tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN May 9, 2016 8:40pm-10:40pm EDT
runs the center for civic media at the massachusetts institute of technology's media lab. he spoke to students at rice university in houston. we have been: looking on i mind this is that all my machines, digital platforms with which our social lives have grown increasingly familiar but which are also invading our academic lives. this -- to these machines, we can collaborate colleagues, teach thousands at once and so want but it's has -- but it has also become clear that these machines can take march us of us, they in directions that we don't necessarily want to go. tonight, we get to hear from some of these genes from someone who knows a great deal about
them and who has even written and implement chill book about this world that we live in. -- and even written and worldntial book about the that we live in. if i am not mistaken, even worked for one of the first -- ethan worked for one of the first.com enterprises. ofis also a founding member global voices online, a popular nonprofit network of bloggers, citizens, and journalists. in 2007, he joined the inaugural wikipedia's eyes reboard. added to the list of stop global bloggers.
it is my pleasure to present ethan zuckerman. please join me in welcoming ethan to rice. [applause] mr. zuckerman: thank you so much. it is wonderful to be here in this beautiful state on this gorgeous campus. want to tell you about where i from and how that informs some of the work that i am doing at the moment. i teach at the m.i.t. media lab which is one of the stranger academic institutions in the world. behind the media you have to be future on inventing the and you have to be studying something that no one else is studying. my colleague at the top of the
screen used to be one of the top rock climbers in the world and ended up losing both of his legs below the knee in a climbing accident and went on to become an amazing researcher in biomechanical limbs. terry oxman is as designer -- mary future and you have to be studying something that no one else is studying. my colleague at the top of the screen used to be one of the o's and surfaces that look like cells or organisms. pretty is not nearly as but in some ways it is more global and colorful. i study civic media. i'm interested in the idea that by making media, we can make change in the world. the work i have done for the last dozen years is with a group called global voices which looks for people in developing nations who are writing about their country in a way that the rest of the worldbut in some ways ite global and colorful. i study civic media. tends not to know about. there are pakistanis talking about their countries, not in terms of islamic fundamentalism but in terms of science and technology. and people talking about west africa in terms of the economic opportunity.
because of the work that i do, i get to meet with people in a amazing and different places. this is a photo from september of last year. ghana.n accra, i was hanging out with a bunch nf canadian -- ghanaia bloggers. i wanted to meet the guy in the red hat. i had in reading him because he and comedian, an essayist, one of the most successful political organizers in ghana. he had organized an up-and-coming social movement. impoverished for about 40 years and has recently turned things around. it is now a middle income
country. a lovely place to go and visit. a lot of people working in high tech and management which is to say there are a lot of people who have cars, air conditioners, and televisions. this is not a nation of stereo typical huts. it really stinks when they do not have electric power which is happening a lot because the nation has become very wealthy and also because of climate change. they get most of their electricity from hydro water. very low because the rain cycle has changed. this leads to "on off." the power goes off and on all of the time and it is driving people nuts. people are getting together and driving to protest, they are lanternsp kerosene
because this is what they need low because the rain cycle has changed. this leadsto use to read wet anu all at their t-shirts, they off on must stop. he is organizing marches with 5000-10,000 people. they are marching into the center of town to say to the government, look, you need to get your act together. we cannot live without electric power. i am watching this. i am really interested in this. and like the good social scientist that i am, i say -- hey, what is the best way to politically organize here. when you are organizing things and getting people into the streets, are you doing this through facebook or twitter? says -- i ame and
not political. what? 5000ave just organized people to march through the center of the capital city to protest electricity and you are going to tell me that you are not political. in many countries where i work, when you say you're not political, what it means is that you do not want to end up in prison. but that is not ghana. it is an open society. according to reporters without borders, they have a more free and open press than we do here in the united states. the reason he wanted to tell me that he was not political was he did not want everyone else in the room to think that he was an idiot. and that is what is happening in politics in ghana right now. people who are strongly affiliated with the major political parties, are being seen by the younger generation
as wasting their time. guy in his late 20's, he literally will not allow himself to be photographed near someone who is strongly associated with one of these political parties for fear that he will lose his credibility, and someone will think that he represents one of these parties, and that also someone will think that he is someone involved in organized politics. which is seen in ghana as being such a dirty game and so far removed from what is actually happening on the ground like the electricity shortage, that he simply does not want to be associated with it. i came back and i was thinking about this. i hear this all over the world. i go to india and i talked to him and he corruption activists who are trying to track people taking bribes on mind and they say they are not -- taking
bribes online and they say they are not political. i go to russia. not political there either. i come back to the united states , and you start hearing some of the same stuff to the extent that these two gentlemen have anything in common, one of the things that senator sanders and mr. have in common is that they are both very much attached to the idea that they are removed from politics. that they are somehow separate from the into the tuition of politics as we know it. it is a little harder for bernie to make this position then donald. he has been an unusual figure as the one socialist. donald trump probably actually has a legitimate claim to being an outsider is leased from institutional politics. institutional politics,
institutions more generally are what i think we are moving away from and moving to a culture of sharp and extreme mistrust for. one is simple example. thinkooking at how we about politicians in the united states. this is a survey that comes from gala. it asked people if you expect people in these professions to behave honestly and ethically. you can see that nurses do very well. police officers, a little less so. areas on theower way down. the only people who come out lower at 7% are lobbyists. once you start getting into money and politics, we start getting to the point where we do not expect much from people going into these businesses. this has been happening for a
long time. this is a very long, slow change in how american society is structured. this is a compilation to him 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? number peaks in 19 64 at 77%. this number now runs between 12%-19% routinely. it has been a long gradual slide. it had a real comeback around the year 2000. i was born in 1973. the only time this question has been in positive territory, in my 43 your lifetime that 50% of americans have said that they trust the government to do the right thing, was just before we invaded iraq. for the most part, what we have
seen is a shift away from assuming that our government is going to be acting in our interest to a moment where we simply do not expect that to happen. if this was just about government, it would be disturbing that it is more disturbing than that. americans and ask about trust in large institutions of all source, -- level ofrts, that trust is falling sharply over time. the two institutions that come up that most people say they trust all or most of the time are the military and small business. this is strange. , theyou think about egypt ended up with the military after throwing out the under -- the other institutions. the military and small business are the only institutions where we have increased interest.
