Monthly Archives: April 2013

Race to Somewhere

An open letter to my students at Harvard: Some of you are upset with me for writing a piece at Cognoscenti in which I questioned the value of our punishing, sometimes brutalizing “race to the top” admissions process to elite … Continue reading

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Empathy Gap

My family and Bangladesh go way back: I lived in Bangladesh for a year when I was in my early twenties. A decade later, in an odd twist of fate, my sister moved to Bangladesh, too, and stayed there with … Continue reading

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Two Degrees of Separation From a Bomber

A TIME.com column I wrote today with my husband, Nicholas Christakis: We spent a tense hour last Monday checking Facebook and Twitter to account for all 400 of our students at Harvard College, several of whom had been running in the marathon … Continue reading

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Painful Questions

How do we talk about the Boston marathon murders in a way that acknowledges the suffering and the evil, yet also places them within the broader perspective of suffering and evil that the human race has experienced, and is currently … Continue reading

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Who You Gonna Call In A Crisis?

I want to return to my “Big Fat American Government” piece I posted a couple days ago. I think the horrific explosion at a fertilizer plant in the town of West, Texas is a chilling counterpoint to the kind of government response … Continue reading

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My Big Fat American Government

Hey, props to Boston! Taxachusetts, I heart you. Gimme some B-I-G government! O big/bloated/corrupt government-shunners, O bombastic, ignorant Tea partiers, O federal trough-slopping hypocrites… come on, just admit it. Didn’t we all see this week what robust public investments in health, … Continue reading

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The Little State That Could (or: More Warm Fuzzies for Mass-holes)

I’m re-posting something I wrote last year, about my home state, that seems especially appropriate today. Enjoy. (I hope it goes without saying that I’m not trying to make light of recent events, but I am thinking rather fondly about … Continue reading

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A Boston Patriot

(Update: I just learned that the sister of one of our dining hall workers here at Harvard College was among the victims. My heart goes out to her devastated family.) The Shot heard ’round the world. The cry, too. My … Continue reading

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Use Your Words

“Words are supposed to hurt. That’s considered a legitimate way of fighting things out. And what did it replace in the historical scene? It replaced actual violence. Words are supposed to be free so we CAN actually fight things out, … Continue reading

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How to Survive an Attack

There’s something grimly understated about this article from the NYT on how to survive a mass homicide attack. Apparently, we now have a large enough sample size from these shootings to talk intelligently about predictors of survival: Research on mass … Continue reading

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