tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN May 10, 2016 8:00am-10:01am EDT
as a country and failing them as human beings. >> i've been handed what is the last question. it is a question for rent in my mind, one of our wonderful insightful members have asked a question as well. namely, what does the reformed system look like? that is, is the comprehensive immigration reform package that has been much talked about the kind of thing they are looking at? and also in terms of political prospects, small items that are doing something comprehensive as a way of moving the sword to show some thing can be done and aside from the question of gender, what is achievable now and in the future perhaps right after the election of the first step that we ought to be advocating for. >> that is my question?
i think as i've outlined, whether one bill for a series of bills, and where they enter a market in policy is. a legalization process and i think it a good way to talk about that because it makes people realize, it's really funny when you ask people who are on the fence about immigration reform means to break it down. how about we have a process where you make people learn english, pass a background check in at the end of that, they can get legal status. what do you think? >> that sounds great. how long should it be? we should make people wait a really long time. at least three or four years.
>> senate will we talked about was 13. they get demagogues all over the place. reform ultimately is going to be a combination of legal status been documented to look like that with a temporary status way down the line. order security, interior security is an undocumented immigrant after we fix the immigration system. the part to combat to come in the first principle, none of it is working if we don't fix illegal immigration. right now you have impossible choices ahead of people. do i move back to the country to start a company or do i hope that i'm going to get a visa every three months and illegal immigration system with border security and legal status works from a policy standpoint. it works because democrats and republicans together are really
important. this is one of the few big issues that has bipartisan support in washington d.c. it truly really does. i can't stress enough what you are seeing now is the outside voices playing to a small percentage of the american electorate did so i think reform look something like that. it's much better to be done after the election. the reasons are for that because of the nature of what's going to come out of the election. i think that there's tons of disagreement in their. those are the three principles that kind of all fit together well. >> one thing that i think it's going to be imported with immigration reform is that we have to be able to find a way to balance the economic needs of the country and also the fact that we have this other area of
family-based visas. all of that response to a very concrete historic need. i don't believe that we can be whatever comes out, whatever immigration permits are looking like, they can not be like canada, which is a completely irrational economic policy. that's the list of professions and things we need. we will give you completely rational that way. i don't think we can never do it that way because a good chunk of the southwest was once part of mexico and we have all this family like my family that never left. we have dial-up connections between other people here, the people from mexico city immigration has to account for that. so we have to have the ps economically rational as we can.
we also have to be compassionate with the families and the descendents of all of those families that are still here is part of our country. >> i think i want to finish where we began. we talked about us having a broken immigration system that has to be fixed. we spoke about the economic benefits of the immigrants here. in fact, the catastrophe that would happen if something were not here. we've been reminded now that it's not purely an economic issue. this issue is about our values, this stranger among us admit also that when i did next week or next month, but not at all three are not persistent and don't work together to make it happen. there's a song that goes something like life is a very narrow bridge but the important thing is not to be afraid. we have to walk on the narrow bridge together and to work towards a time when sometimes in the not-too-distant future we will have a humane immigration
>> for the past few months now, we have been looking at online regimes, digital platforms such as facebook, google not, lugar, area b&b which has grown increasingly familiar, but which are also invading our academic ties as the hypothesis, pedro. thanks to these machines became collaborate with colleagues time and space, teach thousands and so on. but it will also become clear that the same machine can take advantage of this advantage of this. they make us work not just a direction that we don't necessarily want to go, et cetera appeared to navigate the chance to hear about these machines from someone who knows a great deal about them and you have even written an influential book about this digital world we now live in fired in the age of connection. you've been zuckerman as the principal research scientist at
m.i.t. media. if i'm not mistaken, one of the first.com enterprises were among other things he invented the pop-up ad, something he seems to have since regret. ethan is also a member of local voice online, a popular nonprofit network of bloggers, translators and journalists covering events in over 150 countries and in more than 30 languages. in 2007, he joined the inaugural media foundation in mid-20 about vendor, foreign policy magazine added him to its list of global thinkers and therefore honor to present our speaker, even zuckerman in the age of the stress. please join me and welcoming each been zuckerman. [applause]
thank you all for coming out. it's wonderful to be here in this beautiful state. it's a gorgeous campus. i want to tell you a little bit about where i am coming from is sort of how that informs them of the work that i'm doing at the moment. i teach at the m.i.t. media lab, which is one of the stranger academic editions in the world. really the only vote behind the lab is that you have to be working on inventing the future and you have to be studying something that nobody else is studying. my colleague at the top of the screen is to be one of the top rock climbers in the world, ended up losing both of his legs below the knee in a climbing accident and went on to become an amazing researcher and biomechanical. below is a set designer who looks for his probation in patterns and builds materials
and buildings, services that look like cells or organisms. my work isn't nearly desperately, but in some ways it's a lot more global and sometimes a lot more colorful. i study what is called civic media. i'm very interested in the idea that by making media, we could actually make change in the world. the work i've done for the last dozen years or so is sacred of global voices, which basically looks for people in developing nations who are writing about their country and a way that the rest of the world tends not to know about. so there are packets and is too are talking about their country not in terms of islamic fundamentalism, the science and technology and people talking about west africa in non-entrance of poverty, but in terms of economic opportunity. and because this is the work i do, i get to work with people in amazing different places. this is a photo from september of last year. i miss hanging out in ghana, the capital of the beautiful
country. i miss hanging out with a bunch of bloggers because that's what you do when you study media for living. i was interested to make this group of people because i wanted to meet the funny looking guy in the red hat. i had been reading him because he's a comedian and essayist and one of the most successful political organizers in ghana. he's been very involved with organized and an up-and-coming social movement. gone is the country in west africa independent 1957. quite impoverished for 40 years and recently has turned every ring around. it's actually a lovely place to go. there are lots and lots of people working in high tech, working in management. there's a lot of people who love cars, air conditioners. this is not a nation of
stereotypical at it. this is a modern urban nation. as a result, it really stinks when they don't have electric power and that's happening a lot right now. the nation has gotten very wealthy and also because of climate change. they get most of their electricity from hydropower in the ring cycle has changed. what this leads to a something that people are calling do this sort. in the three language that happens to power. it goes on and off all the time and if you are living, this is driving you nuts. this has become the political movement. people are now getting together in driving to protest with kerosene lanterns because this is what they need to use when the power comes on. if you look at t-shirts, you can see that it says hash tag because they are all twitter users. dune soar my stock.
the guy in the red hat has been helping to organize marches were five to 10,000 people are getting together on the outskirts, marching into the center of town to say to the government, look, you need to get your act together. we can't live without electric power. so i'm watching this. i'm really interested in it and select the good social scientist diane, i say hey, what is the best tool when you're organizing and getting people into the streets, doing politics, are you doing it through facebook, twitter, is it networking people one-on-one? he looks at me and goes well, i'm not political. what? you just organized by a thousand people to march to the center of the capital city and you're going to tell me you're not
political? a lot of countries were at work, when you say i'm not political, what it means is that no one end up in prison. at one end of the arrested. but that is not gone out. ghana is an open society. according to reports they had a much more free and open press than we do in the united states which is a little bit of everything. that's not the reason why. the reason he wanted to tell me he was not political was he didn't want everyone else the room to think that he was an. and that is what is happening in politics right now. people strongly affiliated with the two major political parties are seen by the younger generation is wasting their time. he bitterly will not allow himself to be photographed near someone who was strongly assist you with one of these political
parties for fear that he will lose his credibility, someone will think you represent abc or are you or someone will think he is someone who's involved with organizing politics which is seen as being so in effect to come as such a dirty game and so far removed from what is actually happening on the ground like the electricity shortage that he simply doesn't want to be associated with. so i came back from ghana and i was thinking about this because i hear this all over the world. i code in india and i talked to anticorruption activist who were still tracking bribe someone saying not political. i talked to people in russia who are organizing community support networks, blending cars in a london medicine, providing childcare to each other. not political. come back to the united states
companies start hearing some of the things to the extent that these gentlemen have anything in common, one of the things that senator sanders and mr. trump have in common is that they are both very attached to the idea that they are removed from politics as usual, that they are somehow separate from the institution of politics. when we say it's a little harder for bernie to make this case, he's been a representative. he's certainly been an unusual figure for the socialist in the houses of assembly. donald trump has legitimate claim to being an outsider at least of institutional policy. it has institutions more generally of what i think we are now moving away from and moving to a culture of sharp and extreme distress.
