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Data breaches are not a novelty. They’ve existed ever since humans first started recording data and are an inherent risk of storing information. However, the rise of the digital age has made data breaches much easier to execute. Theoretically, an individual on the opposite side of the world could infiltrate any company’s database, siphon the data of millions of people with some nifty lines of code and sell it, all through a few clicks. Since 2005, there have been over 8,000 data breaches made public, with over ten billion records breached. The recent Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal at first seems like it should be just another unfortunate statistic, but its implications are foreboding for the future of digital privacy.
Rainer Maria Rilke wrote poetry as if it were life or death, and for him it was. He was a sickly man who wrote poetry of astounding power, but one of his ideas has particular relevance to life at Dartmouth.
Before writing for The Dartmouth, I was an opinion columnist for The Authored Ascension, my high school’s online-only newspaper. Though I lacked the authority to influence much, I had a clear vision for the paper’s direction. Up until that point, most written pieces were school-specific. News of homecoming events, sports match-ups and the like were the predominant topics for most writers. Few ventured out to tackle national hot-button issues. As a 16-year-old newly equipped with a driver’s license and many opinions, I planned on changing that.
Almost two years ago, a Scottish man named Mark Meechan made and posted a video of his girlfriend’s pug raising its paw in a Nazi salute while he recited hateful and anti-Semitic phrases. Like many, I found his antics offensive.
Dartmouth is more difficult than it used to be, and it isn’t because of the professors or the changing student body. Rather, changes to Dartmouth’s Advanced Placement course acceptance policy that were implemented for the Class of 2018 began to truly manifest themselves last year, as the Class of 2017 graduated and the Class of 2018 stepped into their positions for extracurricular and academic activities.
I’m going to be honest: I didn’t apply to any colleges in the South not due to a dearth of high-caliber institutions, but because of the labels I had heard about the region. The South is often portrayed as ultra-conservative, uber-religious and relatively poor. Even if I were in an urban area and the college campus were a diverse and inclusive place, I feared the implied racism and sexism that might surface if I were to step off campus or venture out of the city. As a West Coast native, I don’t know a lot about Southern culture. For too long, I’ve relied on stereotypes I had heard from others or seen in movies and other media to form an overall negative and foreign image of the region.
When you think of a typical economics major, who comes to mind? One of the predominant stereotypes is the “econ bro.” A glance around an economics classroom during my Dimensions experience last spring provided evidence of a gender imbalance in the major, a suspicion that was reinforced while taking economics courses my freshman fall and winter. Economics is Dartmouth’s most popular undergraduate major. As the gender gap in economics fails to shrink in graduate education and in the workplace, it needs to be addressed at its roots.
I do not believe in hurting others. It is important to me to live on a campus where the student body can feel safe and respected regardless of personal identifiers or beliefs, but I think there comes a point when political correctness begins to tread on people’s toes. When legitimate expression of political or otherwise controversial ideology becomes compromised or vilified on campus, students need to take a step back and understand the repercussions of responding with outrage. Equating disagreeableness with hatefulness intentionally smudges the line between exercising and abusing free speech, placing significant constraints on campus conversations.
The next installment of "Cartoon of Incompetence," Jessica Link's story of life.
A few weeks into winter term, I called my parents crying for the first time in my life. They were noticeably confused — I don’t cry often, but when I do, I never go to them until my tears are gone. As it was, I could not fully explain why I was so upset. My dad, a psychiatrist, immediately asked me if I had been feeling “blue.” I responded that I had. I was tired, unenthusiastic and reluctant to spend time outside of my room. I had trouble getting out of bed, not because I did not want to leave the bliss of sleep but because I did not want to face the world. Everything felt “meh;” I could hardly remember the last time I had felt anything other than malaise. My dad told me to get more sleep, see my friends more and exercise regularly. If I was still feeling this way in a week, he suggested options such as therapy or medication. I called back a few days later, happy to report that I was feeling much better. He told me that I had probably been going through a slump brought on by the winter weather or homesickness; whatever it was, he was glad for me that it had passed. He ended the phone call with a reminder that I could always talk to him about my mental state, and that was that.
