Recent Blog Posts

Poppy’s Subversive Ideological Critique by Joseph Hammett

March 17th, 2022

Pop artists employ many different techniques in order to convey a message, market themselves, and create a brand towards building an audience. One such artist, known simply as Poppy, developed a unique tactic in order to jumpstart her musical career. With over a million followers on Instagram, close to 2 million monthly listeners on Spotify, countless think pieces written about her performance art, and collaborations with other famous cultural figures (such as Elon Musk’s past romantic partner and fellow musician, Grimes), Poppy’s cultural influence and impact are undeniable.

A Reformed Electoral College by Anthony Raisley

February 28th, 2022

What do Presidents Trump, George W. Bush, Harrison, Hayes, and John Quincy Adams have in common? All were elected President of the United States without receiving the majority of the popular vote. Voters will recall the 2016 and 2000 elections as the most recent examples.

Can Artificial Intelligence be Creative? by Hüseyn Panahov

January 22nd, 2022

This image was produced by the Deep Dream Generator, an AI project sponsored by Google, when I put in the photo of the Healy Hall. I chose the “Starry Night” painting of Van Gogh as an overlay, and the program combined the two pictures and produced this result. I find it aesthetically pleasing and might even hang it in my room. It is not a completely original work, but an imitation. However, do not all students of art learn by imitation? Can Artificial Intelligence learn to be creative?

Truth, Reality, and Post-Truth: A Journey Through Words By Andrew Peacock

December 12th, 2021

If you had to choose one keyword, term, or phrase to describe your interests, what would you choose? My keyword, post-truth, denotes an increasingly alarming issue during which people find truth and reality within their own emotional qualifications and communities, ignoring the supposed truth-tellers of society.

Digital Law and Privacy

Privacy Regulations: EU’s GDPR vs China’s PIPL by Hüseyn Panahov

November 21st, 2021

Since the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) came into force in 2018, Brussels has become a trailblazer in the field of data privacy regulation. The United States, home to the biggest tech industry in the world, does not have unifying federal legislation on privacy. So, many countries have followed the example of the EU and adopted privacy legislation similar to GDPR, which some observers call another “Brussels effect.” In August 2021, the National People’s Congress of China adopted the Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL), which entered into force November 1, 2021. Essentially, PIPL is quite similar to the GDPR and became another big step towards the government regulation of data handling practices in global cyberspace. This post outlines some of the main similarities and differences between the EU’s GDPR and China’s PIPL.

Revolutionary Fake News: Redfish Media’s Support for the Palestinian Cause

April 21st, 2021

By: Cat Haseman — Since the 2016 presidential election, a dominant narrative has pervaded the United States: Russian influence is bad. Until recently, I hadn’t given this assertion, nor efforts to counter Russian media machines, much thought. A few months ago, however, I learned that my favorite news outlet—one of the few consistent online sources of pro-Palestine coverage—had been labelled “Russian state-controlled media.”

Mobilizing the Mob, Moving the Markets

March 18th, 2021

By Nicholas Budler — January was a whirlwind. The “Stop the Steal” insurrection was something beyond what most Americans have ever seen in the nation’s capital. People at home watched on TV and on social media as the President’s protest devolved into what seemed like anarchy. The chaos was evident as rioters swarmed around the Capitol, seemingly without purpose or direction. Barricades were ripped down, windows were broken as people climbed inside the building, and the Senate floor was eventually overrun.

As Veterans Build an Online Community, Divisions are Laid Bare

January 14th, 2021

By Ted Harrison — During the recent protests against police brutality and systemic racism here in Washington, D.C., a majority of the war memorials were spared from being vandalized. One exception, however, was a simple question spray-painted on the World War II Memorial asking: “Do Black Vets Count?” As a veteran, I feel the obvious answer is “of course they do,” but the treatment of black WWII veterans – most of whom were denied life-changing benefits like the GI Bill – shows that, at least to the government, they did not.