we trust the military more now than we did in the non-. everyone else has fallen quite far. we might understand the church religionrganized falling but we have seen the medical system fall sharply in trust. we have seen banks. public schools. organized labor. newspapers and the press. the criminal justice system. all the way through. we trust these institutions less and less. the simple rule of thumb is that if we cannot see an individual common human being, if we see a structure or an entity rather than a person, for the most part as americans we are shifting to the point where we do not trust it anymore. it is not just us. the global pr company has been running a similar survey around the world. they are finding that these levels of institutional trust
are dropping gear on year. the places where they are not dropping are concerning places like china, singapore, the united arab emirates. best not falling in the governed, open societies. scandinavia. and it is falling in the most economically successfully closed societies. well forworking really you, open society and democracy, you probably have a decent institutional trust. if you are in a closed system, you probably have high institutional trust. if you are anywhere in the middle, it is falling apart. it is worth asking -- why is this? what happened? i have some guesses. it is possible that having the impeachment of the sitting president had a lot to do with this. i think it also had a lot to do with a systemic attack both in the u.s. and the u.k. on the
idea that government could do good. we had a real shift in the 1980's, a lot of people refer to it as neoliberalism, generally speaking government are going to be significantly less effective than the private sector. when you have government officials standing up and tell you that the government can do no good and you should not fund it, you end up at a place where the government can do no good. it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. we have government officials who have embarrassed themselves, who have damaged the dignity of the office. i am doing my best to be a partisan here. -- to bee bipartisan bipartisan here. for a lot of the people that i know, watching the u.s.
government, this incredibly wealthy and powerful nation, failed to take care of our own during the aftermath of hurricane katrina was a moment of realization that the system was not working. the safety notes -- safety net that we thought we could trust are not once we can trust anymore. the 2007-2008 banking crisis was another moment that shook people to the core. a realization that the systems we thought were too big to fail, which we thought had safeguards counteract negative effects, were in fact surprisingly fragile and needed a lot of help to recover from systemic fraud and abuse. i am a media scholar. by and up thinking that the press has a lot to do with it and that ending up with an unshackled press in the era of at thete looks to be start of the shift.
it starts in the 1970's. and the shift on taking a close look at the nixon administration has something to do with it. figures like edward snowden are capable of putting incredible revelations into the press and having widespread effect. that also has a way of undermining the opacity of the power of institutions. ?hat does this mean fors a real uphill battle people who are strongly associated with existing institutions and government. watch all ofg to in thed representatives no to support marco rubio to effect. if you accept my theory that we are at an anti-institutionalist moment where people
are incredibly suspicious of any existing institution, there is really nothing worse than having mitt romney show up and say -- what you should do now is work for marco rubio. this probably represents a tough uphill path for hillary clinton who is someone who has built her career through the institutions of the senate, the state department, working her way up to a position of incredible prominence and experience. but at a moment where we seem extremely mistrustful of the very institutions that have brought her to the fort. i am not concerned about their problems. i am concerned about our problems. here is the problem i am concerned with. have deep, abiding mistrust in institutions, almost everything we know how to do as civic actors does not work anymore. the main two things we know how
to do in conventional civics are to elect good and wise leaders, to pass laws, to carry them out and to enforce them. or, when we feel like those people are not listening to us, to show up, to march, to make our presence known and to demand change in one fashion or another. here is the problem. a 9% approval rating in congress, when you have a branch of government that says we are not planning on doing our jobs for the next year until we have an election, when you have success of congresses congresses setting records were being the least productive, it is challenging to convince people that they can make change in the world by passing laws and having them carried out. if you do not believe that washington right now is capable of making major change in the world, it takes out this other route of protest which has been
so powerful over the years. this is an image from the march on washington. the challenge is that it -- have got good news because there is other ways people are finding ways to do civics. i want to talk about two of them. they are the two i feel like i understand the best. we are doing a lot of interviews these are twod that i feel like i can give you a little bit of a glove. so, this guy on the screen is larry.
he is probably the single least successful candidate of 2016. he briefly decided he would make a run based on campaign finance reform before bernie sanders did. really known for is being probably the deepest theorist of the internet bed any of us have run into. he wrote books that are incredibly important. "code" does is say there are multiple ways that we as a society regulate behavior. we're used to regulating behavior through law. say "you law and we can't do that anymore." or we say, "you can't do that anymore." s big observation in
this book is that laws are only one of four ways we regulate society for top we also regulate through norms. none of you yet have jumped up and started arguing with me during this talk and maybe it is because i'm not said anything to argue with or maybe you are following a social script. the norms of behavior when someone is giving a talk at a lectern is you sent and wait and ask questions afterwards. ands are extremely powerful constrain us from doing huge numbers of things in life because we fear social sanction. we fearfully break them, other people shun us or make fun of us. being extremely powerful ways of effecting change over time. in fact, major societal changes are us -- often normative changes. suddenly it is ok for people about that race is to be married. suddenly it is ok for gays and lesbians to be out in public and
be married to each other. we make things expensive, would make them cheap. anyone with the misfortune of being a smoker, you notice that gets more expensive every year. that is a way of regulating behavior out of existence. making it so expensive it is harder and harder to do. the most subtle of this is code. codes and architectures of all sorts. these also regulate. walked you, when you into this building you walked on tax. in those paths are designed to have you walk in a certain way and that is a form of regulation through code. there are things that are easy to do with computer and things that are hard. to ripemarkable and easy a cd and have finals. it is hard to rip a movie. it requires custom software and
secret, dark corners of the internet. that is not enforcing law. that is an forcing code. there is code that makes that easy and code that makes that hard. what i am trying to do is understand activism by the essig.ed lsess it is kind of like gymnastics. we know that we can make change through law. we know that when the supreme court decides that recognition of eight will marriage is the affectshe land, that everybody but it turns out you changingmake change my norms, markets, and codes. of all the things in the world i am his stuff about right now, governmentread surveillance is high on my list.
