To understand the priorities of our leaders in government, don’t listen to what they say. Instead, look at what they want to fund. The federal budget of the United States, as proposed by the White House and approved (or rejected) by Congress, is the most concrete blueprint for where the country is heading. So who does the number crunching, what influences the spending process, and how does the staff make the system work on behalf of the people? “The Budget Series,” presented by the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley, features Dean Henry E. Brady in conversation with three experts in the ways of Washington – “Mr. Budget” Stan Collender, Holly Harvey of the Congressional Budget Office and Dorothy Robyn, a former government employee whose attention to detail and persistence in protecting a satellite phone system has saved many lives, both in the US and abroad.
How in English—or for that matter any language—does a word become “dirty?” That, linguistically speaking, is one of the great mysteries of our time, but one that not a lot of university linguists have been particularly eager to delve into. Enter Benjamin K. Bergen. A cognitive scientist and linguist at UC-San Diego, his latest book (“What the F: What Swearing Reveals About our Language, our Brains, and Ourselves”) plumbs the depths of our trash talk to give us a fascinating look at what the F*** is going on. “When you look at the languages of the world,” he says, “you find that taboo words are almost always drawn from the same four categories.” Those categories are blasphemy, sexuality, bodily functions and/or body parts, and hate speech.” Why just four? That too is far from clear. But what is clear, as Bergen observes on this month’s edition of Up Next: Perspectives on the Future of Everything, is that not all swear words offend with equal strength. Certainly, blasphemy doesn’t have the punch that it once did—at least not in this part of the world. Nor for that matter does the F word. But racial epithets are a whole different kettle of fish. And, especially among today’s young people, they are considered to be far more offensive than synonyms for say penis or sexual intercourse. Does this argue for the enforcement of on-campus word bans? Perhaps. But, as Bergen points out, the destructive power of hate speech has far more to do with the existing power structure than the words themselves. No one, he observes, is demanding that we get rid of the word ‘whitey.’
UC San Diego researchers are always pushing the boundaries in their fields. Get a front row seat as we celebrate UCSD’s 56th year with three fascinating faculty presentations. Kang Zhang looks at the latest advances in ophthalmology, Christina Gremel talks about what it takes to break habits, and Mark Hanna looks at pirates on the high seas — and in the library.
Urbanist Richard Florida visited San Diego to discuss the challenges facing cities and our country as we experience a deep political divide that falls largely along urban/rural lines. He is joined on stage by Steve Clemons of the Atlantic Magazine and Mary Walshok of UC San Diego to explore economic development strategies, building communities, immigration and new notions of work.
People in America are living longer than ever before. Soon one fifth of our population will be over 65 years old, a greater proportion than at any time in history. This series of programs from UCSF helps you optimize aging and improve well-being—no matter your health or situation. This includes ways to stay active, socially connected, maintain cognition, and to comprehensively plan for the future. You will also learn ways to optimize medications to improve wellbeing, an increasingly important issue as older adults are prescribed more medications than any other age group.
Find the entire 6-part series here.