Has California Ended Mass Incarceration? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Has California Ended Mass Incarceration?

Between 1975 and 2007, incarceration rates in the United States increased nearly fivefold. But over the last decade, California has slowly turned away from mass incarceration, reducing its prison population and changing criminal sentencing and other law enforcement practices to give more people more second chances. What has California done right in this transformation, and where has it fallen short? …

Can Local Media Restore Trust and Destroy Disinformation? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Can Local Media Restore Trust and Destroy Disinformation?

Social media polarizes us. Political propaganda deluges us. And misinformation and disinformation seem to spread as quickly as COVID-19. So where can we go to find stories, analysis, and messengers we can trust? Scholars say that high-quality, fact-based local news organizations—based in our own communities and staffed by diverse and responsible journalists who are also our neighbors—can inoculate us against …

How Will Robot Trucks Change American Life? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How Will Robot Trucks Change American Life?

Robotic trucks are beginning to roll out, carrying cargo and promises of revolutionizing freight hauling, reducing traffic, and lowering pollution. But previous waves of automation have eliminated millions of jobs in the United States. And a transformation in truck driving could come with big costs for the 3.5 million truckers who toil in one of America’s most enduring occupations and …

Can Higher Education Be Transformed to Better Serve Society? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Can Higher Education Be Transformed to Better Serve Society?

America’s higher education system faces a crisis of legitimacy. Colleges and universities, while promoting themselves as forces for social mobility, have stacked the deck against their neediest students. Rising college costs, skyrocketing student debt, and increasingly out-of-touch curricula are leading more Americans to question the fairness and value of higher education. What is right, and what misses the mark, in …

How Do Our Cities Prepare for the Post-Apocalypse? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Can We Still Find the Good in the World?

It feels like such a dark time. The planet is burning with hatred, disease, and environmental degradation. And, between the confusing nature of our societies and our own biases, traumas, and privileges, it’s become increasingly difficult to be sure we will know the good when we see it. What does it mean, when the bad urgently demands our attention and …

How Do Our Cities Prepare for the Post-Apocalypse? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How Do Our Cities Prepare for the Post-Apocalypse?

It’s too late to prevent the apocalypse. Because it’s already here. A virus spreads globally, creating a pandemic, as yet uncontrolled. Climate change accelerates, and hurricanes, droughts, heat waves, and floods grow deadlier. Nuclear weapons and disruptive technologies proliferate, and economic dislocation and record mass migrations destabilize cities. Is it reasonable to expect urban centers, which are particularly threatened by …