Berkeley in the News

Berkeley in the News is a daily selection of articles and commentaries in the news media that mention UC Berkeley. The views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect the official policies or positions of the campus.

Friday, 17 November 2017

1. Want to understand Big Game? Ask Cal's Ortega family
San Francisco Chronicle (*requires registration)

At the end of the first practice for Saturday's annual Big Game against rival Stanford, Cal's head football coach, Justin Wilcox, asked linebacker David Ortega Jr. to lead the closing huddle. It was an honor, bestowed on a player with extraordinary insight into the annual rivalry, having been to nearly every Big Game since he was six weeks old. As the son of Cal's Hall of Fame linebacker David Ortega Sr., the Bears' all-time leading tackler, he says: "I've been coming to Cal practices and games forever. This was like my day care center, and being here for four years as a student and football player has been everything I ever dreamed about." The Big Game will begin at 5 pm Pacific, 8 pm Eastern, nationally televised on FOX. The team's regular season ends on Nov. 24 with a home game against Colorado. The 2018 schedule was announced Thursday morning, and it's available at: California Golden Blogs.
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2. Scientists Are Skeptical Political Leaders Can Meet Climate Goal
Bloomberg

Climate negotiators meeting in Bonn, Germany, this week set a most ambitious new goal to keep global temperatures at 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Calling that target "a little ridiculous and implausible," doctoral energy and resources student Zeke Hausfather, a climate scientist working with Berkeley Earth, says: "We would need an incredibly dramatic reduction in emissions in the very near future." Hausfather has published on the website CarbonBrief estimates of emissions-cutting requirements based on when the world reaches peak emissions, but since emissions continue to rise, not fall, the trends are going in the wrong direction for the new goal to be conceivable. Hausfather's comments here were also highlighted in the Washington Post.
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3. Opinion: Twitter Has a Chance to Solve Two Problems at Once
Bloomberg

After a study co-authored by economics professor Yuriy Gorodnichenko revealed this week that Russian Twitter accounts meddled in the UK's referendum on Brexit, and another study added further evidence, this commentator suggests that even if Twitter removes some of the accounts, "the overall problem remains. Twitter is awash in anonymous accounts with no end in sight." He concludes: "I don't think Twitter (or Facebook, for that matter) is really interested in responsible user behavior, just as these companies aren't interested in admitting they're really in the media business. They probably won't start thinking of meaningful solutions until regulatory pressure intensifies. That's wrong. For their own long-term survival, these companies should think more about what purposes they serve in society and how they could better serve them." Stories on this topic have appeared in more than 700 sources around the world.
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4. Op-Ed: Poll suggests it's time for a new school voucher initiative
San Francisco Chronicle (*requires registration)

A recent poll by Berkeley's Institute of Governmental Studies found that fifty-five percent of registered voters in California favor government subsidies to help low-income families chose private schools, write law professors Stephen Sugarman and John Coons, co-authors of Private Wealth and Public Education, and Making School Choice Work for all Families. Discussing the implications of the poll, they conclude: "California would require a ballot initiative to move in the direction of subsidized private school choice for low-income families. The recent poll suggests that a well-run campaign behind an appropriately drafted initiative could succeed. But the measure would have to follow the path of other places and not attempt to replay the [Milton] Friedman gambit. ... School choice is centrally about empowering families who are least well-served by our public schools to opt for something more promising, including faith-based schools if that is their preference; it is not about trying to create an unregulated private market in schooling for everyone."
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5. Goldman: Automated trucks to cost U.S. economy 300k jobs per year
USA Today

A story about new developments in automated trucking in the U.S. indicates that Volvo set up an alliance with Berkeley's Partners for Advanced Transportation Technology (PATH) to test on-highway truck platooning. The trial run was successful, and the company says the strategy offers opportunities to save fuel, improve highway safety, and increase transportation capacity.
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6. Here are UC Berkeley's top 10 donors and No. 5 might surprise you
San Francisco Business Times (*requires registration)

Berkeley's top 25 donors gave $137 million to the campus in fiscal year 2016, led by Gordon and Betty Moore ($10.01 million), an anonymous donor ($10 million), Marjorie Jackson ($9.49 million), the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture ($9.36 million), and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation ($9.25 million).
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7. Obituary: Edward S. Herman, media critic who co-wrote 'Manufacturing Consent,' dies at 92
Washington Post (*requires registration)

Alum Edward Herman, an influential economist who collaborated with linguist and political dissident Noam Chomsky on scathing critiques of U.S. foreign policy and mass media, has died at the age of 92. Herman, a professor emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, earned his doctorate in economics at Berkeley in 1953. He was mentored at Berkeley by Robert A. Brady. His 1988 book, Manufacturing Consent, co-authored with Chomsky, was his most famous and acclaimed, once described by Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi as "a kind of Bible of media criticism for a generation of dissident thinkers." It outlined a "propaganda model" of mass media in the U.S., largely driven by "market forces, internalized assumptions and self-censorship."
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