Surveillance society, safe schools
Metal detectors. Dog sniffs. Networked surveillance cameras. Bar
codes. Swipe cards. Biometrics. Thermal imaging. Wire taps and
electronic communication monitoring. Blood and urine testing. Cell
phone, pager, and transit card tracking. Radio frequency identification
(RFID) tags. Facial recognition software. GPS tracking. Correlation of
disparate online databases. Microchip implantation. National identity
cards. Everyware. And so on...
We are rapidly approaching a time where every move - every action - can be monitored, archived, and correlated. The right of privacy precious to many is rapidly disappearing as we trade it for safety and convenience. The surveillance society is right around the corner, if it's not already here.
On the school front, many administrators dispense with students' 4th
Amendment rights in the name of 'safety.' They know what the law says,
but community pressures or perceived dangers outweigh Constitutional
rights. Many of these administrators are in schools with no history of
violence or threats. But Columbine freaked everyone out - if it could happen there, it could happen anywhere - so anything goes when it comes to student rights.
said, "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little
Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." The United
States Supreme Court, in West Virginia Board of Ed. v. Barnette,
said, "That they are educating the young for citizenship is reason for
scrupulous protection of Constitutional freedoms of the individual, if
we are not to strangle the free mind at its source and teach youth to discount important principles of our government as mere platitudes."
As leaders, we should be discussing these issues - with each other,
with our communities, with our students. Do we really want to live in a
surveillance society? Do we still care about the 4th Amendment right to
be free from suspicionless search? What is the proper balance between
legitimate concern and undifferentiated fear? What kind of world do we want to leave for our children?
Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.
- Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
- At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
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The 21st century is experiencing an Asianization of politics, business, and culture.
- Our theories about the world, even about history or the geopolitics of the present, tend to be shaped by Anglo perspectives of the Western industrial democracies, particularly those in the United States and the United Kingdom.
- The West, however, is not united. Canada, for instance, acts in many ways that are not in line with American or British policies, particularly in regard to populism. Even if it were united, though, it would not represent most of the world's population.
- European ideas, such as parliamentary democracy and civil service, spread across the world in the 19th century. In the 20th century, American values such as entrepreneurialism went global. In the 21st century, however, what we're seeing now is an Asianization — an Asian confidence that they can determine their own political systems, their own models, and adapt to their own circumstances.
Research has shown that men today have less testosterone than they used to. What's happening?
- Several studies have confirmed that testosterone counts in men are lower than what they used to be just a few decades ago.
- While most men still have perfectly healthy testosterone levels, its reduction puts men at risk for many negative health outcomes.
- The cause of this drop in testosterone isn't entirely clear, but evidence suggests that it is a multifaceted result of modern, industrialized life.
Can sensitive coral reefs survive another human generation?
- Coral reefs may not be able to survive another human decade because of the environmental stress we have placed on them, says author David Wallace-Wells. He posits that without meaningful changes to policies, the trend of them dying out, even in light of recent advances, will continue.
- The World Wildlife Fund says that 60 percent of all vertebrate mammals have died since just 1970. On top of this, recent studies suggest that insect populations may have fallen by as much as 75 percent over the last few decades.
- If it were not for our oceans, the planet would probably be already several degrees warmer than it is today due to the emissions we've expelled into the atmosphere.
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