one simple example is just looking at how we think about politicians. this is a survey that comes from gallup did you expect people in these professions to behave honestly and ethically. you can see police officers a little less well. we start moving our way down. one thing we've got car sales, and telemarketers. the only people who come out lower our lobbyists. once you start getting into money in politics, we start getting to the point where we simply do not expect very much from people going into the business. this has been happening for a long time. this is a very long slow change in how american it society is structured. this is a compilation done by the pew research center asking americans to question, do you
trust the government in washington to do the right thing most or all of the time? dismember peaks in 1960 or 77%. this number now runs between 12% in the teen%. and you can see it has been a long of a gradual, have a real come back around the year 2000. i was born in 1973. the only time this question has been in positive territory. the only time in my lifetime that 50% of americans have said that they trust the government to do the right thing. just before we invaded iraq, which goes to show what we know is popular. for the most part, what we've seen is a shift away from assuming that our government is going to be a designer interest to where they don't expect that to happen. just about government it would
be just your being. it's actually much more disturbing but not. when you call americans and ask them about trust and marches to two shades of all sorts, that level of trust is falling sharply over time. when you look at high trust institutions in our society, but today, and most people trust all of the time are the military is small business. this is very, very strange when you think of a nation like egypt which after throwing up every institution in the military is a bit of a chilling to test it. i've done the calculations on the site to the military small business are the only institutions where it increased in trust. we trusted now more than we did during the conference ends. everyone else has fallen enough in life are. we might understand the church in organized religion falling the church scandal, but we've seen the medical system called
very sharply. we've seen banks. we've seen public schools. but in organized labor. we see newspapers and press, criminal justice is him all the way through. we trust these institutions less a month. the simple rule of thumb is that we can't see an individual human being if we see a structure, if we see an entity rather than a 10. for the most part as americans we are shifting to the point where we doubt trust anymore. it's not just us. gentlemen has been running a very similar survey around the world. they are finding that these local institutional trust are dropping year on year in the places that they are not dropping is somewhat concerning places. they are china. they are singapore. they are the united arab emirates.
it is not falling in the very best govern open society which is to say scandinavia and following in the most economically successful closed society. so if it's working really well for you, open society and democracy, you probably have a decent institutional trust if you're in a closed hypocrisy that's working well, you probably have highs to two small trust. if you're anywhere in the middle, it falling apart. it's worth asking the question, why is that? what happened. i have some guesses. it is possible that having the impeachment of a sitting president has a lot to do with it. it also had a lot to do with a systemic tack in the u.s. and the u.k. on the idea that government could do good. we had a real shift in the 1980s when people were suggesting that generally
speaking governments are going to be significantly less effect than the private sector. what's interesting is you have government officials than an epic telling you they can do no good and therefore shouldn't fund it. you end up at a point where government can in fact do no good. a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. you can also argue we've had public officials embarrass themselves and damage the dignity of the office. i'm doing my best to be bipartisan and be bipartisan in fairness arguments the clinton administration causes a much harm to the petition of the president he and some of the others here. more than anything else, it has to do with actual systemic failure. for a lot of people that i know, watching the u.s. government and this incredibly wealthy powerful nation failed to take care of our own during hurricane katrina was the moment of realization that the system wasn't working and that the safety nets we thought we could trust simply
are ones we can trust anymore. for people who might be closer to the right, that the 2007-2818 crisis was another moment deserted ship people to the core, a realization that the system without the to fail, that we thought has safeguards in different ways of counteracting neophyte in fact were surprisingly fragile and needed a lot of help to recover from systemic fraud and abuse. and the media scholar, so i am thinking that the press has a lot to do with this and ending up with an unshackled press in the era of watergate looks to be the start of the shift bid to shift really starts in the 1970s and certainly the shift i'm taking a close look at the nixon administration as part to do with it. right now edwards noted are capable of putting incredible
revelations having widespread effect, probably also has a way of undermining some of the opacity in power of institutions. so what does this mean? one of the first thing it means is that it's a real uphill battle for people who are strongly associated with the system is a two shades of government. it was amazing to watch all of the gop stand up in support marco rubio to absolutely no effect. if you start thinking about it, if you accept my theory that we are at and anti-institutional small neck, insurrectionists [roll call] , a moment of which people are incredibly suspicious of any existing institutions, there's really nothing worse than having that romney show up and say what you really have to do right now is work with mark or rubio.
this probably represents a really tough uphill path for hillary clinton who is someone who has built her career through the institutions of the senate come institutions at the state department, working her way up to a position of incredible prominent experience, but at a moment where we seem extremely mistrustful of the very institutions that have brought us here before. i'm actually concerned about our problems. here is the problem that i am concerned with. if you have deep abiding mistrust of institutions, almost everything we know how to do a civic actors doesn't work anymore. the mean two things we know how to do in conventional spinning are to elect good and my pleaders to pass laws permit to carry them out and to enforce them or when we feel like those
people are listening to wes, to show up, to march, to make our presence known in physical space and demand change and one fashion or another. so here's the problem when you have a 9% approval rating in congress, when you have a branch of government saying we are not planning on doing our job for the next year until we have an election. when you have successive congresses setting new records for being the least of all time, it's very challenging to convince people that they will be allowed to make change in the world by passing laws. and if you don't believe that washington right now it is capable of making major change in the world, it takes out this other browed of protest which has been so powerful over the years. this is an image from the march on 10. the challenge when you admit that a level of high mistrust is that it is a march on
washington. it is designed to persuade washington to do something and behave differently than it currently is. if you're at a point where it's very difficult for washington to act at all, both of these conventional path for change and that feeling you. there's other ways people are finding ways to be civic. i want to talk about two of them. there's two that i feel like i understand best at this point. we are doing a lot of interviews and a lot of reading. desert to where i feel like i could give you a little glimpse of what people are doing going forward. so this guy on the screen is larry lessig. he is probably the single less successful presidential candidate of 2016. he briefly decided he was going to make a run based on campaign finance reform before bernie sanders made a run. nobody's really known for its
being probably the deepest that any of us have run into. he wrote a book incredibly important for those of us interested in technology and social change called code. this book basically says there are multiple ways that we as a society regulate behavior. we are used to thinking about regulating behavior through thought. we pass a law and say you can't do that anymore or you are going to do this instead. we are all pretty good at that. we know how bousquet made. we understand why one might argue over a lot in the past or not. but the big observation in this book is that laws are only one of four major ways that we regulate society. we also regulate through norms. none of you that have jumped up and started arguing back with me during this talk here or maybe
you guys are filing a social script. the norms of behavior when someone is going to talk to attorneys that you sit and wait and someone will ask questions at the end of it. norms are amazingly powerful. they actually constrain us from doing huge numbers of things in life because we fear social sanctions. we fear for you break them that other people will shun us, and make fun of us. they end up being extremely powerful ways of shaping change over time. major societal changes are often normative changes. suddenly it is okay for people of different races to be married is suddenly okay for and to be out in public and marry one another. we also make the extent that. we make them cheap. you notice that gets much more ex-at the year on year and regulating behavior of the system.
making it so expensive that it's harder and harder for people. the most subtle point and this was the code. he met computer code, but he really meant technologies and architectures of all sorts. these also regulate. most of you when you walk into this building walked down paths and those paths were designed to have you in a particular way and that is a form of regulation for code. ..
