What inspires you?
Jean-Francois Rischard: Well I think I could speak for all the World Bank employees. It’s a job that is very . . . It grabs you really strongly. And you do get up early in the morning, and you look forward to a day of very interesting work. Because what could be more interesting than to work on some 150 countries, on about 100 sectors, and on global issues from such an outpost as the World Bank, which is owned by 185 countries of the world, and from which you do look at the world as if it was a whole planet – not from the country point of view but from the sort of overall, global point of view? So it’s a very interesting job to be in, and you get to learn a lot of things about a lot of countries and a lot of people. And the cultures of the institution is interesting. It’s one where there are 150 or 160 nationalities in the house and you never think about the nationality of your colleagues. You forget about it, and everyone has the same jargon and code words. And you forget that someone is Italian, or Bangladeshi or Tanzanian. So it is a little bit . . . It has the culture of the world as I would wish it to have. I would wish the world had that sort of culture one day. It’s beyond a nation state and the nationality culture. It’s one level above. And that also makes it very fascinating. And the third thing that had me taking at the World Bank, it’s a very libertarian institution. There was a lot of room for debates on what worked and what didn’t work. There were a lot of arguments – academic arguments or even practical arguments – one way or the other. And you could do many things, and I did in my time. I pioneered many news things and I was never whittled back. And that was part of the reasons why I so liked the institution.
Recorded on: 7/2/07
What could be better than seeing the world as a whole?
Swiss researchers identify new dangers of modern cocaine.
- Cocaine cut with anti-worming adulterant levamisole may cause brain damage.
- Levamisole can thin out the prefrontal cortex and affect cognitive skills.
- Government health programs should encourage testing of cocaine for purity.
Sarco assisted suicide pods come in three different styles, and allow you to die quickly and painlessly. They're even quite beautiful to look at.
Death: it happens to everyone (except, apparently, Keanu Reeves). But while the impoverished and lower-class people of the world die in the same ol' ways—cancer, heart disease, and so forth—the upper classes can choose hip and cool new ways to die. Now, there's an assisted-suicide pod so chic and so stylin' that peeps (young people still say peeps, right?) are calling it the "Tesla" of death... it's called... the Sarco!
Civil discourse has fallen to an all time low.
The question that the American populace needs to ask itself now is: how do we fix it?
Discursive fundamentals need to be taught to preserve free expression
In their findings the authors state:
upholding First Amendment ideals.
Talking politics at Thanksgiving dinner
- Progressive Activists: younger, highly engaged, secular, cosmopolitan, angry.
- Traditional Liberals: older, retired, open to compromise, rational, cautious.
- Passive Liberals: unhappy, insecure, distrustful, disillusioned.
- Politically Disengaged: young, low income, distrustful, detached, patriotic, conspiratorial
- Moderates: engaged, civic-minded, middle-of-the-road, pessimistic, Protestant.
- Traditional Conservatives: religious, middle class, patriotic, moralistic.
- Devoted Conservatives: white, retired, highly engaged, uncompromising,
It's interesting to note the authors found that:
"Tribe membership shows strong reliability in predicting views across different political topics."
Here are some statistics on differing viewpoints according to political party:
- 51% of staunch liberals say it's "morally acceptable" to punch Nazis.
- 53% of Republicans favor stripping U.S. citizenship from people who burn the American flag.
- 65% of Republicans say NFL players should be fired if they refuse to stand for the anthem.
- 58% of Democrats say employers should punish employees for offensive Facebook posts.
- 47% of Republicans favor bans on building new mosques.
Here are some guidelines for civic discourse that might come in handy:
- Practice inclusion and listen to who you're speaking to.
Civic discourse in the divisive age
dangerously tribal, fueled by a culture of outrage and taking offense. For the combatants,
the other side can no longer be tolerated, and no price is too high to defeat them.
These tensions are poisoning personal relationships, consuming our politics and
putting our democracy in peril.
Once a country has become tribalized, debates about contested issues from
immigration and trade to economic management, climate change and national security,
become shaped by larger tribal identities. Policy debate gives way to tribal conflicts.
Polarization and tribalism are self-reinforcing and will likely continue to accelerate.
The work of rebuilding our fragmented society needs to start now. It extends from
re-connecting people across the lines of division in local communities all the way to
building a renewed sense of national identity: a bigger story of us."
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