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Rethinking Complexity

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Posts tagged with the category Government

A mid-August posting by Jeff Selingo, editorial director of The Chronicle of Higher Education, described three key issues facing administrators in higher education in the U.S. What he referred to as the "trifecta" that had to be kept in balance involved "rising tuition discount rates, flat or falling net tuition revenue, and...
By Malwack (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3
With the coming of another U.S. presidential election, we are faced once again with a barrage of over-simplified explanations about increasingly complex problems. And with the choice of Paul Ryan as the vice presidential candidate for the Republican Party, it seems that healthcare will be front-and-center in the ads and speeches. He obviously didn...
Last Friday, it was impossible to tune in into any news station and not be completely drawn into the details surrounding the massacre in Aurora, Colorado. A gunman had killed 12 people and wounded 58 others at the midnight premiere of the latest Batman movie installment. Pundits, politicians, and the rest of us immediately after learning about the...
Photo by Anna Ridout/ Oxfam
As I listened to the afternoon newscast on my way home a few weeks ago, I thought I had misunderstood what the broadcaster said on a story about a "Save the Children" report that childbirth is the number one killer of teenage girls in Africa between the ages of 15 and 19. I was further shocked when the broadcaster said that this trend is...
The other day, National Public Radio published a story about partisan politics. According to insights offered by Dartmouth College political scientist Brendan Nyhan in the story, partisans tend to be partial to their political loyalties on a range of issues, side-stepping the facts. When remaining loyal requires them to change their views of the...
Photo of Ahmed Rashid courtesy of WorldOnFocus.wordpress.com
As the U.S. election rhetoric heats up and the Republican and Democratic parties advocate their strongly-held positions, I'm afraid that something important is getting lost. Media-professed wars on women, the poor, and students obscure an international reality that is turbulent, unstable, and dangerous. As an international policy wonk, I pay...
In 2008, I flew to Beijing, China, at the invitation of a friend who had arranged my hotel accomodations. This particular trip—my first in a series of several business trips to China to work on consulting projects in the year that followed—coincided with China’s National Day, which is celebrated on October 1st. When I arrived in...
Imagine our private organizations operating like the federal government. What if we belonged to parties inside our workplaces and chose to work or not based on what our party determined? What if we could refuse to implement a needed plan just because our party does not agree? I have been working in private for-profit and non-profit organizations...
Photo of Thomas L. Friedman courtesy of The Aspen Times.
I tuned into CNN this morning the way I typically do before breakfast when a quotation on the screen immediately grabbed my attention: "shock to the system." The quote belonged to New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman who was discussing how he believes that a third-party, presidential candidate could deliver the systemic jolt...
Art by Alex Ross.
Criticizing the leadership capabilities of presidential hopeful Barack Obama was considered a blasphemous act of heresy during the summer of 2008. Back then, you were asking for trouble and social ostracism if you dared cast doubt over Obama's vague notions of hope, change, and the future of the U.S. across various sectors. Today, it's OK...
Photo courtesy of the Washington Department of Enterprise Services.
The reality of war has had a profound influence on my life. This influence is hard to see. In fact, it's invisible. I would have kept it hidden if I hadn't read Clay Sellers' August 26 post, "Beyond the Clouds of War: A Faint, Silver Lining." His writing inspired me to explore the complexity that a legacy of war has had on my...
It’s been a bad week for government and technology. It was revealed this week that the medical records of over 300,000 Californians sat on unsecured servers … leaving everything from insurance claims to social security numbers available to anyone who wanted to Google it. On the other side of the spectrum, Florida Governor Rick Scott...