each of these ways that we regulate society, also turn out to be ways that we can make civic change. so we know that we can make change through law. p we know that when the supreme court decides that recognition of equal marriage is the law of the land that is is a powerful social change that affects everybody. but it turns out that you can also make change by changing norms, by changing markets, by changing code. so let me give you a couple of examples. of all the things in the world that i'm pissed off about right now, widespread government surveillance is pretty high on my list. as far as explaining to you, i help run a network of 1400 journalists and translators in 120 countries. all that communication between me and people i work with is
subject to surveillance by the nsa and we've decided being willing to surveil the communication networks is a price we are okay with paying in exchange for preventing ourselves from terror. as much as i would hope that the obama administration might take a stand on this so far there has been very little evidence of like this. unlikely that a clinton administration would take a a stance on this either. the good news there are lots of geekses out there running software companies like tor, trying very hard to make encryption standard. so when i talk to people right now, i do it through a little application on my phone called signal. and signal looks just like an sms client, looks like i'm sending text messages except they're encrypted at very high standard. they're incredible for anyone to read an intercept. when i'm on internet i'm using
the tor browser, disguising me, making it harder for web sites and governments to see where i'm coming from. i don't think the change will happen through law but fortunately friends of mine are trying to change a culture of surveillance through code. and i would argue that those people writing and putting that code out in the world are just as much activists as people with the human rights campaign who are working on equal marriage. i would argue the same for figures like elon musk who is trying to figure out how to make the electric car not the compromise vehicle we end up doing because its equivalent of eating our broccoli but the sexiest thing out there on the road and this is a way of trying to take advantage of market mechanisms to make social change. to look at something like the difficulty of passing a widespread carbon tax in the united states right now and essentially saying maybe we don't need that if we can make things so appealing like having
electric car or putting solar panels on your house, maybe there is alternative way of making change around this. possibly the most important and most subtle form of change around this is around changing norms. as this is a place where the folks behind "black lives matter" have an enormous amount to teach us about the power of change through norms. so here's the thing about social norms. when we look at the epidemic of people of color being shot by police this is not a problem we're going to fix with law. it's already illegal to shoot an unarmed human being unless that person is directly threatening your life. what is happening, when someone like michael brown gets shot is that a police officer in the course of doing his or her duty is interpreting a threat to his or her life from a person of color because we tend to
associate young black men with violence. and that is a normative change that we have to make over time. we're not going to get our way out of it just by putting body cameras on police. over time it has to be change how we think about each other within society. so that is how you end up with campaigns like this. that image to the very far side of the screen is an image of michael brown taken from his facebook page, not very long after his death. what happens these days is if you get killed by the police, the first thing the media does is goes on to facebook to try to find images of you to illustrate the story in one fashion or another. the image on the left was one that showed up to illustrate who michael brown was for the first 48 hours after this death. activists looked at the image, you know that is interesting because the truth michael brown posted a lot of photos on facebook including that one right next to it.
if you look at first image, michael being shot from below. he looks tall. he looks intimidating. he is scowling. he is throwing a peace sign which most newspapers reported as gang sign. he looks old. he looks tall, looks potentially dangerous. probably trying to look a little dangerous in the shot. this other shot is head on. he is pudgy. he is a kid, he is cute, he is a high schoolkid. that is who michael brown was, he was a high schoolkid. the difference tweens those two -- between those two images is difference how we think of the young man killed in during son, missouri. what you saw activists starting the campaign asking the question if they gunned me down, what photo would they use? and activists would go on to their own facebook feeds and pick photo of themselves that would be the most negative portrayal the media could put forward, and pick the photo
where they were the best example of a up standing citizen. in this case active marine put up the two images coming out of the facebook feed. it got shared thousands of times. this campaign went viral really, really quickly. one of the things that was interesting, lots of young white kids didn't get political message behind it. just got the structure of it. went on to facebook and put of photo of them looking drink or disorderly or passed out on the ground and graduating from college and this young woman says please, get out of this conversation. this is a much more serious conversation than you're get giving credit for being. within three days "the new york times" put the story on the front page. it is very hard to find that first image of michael brown, that threatening image of michael brown after this "new york times" story runs. the media was shamed by the
campaign into realizing that the way that we portray people has real implications for how we think about a whole category of people over time. so, this is an approach to civics that i refer to as the efficacy approach. it basically says look, we all learned that civics was about law. we all learned that it was about electing people to government. we all learned it was passing and enforcing those laws. and now rules are different. the rules now are that you should do whatever allows you to feel most effective as a citizen. if you feel like you're going to be able to make change by going on to facebook and changing how we perceive african-american males, you do that, if you think you're going to do it by starting a social venture go ahead, you do that. here is the downside about this approach. the downside is equity.
equity is this idea that's quite different from equality. equality is this idea we all get an equal chance. equity is this idea we might need accommodations to get that equal chance. that we would actually have to work very hard for people who have different life experience, different circumstances, to get the equal chance in this case of the apple. so here's the problem with this effective version of civics. it is deeply inequitable. if you want to change social norms we can all go on to twitter and we can all start a campaign but i would advantage that you don't. i have 42,000 twitter followers, you probably don't. you know what? there is a lot of people out there, celebrities that have two million. they are in a much better position than i am. when a columnist for "the new york times" wants to do something he has a great advantage over me. fame is strongly correlated to your ability to be effective
when you're trying to make norm space page and it is equitiably distributed. if you want to start a car company that's going to change the world and conquer climate change it helps to be elon musk and founded paypal and have several billion dollars that you can start with. if i want to change the world with code, it helps to be one of my students at mit who has a great engineering background for student here at rice who has a chance of building technology that will go out to change the world. so the thing that is so amazing about these legal-based theories of change that at the end of the day we all have one vote and under things like the voting rights act, now sadly suspended, we actually work very, very hard to make sure that people have equal opportunity to get to the polls, equal opportunity to cast that vote. that is something that took years. it took a very, very long time to realize that we had to build equity into these systems.
these forms of change are no new we haven't thought about equity yet. we haven't thought about what it means that some people have a much better chance of using these tools than others. so i want to talk to you about another way that people are trying to make change. here i have to start talking about some books that have been very influential in my work. the book by a guy named michael shuzen. he teaches at columbia journalism school. he is one of the better historians of journalism. he wrote a book about 15 years ago called, "the good citizen." the point of "the good citizen" we have a model in our head of citizens that we should follow. the good citizen read as bunch newspapers, gets a different points of view, stays up-to-date on all issues, goes out to vote when he is sufficiently incensed
or worried writes to a representative. the good citizen works hard being good citizen. one of michael's observations that the good citizen might not exist. the good citizens turns out to be a creation of the progress serves in the 1920s. it is reaction to an earlier model of what it meant to be a good citizen. before the progressives come along to be a good citizen is be a loyal party member. to show up, to represent your social class, your tribe of people by showing up in the election, holding up your ballot to the public, filling it out, fighting your way to the polls, because the polls were often drunken brawls at that point and casting your vote in solidarity with your brothers who had, you know the same background that you do. and that changes. , that changes with the progressive movement. we have muckraking journalism. we have secret ballots.
ballot initiatives. we put enormous amount of responsibility on citizens to being hugely informed. what happens? voting rates plummet. drop from 70% down to 35% in off cycle elections, when people electing representatives rather than the president. one of the things michael says we may be asking too much. this may not be a realistic picture of what citizens really do. what michael thinks citizens really do is that they monitor, they scan the horizon for issues that they care about where they think they can be effective and they think they can make change of one sort or another. so i have an example from my hometown. i live in a town of 3500 people. my local politics are not usually all that interesting. i generally don't spend a ton of time thinking about them. but, i have a six years old child and he is in public school and in six more years he will be
heading to the high school. and the high school is falling down because it hasn't been fixed since the 1960s an there's a bill on the ground to try to figure out how we fix it. yes, sir? >> what is the name of your hometown? >> lanes borrow, massachusetts. so our high school is up the road in williams town, massachusetts, and we've had a giant controversy whether we should increase our tax rate to pay for our high school. while i hadn't paid attention to local politics three or four years, this came on my radar screen, i got excited. we put up lawn sign. my wife and i had been voted. i had been monitoring for the issue that came about, when it came on the horizon i figured out a way to jump in. michael puts this idea forward. australian political scientist named john keane, said, wait, this is explains a lot how we do politics. it is not just individuals that monitor, it is whole organizations.
