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Nadav Ziv

The rhetoric of PWR

Not all students hate Stanford’s Program in Writing and Rhetoric (PWR), but they generally agree that other students hate it. There’s a rhetoric around PWR: a word-of-mouth opinion spread around campus about the two-quarter sequence that nearly all Stanford students take in their first and second years.

The pain of memory

Inside the gates of Auschwitz — the largest concentration camp employed in the Nazi’s “Final Solution” to extirpate the Jewish people — a member of a right-wing political party gives an interview to the media, declaring, “It’s time to fight against Jewry and free Poland from them.” Except the man speaking is not a National…

Talking with the enemy

Democrats and Republicans increasingly view the other party as a “threat to the nation’s well-being.” In her home state — where she also teaches — University of Wisconsin political science professor Katherine Cramer notes that “people, in casual conversation, are treating each other as enemies.” Scholars continue to debate whether today’s polarization is rooted in…

Let’s shutdown (the government’s ability to not pay its workers)

There is something fundamentally wrong with a political system in which hundreds of thousands of federal employees can suffer the collateral damage of political polarization. Understanding and addressing the structural causes of the growing acrimony between Democrats and Republicans is a long-term, herculean task. But we can mitigate the worst consequences of a divided government…

A mystical shield of sovereignty

200,000 primary school teachers and an equal amount of soldiers to ensure the teachers’ safety — this was the CIA character Peter Quinn’s solution to what he perceived as Middle Eastern ideological extremism on the popular television show Homeland. In the context of an often violent and brutal history of American intervention, one recoils at…

The scraps of our soul

The Jewish baker did not believe the Nazis would come for him. Rafael Lemkin — a Polish-born lawyer who was also Jewish and went on to create the term genocide — pleaded with the man to escape while there was still time. But the baker stayed, and Lemkin later commented on his skepticism: “Many generations…

The wool over our eyes

Bleak. That is the word researchers from the Stanford History Education Group used in 2016 to summarize “young people’s ability to reason about information on the internet.” And yes, Stanford students were among the young people to whom they were referring. So far, much of the conversation regarding disinformation online has centered around its source:…
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