run a network of 1400 journalists and translators in 120 countries. all of that communication between me and the people i work with is subject to surveillance by the nsa. is ae have decided that price we are ok with paying in exchange for preventing -- and as much thought the obama administration might take a stand, it has not happened and there is very little hope the clinton change might. so trying to make change through law is not going to happen. the good news is there are a lot of geeks out there running software companies that are trying hard to make encryption standard. so when i talk to people right now, i do it through a little application on my phone call looks justd signal like an sms client.
it looks just like i am sending text messages except they are encrypted. they are hard to intercept. i see using the tour browser, -- the tor browser which makes it hard to see where i am coming from. inc. the link, friends of mine are trying to help with surveillance through code and i would argue people writing and putting that code out in the world are just as much at the best as the people with the human rights campaign who are working on equal marriage. i would argue the same for elon musk who is trying to make the electric car, not a compromised vehicle but the sexiest thing that is out there on the road. and not as a way of trying to take advantage of marketing mechanisms to make social
change. something like the difficulty of passing a widespread carbon tax in the united states right now and saying, maybe we that if we can like havingl your an electric car or putting solar panels on your house, maybe there is an alternative way of taking change. probably the most subtle change of things around this is around changing norms. the folksplace where behind black lives matter have an enormous amount to teach us through 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 a problem weis not are to fix with law. illegal to shoot an unarmed being unless the person is directly threatening your life. what happens when someone gets
shot like michael brown, a officer, -- a police 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 with violence. change we't normative have to make over time. we're not going to get out of it just by putting audie cameras on police. a change it has to be about how we think about each other within society. so that's how you went up with campaigns like this. oft image to the very sight the screen is an image of michael brown taken from his face book page not very long after his death. days is ifs these you get killed by the police the first thing the media does is go on your facebook page and tries to find images of you to illustrate the story. onethe image left was the that showed up to illustrate who
michael brown was for about the first 48 hours after his death. activists look at that image and send you know, that is interesting. michael brown posted a lot of images on facebook, including if one next to it will stop you look at the first image, michael is being shot from below, he looks tall, he looks intimidating, he is scowling, he is throwing a peace sign which a gangwspapers said was sign. he looks older, he looks tall, he looks dangerous, he is probably trying to look a little dangerous. he is pudgy, he's a kid, he's cute, he is a high school kid. brown ones, heel was a high school kid. and the difference between those two images is the normative difference in how we think about this shot man who was killed in ferguson, missouri. where when you saw activists, starting this campaign, asking the question, if they gunned me death which
photo what they use? and an activist would go on to their own facebook feed and the total of themselves that would be the most negative portrayal the mediocre put forward and they would pick the photo where they were the best example of an upstanding citizen and so in this case, an active marine put up these two images coming out of his facebook feed and you the difference. the campaign went viral really quickly. one things it was so interesting was that lots of young white kids did not get the political message behind this. just got the store to her of it. so they went on to facebook and put up a photo of them looking drunk or disorderly and then one graduating from college and using a shovel thing, please just get out of this conversation. deepis a much more conversation then you are giving it credit for. within three days use of the new
york times putting the story on the front page. hard to find that first image of michael brown. that threatening image of michael brown after this first story rant. media was shamed by the campaign into realizing that the way we portray people less real implications on how we think about a whole category of people over time. so this is an approach to civics that i refer to as "the effect ." the approach it says, we all learned that civics was about law, about electing people to government, about passing and enforcing laws. now the rules are different. the roles now are that you tould do whatever allows you feel most effective as a citizen. if you feel like you are going to be able to make change by going onto facebook and changing how we perceive african-american males, you do that.
if you think you are going to do it by starting a social venture go ahead. you do that. she is the downside about this -- here is the downside about this approach. the downside's equity. equity is different than equality. equality is that we all get an equal chance. is the idea that we might need accommodations to get that chance. that we would actually have to work or a hard for people that different life experience, different circumstances, to get this apple. here is this problem. with this version of civics. it is deeply inequitable. if you want to change social morals we could all do want to twitter and start a campaign. i have an advantage you do not. i have 42,000 twitter followers you probably don't. there are a lot of celebrities
that have 2 million, they are in a much better position than i am. and what 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 make change when you're trying to make it and it is inequitably distributed. if you want to start a car company that is going to change the world and conquer climate change, it helps to make -- to be elon musk and found that paypal and have several million dollars to start with. change how the world of color is, it helps to be a student of mine here at m.i.t. or somewhere else. that is so amazing about these legal based spheres of changes that at the end of the day we all have one vote voting rights act, now said leases bended, we actually worked very hard to make sure people had equal vote.unity to cast a
that took years. it took a very long time to realize we had to build equity into the system. these forms are so new we have not thought about equity yet. we have not thought about what it means that some people have a much better chance at using these tools than another. i want to talk to you about another way people are trying to make change and here i'm going to talk about some books that of been very influential on my work will stop there is a book by a guy named michael who teaches at columbia journalism school. he is one of the better teachers of journalism. he wrote a book called "the good citizen." the point of the book is that we have in our head a model of citizenship that we think citizens should follow and the good citizen more or less as someone who gets up, reads a bunch of newspapers, gets
different points of view, stays up to date on all sorts of different issues, goes out and ises and when he or she incensed or worried, rights to an elected representative. the good citizen works really hard at being a good citizen. and one of michael's observations is that the good citizen might not exist. the good citizen turns out to be a creation of the progressive in the 1920's. and it is a reaction to an earlier model of what it meant to be a good citizen. before the progressives came along, to be a good citizen is to be a loyal party member. to show up, represent your social class, your tribe of people, by showing up in the election, loading up your ballot to the public, filling it out, fighting her way to the polls because the the polls were also often drunken brawls at that point and casting your vote and solidarity with your brothers
who had the same background as you do. that changes with the progressive movement. suddenly we have muckraking journalism. we have the secret ballot. alan initiatives. we put an enormous amount of responsibility on the citizens to be hugely informed. what happened? voting rates plummeted. people were35% when just voting rather than electing a president. we may be asking too much. this may not be a realistic and cure of what citizens really do. they really do as they monitor. they scan the horizon for places where they think they can be effective. i have an example from my hometown. of 3500 people.
