AIF Blog

What We're Reading, June 19

Jun 19, 2015
CATEGORY: Health, Science


Our regular round-up of articles that have caught our attention, as related to each thematic track at the Festival. Some are by Festival and Spotlight speakers, others stand out because they go in-depth on a topic that will be featured.


Making Arts Work

After years of struggle, highlighted in stark relief this year by the death of Freddie Gray and the riots that ensued, Baltimore’s arts community is rallying to restore to the city some of its former glory. It might be the best shot at redemption that the city has.

Playwright, novelist, and activist Larry Kramer appeared with arts program director Damian Woetzel this past April at Roosevelt House. Read David Leavitt’s review of the first volume of Kramer’s gargantuan, decades-in-the-making epic, The American People.

Harman-Eisner Artist in Residence Cameron Carpenter is dragging "his instrument into the 21st Century.”


Saul Bellow was born 100 years ago as of last week. In his 1976 Nobel Lecture  the great American novelist explored Joseph Conrad’s notion that “art itself may be defined as a single-minded attempt to render the highest kind of justice to the visible universe, by bringing to light the truth, manifold and one, underlying its every aspect.”

"JR Brings New York’s Immigrants Out of the Shadows." The work of Harman Eisner Artist in Residence JR recently graced the cover of the NY Times Magazine, and he was profiled in its “Walking New York” section.


Challenges of Democracy

Earlier this week, an Egyptian court upheld the ruling sentencing former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi to death. The ruling highlights the extent to which the judiciary can be used to suppress opposition.


The Magna Carta’s 800th birthday was on monday, but what exactly is said in the document that is considered the cornerstone of constitutional democracy?


A look into Charles Murray’s suggestions for new standards for civil disobedience.


David Brooks addressed the problems and negative effects of “partyism” in America.


With the June 30 deadline for a deal in the Iran Nuclear Talks approaching, what’s at stake?

Since the Citizens United ruling, controlling campaign contributions to presidential hopefuls has been difficult. However, local and state governments are still trying.



Will Technology Save Us?

Technology is rapidly advancing beyond human capacity but will technology eventually make us jobless?

Is the technological boom exclusively an upper-class phenomenon?

The technological Tragedy of the Commons.

Big Data, and Why It’s Only As Smart As We Are.


Equality, Dignity, and the Pursuit of Healthiness 
A recent study finds that two-thirds of the world’s population have no access to safe and affordable surgery.

A mother confronts the waning paternalism of doctors and comes to terms with needing the care of others”--the critiques and benefits of paternalism in modern day medicine.

The sexual harassment of women in crowded, public places is all too common

The tradeoff between fighting death and making death more painful, “At some point, more treatment does not equal better care.”

Preventing a pandemic before the first case occurs.