Project looking at how federal policies play out locally finds surprising ambivalences in Trump era ‘Will progressives and moderates feud while America burns?’ The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news. Politics has seeped into every corner of our lives. Even announcements once thought above rank partisanship, such as states letting voters mail their ballots this fall and the death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic, now ignite accusations of political bias. Research by Harvard economists finds that politics don’t just influence people’s attitudes about economic issues and policies, it shapes their perceptions of verifiable reality.Studies of Republicans and Democrats, as well as Trump voters and non-Trump voters, found that people with opposing political views don’t simply see issues like income inequality through different lenses, those beliefs distort their basic understanding of the issues themselves even though accurate information is readily available, according to a working paper by Alberto Alesina, Nathaniel Ropes Professor of Political Economy; Armando Miano, a doctoral candidate; and Stefanie Stantcheva, a professor of economics. Alesina, a pioneer in the field of political economy, died of an apparent heart attack on May 23 at age 63.“All of this started with a push to really try to understand what’s in people’s heads,” said Stantcheva. The group decided to look at what drives people to support or oppose policies intended to reduce income and wealth inequality, like a progressive tax system, social insurance, and help for low-income families. “One thing that we’ve been doing a lot is to study what we can observe … like what people actually do, what people learn, and what people decide. What we really have not known until now so much is: What’s going on in the background? How do people think about their decisions? How do they decide which policies to support or not? How do they reason about these?”Understanding those underlying assumptions is harder than it first appears. Political opinions are formed based on a confluence of external and internal factors, and they can shift over time.The team first developed online surveys designed to elicit respondents’ political perceptions, values, and beliefs. They then asked thousands to share their views on social mobility, inequality, and immigration, three topics known to directly influence opinions on progressive economic policies, such as the redistribution of wealth.No surprise, Republicans and Democrats had different views about many things, such as how hard it is to achieve the “American dream,” whether the country should adopt a different tax system to give more people a larger share of the national income, and how much the government is to blame for rising inequality.,In a 2018 study, the researchers found that Americans as a whole largely overestimate how likely it is that a person born in the bottom 20 percent income bracket will rise into the top 20 percent.Both Republicans and Democrats also overestimated the size of the U.S. immigrant population and its dependence on government assistance, and underestimated its level of education. Republicans were almost twice as likely as Democrats, though, to think that the average immigrant gets twice the aid of a nonimmigrant with an identical resume.Why are perceptions on the left and right so far apart? Several factors seem to contribute, said Stantcheva. First and foremost, Republicans and Democrats tend to seek out very different news sources so they often get very different information. But even within those sources, the information that’s received is understood differently based on variables like a person’s education or life experiences, how much they trust the messenger or principals involved, their prior beliefs about a given issue, and other ideas they associate with an issue.“How much you’re going to change your belief as a function of that information is going to depend on the weight you put on it, and that weight will depend on what you already think,” she said. “Without interruption, it’s just a cycle that will reinforce itself.”Democrats and Republicans were starkly divided on the topic of immigration and what to do about it, perhaps because it’s so often in the news and discussed in predominantly negative and emotionally charged terms. Where they were in sync was how misinformed they were.“Immigration is an area where there’s a very widespread misperception,” said Stantcheva. Even though liberals broadly view immigrants more favorably, they had no better handle on how the newcomers impact the U.S. than conservatives did. “One group is not necessarily more wrong than the other. Everybody’s quite wrong.”Complicating matters is the fact that simply presenting accurate data to the misinformed doesn’t always work. On matters like social mobility opinions can be moved with statistics, but on especially partisan issues like immigration, facts appear to do little to change viewpoints, the researchers found.One experiment showed that even when given an opportunity to learn the facts about immigrants in the U.S. for a nominal sum, those holding the most negative and most inaccurate perceptions were the least willing to pay.