is Dartmouth a really big party school? Because if so, it probably isn’t the right place for my son.” I had no time to share with him everything I had on my mind. My brief answer to them was that Dartmouth is known for far more important things than its Greek culture and that while no campus will ever be perfect, the issues that plague us also plague every other elite institution in the country. I then passed them on to an admissions officer, who sat down with them for a lengthier conversation.
You probably haven’t paid attention to the French presidential election. I wouldn’t blame you. We have enough political turmoil here without worrying about issues across the Atlantic. Yet the effects of the election in France will have a substantial impact on the politics worldwide and already the election has changed the way Europeans approach and view politics.
On April 9, Women’s Grandmaster Sabina-Francesca Foișor became the U.S. Women’s Chess Champion. Not only is she the the first Romanian to clinch the title — a point of personal pride — she did so on her ninth attempt playing in the tournament, even after losing twice in the first four games.
Universal suffrage is arguably the most fundamental privilege accorded to American citizens. However, the grasp the United States has on the helm of global electoral freedom may be slipping. In 2015, the United States ranked 20th in the world in an Economist report on democracy that factored in “electoral process and pluralism,” but persistent unjust features of the American voting landscape caused Freedom House to rank the U.S. behind at least 61 other countries in electoral process in 2016. Gerrymandering, voter identification laws and the role of money in elections round out the pantheon of the most pressing threats to Americans’ abilities to shape the course of their nation. Despite the popular conception of America’s place at the forefront of international democracy, these patently anti-democratic laws and processes infringe upon freedoms that, per the rhetoric of U.S. exceptionalism, Americans ought to have.
Americans spend an average of around $17 billion on Easter every year. With the copious amounts of food, clothing and gifts purchased for the occasion, the holiday provides retailers across the country with a vigorous revenue boost. Originally a religious and cultural tradition centered on modesty, humility and hope, this holiday is almost nationally celebrated and universally capitalized.