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Humanoid robots have been restrained to science fiction since the late 1970s, an extravagant ideal for human advancement. But in recent developments from companies such as Hanson Robotics and Boston Dynamics, these dreams have begun to materialize. By bringing humanoid robots with artificial intelligence into reality, companies like these raise an ethical dilemma: What will the rights of these so-called androids be?
Whenever I see a report of a scandal involving a senator or representative, one of the first thoughts to come to mind is often “I hope he or she wasn’t a Republican.” This tendency towards party loyalty — which can develop into ignoring or rationalizing away what we know to be right in favor of what is convenient — is found in all of us and must be suppressed. We know this on a surface level: Anyone reading this sentence would probably agree that we should not let bias, partisanship or political expediency shape our view of justice. But often, we still fall victim to this kind of moral compromise.
On Monday, the remaining presidential candidates made their ritual voyage to the AIPAC Policy Conference, hosted by Israel’s primary lobbying group. This year, only Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is Jewish, did not attend. While Sanders’ decision to skip and the protests around Donald Trump’s presence made headlines, what went unnoticed was the expectation that all serious candidates would go to speak uncritically of the Jewish state.
The Easter theme of sacrifice for renewal can be applied to reassessment of two fundamental religious terms, “belief” and “faith." Consider how we use each and what we mean when we do. We should be more alert to slow, subtle change in meaning and usage over time of words like these. Reflect now especially on the evolved, problematic usage of “belief” by the religious — the meaning now accrued to it in contrast to earlier, ancient meanings. Consider: Advocacy of religious “belief” now does more harm than good — to the continuing faith itself.
Where'd you go for Spring Break? If you're lucky, you managed to slip away to somewhere with plenty of sun, sand and waves. Key West, the Dominican Republic and other Caribbean Islands (or a cruise to take you to all three) are all popular vacation spots for students and "regular people" alike. President Obama is celebrating the arrival of spring with a trip to the tropical Cuba.
President Obama nominated Merrick B. Garland last week to fill the seat on the Supreme Court vacated by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Republican senators have vowed to block any nominee put forward, citing a grey area between legal precedent and political tradition. Yet by nominating Garland, Obama is forcing Republican senators to fight a political battle, gambling an acceptable centrist candidate for the chance at an ultra-conservative nominee from a Republican White House in 2017.
Mental illness is a hot topic in political debate — which might be a good thing, given that our mental healthcare system is critically flawed and in dire need of legislative correction. However, most of the politicians, pundits and general public discussing it have no idea what they’re talking about.
This past week, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Gov. Nikki Haley endorsed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in the ongoing Republican presidential primary.
After “Mini-Tuesday,” the path towards the nomination of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton for their respective party candidacies seem clearer now than ever. Donald Trump carried four states on Tuesday night, winning by a fraction in Missouri and by larger margins in Illinois, North Carolina and Florida. By winning Florida, Sen. Marco Rubio’s home state, Trump essentially ended the Rubio campaign. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton carried Florida, Illinois, North Carolina and Ohio, winning 371 delegates and extending her lead on Sen. Bernie Sanders.
America is no stranger to political violence. It has thrived in our country since even before its creation. From labor riots to politically motivated assassinations, blood and politics have gone together. Its causes, however, have varied. For example, during the civil rights era, politically motivated riots, beatings, bombings and assassinations were common in the struggle for equality. This is not the case now.
For years, partisan politics have allowed half the population to turn a blind eye to issues of executive overreach. Which half alternates depending on which party controls the presidency. When the balance of power shifts and the other party takes office, they suddenly forget the legal and moral objections they previously raised to these new powers, happily embracing the increased authority to further their own goals.
Blacksburg, Virginia. Aurora, Colorado. Fort Hood, Texas. What do all these places have in common? Gun massacres. People whose lives were ended or severely damaged by mass shootings. And what did the gunmen in each situation have in common? Mental illnesses that should have prevented them from ever having a gun.
The March 15 elections will pit Donald Trump against Gov. John Kasich in the latter’s home state of Ohio. As a large winner-take-all primary, it is a must-win for the anti-Trump coalition. It could also have real symbolic value.
Over the past decades, Americans have seen many of their rights come under fire from the federal government. In 1971, President Nixon announced the drug war; along with this war came mandatory sentencing for non-violent offenders. In 2013, it was discovered that the NSA had been collecting Americans’ phone data, violating the rights to privacy guaranteed by the Constitution. The candidate most likely to be the Republican nominee, Donald Trump, has called for less protection for journalists for what he views as libelous speech.
On Sunday morning, when my alarm clock rang to signal the de facto end of my spring break, my internal clock was still pretty sure it was 6 a.m., a time of day otherwise known to college students as “too early to be awake.” My phone, on the other hand, had switched dutifully to daylight saving time and was reading the very slightly more reasonable hour of 7 a.m.: Time to get up and make the drive back to school. The dissonance was, as it always is, momentarily confusing, but it resolves itself more quickly every year.
Criticism of Wall Street is one of the most prominent political topics during this election cycle. On both sides of the aisle, candidates are demonizing and scapegoating Wall Street.
As we watched the March 3 Republican debate together, a friend from New Jersey asked me why Gov. John Kasich was polling so poorly, since he is certainly the most qualified of the remaining candidates for high office.
Many have heard the phrase “nothing in life is free,” yet seem to forget it when it comes to college costs. As increasing college debt cripples students, many of us are quick to support a cause that will inevitably hurt us. Free college sounds great, but the cost will likely be placed on those who should be benefitting.
Zika virus, the scariest thing in America since Ebola.
Culture is in many ways the means by which we define ourselves. It is instrumental in binding us together, shaping our identity and facilitating our survival. John Macionis, a sociologist, defines culture as "the ways of thinking, the ways of acting, and the material objects that together form a people's way of life." The values and beliefs of a culture therefore play a large role structuring how we act, what we do and even what we eat.