“The people who most need the information are going to be the least likely to seek out that information. It seems that either they don’t realize that they’re wrong, or they’re just very entrenched in their beliefs, and do not want their beliefs to be changed,” said Stantcheva.What does change minds on a highly divisive topic like immigration? Stories and questions.Telling emotional stories about a day in the life of almost impossibly hard-working immigrants who just need a hand up can move people’s views about immigrants and redistribution in a more positive direction. But priming folks with questions is even more effective — at turning them against it.“If you ask people questions about immigration — just the questions, without any information — and you ask them, ‘How many immigrants are there? How many are unemployed, etc.?’ If you ask those questions before you ask questions on the tax system, on health insurance, etc., people … become less progressive, less inclined to these solutions,” said Stantcheva. “Just making people think about the immigrant issue … makes them less willing to support redistribution.”So far, this research has shed a lot of new light on what’s happening to shape political opinions, a vantage point not typically taken in other data sets but one that has “a ton of policy implications,” she said.“By understanding the thought process, we can actually design better learning. We can design better information interventions that can actually help people understand the economy, economic policies, all these phenomena, better.” Is rural America solidly red? Not exactly, Harvard scholars say Related Discussion takes a look at why arguments fail and why the sides cannot agree Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne outlines a path forward in his new book ‘Code Red’ Why ‘truth’ beats facts
They were DannylJhonn Zapanzan and a certain “Toto,” both residents of the village. Jullieza andAnimas sustained bruises on the face and body, the report added. ILOILO City –Police arrested a man and his minor companion in Barangay Sta. Felomina,Arevalo district. It was notimmediately clear what led to the mauling. They werenabbed around 3:30 a.m. on Sunday after mauling Jovannie Jullieza and RoseAnimas, a police report showed. The suspects,meanwhile, were detained in the lockup cell of the Arevalo police station./PN
A man in a coma 19 years has regained some brain function, surprising scientists. Terry Wallis is relearning how to count and speak, and thinks Ronald Reagan is still president. The story of his remarkable recovery has been reported widely in the news (see Fox News) and was featured on both [email protected] and Science Now. What was surprising was that “his brain slowly regrew the nerve connections that were devastated as a result of his accident,” said Michael Hopkin for [email protected], forcing neurologists to reconsider the dogma that hopes for recovery decrease over time. Although scientists caution against raising hopes for other patients, the case of Terry Wallis shows that the idea that there are hopeless cases may need to be reconsidered. Most of the reports claimed that patients in a persistent vegetative state (PVS), such as that alleged in the highly-publicized case of Terry Schiavo, are in a different category than that of Wallis. [email protected] ended, however, with a surprise finding even for PVS patients:Neurologists are reluctant to declare that PVS, the condition at the centre of the controversial debate over US sufferer Terri Schiavo, can ever be truly permanent. Earlier this year, researchers made the bizarre discovery that some PVS patients could be roused with a simple sleeping pill (see ‘Sleeping pills offer wake-up call to vegetative patients’).A report on World Net Daily says that Terry Wallis is able to tell jokes and, according to his father, “seems almost exactly like his old self.”The brain’s capacity to repair itself may be more remarkable than realized. The ScienceNow article stated, “the brain regions that survived Wallis’s accident forged new connections, perhaps in an attempt to re-establish contact with regions that were damaged.” It’s remarkable how much of his memory remained intact during nearly two decades out of touch with reality. This should give medical care professionals and family members pause when tempted to think a comatose patient is beyond hope. It also raises questions why a brain would try to repair itself, if reproductive success is the be-all and end-all of natural selection.(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Towering over the Jozi skyline, Ponte City commands attention like a beacon. The vast cylindrical structure, 54 stories high, is loved and hated in equal measure.The iconic Ponte (r) lights up Johannesburg nigh sky. (Image: Julian Schroeder)Melissa Jane-CookIt is tough to ignore. A massive flashing advertisement for mobile phone company Vodacom tops the building – though ironically there is no signal in Ponte itself. The ad contains 11 kilometres of neon tubing and will dominate the skyline until 2015. The contract reportedly brings in R500 000 a month.Ponte has had a chequered history. Once the home of the elite white, hip and young urban dwellers, it fell into disrepair along with the rest of Joburg’s flatlands in Hillbrow, Berea and Yeoville. It became a haven for crime, and a home for desperate refugees escaping their country’s strife. But after several failed attempts at rejuvenation, today, Ponte is an upgraded and positive space.Watch Philip Bloom’s mini-documentary on