Anything Can Happen During March Madness
The fourth installment of "Cartoon of Incompetence."
From their experience during exams or competitions, students are used to the pressure of the clock. Yet the U.S. national debt clock brings pressure to an entirely new level. Those who observe it are immediately drawn to the $20 trillion figure on the top left. Boston University professor Laurence Kotlikoff estimated that the U.S. government had unfunded liabilities worth close to $210 trillion. Fiscal sustainability is not a complicated concept — it is a term that describes whether or not the government is capable of maintaining its policies and programs without risking insolvency or defaulting on its promises. With programs such as Social Security and Medicare driving costs higher, change is imperative.
Despite the myriad problems and the issues I have come to see and experience over my years at Dartmouth, my academic experiences and time spent with faculty have been the highlight of my time in Hanover. The one-on-one interactions, engagement and emphasis on undergraduate teaching Dartmouth offers are features of the academic experience that I will miss. In particular, my experiences with Dartmouth’s history department and its faculty have been the most consistently eye-opening and intellectually stimulating part of my Dartmouth career. The history classes, foreign study opportunities, research and faculty engagement I have partaken in have all, in one way or another, had a significant impact on both my personal and professional development as well as the evolution of my intellectual and social concerns. A critical and subversive worldview — which revolves around a concern for inequity and emphases on complicating, contesting or interrogating existing paradigms and ways of thinking — that history professors at Dartmouth have instilled in me will continue to shape my life long after I graduate in the spring.
It was 9 a.m. on June 27, 2016 when I woke and sat up, the texture of the sidewalk pavement imprinted deeply into my cheek. I checked the time, straightened my tie and glanced toward the front of the line I had been in for four hours. I was outside the Supreme Court on the day the decision for the Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt case, which concerned a Texas law that required doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and raised the standards of abortion clinics to that of ambulatory surgical centers, was set to be announced. At the base of the court steps were two sign-wielding groups, ready to assume their role as supporter or protester depending on the holding.
“To stop a bad guy with a gun, it takes a good guy with a gun,” proclaimed Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president and chief executive officer of the National Rifle Association at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference. In an endgame situation like the one LaPierre describes, it could be that the only way to protect people would be through the use of a firearm, especially if faced with someone that also has a firearm. But the issue with LaPierre’s logic lies in the fact that he accepts that such a situation would occur instead of doing everything in his power to stop it.
A study published by Rutgers University found that until 2008, 97 percent of scholars who published academic op-eds in The Wall Street Journal and 82 percent in The New York Times were men. A byline survey conducted by Taryn Yaeger of The OpEd Project found that between Sept. 15 and Dec. 7, 2011, “women wrote 20 percent of op-eds in the nation’s leading newspapers — The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and The Wall Street Journal.” Feminist news sources were quick to publish articles berating The Journal and The Times for being sexist and discriminatory publications.
At Dartmouth, students often face a significant amount of pressure to leave this place with a finished product. This product must show your peers, professors, family and local community that your education was worth it. With that product, you can now point to something that will validate your time and investment into your schooling. Just graduating is no longer something most people believe is “good enough.” Not only do students need to graduate on time, they also have to do so with a two-year plan for afterward. The pressure to have your “next big step” outlined and secured is intensified, as that is what people use as a measure of success. The question college students hear, possibly as early as junior spring is, “So what’s next?” Not having an answer to that question can feel like you have not done enough. Often, this pressure reduces the time spent struggling and working to achieve the entity that validates one’s time at college: the diploma.
What causes people’s behavior? Why do people eat what they eat or drink what they drink? One might think, “Simple — because I want to!” But what motivates people to behave, eat or drink in the first place? What causes people to make decisions? If these choices — how to get to work, what to buy at the supermarket, where to spend money — have become subconscious, then it is time to take a trip of self-exploration.
Will this time be different? One would hope that the senseless mass shooting at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School would move America to action. But of course, this is a nation that saw 20 first-grade students gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School and did nothing. Even as the survivors of the shooting speak out in favor of gun control, the Florida House of Representatives refused to pass a ban on assault rifles. Yet this debate can be resolved without extreme measures on either side. Reasonable, widely-supported gun regulations can limit the chance of another mass shooting.