my local politics are not usually all that interesting. i generally do not spend much time thinking about them but i have a six-year-old child. he is in public school. in six more years, he will be heading to high school and the high school is falling down because it has not been fixed since the 1960's and there is a bill on the ground to figure out how we can fix it. layings bro, massachusetts. -- layings bro, massachusetts. the high schools of the road in williamstown, massachusetts and we have had a giant controversy on whether we should increase our tax rates to pay for the high school. and while i have not paid attention to local politics with three or four years this came on my radar and i got excited, put up a sign on my lawn, and my wife and i both went and voted. i had been monitoring for the issue i cared about and when it came up, i jumped in. this idea forward,
an australian political scientist named john keane, he says this explains a lot of how we do politics now because it is not just individuals who monitor it is whole organizations. like the sunlight foundation who do nothing but try to monitor the performance of government. our people showing up for votes? where they're getting a contribution -- where are they getting their political contributions from? it feels like a very passive, very washington-centered form of citizenship but it does not have to be. is a documentary, wonderful, pbs put it on about the black panthers. when you go back to the history of the emergence of the black panthers at the height of the civil rights movement, the first thing the panthers actually did was start following the oakland police around. driving behind police cars, for men to a car.
and when the oakland police would stop and try to make an arrest, form members of the black panthers, armed, would get out, guns in hand and monitor the police arrest. this sounds crazy. it is amazing no one got shot and killed. it was a way of stepping 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 in juicy this right now with groups that are going out and teaching people how to be monitors of police who are going out and making arrests. it is also why we know about deaths of people like walter scott because sadie santana picked up a camera and was able to monitor what happened. this is a very old way of thinking about citizenship. it goes back to the french revolution. a remarkable french thinker has a brilliant called "counter
democracy." and what he argues is that for all that makes democratic systems work, what may be most powerful is people watching those democratic socialists. theing under surveillance people in power. if we look it people, if we are vigilant, if we denounce round doing, if we evaluate performance within this, we are not doing surveillance of the way we normally think about it, we are doing some much more closer to watching from below than from above. they make the argument that this emerges during the french revolution. new forms ofld get political power, the citizenry see themselves as empowered to hold responsible their new leaders. monarchs never had to be responsible but when you have leaders coming from the people
there is this need to because telling watchful. to ensure theing power does not get abused. this idea of counter democracy is not that this watching is against democracy, but that it's intention is structural. it is a buttress. a way in which the counter power keeps that wall from falling down. thinks interesting to about is that there are two ways watchfulness can go wrong. be too weak. that seems to be the situation we have right now. we have the great and good groups like the ¢ foundation going out and say, guess we can document how much money is a popular. yes we can -- how much money is in politics. revolutionhe french ends up as with the guillotine. literally people who came under
surveillance act were found wanting in the eyes of the public, including robespierre. ?o what we do i am offering to ideas to try to find a way out of what looks like an otherwise very difficult mess with civics. whatnot have an answer for you should do so i will take what i am doing. i am spending a lot of time in places like this. survey last santana lussier. the largest -- the third-largest city in brazil. it is quite a port community in the middle of a fairly wealthy city. it is built on reclaimed line in a steep hillside. it is a problem that has a lot of social capital and a lot of what i am doing these days is going out and meeting with community organizations like this and saying, what is 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-tech elegy. we only use the best post-it notes. magic markers. and we brainstorm what is wrong. what would you like to fix in santa lussier? identifying things and we start to identify things you would never think about. when i was there i found myself documenting staircases. why staircases? it is a surveillance. hill.built on a high it is a big problem in your life because they are badly maintained. they are falling apart. on them.ip and fall when you come to one of these brainstorms, people say, i want to to document what is wrong with the staircases. i want hand railings. so we know how the software platform.
it is a platform that lets the community group identify an issue they care about. they design a survey, go out with mobile phones and believe me, even in the poorest neighborhoods there, people of cell phones. thisgo out and they have survey instrument that says, ok take a photo of the pavement. is pavement missing? is this a hazard to someone? this turns into a point that can show up on a map and the map he comes in interesting and powerful tool. you can use these maps to hold the government responsible. you go to the mayor and say, hey mr. mayor you promised you would be taking care of it our city better in your administration. you are the issues we care about and we can document and map the problems. sometimes it works. we have actually had really great success in a city where there has been huge problems
with sanitation in the main market and now the city is our partner and we are working together to put this application out of people document what is going on in the market and cleanup. sometimes the city does not care and that you go to the press and you say, hey we have a story ready-made for you. let me tell you about my uncle who felt down the staircase and broke his hip because he is one of the dozens of people who had this experience because this neighborhood is filled with danger staircases and we have collected thousands of data points on a map you can simply run in the newspaper if you wanted to just come and verify our work. multiple theories of change but they're all based around an idea that people want to monitor. a want to look at their community and say here's what is going on, here is what we want to ask. ,t if you can give them tools you can make them more powerful. here's another thing we are doing, you have heard the talk changehaping social
through norms. one of the best ways is through media. we make images, we make stories, we try to persuade people that their values need to change. that we need to think again black men not as violent but as victim's, for instance. we have been thinking about, how do you measure this change? measure whether a campaign to change norms will have an effect? we look at median three ways. reach, influence, impact. mediae make a piece of and put it in the world, who gets to see it? does it end up changing the media dialogue? forward, dos we put the end of being a ducted by other people? do they change how we talk about things? when the occupy movement goes out and starts talking about the 99% of the 1%, do other people pick up that language?
did we end up with impact. we pass a law? do we change our attitude? it is hard to change impact. it is a long-range change. but measuring the impact ends up being a big thing we can do. one of the things we do is read newspapers. roughly 100,000 of them a day. don't notem so you have to. we subscribe to pretty much every newspaper in the united states, a lot of the was in brazil, a lot of the ones in israel, we collect electronic media from around the world and turn it into a search engine and the search engine lets us ask questions like, what are we paying attention to? so it the beginning of last year we asked the question, who is paying attention to the attacks on charlie hebdo in paris. the answer was everyone, as it should be. horrific attacks on the freedom of the press. but these attacks ultimately killed fewer than 20 people and during the same week of those
attacks, more than in 2000 people were slaughtered in nigeria by northern boko haram. and if you look at our graphs, that orange line with the steep peak are the number of people talking about charlie hebdo, and the blue line behind it is the line talking about nigeria. -- u.s.the line of usb media. we also did a line in nigeria and even in nigeria people were talking more about paris than their own country. very quickly the new york times grabbed this and the 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 am 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 looking at where we spend our attention, we may be able to change media.