Ponte:It may have been a no-go area, but two white guys with a dream, journalist Nickolaus Bauer and strategy consultant Mike Lupak, moved into Ponte’s penthouses with a plan. They are part of the area’s metamorphosis and want to change the way people not only view Ponte, but the inner city as a whole. The suburb of Hillbrow rests on a massive ridge that snakes its way to Constitution Hill, along the northern edge of the CBD.Together Bauer and Lupak created Dlala Nje, a games arcade for the youth. They also run guided walks out of the arcade around this infamous territory. Through this, they hope to dispel the negative perceptions of Ponte that still linger.Signs of promise and growthStanding at Ponte, waiting for the tour to begin, tourists had their cameras at the ready, eager to take photographs of the round building that was once arguably Johannesburg’s most notorious space, tossed aside like a discarded mistress. Not any more – it has been renovated and revitalised. No longer a haven for drug addicts, criminals, prostitutes and others who trawl the underbelly of society, Ponte is showing signs of promise and growth.Ponte is the tallest residential building in Johannesburg, and is architecturally significant. It is cylindrical in shape, with an unusual hollow inner core, and is one of the city’s most striking urban landmarks. It was designed by architect Rodney Grosskopff, who also designed other landmarks such as the Johannesburg Theatre Complex, and was completed in 1975. The building is finished with a rough, grey concrete look, called hacked concrete, and is in a style referred to as New Brutalism. In its prime, Ponte City was one of Joburg’s most sought-after addresses.Lupak, the guide and co-owner of Dlala Nje, says this space is where the magic happens. “Unfortunately Hillbrow and Ponte still suffer a barrage of negative publicity. There is still a lot of angst and animosity and people are told to steer clear or they will be robbed, hijacked or worse. We just want to change the perception of this building in the eyes of the rest of Joburg.”Africa’s New YorkIn the 1970s, while the black youth were fighting for a right to education, Ponte City was housing the elite. The six penthouses came fitted with wine cellars, saunas, patio braai areas and roof decks. Under the Group Areas Act, Hillbrow was a white area, and only white people were legally allowed to stay at Ponte City, although the region itself was a grey area, so-called because the act was less strictly enforced here by the apartheid government.The building’s black staff were the only people legally allowed to live in Ponte. But they lived on the very top floors – the highest point in the city – with tiny windows out of which it was impossible to see. “We had some mad by-laws in those days,” says Grosskopff. “The [window] sills had to be above six foot [1.8m] so that they [the black staff] couldn’t look out at the white apartments.”Ponte City was built with convenience and accessibility in mind. The ground floor housed shops, hairdressers, a bowling alley, and a concert venue, and whatever was not available in the building was just a short drive away. And for a while it was a popular place to live. But in the early 1980s investment in the suburb dried up and maintenance stopped. This led to an exodus of middle class residents and the decay of major buildings. By the 1990s, the whole of Hillbrow was a slum.Just before the transition to democracy, as the apartheid laws were revoked, the suburb became home to many young black South Africans, who were entering the city after a lifetime restricted to the surrounding townships. Hitting rock bottom, these once grey areas were now populated by migrants earning minimum wage, or no wage at all. The buildings were hijacked and severely dilapidated; they were breeding grounds for crime and grime. Gangs controlled streets, buildings, drugs and prostitutes.Reconditioning derelict buildingResidents of that era claim the 11th and 12th floors of Ponte City were stripped bare. Both were brothels and drug dens, used as a thoroughfare for those in search of anything ranging from an acid trip to a blow job. Then, in 1995, Kempston, a trucking and logistics company, bought the derelict building in the hope of reconditioning it and returning it to its former glory. But sadly, as time went on Hillbrow went from bad to worse. It became known as Africa’s first vertical urban slum.It presided over the death of dreams as tens of thousands of migrants flooded into the city in search of an elusive better life. And Ponte had more than its fair share of suicides. The exact number of people who have jumped from the 54-storey building since its construction in 1975 is unknown, but at one point Ponte was known as “suicide central”.The government approached Kempston with an idea to turn Ponte into a prison. It was quickly rejected as no-one liked the idea of the Joburg skyline boasting the largest residential building converted into a prison.In 2001, Kempston managed to drag the building back from oblivion. Employing the services of Elma and Danie Celliers, a husband-and-wife management team, Ponte was given new hope. They moved in to clear up, clean up and renovate. Residents had spent years throwing their rubbish down the inside and a rubbish dump piled three stories high; dead animals and humans were discovered in the filth during a massive