This past Sunday marked the launch of the MIT Bitcoin Project, a study conducted by faculty and students from the Media Lab, Sloan, and the MIT Bitcoin Club. The study aims to understand how the digital currency proliferates after being distributed to potential users.
On June 10, David Brat, an unknown professor of economics at Randolph-Macon College in Virginia, shocked the American political establishment by defeating House majority leader Eric Cantor in the Republican primary for Virginia’s seventh Congressional district.
As scientists and engineers, MIT students constantly balance harsh realism with eternal optimism. On the one hand, we must be machines — poring over facts, figures, and data, determining what is infeasible, and eliminating it. On the other, we must maintain unwavering faith in the possibilities of discovery and the limitless potential of imagination. While we’re here, one of the most important lessons we learn is how to grapple with this duality — how to keep the faith despite setbacks. We learn to be resilient.
When I was growing up, I had the privilege of listening to Dave Niehaus — the best broadcaster to ever call a baseball game — animate the ups and downs of the Seattle Mariners on long summer nights. I only realized how good I had it after I moved across the country, and had to rely on a virtual tool to provide game updates. As a pitch comes in, a red, green, or blue dot will indicate either a strike, ball, or ball in play. Balls put in play are followed by a neutral, and technical description of the action.
With just a few days remaining before the election, and with the presidential candidates locked in a dead heat, polls suggest that the outcome will depend on the last-minute decisions of a handful of voters who are still undecided, especially in critical swing states. Sampling in various polls also indicates that among likely voters, the economy will be the overriding issue.
“It was just before midnight when I left Cambridge and headed north on U.S. 93 toward Manchester … back on the Campaign Trail …” So began Hunter S. Thompson’s legendary coverage of the New Hampshire primary in “Fear and Loathing,” the 1972 Rolling Stone essay that changed political journalism forever.
On Sept. 14, Elizabeth Warren announced her candidacy for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts. Warren’s most recent contribution to U.S. public policy has been the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) last year. The bureau is tasked with promoting fairness and transparency for mortgages, credit cards, and other consumer financial products and services. Warren believes that the CFPB should be an integral part of an effort to help middle-class American families, whom she believes have been “chipped at, hacked at, squeezed, and hammered for a generation.”
As MIT students, we need to “engage in more public discourse.” Last Tuesday, The Tech’s call for undergraduates to move on from squabbling over student life complications was encouraging. The editorial invited a serious discussion of MIT’s social and political importance. In the coming weeks, complaints about little things on campus will die down. But it remains to be seen whether undergraduates will stand up and begin to participate in the larger debates that will not only shape the Institute, but the world. Let me begin where The Tech left off.