we can also ask questions about how we talk about things. this is work we did for the world health organization trying to figure out how the world was talking about ebola. is the biggest issue of the world in november 2014. the biggest thing everybody is talking about. we gathered tens of thousands of articles on ebola and we cluster them together when they used the same language. you look at the top of the graph, you see where there is like fever, and factions, hemorrhagic, those are words that occur in the same articles. scientificin journals, publications like nature, you see other clusters over time if you look at the upper left, you wind up seeing people talking about nigeria, liberia, or children. those are people talking about this as an african crisis. but these are not the only ways people end up talking about. we see people talking about relief. that is the group and team.
we see africa. we also see a conversation going on about dallas because you remember one of the people exposed to ebola ended up in presbytery hospital in dallas and suddenly there was a huge amount of coverage about ebola in the united states and we are all going to die. then there is a big conversation going on with the obama, crisis, washington, americans. saysconversation basically ebola has come to the united states under the obama administration, this is a lasting legacy of the obama presidency. together people, obama, ebola, both from africa. this is an agenda that shows up and it turns out to be the dominant agenda of what is going on in media. you were the world health organization. three of these ways of talking about ebola are really good for you. you want people talking about relief, you want people talking about this is a curable disease. you are happy when people talk
about africa because this is what we really care about. talking about panic in texas -- not help roll at all. -- not helpful at all. and talking about this being a crisis lyrically, not helpful at all. you can use this as a scorecard. a way to look at how an issue is being framed and that is how we are doing this work overtime. we are now doing this work for social change organizations all over the united states helping them get a sense for how an issue like police violence is being talked about. what frames are winning, what friends are losing and doing it analytically so we can figure what are the publications involved with this? it turns out the publications doing well talking about this as an african issue are british and irish. none from the united states. the publications talking about this big obama's problem, they are the mainstream of america
media. bloomberg, new york times, all of this stuff. we're looking at ways of using this as a way of keeping score in helping people figure out, how would you intervene if you .anted to change the dialogue what the who probably missed was at this point, when everyone was talking about it media was whether we should be quarantining ebola patients and the who never used the word "quarantine" because they thought it was such a terrible idea they did not even want to legitimate it. in the process, they ended up being completely marginal in the conversation. so we're using this to try to help groups like lack lives matter figure out how to organize their media. how to change social norms around this. we are studying how much attention gets paid to -- and we are able to document that month after month we seem to be paying more andntion to these deaths
over time, if you are supporting that movement, you want find a way to sport and work with that. and we are finding open source tools that other researchers can use. we are people using this for everything from teen pregnancy through racial justice issues and we are encouraging people to jump on that and work with that. so these are the questions i am people how do we help feel more powerful? had we help people feel effective in making civic change or monitoring it in the world? when we are making change, how do we know if we are succeeding? how do we know if we are working in the right direction? how do we know how progress is being made? want to leave you. i think civics is changing because civics has to change. i think a lot of these old models are just not working anymore and i think these new
forms of civics, while they are incomplete, while there are often an equitable, why they do not work as we help, i think it a newe to push them in direction. what is not fine is to look at this moment in time and react with disengagement. this feeling of mistrust many of us have when we look at the world today is either a powerful corrosive force or a force we can harness. thank you very much for listening. [applause] >> i have a question for you. binary to you of platforms, the fact that they are designed
to be celery and buyer or user it somewhat is coincidentally compatible with the mistrust of government? to get rid designed of government, are they designed to get rid of auctioneers, , etc.?cts, bankers along those same lines, is insurrection somewhat coincidentally compatible with instant communication? or today, five million people were going down the street in san paolo, it was because they could do that. the secondme answer one first. i do think that instant communication has a great deal to do with insurrectionist movement. there is a huge history behind this. aboutof what we know
history and technology comes from the philippines and mobilization through sms, which documentednderfully by howard rheingold in his book "smart mobs" where people could say, we're all going to edison square, where black, pass it on. it turns down that was enough to pull down a government, to put people on the street. through somesier of these technologies to mobilize people and bring them out the at it ever was before. flipside is that governments are getting much smarter about it and starting to understand that this sort of instant mobilization means less then it used to. when you saw the march on washington, when you saw 40,000 people coming into the capital at a moment when it was very difficult to organize, what that march basically signified was
months and months and months of work and head of time to mobilize everybody. what 40,000 people in a public square right now might need is that somebody had a really well-craft did tweet. auto crafts are learning how to -- autocrats are learning to ignore that. a friend said what was happening around mobilization in turkey. she points out the mobilization has led to very little. you saw erdogan get elected with a majority of voters and he basically belittled and made fun of the people came out in the yearshe realized that ago, 50,000 people in the streets -- you were in trouble and about to be overthrown. but 60,000 people in the streets right now might just mean that somebody did a really good job working their network.
some mobilization is easier but it is less meaningful. question is subtle. i like it. this notion that these somehow arelatforms this level of distrust. and one of the things i would we have been watching the collapse of profession in the united states. notion been moving this that, i am an architect or accountant and i have a set of values i am owing live up to independent of the specific job i hold. it tends to be more specific. less to the profession. is a way ine there which a lot of these intermediary platforms right very well be further eroding those sorts of roles. to the extent you end up saying, maybe i do not need a bank
anymore. maybe i will just use bitcoin or my mobile phone company as i do in kenya. institutiont, that that had a reason to be there and reasons to charge you money suddenly looks like we can get rid of it over time and maybe that is another place where mistrust starts eating away. back isg i would look when you look at the graph i was shot, this rise of mistrust and institutions is really starting 19 70 and a lot of this disintermediation is more a result than a cause. once you realize there is nothing particularly special about the bank or the travel agent or the lawyer, it is just someone puts words together and maybe i could do it if i just had the right information on the internet, but i think that is more result the end cause. hard to say at a certain point.