clean-up in early 2002.The Celliers made substantial headway and Ponte became a safe, low-cost living space with 97% occupancy.Second attemptIn 2007, at the height of the property boom, developers David Selvan and Noor Addine Ayyoub arrived on the scene. They knocked out and stripped floors 11 to 34, moved 1 500 residents out and were ready to completely renovate the building. But their soaring ambitions came crashing down in the 2008 financial global meltdown. Several contractors, as well as a handful of would-be residents or investors who had bought into the venture ahead of the planned first-phase occupancy, were left out of pocket and were forced to jump ship.The end result was that Ponte was left in yet another mess.Reclaiming Ponte CityOf the 467 flats in the building, just more than 40 were occupied when reconstruction finally ceased. By 2009, Kempston wanted a sustainable return on its investment. It took an active stance and refurbished the whole building. Now, for the first time since 1976, the building is 100% occupied.By late 2011, almost all 54 floors had been redone, many from scratch, with approximately two kilometres of electrical wiring and sanitary piping used on each floor. Possibly the toughest task fell to Quinton Oosthuizen, the construction and maintenance manager, as he led the team clearing out the notorious core.The biggest financial burden was the installation of eight new lifts to replace the decades-old death-traps that stalked up and down the building. Strict security was implemented, such as around-the-clock guarding and diametric fingerprint access at all entry points. To gain access into the building you have to get through turnstiles, which are very strictly monitored to control who comes in and goes out, who comes up and goes down. One thing that has not changed, though, are the utterly magnificent 360-degree views of the city from the 52nd floor.“Hillbrow is re-energised,” says Lupak. “It’s a very different place. It is still dangerous but the focus is on the fact that it is so greatly changed.”Ponte City is becoming a beacon of hope in a deprived area. Lupak says it is run very tightly. These days, the building is occupied not by criminal gangs and brothels but by ordinary people, South Africans and immigrants, with hopes and dreams of a better future. There is a range of affordable flats to rent – you cannot own property in Ponte. It is home to more than 3 000 black people, between 500 and 600 children and about 12 white people.There is a mix of families and single professionals ranging from waiters to administrators. Rentals vary from R2 000 a month for a pad on the 11th floor to R3 700 for a three-bedroom flat on the 34th floor and R4 500 for a two-bedroom penthouse on the 51st floor, complete with marble tiles and modern kitchen with granite countertops. A weekly newsletter is circulated to all residents informing them of the latest developments in the building as well as suggestions on how to keep things tidy.They are needed: the core may have been cleared out but residents continue to use it as an informal rubbish dump, throwing out their used condoms, empty KFC buckets, tatty weaves, stale pap and razor blades.Ponte has become a safe, low-cost living space with 97% occupancy. (Image: fiverlocker, Flickr)Let’s just playDlala Nje, which means “just play” in isiZulu, created by Bauer and Lupak, is devoted to the children of the Ponte community, as well as to turning around perceptions of the much-maligned building and surrounding suburb.Up to 800 children live in the block during the week. Until Dlala Nje opened, there had been no focus on recreation for children. The centre is buzzing, bright and cheerful. Children can play pool, football or video games, or just hang out. The walls are covered in art and on one a chalk-drawn advertisement invites them to join the karate lessons on offer. In summer, there are swimming lessons at the Ponte pool, which for years was unused.Lupak and Bauer want to explore activities from which children can benefit. Their mission is to provide an under-resourced community with a platform and exposure that will ultimately facilitate social change through education, art and support. They are both keen to immerse themselves in this under-resourced community and change people’s ideas through their youth empowerment programme. They want to offer projects that will unlock creative talent, so people can have a better life and get off the streets.“We are just two guys with a dream,” says Bauer. “We created a place for the kids to play, though it’s not solely about that. Dlala Nje is about changing the perception of this building in the eyes of the rest of Johannesburg. That’s why we have tours every weekend and have special events in the surrounding area. There is a massive metamorphosis going on. Everyone is coming back to the city.“Communities are the lifeblood of any city. If they are incorporated in an inclusive and diverse manner, they can be beneficial to a city’s fabric,” he adds.Ponte is integral to the regeneration of inner city Johannesburg. (Image:fiverlocker, Flickr)Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
