Patriotism vs. Nationalism
A lot has been made of Barack Obama's no longer wearing a flag lapel pin, and among other things, the ado about that got me thinking about patriotism and nationalism from both a historical and a present-day perspective. I believe that nationalism, as it developed historically and as it's practiced today (among some who don't even know they fit the category) is not only dangerous, but malevolent. Historically, it has led to more wars and murders than I can list here. Currently, it has led to dangerous abuses of civil rights and liberties in the U.S. and across the globe. Patriotism, at least from my perspective, is a benign process, though one that can easily be abused by politicians and the media and transformed into dangerous nationalism. Patriotism leads to chants of USA! USA! at the Olympics; Nationalism leads to calls to "obliterate" entire countries from the map.
There's a line between the two, but it's not so fine a line that people who venture across it can't be identified and held to account.
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Antimicrobial resistance is growing worldwide, rendering many "work horse" medicines ineffective. Without intervention, drug-resistant pathogens could lead to millions of deaths by 2050. Thankfully, companies like Pfizer are taking action.
- Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens are one of the largest threats to global health today.
- As we get older, our immune systems age, increasing our risk of life threatening infections. Without reliable antibiotics, life expectancy could decline for the first time in modern history.
- If antibiotics become ineffective, common infections could result in hospitalization or even death. Life-saving interventions like cancer treatments and organ transplantation would become more difficult, more often resulting in death. Routine procedures would become hard to perform.
- Without intervention, resistant pathogens could result in 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
- By taking a multi-faceted approach—inclusive of adherence to good stewardship, surveillance and responsible manufacturing practices, as well as an emphasis on prevention and treatment—companies like Pfizer are fighting to help curb the spread.
Journalism got a big wake up call in 2016. Can we be optimistic about the future of media?
- "[T]o have a democracy that thrives and actually that manages to stay alive at all, you need regular citizens being able to get good, solid information," says Craig Newmark.
- The only constructive way to deal with fake news? Support trustworthy media. In 2018, Newmark was announced as a major donor of two new media organizations, The City, which will report on New York City-area stories which may have otherwise gone unreported, and The Markup, which will report on technology.
- Greater transparency of fact-checking within media organizations could help confront and correct fake news. Organizations already exist to make media more trustworthy — are we using them? There's The Trust Project, International Fact-Checkers Network, and Tech & Check.
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