we have groups like the sunlight foundation that do nothing but try to monitor the performance of government. are people showing up for votes? where are they getting campaign contributions from? are they living up to the campaign promises one fashion or another. this feels like in some way a very passive, a very washington-centered form of citizenship but it doesn't have to be. there is a wonderful documentary going around, pbs put it out a couple weeks ago about the black panthers and when you go back to the history of the emergence of the black panthers at the heights of the civil rights movement the first thing the panthers actually did was start following the oakland police around, driving behind police cars, four men to a car. when the oakland police would stop someone to try to make an arrest, four members of the black panthers, armed, would get out, guns in hand and monitor the police arrest. this sounds crazy. it is kind of amazing no one got
shot and killed on this. but this was a way of standing forward and saying, police brutality is a problem in oakland. we are watching. and part of our job as citizens is to be monitors of power. you see this right now with groups like cop watch that are actively going out and teaching people how to be monitors of police who are going out making arrests. it is also why we know about the deaths of people like walter scott. fabian santana was able to pick up a camera to monitor what was going on. turns out this was old way of thinking about citizenship. actually it goes back to the french revolution. this is remarkable french thinker who had brilliant book called, "counter democracy." what he argues in counterdemocracy, for all that makes democratic systems work what may be most powerful is
people watching those democratic systems. putting under surveillance the people in power. if we look at people, if we're vigilant, if we denounce when we're seeing wrongdoing being done, if we evaluate performance we're not doing surveillance way we think about, we are s sue veil lance. he argues that this emerges during the french revolution. once you get new forms of political power, citizenry see themselves empowered to hold responsible their new leaders. monarchs never had to be responsible but when you had leaders coming from the people, there is this need to be constantly watchful, to be constantly trying to insure the power doesn't get abused of the so for him the idea of counterdemocracy is not that
this watching is against democracy. but that it's attention that is structural, it's a buttress. it's a way in which this counterpower keeps that wall from falling down. so what's interesting to think about, there are two-ways watchfulness can go wrong. it may be too weak. that may be the situation we have now. we have great groups like the sunlight foundation going out saying we can document how much money is in politics. yes, we can document how much likely the vote is paid for. the danger that it gets two strong, of course where the french revolution ends up with dr. guillotine's invention. that is where the guillotine come in. people came under surveillance and found wanting in the eyes of the public including robespierre.
what do we do? we offer two ideas find a way out of what looks like a very difficult mess with civics. i don't have an answer what you should do so i am going to tell you what i am doing. i'm spending a lot of time in places like this. this is the in santa lucia. this is in the third largest city in brazil. it is quite a poor community in the middle of a fairly wealthy city. it is built on reclaimed land on very steep hillside. this neighborhood has a lot of problems but also a neighborhood that has a lot of social capital. a lot of what i'm doing these days is going out meeting with community organizations like this, saying, what's wrong with your community? what are things you would like to document and try to figure out how to fix. we do this with the highest of high technology. we go out, only use very best post-it notes, finest magic
markers, we brainstorm what's wrong? what are the things you would like to fix within santa lucia. we started identifying things and started identifying things you would never think about. when i found myself in santa lucia, i found myself documenting staircases. they are built on hillsides. there are no roads. staircases is how you get around. staircases are big problem. they're badly-maintained. they're falling apart. people slip and fall on them. when you come through the brainstorms, people say i want to document what is wrong with the staircases. i want railings, i want handrailings on the staircase. we have a software platform. it's a platform that lets the community group identify an issue that they care about. they design a survey. they go out with mobile phones.
believe me, even in the poorest neighborhoods, people have cell phones. they go out with survey instrument, that says, take a photo of pavement. is pavement missing? is this a hazard to someone? this turns into a point that can show up on a map. this map becomes really interesting and powerful tool. you can use these maps to hold the government responsible. you go to the mayor, you say, hey, mr. mayor, you promised that you would be taking care of our favillla better in your administration. here are issues we care about. we can document and the problems that you have. sometimes that works. we actually had really great success in the city of bella where there are huge problems with sanitation in the main market. the city is our partner. we're working together to put this application out to have people document what is going on in the market and clean it up. sometimes the city doesn't care. then you go to the press.
you say, hey, we've got a story ready-made for you. let me tell you about my uncle fell down the stair kays and broke his hip. he is one of dozens of people in the community who had the same experiences,, because the staircase has these dangerous experiences. we have thousands of data points on a map if you come with your newspaper and verify our work. you have multiple ideas of change but it is based around the idea, people want to monitor and want to look at their communities to say here is what is going on and here is what we want to fix and if you can give them tools to do it better you can make people more powerful. here is another thing we're doing. you heard me talk about social change through shaping norms. and one of the best ways that we shape norms is by making media. we make images, we make stories and we try to persuade people that their values need to change. that we need to think of young
black men, not as violent, but as victims, for instance. we've been trying to figure out how do you measure this change? how do you figure out whether a campaign to change norms is going to have an effect? so we look at media in three ways. we look in terms of reach, influence and impact. when we make a piece of media and put it out in the world who gets to see it? does it end up changing the media dialogue? do the ideas that we put forward, do they end up being adopted by other people? do they change how we talk about things? when the occupy movement goes out and talks about the 99% and 1% do other people pick up the language? eventually we end up with impact? do we pass a law? do we change our attitudes? it is hard to measure impact. it is a long-run change but measuring that middle layer, measuring influence turns out something that we can do. so one of the big things that my
lab does, we read newspapers. rough hi -- roughly 100,000 of them a day. we read them so you don't have to. we subscribe to every paper in the united states, a lot of ones in israel and brazil. we collect electronic media around the world. we turn it into the search engine and the search engine asks questions like, what are we paying attention to? at beginning of last year we asked a question who is paying attention to the attacks on "charlie hebdo" in paris? the answer was everyone, as we should be, brutal horrific attacks, attacks on freedom of the press but these were attacks that ultimately killed fewer than 20 people. in the same week of the "charlie hebdo" attacks more than 2,000 people were slaughtered in the village of baga of nigeria by boko haram. if you look at graph, that orange line with the big steep
peak, is people talking about "charlie hebdo" and blue line behind it were talking about baga. so that was stunning enough because that's a line of u.s. media. we did the same study in nigeria media and even in nigerian newspapers people were talking more about 20 dead in paris than 2,000 dead in their own country. we were able to put that out there. quickly "the new york times" grabbed this and public editor quoted us as a way of saying we blew it. this is wrong. we need to figure out how we change our attention. i was happy to say "the new york times" is actually doing a lot more coverage of nigeria than they had been previously. by being able to watch this, by being able to look where we pay our attention, we may be able to change and shape media. we can also ask questions about how we talk about things. this is work that we did for the world health organization trying to figure out how the world was talking about ebola. so ebola is the biggest issue in
the world in november 2014. it is biggest thing that everybody is talking about. we gathered tens of thousands of articles on ebola and we clustered them together when they used the same language. you look at top of the graph, fever and infections and hemorraghic, those are words that occur in the same articles. they occur in scientific journals. they occur in publications like "nature." you see other clusters over time. if you look in upper left, you see people talking about nigeria or liberia or children. those are people talking about this as an african crisis. but these aren't the only ways people end up talking about it. we see people talking about relief. right there that is the group in pink. we see africa. we also see a conversation going on about dallas. you guys may remember that unwith of the people who was exposed to ebola ended up in presbyterian hospital in dallas.
there was enormous amount of coverage that the idea that ebola is in the united states and we're all going to die. there is this really big conversation going on with became and crisis in washington and america. and this is a conversation that basically says, ebola has come to the united states under the obama administration. this is a lasting legacy of the obama presidency. put it together, people, obama, elola, five letters in each, both from africa. this is an agenda that shows up. actually in some ways turns out to be the dominant agenda what is going on in media. so remember you're the world health organization. three of these ways that of talking about ebola are really good for you. you want people talking about relief. you want people talking about it as a curable disease. you're happy when people talk about africa, because this is what we really care about. talking about panic in texas, not helpful at all. talking about this as being a political crisis, utterly unhelpful.