Related Posts klint finley Tags:#cloud#Cloud Providers A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… As expected, Savvis was acquired this week. And as expected, it was acquired by a telco – CenturyLink, the third largest telecommunications company in the U.S. There’s very little to say about this acquisition that wasn’t said earlier this year when Verizon acquired Terremark and Time Warner Cable acquired NaviSite.“Verizon and Century Link have made it clear that telco’s are attacking this market and both have gone the acquisition route,” writes Gartner analyst Kyle Hilgendorf. Hilgendorf writes that Gartner has found that the biggest technical problems enterprises migrating to IaaS face are “network performance and latency issues (not to mention non-technical legal, transparency, and availability concerns).”“Telco’s are in ideal positions with their global network to solve these network issues faster than more traditional hosters or software companies,” he writes.Chuck Hollis, vice president of global marketing and chief technology officer at EMC, told us when Verizon acquired Terremark:If you believe in the secular trend that — over time — more IT will be delivered as a service vs. consumed in a traditional fashion, you quickly realize that telcos can have a compelling position.They’ve got lots and lots of pipe. They know how to deliver a related form of service — communications. They know how to price their offerings and bill for them.Their strategic motivations are usually clear as well. More ordinary network services are quickly becoming commoditized. There’s only so much content you can sell people. And, before long, you go looking for the next big market to attack.Indeed, early on, many people thought that IT-as-a-service would go to the telco carriers, and that would be that.Earlier this month, CenturyLink completed its acquisition of Qwest, which was already in the cloud game. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market In its Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service and Web Hosting, Gartner positioned Savvis as the market leader, kicking off a mini-controversy about which companies were and were not included.Rackspace must be getting some interesting offers right about now.Disclosure: Qwest Business, now owned by CenturyLink, is a ReadWriteWeb sponsorPhoto by Nicholas Smale Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting
We remember the days when our mothers and fathers would tell us to put down the Xbox controller and play outside with our friends. Video games are a waste of time they said. Well here we are in 2019 and we’re about to see esports cross the $1 billion in revenue mark. Take that one mom!All jokes aside we can confidently say that the gaming industry is here to stay. And when you are locked in and ready to “drop in” on Fortnite you better make sure you’re equipped with the right gear. What’s the most important piece? Your gaming throne.The ReadWrite team was lucky enough to receive an Opseat Master Series to review. Don’t tell the boss this one but we definitely took some time out of our workday to give this chair a go! Here’s what we think:Getting Setup Takes Less than 15-MinutesThe Opseat comes in a larger than life box ready to be assembled. We scanned for other reviews online and found that many mentioned the box came a bit banged up. Ours did too, but that’s is definitely not an issue on Opseat’s end. Like the other reviewers the contents in the box were in perfect condition and were packaged neatly.Assembling the Opseat is a breeze. After laying out all the pieces on the floor, it took about 15-minutes to get the chair fully assembled. Opseat provides a small tool to fasten all the nuts and screws, but you may want to use a socket wrench for convenience.Comfort and FeaturesThe Opseat is made out of high quality PU Leather that provides a soft yet sturdy feel. The leather is also perforated to keep cool during those intense shootouts on Call of Duty Blackout. The chair also comes with both neck and lumbar pillows that can be easily adjusted using velcro straps.As far as adjustments go, you can pretty much customize everything. The chair even reclines to a full 135 degrees in case you need to sit back and take a quick nap. The one small downside is that the vertical adjustment seems a bit limited. The average height of our tester was about 5′ 11″ but we use adjustable standing desks to find the perfect gaming harmony. Opseat lists all specs of the seat on their website, so if you have a fixed desk we recommend doing some quick measurements before purchasing.Price and Final ThoughtsAll in all we think the Opseat Master Series is a great choice for the price. The chair retails for $229.00 as of the publishing date of this article. In comparison to other gaming chairs and ergonomic office chairs you’ll see that $229.00 is on the cheaper end. Since you are paying a lower-price you sacrifice a few small features like the use of plastic instead of metals. The chair has plastic arm rests, wheels, and other accents. We can only assume this is done to save cost.If you’re looking for your next gaming throne, and you want to get some great bang for your buck than look no further than the Opseat Master Series! ReadWrite Product Reviews Molekule Air Purifier: Small in Stature, Big on… Related Posts Canvia Digital Art Turns Home and Office Walls … The ReadWrite reviews team provides reviews on the latest and greatest technologies, services, and products.For all review inquiries please email [email protected] HyperDrive Power 9-in-1 USB-C Hub Blueair 680i Air Purifier: Clean Air For Your H…