what else do we got? >> in terms of mistrust of institutions, i am wondering how you feel about m.i.t.? you are working within the structure of a very powerful institution. a great question and i will make the question even more complicated by admitting that i was friends with aaron swartz, the young man who committed suicide after being prosecuted by the commonwealth of massachusetts and m.i.t. not only did not fund that prosecution but in many ways sort of actively encouraged it. tricky aboutis finding yourself at an institution, particularly if you're like me, a professional insurrectionist, is that you are sort of left with this question of "is it my job to fix this
institution or is it my job to ?"rk around the institution in who find themselves with an powerful and flawed institutions, and i would say mostar, a question at a certain point becomes, "can i be more effective trying to make the institution better at what it is and does well or can i do a better job by saying, maybe we do not meet this institution anymore, let's do something else instead of this institution." of graduate dean education left m.i.t. to start a new kind of university. a university that is mostly virtual. it does not have tenure. it does not have a lot of the trappings as a place like m.i.t. does. insurrectionist of approach. to say, i have looked around
come i see the limits, it is signed for me to step out and try something new. at this point i find myself saying, there is a lot i can do to help the since two should become better. students, a year and a half after aaron's death found himself in legal trouble based on experiments he was doing with bitcoin. i was very concerned that m.i.t. was not representing him, was withaking care of them and a couple of other professors we wrote "or to the president of the university which ended up in the boston globe which ended up with a commission that i was then slated to serve on to try to figure out how we would defend students who got into legal trouble while innovating. two and a half 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.
it is a very institutionalist and i felt a problem it was something i could do and take advantage of a place like m.i.t. is absolutely the kind of institution that can and should stand up for that freedom to innovate. everyone has to wrestle with of. everyone of us who are blessed to be working with an 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 make the change from outside? >> of relative to civics and mistrust of government, was wondering if you would comment campaign, theers trump campaign, the use of twitter, and they are both appealing to groups that feel disenfranchised and powerless and the whole relationship. ask some of the better analysis
i have seen looking at both the donald trump and bernie sanders phenomenon looks at groups of americans who feel like the world has changed for the worst. we have seen a lot of reporting that low-end middle income white are living shorter lives, dying sooner. the people in the past have been involved with factory jobs are now not my "employment. that there is really -- now not employment. a whole class of people for which things are getting worse. a lot of these people in the past would've been well represented i organize labor but we have less and less organized labor. these are people who in many cases are turning either to the trump or to the sanders cap. the common ground is the sense that the system just is not
working and that iterated over the course of 10 or 20 years, things are simply not getting better for some groups of people. that point, someone who says -- look, i agree. the system is broken. i am outside that system and i am going to find a way to fix it. those prescriptions to make america great again, make , either of those are outside the point. what you are really saying is tentative voters saying, i cannot trust anyone who believes that the institutions we have are basically sound. i need one who understands how frustrated, how angry, how alienated i am and is willing to say, we need a completely different system. we need to get rid of some of these institutions and start from scratch. there really different.
i do not want to lump trump and sanders together. it i don't want to predict whether we are at a moment when insurrectionist some is more powerful then institutionalism. there are still a lot of institutionalist up there. at the end of the day, i do teach at m.i.t. hand at the end of the day, a lot of people are working very hard to make institutions work. of someone who has tried incredibly hard to make institutions work, i think hillary clinton is a nice example. the question may be for people who feel systemically let down by the structures that were supposed to give them opportunity, are they going to be able to sign off on someone who has proven herself as very effective within that institution or are they going to demand someone who basically says, no we have to get rid of those their nest -- they are
just not working. the had to questions about end of your lecture. one related to the example in brazil. though you are --king about the monitoring the citizens monitoring. a would've they doing? they are producing maps to take to the government, and institution they do not trust. so how effective is such dreaded gm's your premises there is no trust in institutions? why are you going back to the government? is a great question. thank you for calling me on that. what i am really trying to do in my work right now is more descriptive than prescriptive. what i am seeing around monitoring is that this is a lot of the way people are trying to make changes at the moment. that it isnvinced
necessarily the way i want to make change. and i think it is a way you can make change when you still have can that the institutions be reformed. it is a way of saying, this is a way of making my voice heard within those institutions. one of the things that has been interesting in brazil as we have had a couple cases where we have evidence it works. where we have the government show up and do the right thing in response. we also have a lot cases where it has not worked at all. started working in sao paulo in part because there is a progressive mayor, for non-dough, who did all the right things. concrete things to change the city. immediatelyost after taking office faced a strike from the left. a transit strike of people saying, we are not going to pay that isl buses and
because we do not trust the government to do anything anymore. i think monetary or power is a much more active stance than saying, we'll pass the laws, elected right people. i think it is a way of saying, we are going to be deeply involved with institutional politics. cross theng when you line and say, i don't even think monetary power is going to out me. i'm going to try to figure out how to step out further. thistrying to look at line. i am personally ambivalent about where area. i do not think the institutions are unsellable gimbal or we can find a better way to channel our frustration and power into reshaping the institution. but you are right to call me on that structural. question is on your
beautiful landscape or graphic. could you put it up again? >> yes. it is my student to is doing it. gorgeous but is do not see how the world health organization uses it to change their strategy so could you unpack that a little bit for us? >> sure. what we ended up talking about was trying to figure out first of all who they would want to reach and saying, right now the who, at the top of this graph, is using language that is in common with the cd say, the new -- journal of medicine. the nih. they are writing in a way where their dialogue and way of framing the issue is getting picked up in scientific publications and not getting picked up by anybody else.