so you can use this if you're the world health organization essentially at the scorecard. it's a way to look how an issue is being framed. that is how we're doing this work over time. we're now doing this work for social change organizations all over the u.s., helping them get a sense for how an issue like police violence is talked about, what frames are winning, what frames are losing, doing it analytically, so we figure out what are the publications involved with this? turns out publications that are doing well, talking about this as african issue are british and irish. none of them from the u.s. and the publications that are talking all about this being obama's problem, they're the mainstream of american media. "the new york times" there bloomberg all of these folks. we are looking at ways of using this as way of keeping score and a way to help people figure out how would you intervene if you
wanted to change the dialogue. what the the w.h.o. missed, they were talking about whether we should be quarantining ebola patients. the w.h.o. never used the word quarantine, they thought is was such a terrible idea they didn't want to legitimate legitimate it. using this method to try to help groups like black lives matter figure out how to organize their media, how to change social norms around this. we're studying how much attention gets paid to individual unarmed deaths of people of color ated hands of the police. we're able to document month after month we seem to be paying more attention to these deaths. this is a trend obviously if you're supporting that movement, you want to find a way to support and way to work with. we're doing with tools that open source so other researchers can use.
we have people using for everything from teen pregnancy and racial justice issues. we're sort of encouraging people to jump on it and work with us. these are the questions that i'm asking. how do we help people feel more powerful? how do we help people feel effective making civic change or monitoring power out there in the world? when we are making change, how do we know if we're succeeding? how do we know if we're working in the right direction? how do we know progress is being made? this is what i want to leave you with. i think civics is changing because i think civics has to change. i think a lot of these old models, changing through voting and changing through mobilization are just not working anymore. and i think these new forms of civics, while they're incomplete, often inetiquettable, while they don't work as often as we hope i think they're fine trying to push out in new directions. what's not fine to look at this
moment in time and react with disengagement. this feeling of mistrust that many of us have when we look at the world today, is either a powerfully corrosive force or a force that we can harness and sort of send in the direction of positive change. that's what i'm hoping for. so thank you very much for listening. [applause] >> thank you. ethan. i have a question for you. so, banality of platforms, the fact they're designed to be seller and buyer or user and whatever, somewhat coincidentally incompatable with the mistrust of government. if they're designed to get rid
of tertiary positions, are they designed to get rid of government or to get rid of auctioneers or get rid of travel agents or get rid of architects, bankers, et cetera? and along the same lines, is insurrection somewhat coincidentally compatible with instant communication? yesterday, or today, five million people going down the street in zoo powell low because they, saao, --s. >> this has great deal to do with insurrectionist movement. there is a great deal behind this. a lot of what we know comes from the philippines and mobilization through sms, the stuff has been wonderfully documented by howard reingold in his book, "smart mobs." where people were able to simply
say, we're all going to the square, wear black, show up, pass it on. it turns out that that text message was enough to pull down a government. it was enough to put people out into the street. so it's much, much easier through some of these technologies to mobilize people and bring them out than it ever was before. the flip side is that governments are getting much smarter about it and they're starting to understand that this sort of instant mobilization means less than it used to. so when you saw the march on washington, when you saw 40,000 people with placards coming into the capitol, at a moment where it was actually very, very difficult to organize, what that march basically signified was months and months and months of work ahead of time to mobilize everybody. what 40,000 people out in the public square might mean right now someone had a really
well-crafted tweet. what's interesting is the best autocrats are learning how to ignore this. so my friend, probably the best scholar of what east ended up haing around political mobilization in turkey and she points out that all this mobilization in gezi park led to very little. we saw erdogan get elected with a incredible majority of voters and erdogan basically belittled and made fun of the people that came out in gezi park. what he realized years ago, 50,000 people in the streets meant you were in trouble and you were about to be overthrown. 50,000 people in the streets right now might just mean that someone did a really, really good job working their networks. mobilization is easier but i think also a lot less meaningful. your other question is really subtle, i like it and it's this notion that these commercial
platforms somehow are leading to this increased level of mistrust and one of the things i would say about them, is that we have been watching collapse of professions in the united states. we've been losing this notion that i'm an architect or i'm an accountant and therefore i have a set of values that i'm going to live up to independent of the specific job that i hold. it tends to be much more personal loyalty or loyalty towards a corporation, less of that loyalty to the profession. and i would argue that there is a way a lot of disintermediary platforms might well be further eroding those sorts of roles. and so to the extent you end up saying, maybe i don't need a bank anymore? maybe i just use bitcoin. maybe i use my mobile phone company and mobile money as i do in kenya? so at that point that institution which had a reason
to be there and reason to charge you money suddenly looks like we can start get being rid of it over time. maybe that is another place mistrust starts eating away. the thing i would point out, when you look back at the graph i was showing, this rise in mistrust in institutions is really starting around 1970. and a lot of this disintermediation i think is more result, rather than cause. i think once you realized that there is nothing particularly special about the bank or about the travel agent or about the lawyer, just someone who puts words together, maybe i could do it if i had the right information on the internet, i think that is more result than cause. hard to say at a certain point. what else we got? >> in terms of mistrust of institutions i'm wondering how
you feel about mit and your working within the structure of a very powerful institution? >> that's a great question and i will make the question even more complicated by admitting that i was friends with aaron schwartz, the young man who committed suicides after being prosecuted by the commonwealth of massachusetts and mit not only didn't fight that prosecution but in many ways sort of actively encouraged it. i think what's tricky about finding yourself in an institution, particularly if you're like me a professional insurrectionist, you're sort of left with this question of, is it my job to fix this institution or is it my job to work around the institution? for people who find themselves within powerful and flawed institutions i would say almost
all institutions are both flawed and powerful. the question at a certain point becomes, can i be more effective trying to make the institution better, at what it is and what it does well? or can i do a better job by saying, maybe we don't need this institution anymore. let's do something else instead of this institution. recently our dean of graduate education at mit left mit and she left to start a new kind of university. it's a university that is mostly virtual. it's a university that doesn't have tenure. it is a university that doesn't have a lot of trappings that a place like mit does. that is a great insurrectionist approach. saying i learned enough about this. i see what the limits of the institution are and time for me to step out to start something new. at this point i find myself saying there is a lot i can do to help the institution become better.
so one of my students a year-and-a-half after aaron's death found himself in quite serious legal trouble based on experiments he was doing with bitcoin and i was very concerned that mit wasn't representing him and wasn't taking care of him. with a couple of other professors we ended up writing open letters to the president of the university which ended up in "the boston globe" which ended up with a commission i was then slated to serve on to try to figure out how we would defend students who got into legal trouble while innovating. and now 2 1/2 years further down the road we now have a new institution. we have an office that actually provides legal defense services to students who get in trouble when innovating in the course of their academic work. so it is very institutionalist solution to an insurrectionist problem but i felt it was something i could actually do and take advantage of the fact that mit is absolutely the sort of institution that can and should stand up for that freedom
to innovate. so i think everyone is going to wrestle with it. i think all of us who are blessed to be working with within strong and powerful institutions have to ask the question, can we make change for the better? or is it time to step out and try to behave very differently and try to make the change from outside? >> relative to civics and mistrust of government, wonder if you comment on sanders campaign, trump campaign and use of twitter and the fact that they're both appealing to groups that feel disenfranchised or powerless, just the whole relationship? >> so some of the better analysis i've sign looking at the trump and sanders phenomenon looks at groups of americans who feel like the world has changed for the worst.
we've seen a lot of reporting that low and middle income white men are living shorter lives, dying sooner. people in the past involved with factory jobs, are not finding gainful employment. there is really a whole class of people for whom things are getting worse than getting better. and what is very interesting, a lot of these people are people in the past who would have been well-represented by organized labor. these people in many cases are turning either to the trump or sanders camp. the common ground is the sense that the system just isn't working and that iterated over course of 10 or 20 years, things are simply not getting better for some groups of people. at that point some who says, the
system is broken, it is messed up. i am a, outside of that system and b, i'm going to find a way to fix it, now whether those prescriptions to make america great again or to make america sweden again, whether any of them are realistic are really beside the point. what you're seeing is a pattern of voters essentially saying, i can't trust anyone who believes the institutions we have are basically sound. i need someone who understands that how frustrated, how angry, how alienated i am, and willing to say we need a completely different system. we need to get rid of some of these institutions and we need to start from scratch. now they're really different. i don't want to lump trump and sanders too closely together. i also don't want to predict whether we're at a moment where insurrectionism so much more powerful than institutionalism.
