State Dept.'s Jared Cohen Connects With the World 140 Characters at a Time
A story in this Sunday's New York Times Magazine focuses largely on Jared Cohen, who at 28 is the youngest member of the State Department’s policy planning staff. He and Alec Ross, the first senior adviser for innovation to the secretary of state, have become key players in a campaign to use social media to relay information from the State Department to the digital world:
When Big Think interviewed Cohen in early 2008, he spoke about democracy, the Middle East, and his book, "Children of Jihad." At the time, Cohen said he had been brought into the State Department to figure out ways to address "the huge swath of the world’s population that’s under the age of 30."
"Nobody understands the youth better than youth understand themselves. Right?" Cohen said. "And similar to the kids in the Middle East being digital natives, I’m also a digital native in the United States, so youth can work to one’s advantage." He said that his role in the State department was to be a kind of internal think tank, generating ideas for how to engage and empower young people all around the world, and build connectivity with social media.
Cohen also asserted that social media companies like Facebook and MySpace were "doing a tremendous amount to promote democracy and counter violent extremism, and they’re doing it just by virtue of trying to make money and get into new markets, because they’re creating alternatives for young people. They’re creating outlets for expression. They’re creating opportunities for interaction. They’re breaking down national divides, socio-economic divides, religious divides. They’re bringing people together."
How a cataclysm worse than what killed the dinosaurs destroyed 90 percent of all life on Earth.
While the demise of the dinosaurs gets more attention as far as mass extinctions go, an even more disastrous event called "the Great Dying” or the “End-Permian Extinction” happened on Earth prior to that. Now scientists discovered how this cataclysm, which took place about 250 million years ago, managed to kill off more than 90 percent of all life on the planet.
A new study discovers the “liking gap” — the difference between how we view others we’re meeting for the first time, and the way we think they’re seeing us.
We tend to be defensive socially. When we meet new people, we’re often concerned with how we’re coming off. Our anxiety causes us to be so concerned with the impression we’re creating that we fail to notice that the same is true of the other person as well. A new study led by Erica J. Boothby, published on September 5 in Psychological Science, reveals how people tend to like us more in first encounters than we’d ever suspect.
Using advanced laser technology, scientists at NASA will track global changes in ice with greater accuracy.
Leaving from Vandenberg Air Force base in California this coming Saturday, at 8:46 a.m. ET, the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 — or, the "ICESat-2" — is perched atop a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket, and when it assumes its orbit, it will study ice layers at Earth's poles, using its only payload, the Advance Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS).
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