there are actually quite distant from organizations that have a much greater reach. hardit is probably quite for the who to start talking in the same language that the new york times is talking in. they are framing these issues so differently. that it might be a time when the who spends a lot of time talking to the bbc or guardian and tries to figure out whether they can carry some of the water and help make some points. it is also a way of trying to define the landscape that people are talking about. so when you say what are the topics that and up being common between a lot to of these different dialogues, they are the ones at the center of the map. the ones around quarantine. hospital andnd symptoms. they are really looking at this idea that people are deeply worried about this as something
personally affecting them. and the who really elected not to engage in that dialogue at all. we ended up suggesting we thought that was a mistake will stop we thought that was probably the wrong way to do it. been using these landscapes on other ideas as well. we did one for the ford foundation around teen pregnancy and we ended up discovering there was a cluster around the shame-based organizations. a cluster of what you might think of as healthy pregnancy at any age. don't worry about teen pregnancy, worry about healthy mothers. and then there's mtv. pregnant" endsd up being a completely dominant layer on the landscape. saying, mtv we know you think 16 and pregnant is destigmatize it, but actually it is not. close to the
shame-based language then the language we are trying to use round healthy pregnancy. can we talked about how you are framing this issue because you have an undue amount of cultural weight. the public health sector is ahead of everybody else with this. they have been working on norms-based change for 30 or 40 years. it started with the harvard alcohol project that was trying to normalize this idea of the designated driver. there is an enormous amount of research around this. what there are not are very, very good tools for looking at the broad media landscape. we are still trying to figure out how to get there but this is what people have been telling us is useful about being able to look at the media lens this way. >> i am wondering what role
openness might play in addressing this mistrust. government, open data initiatives, openness from the citizens perspective. >> i have been disappointed with openness. working with how questions of technology could change participation. the last great wave that happened, you could think of as a way that said, let's openness government data and remarkable things will happen from it. so you sought data.gov in the united states, you saw data.uk in the u.k.. you saw all these attempts to make information more available to the public and the hope that people would build new tools and
services around this. the hope was that journalists would find ways to review it and make sense of it. and the hope or than anything else was that i just opening up the secrets, everything would realize that government had nothing to hide. i would say there have been two disappointments that have come from it. the first disappointment is that it turns out data by itself is not all that helpful. it requires an enormous amount into a toolurn data or narrative or into anything that is sort of logical or sensible. right now aree american newspapers sort of scrambling to figure out how to do data journalism. to figure out, had we take these data sets and bring stories and their tents out of them? it is possible when we get that we at storytelling and data will be richer and smarter and more open and so on.
that it has been surprisingly hard and i think in many cases part of it, the story it tells, it is ambiguous, complicated, is as simple. the second that, as richard hofstetter reminds us, you can never underestimate the role of the paranoid in american politics and the incredible openness that is starting to happen provides this amazing fodder for a conspiracy from both the left and on the right. one of the projects i love to teach is this visualization called "they roll." it looks at the interlocking directorships of different fortune 500 corporations and different nonprofit corporations and the whole rhetoric is, if you just look, you can find d.c. could people who actually rule the world and you see this journalism only time in extreme sources like right part.
courses, i show where i show up on the map as a board member is a board member of a large foundation, the open society foundation. and i say, great. open association. who wants to go for right up my car? it is not a ferrari. this is not -- you know, the transparency of showing who is involved with this does not actually help one hour paranoid very is that a small number of people actually role and control the world. the best efforts, a lot of the things that come out of things like the spotlight foundation, an organization i respect,y unfortunately contribute more to mistrust because what we get are the stories of how huge amounts of money are pouring into politics. the sense that the politicians and paidour bought for. we end up with this sort of corrosive mistrust mistrust when we look at the data rather than
this sort of sunlight we hope for. >> fantastic. thank you so much. i appreciate you being here and thank you for listening. [applause] announcer: secretary of state john kerry criticized republican presidential candidate donald trump during a commencement speech over the weekend. that is next on c-span. legislation to try and curb opioid addiction, specifically heroin and prescription drug painkillers. we will get an update coming up later. west virginia and nebraska hold presidential primaries tomorrow. democratic candidate hillary clinton will campaign in louisville, kentucky.
we will have coverage at 6:15 p.m. eastern on c-span two. speak bernie sanders will to supporters in salem, oregon. tuesday at 10:00 p.m. eastern. madam secretary, we probably give 72 of our delegate votes to the next president of the united states. [fireworks] [cheers and applause] ♪ announcer: during his
commencement address at university, secretary of state john kerry was critical of gop candidate donald trump. spoke aboutrry also climate change and countering violent extremism. : thank you for the generous introduction and for the invitation to be here on this special day. members of the board, faculty, and the class of 2016
-- know, the garden is as good as it gets for a commencement. all you have to do is look at the banners for the boston bruins. i know that some of you come from somewhere else. but, you are here. celticse 17 championship than her's, thanks to the second coming of the big three. , thanksionship banners to the second coming of the big three. this is the number one reminder that boston is be number one sports town anywhere. at the moment, for the red sox, first andappens to be the yankees are in last.
tellt let anybody you our country is not moving in the right direction. i have toating class, tell you that you really do look spectacular. i want you to look around you. every race,f religion, gender, shape, size, 85 countries represented, and dozens of languages, making you the most diverse class in northeastern's history and donald trump's worst nightmare. [applause] john kerry: now, now, you may
not know it. there is one thing that truly unites you. you will all be and really big trouble if you forget that sunday is mother's day. really big trouble, if you forget that sunday is mother's day. mom and dad, your emotions have sad, relieved, and blown away by the interval between diapers and diplomas. beginning of blown away, i want to congratulate you guys forgetting here in time of this in time forng here the ceremony.
i heard that some of you had to get here at 8:00. it is either crazy early or crazy late, depending. why would your last night be any different than your college career? i give many student speeches and for makingthank them my job a lot tougher today. thank you. honor withis humility, particularly because northeastern was kind enough to degree on myorary daughter, who is in the global health program. i come here not to sugarcoat reality.
that is the last thing you need. s to be told that life can be a struggle, whether grades, tuition, friends, family, illness, or the death of a loved one. no words can change those realities and no lecture can lessen the loss. you are still mourning the andgic loss of victoria & priscilla. when victoria was among those her by a terrorist bomb, this of thety felt the weight wounded world. this morning, we grieve and celebrate, at the same time. no betterthere is
shorthand description of life. no better to word summary of the "northeastern, strong." strong." i have learned -- i have learned that resilience is the beginning of what northeastern is about and service is at the heart of the institution. it is knows to prize that the effort to keep faith is unparalleled. veteransern graduates above the national average. [applause] john kerry: to the soldiers, amlors, so many others, i
class issay that this the rule and not the exception. thank you and thank you to all of you who have worn the nation's uniform. i am honored to address a university family that, thankfully, is utterly unafraid to look beyond the borders and into the future. it is cliche to say that you have global vision. northeastern really does and it is different. the president tests the limits. a bold commitment to learning and the opportunity for international study and a new campus with cutting-edge
research and things like n anomanufacturing. there is technology your parents cannot pronounce and you are doing something right. think, after today, you will have a leg up on facebook's mark .uckerberg you will actually have a college degree. the northeastern successful should speak to all of us about the massive transformation taking place around the world. northeastern has gone global. health, medicine, and film are going global. you do not have to be great at math to understand that the economy cannot grow, if we do not sell things to the world's customers and other countries.