there are a lot of institutionalists out there. at the end of the day as my friend points out, i do teach at mit and at the end of the day a lot of people are working very, very hard to make institutions work. if you want a great example who tried incredibly hard to make institutions work, i think hillary clinton is nice example of who that is. the question may be for people who feel systematically let down by the structures that were supposed to give them opportunity, are they going to be able to sign off on some one who has proven herself as very effectively within that institution or are they going to demand some one who basically says, nope, we got to get rid of those, they're just not working anymore. >> i had two questions about the very end of your lecture. one was related to the example
in brazil favela example. it seems as though you're talking about the monitoring, the citizens monitoring but what are they doing? they're producing maps to take to the government which is an institution they don't trust. so how effective is that strategy if your premise is there is no trust in institutions? why are you going back to the government? and second question, let you answer that first. >> it's a great question and calling me on that. what i'm trying to do in my work more than anything right now is more descriptive than prescriptive. what i'm seeing around monitoring this is a lot of the way people are trying to make change at the moment. i'm not convinced it is necessarily the way i want to make change. i think it is a way to make change when you still have hope that the institutions can be reformed. it is a way of essentially
saying this is a way of making my voice heard with those institutions. and one of the things that has been interesting in brazil, we had a couple of cases where we have evidence that it works. we have the government show up and do the right thing in response to it. we also have a lot of cases where it just hasn't worked at all. we started working in sao paulo who did all the right things. here are 108 concrete things i will do to change the city. almost immediately after taking office, faced a strike from the left, a transit strike, people essentially saying we're not going to pay for anymore for local buses and local subways because we just don't trust the government to do anything anymore. i think mon -- monitory power
saying we'll be deeply involved in institutional politics. i think sort of effective civics i'm arguing when you sort of cross that line and say yeah, you know what? i don't think monitory power will help me out. i will step out even further. i think what i'm trying to do is look at this line that frankly i'm really ambivalent where i personally am on it. i'm not sure that this is a point at which the institutions are simply unsalvageable or whether it's a point which we can find much better way to channel our frustration an channel our power reshaping institutions we would be more powerful. you're absolutely right to call me out structurally on the talk. >> my second question was on the beautiful landscaper graphic. could you put it up? >> absolutely. by the way it is my student stan fish who is doing this beautiful work.
>> so i think it's beautiful, i think it's gorgeous but i don't see how, this is purely utilitarian question. i don't see how the world health organization uses this to change their strategy. so could you unpack that for us? >> sure. what we ended up talking to the w.h.o. about trying to figure out first of all who they would want to reach. essentially we're saying the w.h.o. which ends up at very top of this graph is using language that is common with the cdc, the "new england journal of medicine," you know the nih. they're basically writing in a way where their dialogue and their way of framing the issue is getting picked up in scientific publications and is not getting picked up by anybody else. they're actually quite distant from organizations that have a much greater reach. it is probably quite hard for the w.h.o. to start talking in the same language
"the new york times" is talking. they're simply framing these issues so very different but might be a time where the w.h.o. spends a lot of time talking to the bbc or talking to the guardian, seeing if the bbc or the guardian can make some of their points. it is a way to defining landscape people are talking about here. when you say what are topics end up being in common between a lot of these different dialogues, they're ones at center of the map. they're the ones around quarantine. they're ones around hospital and symptoms. they're really looking at this idea that people are deeply worried about this as something personally affecting them. and the w.h.o. really elected not to engage in that dialogue at all. and we ended up suggesting that we thought that was a mistake. we thought that was probably the wrong way to do it. we've been doing these
landscapes on earth issues as well. we ended up doing one for the ford foundation around teen pregnancy. we ended up discovering that there is a cluster of what you might call the shame-based organizations. teen pregnancy is the worst thing that can happen to society. there is a cluster what you might think of as, healthy pregnancy at any age. don't worry about teen pregnancy. worry about healthy mothers. then there is mtv. mtv with "six teen and pregnant "turns out to be completely dominant player in the landscape. and the forward action was start talking to mtv. mtv we know you think 16 and pregnant is desigma advertising. when you look at the language it is not. you're close to the shame-based language our organizations are trying to do around healthy pregnancy. can we talk with you about how you're framing issue because you have a undue amount of cultural
weight? this whole world of norms-based change, the public health sector is ahead of everybody else within this. they have been working on norms-based change for 30 or 40 years. it really started with the harvard alcohol project that was trying to normalize this idea of designated driver. so there is an enormous amount of research around this. what there aren't are very, very good tools for sort of looking at the whole broad media landscape. so we're definitely early in it. we're still iterating. we're figuring out how to get there. this is what people tell us is useful looking at media landscape this way. >> i'm wondering what role openness might play in addressing mistrust? whether openness in the part of government, open data initiatives or opens necessary from the citizen perspective?
>> so, i have been disappointed with openness. and i will say that i've been working for the last 15 years or so on questions of how technology can change participation. in many ways you think of the last great wave that happened as a wave that said, let's open this government data and remarkable things will happen from it. so you saw data.gov in the u.s. you saw data.uk in the u.k. you saw all these attempts at making information more open to the public. the hope was that people would build new tools around services around this. the hope journalist was find a way to review it ae send make out of it. the way that people would just
open up the secrets, everyone would realize that government had nothing to hide. i would say there are two disappointments come from it. the first disappointment, that turns out data by itself is just isn't helpful. it actually requires an enormous amount of work to turn data into a tool or into a narrative or into anything that is sort of logical or sensible. you see right now american newspapers sort of scrambling to do data journalism. how we use the data sets to bring stories and narratives out of them and it is possible when we get better at story telling with data and pulling things out of the data we'll be richer and smarter and more open, so on. part of its the story that data tells is ambiguous or it's complicated, it is not as simple. the second is that as richard
hoffstetter reminds us you can never under estimate the role of the paranoid in american politics and the incredible openness that is starting to happen provides this amazing fodder for conspiracy theorists on both the left and the right. one of the projects that i love to teach is this visualization of native rule, and it looks at interlocking directorships of different fortune 500 corporations and different non-profit organizations and the whole rhetoric of this, if you just look, you can find the secret people who actually rule the world. you see this journalism all the time and, you know, extreme sources like breitbart. when i teach this, i show where i show up on the map as a board member of a large foundation, the open society foundation, essentially say great, guilt by association. i'm now part of the ruling
elite. anyone want to go for a ride in my car? it is not a ferrari. the transparency showing who is involved with this doesn't actually help when our paranoid theory is that a small number of people actually rule and control the world. and so for me a lot of the best efforts in the space, a lot of the things that come out of things like the surgeon light foundation, a organization i enormously respect, unfortunately end up contributing more to mistrust. because what we get are these stories of how huge amounts of money are pouring into politics, of the sense that the politicians that we elect are bought and paid for and that we end up with the sort of corrosive mistrust when we look at the data rather than the sort of disinfecting sunlight we would hope for. well, fantastic. thank you all so much.
i really appreciate you being here. i thank you for this. [applause] >> on capitol hill this morning the senate judiciary committee looks at the balance between national security, privacy and civil liberties in a hearing on the foreign intelligence surveillance act. that's live at 9:30 a.m. on c-span3. later in the day house foreign affairs subcommittee looks at the treatment of political prisoners in vietnam. we'll hear from the wife of a jailed human rights lawyer. >> during his commencement address at northeastern university secretary of state john kerry was critical of gop presidential candidate donald trump. secretary kerry also spoke about climate change, poverty, and countering violent extremism. this graduation ceremony was
held at the td garden in boston. >> president ayune, thank you for your very generous introduction and thank you for the invitation to be here on this very, very special day. jim bean, henry nosella, members of the board, faculty, parents, friends, and especially the brilliant and charismatic class of 2016. [applause] you know the garden is about as good as it gets for a commencement. all you have to do is just look up there at the banners heralding the boston bruins, stanley kip championship in 2011. [cheering] i know, some of you come from somewhere else but you're here. [laughter] the 17 celtics championship championship banners.
thanks to the second coming of the big three. [applause] and with my chauvinism of 28 years representing the state in the senate, i will tell you this is living reminder that boston is the number one sports town anywhere. [cheering] [applause] now, now at the moment for the red sox, anywhere just happens to be first place while the yankees are in last. [cheers and applause] so, so, don't let anyone tell you that our country is not moving in the right direction. [laughter] now graduating class, i got to tell you, you really do look spectacular. i want you, just look around you. classmates of every race, religion, gender, shape, size.
