University of California

Policing the Police: New Demands to Reform the Rules for Secret Grand Juries

The toxic aftereffects of the killing of unarmed 18 year old by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer have not only persisted but, if anything, intensified in the wake of similar disturbing cases. Taken together, they have fueled the perception that cops too often shoot young men of color in haste, and with insufficient cause. Simmering distrust of the police has led to protest, rage, and at the extreme end, violent retaliation: two New York City cops were shot to death sitting in their car.

Fear Factor: In Business and Life, It May Separate Smart Luck from Dumb Luck

Taking big risks might actually keep you from succeeding. 

John Morgan is haunted by the prospect of failure. However, he tells his classroom of aspiring entrepreneurs, this fear might not be as unhealthy as your “clinical psychologist will tell you.”

We may like to peg successful entrepreneurs as overconfident thrill seekers, but such thrill seekers “never appear in Forbes,” according to Morgan, a professor at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. That’s because, by and large, these individuals fail and never bounce back.

From the Winter 2014 Gender Assumptions issue of California.

What Stalled the Gender Revolution? Child Care That Costs More Than College Tuition

I am probably a familiar type to you. I went to college, got a master’s degree, started a career, married, and had my first child late, at 35. I was working as editor-in-chief of a fiction magazine called Zoetrope: All-Story when I became pregnant. The magazine, founded and published by Francis Ford Coppola, had long struggled to get a financial foothold. Under my editorship it achieved just shy of breakeven and earned a number of literary awards. In my last trimester, however, I found myself fighting for my job.

From the Winter 2014 Gender Assumptions issue of California.

Lord of Lores: Papers of Famed Folklorist Alan Dundes Open to the Public

What do a light bulb joke, your great aunt’s cold remedy, and a poem scribbled on the door of a bathroom stall have in common? If you know the answer, you may have taken a class from the late UC Berkeley professor Alan Dundes. Each of these, Dundes would have said, is an example of folklore—a category of knowledge that many people associate with the legends, old-wives tales and superstitions passed along by preliterate societies in the times of yore.

Is Santa Real? Comedy Writer Earning a Ph.D. in Philosophy’s Eye-Opening Conclusion

When it comes to the existence of Santa Claus, it’s tough to find reliable sources. A quick Google search will lead you to theories ranging from Santa being a commercialized hoax used to sell Coca-Cola, to Santa being a shaman stoned on psychedelic mushrooms. These explanations, mixed in with the usual Illuminati and CIA conspiracies, aren’t of much help when your kids get to that pesky age where skepticism becomes as cool as Ugg boots and Legos. Wait, those are still cool, right?

On Anniversary of his Viral Email, Cal Lecturer Reflects on What He’d Change (Not Much)

One year ago, Alexander Coward attained, by sheer accident, what so many others have sought without success—a little slice of Internet fame. The UC Berkeley lecturer did so simply by sending an email to his math students. The email’s journey to stardom began when a student posted it to Facebook; then another posted it to Reddit. At some point it got tweeted, and soon the share-frenzy began. Within 48 hours it had crossed that illusive, magical threshold—it had gone viral.

Bitcoin and Beyond: Is It Possible to Demystify the Coin of the Digital Realm?

We all know about Bitcoin: It’s that electronic currency that exists somewhere in the ether and can be used to buy illicit products on the Internet. And it isn’t backed by hard assets (such as gold specie) or a sovereign nation. And to create new Bitcoins you must  “mine” them, which means solving complex mathematical problems to demonstrate you put x number of computer hours into the process.

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