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Why Politicians Are No Einsteins
Eliot Spitzer is a former Governor of New York State. He served as New York State Attorney General from 1998 until 2006 and as the 54th Governor of New York from January 2007 until his resignation on March 17, 2008. He is currently a Slate magazine columnist and professor of political science at City College of New York.
Question: Aside from moral issues, what insights have emerged from your personal reflection since resigning?\r\n
Eliot Spitzer: I think there are many ways to contribute and it is unclear to me whether one contributes more by being an elected official, being a school teacher, being an academic, working in not for profits that provide services to those who are in need and thereby creating opportunities for them, by being a technology whiz who creates some next step in some area I can’t even understand. There are so many different ways to participate in ways that are rewarding emotionally. Make one feel good about participating in our community so that we can focus as much as we often do, certainly as much as the media does on the politics. You ask me, and again, this goes back to the days of the ancient Greeks where the politicians – we remember Paracelsus, we don’t remember the guy who was the great teacher at the high school in Athens. So, we focus on politicians, perhaps too much. Those who really have changed society, however – I guess Paracelsus did, but at large politicians don’t, it is Einstein, it is Freud, it is Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, it’s people who are creative thinkers who really change society in a fundamental way.\r\n
Question: What has motivated your fairly early return to public life, and will you ever attempt a return to politics?\r\n
Eliot Spitzer: You know, it’s – I began simply by writing some articles for Slate. I enjoy writing whether people would be interested or not wasn’t clear to me. Interestingly, it had been a number of years since I’d actually had the opportunity to write because even though as Attorney General and Governor, I would speak quite often, rarely did I have the time to sit down and actually write an article, or a speech. And so, it was almost liberating to be in a position where I had the time to do that. And I enjoyed it. So, writing a few articles and then I was asked to provide some commentary on a few TV shows, and so bit by bit, I’ve accepted those invitations and spoken at a few venues. It has not been part of any preordained plan on my part. I have a day job, not only working in the family business, but teaching and now doing the writing, so I’m busy enough. So, this is not part of some scheduled return to anything, but I’ve enjoyed it.\r\n
Question: Where would you most like to see yourself in 10 years as a public figure?\r\n
Eliot Spitzer: Oh, I don’t know where, if anywhere, as a public figure. Ten years from now I’d like to see myself upstate with a little piece of property up there and – it is where I find peace and quiet, sitting there. It sounds, again, very kind of like a Hallmark card. You look up at the stars and you realize, okay, none of us is that important, but it’s where I love to spend time.
Recorded January 21, 2010
Interviewed by Austin Allen
It’s creative thinkers like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs who change the world, says New York’s ex-governor, who is stepping back into public life.
Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.
Health officials in China reported that a man was infected with bubonic plague, the infectious disease that caused the Black Death.
- The case was reported in the city of Bayannur, which has issued a level-three plague prevention warning.
- Modern antibiotics can effectively treat bubonic plague, which spreads mainly by fleas.
- Chinese health officials are also monitoring a newly discovered type of swine flu that has the potential to develop into a pandemic virus.
Bacteria under microscope
needpix.com<p>Today, bubonic plague can be treated effectively with antibiotics.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Unlike in the 14th century, we now have an understanding of how this disease is transmitted," Dr. Shanthi Kappagoda, an infectious disease physician at Stanford Health Care, told <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">Healthline</a>. "We know how to prevent it — avoid handling sick or dead animals in areas where there is transmission. We are also able to treat patients who are infected with effective antibiotics, and can give antibiotics to people who may have been exposed to the bacteria [and] prevent them [from] getting sick."</p>
This plague patient is displaying a swollen, ruptured inguinal lymph node, or buboe.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention<p>Still, hundreds of people develop bubonic plague every year. In the U.S., a handful of cases occur annually, particularly in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado, <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/plague/faq/index.html" target="_blank">where habitats allow the bacteria to spread more easily among wild rodent populations</a>. But these cases are very rare, mainly because you need to be in close contact with rodents in order to get infected. And though plague can spread from human to human, this <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">only occurs with pneumonic plague</a>, and transmission is also rare.</p>
A new swine flu in China<p>Last week, researchers in China also reported another public health concern: a new virus that has "all the essential hallmarks" of a pandemic virus.<br></p><p>In a paper published in the <a href="https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/06/23/1921186117" target="_blank">Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</a>, researchers say the virus was discovered in pigs in China, and it descended from the H1N1 virus, commonly called "swine flu." That virus was able to transmit from human to human, and it killed an estimated 151,700 to 575,400 people worldwide from 2009 to 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.</p>There's no evidence showing that the new virus can spread from person to person. But the researchers did find that 10 percent of swine workers had been infected by the virus, called G4 reassortant EA H1N1. This level of infectivity raises concerns, because it "greatly enhances the opportunity for virus adaptation in humans and raises concerns for the possible generation of pandemic viruses," the researchers wrote.
The word "learning" opens up space for more people, places, and ideas.
- The terms 'education' and 'learning' are often used interchangeably, but there is a cultural connotation to the former that can be limiting. Education naturally links to schooling, which is only one form of learning.
- Gregg Behr, founder and co-chair of Remake Learning, believes that this small word shift opens up the possibilities in terms of how and where learning can happen. It also becomes a more inclusive practice, welcoming in a larger, more diverse group of thinkers.
- Post-COVID, the way we think about what learning looks like will inevitably change, so it's crucial to adjust and begin building the necessary support systems today.
Scientists uncovered the secrets of what drove some of the world's last remaining woolly mammoths to extinction.
Every summer, children on the Alaskan island of St Paul cool down in Lake Hill, a crater lake in an extinct volcano – unaware of the mysteries that lie beneath.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought out the perception of selfishness among many.
- Selfish behavior has been analyzed by philosophers and psychologists for centuries.
- New research shows people may be wired for altruistic behavior and get more benefits from it.
- Times of crisis tend to increase self-centered acts.