895 countries represented and dozens of languages spoken. you are the most diverse class in northeastern's history. in other words, you're donald trump's worst nightmare. [cheers and applause] now, now you may not know it but there is at least one thing that truly unites you. you're all going to be in really big trouble if you forget that sunday is mother's day. [laughter] neither the parents who are here, moms and dads, if you feel anything like i did when my daughters graduated, your emotions have to be mixed. a little bit sad, a little bit
relieved, incredibly proud, and absolutely blown away by how short the interval is between diapers and diplomas. now, speaking of blown away, i want to con groot late you guys for just getting here in time for this ceremony. [laughter]. i'm told you had to report at 8:00 p.m. [shouting] >> well, i mean i got tell you that is either crazy early or crazy late whether you actually went to bed. why would the last night be different from the rest of your college career, right? [laughter] now i've given a few commencement speeches before and the biggest challenge is always to follow everything that has come before you, particularly the student speakers. i want to thank annika and ben. i want to thank queasy and still
harmony for making my job a lot tougher today. thank you. i really want you to know that i accept this honor with great humility. and particularly because northeastern was kind enough to bestow a honorary degree on my daughter vanessa last year who was involved in a global health program which you recognized. i come here absolutely promising not to sugar coat reality. . .
even before on patriots' day 2013 when the tour it was among those hurt by a terrorist bomb, this community felt the weight of the wounded world. so this morning, we grieve and we celebrate all at the same time and in no way, there is no better shorthand description of life in elf and no better two word summary of this gathering today day northeastern strong, huskies strong. [cheers and applause] i have learned every millions is just the beginning of what northeastern is all about.
services at the heart of this institution. so it is no surprise that northeastern suffered to keep faith with those who keep america safe is actually unparalleled. we can be proud that northeastern graduate at 30% above the national average. [applause] three soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines from one veterans to so many others, i am proud to say the class of 2016 is the rule, not the exception. thank you, northeastern and thanks to all of you who wear our nation's uniform. [applause] now i am honored this morning to address a university family that
thankfully is utterly unafraid to the younger borders into the future. it is almost cliché to say you have global vision. but northeastern really does and it's different. the president test the limits your bold commitment to experiential learning from your leadership on the environment. the opportunity for international study of new campus in silicon valley and cutting-edge research in things like nano manufacturing. the class of 2016, believe me, if you're a master in a technology that your parents can't even pronounce, you are doing something right. just think after today you'll have a leg up on a spokes mark snacker -- zuckerberg.
you'll have a degree. we should speak about the massive transformation taking place around the world. northeastern's gone global. our leading corporations of going global, health and medicine and film are going global. you don't have to be great if not to understand our economy can't grow if we don't sell name to the 95% of the world's customers who live in other countries. you don't have to be a doctor to understand we can't be healthy if we can't write things like ebola and zika that make us sick as the people they hurt our, far from our shores. many of you were in elementary school when you learn the toughest lesson of all of 9/11. there are no laws big enough to stop people from anywhere, tens of thousands of miles away who are determined to take their own
lives while they target others. not in a class of civilizations, but in an assault, a rock assault on civilization and golf. so i think that everything we've lived and learned tells us we will never come out on top if we accept advice from soundbite salesman and parental markers who pretend the most powerful country on earth can remain great by looking inward and hiding behind walls at the time technology has made that impossible to do an unwise to even attempt. the future demands for us -- [cheers and applause] the future demands from us, something more than a nostalgia for some rose tinted version of a path that did not really exist in any case.
i think that everyone here, especially the class of 2016 understands that viscerally and totally come intellectually. you are about to graduate into a complex and borderless world. you heard the president talk in his description about the view from space. you are about to embark on what will take many companies not yet founded, using devices not yet developed, based on ideas not yet conceived. that is how fast things are moving and that doesn't mean you have succumbed to science fiction. you'll not all be replaced by robots because the economy of tomorrow will have enormous space for those of the energy, training and courage to compete in northeastern has made sure that you have that anymore because this university is blessed with a global vision and so are you, its graduates now.
believe me, that is critical because you are entering a world where it came globally is absolutely essential to easing opportunities in confronting the challenges that we face. when i was younger, and we have more than our share of national traumas, including a long and bloody war in southeast asia. it was also a time when the dividing line between ideologies was simpler, when a primary force in shaping our world where governments have recognized a. today, we face a world that is much more complicated, less hierarchical, were not data or split a central role, were disturbing images and outright lies can circle the globe in an similar dangers like climate change, terrorism indices do not
respect borders or any of the norms of behavior. and where tribal and sectarian hatreds are as prominent as they have been in centuries. for some people, that is all they need simply to climb under the sheets, close your eyes and wish the worlds away and shockingly, we even see this attitude from some who think they ought to be entrusted with the job of energy and international affairs. it seems obvious that members can mean you need to engage with the greater world, with the wider world should be a threshold requirement for those in high office. and yet this fact or of isolationism once again hovers over our nation. i thought we had learned lessons from the 20th century, when in foreign policy and protectionist tariff policy contributed to two global wars and great
depression. i say shut up the world may be especially seductive in an era as complicated as this. but it's not a responsible choice for the most prosperous and powerful nation on the planet, which also happens to be the leader of the free world. [applause] as secretary of state, but you sure you when you consider the range of challenges the world is struggling with, most countries don't lay awake at night worrying about america's present. they worry about what would have been an absence. so we cannot be seduced. for us, the lessons of history are clear. we don't see an excuse for inaction. we see a mandate to lead because the greatest challenges that our world confronts are best addressed in an some cases can
only be addressed by good capable people working in common cause with citizens of other nations. we often hear politicians talking about american exceptionalism. remember, please we are not exceptional because we say we are keep repeating it. we are exceptional because we do exceptional things. in other words, it greatness isn't about writing. it is about doing. it is about never being satisfied. it is about testing limit of what we can achieve together, of what america and its partners can accomplish in the world. that is exactly what we are trying to do with the united states already announced today, more deeply engaged on more important issues in more parts of the globe than ever before in our history.
we are profoundly conscious of the gravity of the challenges. in the words of the haitian proverb, there are mountains. one of those mountains is the effort to safeguard future generations from the old acts of climate change. the united states is leading the way together with many other nations than last month with my granddaughter on my lap, i formally committed the united states to the example to the nations that it pledged to curb greenhouse gas emissions and make progress towards a low carbon energy future. [applause] i want you to think about that because that just a few exceptions, including i'm sad to say an embarrassing coterie of naysayers in science deniers here in the united states, the
whole world now in paris and new york for the first time accepted the deed for a revolution in how we produce and use energy. ladies and gentlemen, last march was the hottest march in recorded history. last year, the hottest year in recorded history. the hottest decade in recorded history. the one before that, the second highest. the fact is simply staggering and yet despite all the science, one of my colleagues thought it would be persuasive to walk onto the floor of the senate with a snowball in his hand and point to it as evidence that climate change is a hoax. i hate to tell and approve some team, that's for sure, but not what he intended. [applause]
at the same time, just in the past four years, a record $230 billion is spent in the united states of america in response to extreme weather events. just the other day in houston, 17 inches of rain in 24 hours. that the entire amount of rain more than they had last year in the entire number. but just imagine if we put even a small fraction of that 230 billion into efforts to prevent or at least prepare for the worst impacts of climate change. there's one more thing to remember. don't believe the doubters who claim that we have to make a choice between protect in the environment are growing the economy. that is a lie. there's millions of jobs to be created, and billions -- fortunes to be made in tapping the potential of renewable energy and i hope many of you will share it not be sure.
