Farnaz Fassihi Discusses the Potential for Functioning Democracy Iraq

Question: How interested is the average Iraqi in democracy?

Fassihi:    You know, I think that the Iraqis, the average Iraqis, their foremost concern is having security.  I think that’s what they want.  I think democracy and a free parliament and free elections are kind of, you know, not very tangible if you don’t have, you don’t know if you’re going to be alive or if you don’t have water and you don’t have work and you don’t have money in.  So, I think, you know…   And also their vision of democracy, every time there was an election, the results were extremely divided along sectarian lines, so you see that most people are loyal to their sects and to the political parties that represent their ethnicity or their sect.  So, I think, in that sense, there’s a great deal of division and a sense of self interest among the different parties and among different Iraqi people.

It’s democracy but a sectarian democracy Farnaz Fassihi says.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Radical theory says our universe sits on an inflating bubble in an extra dimension

Cosmologists propose a groundbreaking model of the universe using string theory.

Getty Images/Suvendu Giri
Surprising Science
  • A new paper uses string theory to propose a new model of the universe.
  • The researchers think our universe may be riding a bubble expanded by dark energy.
  • All matter in the universe may exist in strings that reach into another dimension.
Keep reading Show less

Your body’s full of stuff you no longer need. Here's a list.

Evolution doesn't clean up after itself very well.

Image source: Ernst Haeckel
Surprising Science
  • An evolutionary biologist got people swapping ideas about our lingering vestigia.
  • Basically, this is the stuff that served some evolutionary purpose at some point, but now is kind of, well, extra.
  • Here are the six traits that inaugurated the fun.
Keep reading Show less

Think you’re bad at math? You may suffer from ‘math trauma’

Even some teachers suffer from anxiety about math.

Image credit: Getty Images
Mind & Brain

I teach people how to teach math, and I've been working in this field for 30 years. Across those decades, I've met many people who suffer from varying degrees of math trauma – a form of debilitating mental shutdown when it comes to doing mathematics.

Keep reading Show less