[applause] paris last december it took an unprecedented step with our first-ever international agreement to combat climate change. it isn't the solution in itself because it not going to guarantee we hold the rest of the church should two degrees temperature. but it is a massive signal for private entrepreneurs for scientists, creative mind to go to work to find the alternative. whoever is going to produce the ability for us. paris is the beginning of what we have to do to meet this challenge. in the years ahead we will need an all-out global commitment to clean air, clean harbors, clean coasts, renewable energy and are
endangered ocean racers is. i say to you. today with certainty, and this is one of the great challenges of our time and hand in hand with another nod to scale to eliminate poverty from the world. your instant reaction made it to say that today. that is not possible. the truth is it is not only possible. we are making enormous progress in trying to achieve it right now. today, extreme poverty worldwide has fallen below 10% for the first time in his jury. the revolution taking place on a global basis has brought hundreds of millions of people in india, china into the middle class and while that is welcome news, we are not satisfied because 700 million people still have two survive on less than what it costs for us to grab a couple of dunkin' donuts today
because the gap -- the gap that was referred to earlier between rich and poor remains far too wide. so when the u.n. last fall, the world came together and agreed to move forward on an agenda that not only will reduce poverty further, but ensure every boy and girl can attend school, that every mother gets the health care that needs to survive in every available resource is used to win the fight against epidemic diseases. after all, we defy by stopping a bullet. experts said that a million people would be dead by christmas 2014 without action. we took action. president obama had the foresight to send 3000 troops to west africa to build capacity to provide care and aid and to stem the spread of the epidemic and
not links to unprecedented global response, not one country, not turning inwards and rooted in responsibility, but accepting responsibility today the most affected countries are virtually people afraid. there is absolutely no reason -- [applause] there's absolutely no reason to believe we can do the same or malaria and for the zika virus. right now for leopold and continue commitments to critical global health programs in africa, we can see the birth of the first aids free generation, an extraordinary accomplishment. and yet -- and yet another mountain that we have to climb which stands in the way of the calm that we want in our lives
and stability we need to achieve many of the things we want to achieve is the scourge of violent extremism that threatens communities around the world. there can be no peace without eliminating the scourge. i mentioned victoria mcgrath earlier was injured at the boston marathon attack. boston and northeastern need no lessons in how important it is to win the battle against terrorists. i want you to know without exaggeration, we will read it and we are even winning it for now and syria and iraq here we have degraded the leadership of the group known as i said or -- and we have liberated a third of the land it once occupied and we are continuing to move. they have not taken one piece of territory and how that may have last year. but we are not going to be successful in the long run. if the world if they can't stay
awake and allows production of terrorists is such an alarming rate. that's why it's critical we expand our commitment to taking on violent extremism at the root. we know there are millions of young people across the globe with no jobs, no opportunity that they have smartphones in their hand. vacancy with the rest of the world has been in the scene of that, they also see and know what they don't have. i want you to know that the fruit vendor who ignited the arab spring in tunisia wasn't religiously motivated. there's no religion involved in what he did. he was tired of being slapped around by a corrupt policeman who wanted a bright and he was so frustrated by his inability to sell his own truth where he
wanted to dispel simulated and that ignited a dictator or 30 years driven out of the country. there was no religion in terms of what motivated it. it was young people like you who wanted an opportunity like you have here, that they wanted it in their home for their country. we need these young people to know that their countries, communities will not be abandoned to the clutches of terrorists and extremists. experts tell us that a 50% reduction in youth unemployment could lift the global living standards by 6% or more. so our mission, your mission is to create jobs not just in a few places, but in many places. that's going to require the deep involvement in the dirt civil society, academic and petitions, international organizations and governments everywhere and still they will be no guarantees.
let me make it clear, doing this is not about charity. it is not about giving something for nothing. it is building our own security and preventing the conflicts of the future that they inevitably see us having become involved. there used to be a famous song during world war i. over there, saying about the distant shores were soldiers travel to fight. but in our time, in your time there is no over there. and a digital, well-traveled world in a global marketplace among those distant shores are practically always right at our doors. all of us need to do much more to build relationships with partners overseas. to deliver assistance to families and communities abroad, to promote stability worldwide and we need to do this not because it morally right, which it is in keeping with our
national ethos which is also true in our own security and rarity demand it. the $17 trillion economy and we spend 1 penny on every dollar of our federal budget on all of our foreign aid. the fact is there is much more that we can do and must do to him purge and improve governance to stop corruption, to ensure the education of young people that it actually teaches young people with a need to know and keeps them from being radicalized. there is much more that we can invest in many more projects for my generation and yours as you take out your careers in the days ahead. i ask you for a moment to think
about the careers of the three distinguished americans who preceded me and receiving honorary degrees from this university today. over a period of decades, dedicated vision and talent to the fight against brain can't there. her genius and hyper judas, the storytelling. charlie boulders has been an astronaut, military commander and above all an aspiring leader of women and men. none of them would be here today if they were easily satisfied and the accomplishments which earned their degrees which came about because they dare to always ask for the outermost limits of what they could do, thinking especially of charlie and my own dad who flew in the army air corps and the year prior to pearl harbor.
i want to tell you in closing a group of people who were called on years ago to test themselves under the most extreme conditions. the setting was a shed. after world war ii. enemy planes dominated the traditional air routes to get supplies from india to friendly places in china, american aviators fly over the world's highest mountains including the himalayas. they call it a home for nothing similar has never been attempted. the airplanes they flew craned straight from the factory and the untested. the pilots were given no charge so they threw their own. they were asked to fly higher than in the aviator had fun, higher than they had been trained to fly and they did so over the globe most forbidding
terrain. and that clouds are in darkness, a hidden pete corrie crack they can appear at any moment and bring them down. and yet, each night playing after playing through off into the unknown because had they not, allied forces would've stood no chance. eventually, the pentagon said an officer to observe and talk to the pilots, deciding in each case whether the strain had become too much an aviator should be sent home. they reported back that some are mentally drained after the first strip. others began to crack in weeks or months. only a few were able to go on and on much longer than their buddies. in four years, more than a thousand pilots were last. but together these courageous arab men, none of them famously with big reputations kept the supply lines open and they helped win the war.
some of these pilots are better than others do persevere, but here's the point. none of them failed because all went as far as their own capabilities allowed. each push like a dedicated marathoner has to push with the spinal research strengths and find the spark to greatness within them. that is the most that anyone could have asked of them. it is like history dimensioned united gates of america and what the future asks of you. you graduate with an increasing reservoir of knowledge and skills. how you use those gifts, how far you push yourself, and that's not about education. that's a question of character and only you can answer. when robert kennedy was running
for president to make even 68, he raised a student at the university of kansas some basic questions about dignity and purpose. he pointed out that what we now call our gdp was measured among other things and items like the size of our military, capacity of jails, weapons and pollution emanating from our fact juries. and it was not kennedy said they do not allow for the health of our children and the quality of education and the joy does not include the beauty of our portrait while the strength of their marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of public officials measures neither wit nor courage, neither wisdom or compassion or
devotion. it measures everything insured except that which makes life worthwhile. my friends, we are under no abolition about the gigantic challenges before us, but we should remember compared to many other generation we have tremendous in damages. a child today is more likely than ever before to be born healthy, more like me to be adequately fed and get the necessary facts nation. more likely to live a long life. individuals and companies around the world thrive on new technologies that is made possible incredible breakthroughs in communications, education, health care, economic growth in the number of democracies has doubled while the number of nuclear weapons has fallen by two thirds and just the last 30 years. although this isn't isn't because of any one country or because of what governments do
alone. it is what happens when people have faith in their own values in their own skills and expect to write and dignity of each other and no matter how many many.stand in their way, that is not a complicated formula. but it gives me a powerful sense and what together we can achieve now and what you can achieve in the years and decades ahead. pursuing arenas that excite your passion, completing the mission to teach and serve and he'll and i encourage you to search for greatness within while you push for the outermost horizons. remember as you do this, when nelson mandela said all the