you cannot be healthy if we do healthy, if we-- do not fight ebola and zika. many of you were in elementary school when you learned the lesson of 9/11. there are no walls be enough to stop people from tens of thousands of miles away who are determined to take their own ones in an assault civilization. so, i think that everything we have learned tells us that we will never come on top, if we take advice from the carnival that we who pretend can be great by looking in word
and hiding behind walls in times where technology has made this unwise to even attempt. than aure demands more rose tinted version of a past that did not exist. understandsybody this, viscerally, internally, intellectually. au are about to graduate into complex and borderless world on careers that will take many of you to companies that are not yet founded and use a device is ideast developed based on that have not yet been conceived.
that is how fast things are moving and you do not have to succumb to science fiction. you will not all be replaced by robots. the economy will have space for those with the courage to compete. northeastern has made sure that you have that, and more, because of the global vision. is criticals, this in a world where thinking globally is critical to confronting the challenges we face. when i was younger, we had more than our share of national trauma, including a long and bloody war in southeast asia. it is also -- there was also a time when a dividing line andeen ideology was simpler
primary forces shaping the world were recognized states. we face a world that is more complicated and less hierarchical. nonstate actors play a role and ing images can circle the globe in an instant. climate change and disease do not respect behavior. sectarianal and hatreds are as prominent as they have been in centuries, for some that is all they need to wish the world away. even see this attitude from some who think they should be entrusted with managing international affairs. it seems that, understanding
this need for the greater world should be a threshold requirement for high office. yet, the specter of isolationism hovers will stop i thought we had -- hovers. i thought we had learned the lessons of the 20th century with isolation and protectionism. the desire to turn inward and shut out the world may be seductive in an era as complicated as this. it is not responsible for the most powerful and prosperous nation on the planet, which also happens to be the leader of the free world. as secretary of state, let me assure you, when you consider the range of challenges the
world is struggling with, most countries do not lay at wake at about america's presence. they worry about our absence. we do not see an excuse for inaction. we see a mandate to lead. the greatest challenges the world confronts can only be addressed by good, capable people working in common cause with citizens of other nations. politicians talk about american exceptionalism and this nation, which is, indeed, exceptional. we are not exceptional because we say we are. we are exceptional because we do exceptional things.
greatness is not about bragging. it is about doing. it is about never being satisfied and testing limits of what we can achieve together. what america can accomplish with partners in the world. that is what we are trying to do on more important issues in more parts of the globe than ever before in history. ofare profoundly conscious the challenges. there are mountains beyond the mountains and one of the mountains is the effort to safeguard future generations from the harmful effects of climate change and i am proud to say that the united states is leading the way with many nations and, last month, i
committed the united states to set an example for the nations that have pledged to curb emissions and make progress towards a low energy future. i want you to think about this. with just a few exceptions, embarrassingd coterie of naysayers in the united states, the whole world meeting on how we produce energy. last march was the hottest march in history and last year with the hottest year and recorded history and the last 10 years was the hottest decade and the one before that was the second hottest and the one before that was the third hottest.
the facts are staggering. one of my colleagues thought it would be persuasive to walk on the floor of the senate and points to a snowball as evidence that climate change is a hoax. i told him that improved something. not what he intended. at the same time, a record $230 billion was spent in the united extremen response to weather events. houston, 17 inches of rain in 24 hours. that is more than last year during the entire summer.
imagine if we put efforts into preparing for the worst impacts of climate change? do not believe the doubters. there are millions of jobs to be built,, businesses to be fortunes to be made with renewable energies. and, i hope that many of you .hare in this future in paris, we took a step with an agreement to combat climate change. wes will not guarantee that hold the temperature warming to two degrees, centigrade. what it does do is send a
minds to goreative to work to find the alternative so that we can solve the problem. paris is the beginning of what we need to do to meet the challenge and we will need a energyent to renewable , with say to you certainty, this is one of the great challenges of our time. challengeand in this is and other mountain to scale, the efforts to eliminate poverty from the world. the reaction may be that it is not possible. it is not only possible. we are making progress to achieve it right now.
belowe poverty has fallen 10% and the revolution taking place has brought hundreds of people into the middle class. news, 700 is welcome million still have to survive on less than the cost of dunkin' gapts they day, because the between the rich and the poor remains far too wide. the world's came together and we agreed on the agenda to reduce poverty and ensure that every boy and girl can attend school and every mother gets health and they need to survive that every available resource is used against epidemic diseases.
after all, we have defied the predictions by stopping ebola. the we wouldaid have one million dead without action. africaent the troops to to build capacity and provide care to stem the spread of the epidemic. thanks to the global response and accepting responsibility, most of the affected countries are virtually ebola free. reason -- absolutely no reason to believe that we cannot do the same for malaria and the zika virus. if we uphold our commitments to
global programs in africa, we can see the birth of an aids , an generation extraordinary accomplishment. mountain.another we have to climb what stands in alm instabilitycolu m and stability we need. there can be no peace without eliminating this scourge. victoria mcgrath was injured earlier. boston and northeastern need no lessons on how important it is to win the battle. i want you to know, without exaggeration, we will win and we
are even winning its now. we have degraded the leadership liberatedd we have the land it once occupied and they have not taken a piece of territory and held it/year. we will not be successful, in the long run, if the world at suchs to turn away an alarming rate. take onitical that we violent extremism at the roots. we know that there are millions across the globe without jobs. they have smartphones and they can see with the rest of the world has and what they don't.
that theu to know ignited arabwho spring was not religiously .otivated he was frustrated by his inability to sell his fruit where he wanted, that he self-immolatted -- ed. it was young people, like you, who was wanting it for their home and country. we need young people to know that these will not be abandoned to the clutches of the terrorists and extremists.
the experts tell us that could lift the global living standards and, our mission, your mission, it would be to create jobs in eightlaces, requiring deep involvement of the private international -- a deep involvement of the private sector and international organizations. it is not about giving something for nothing. it is about building our security and preventing the conflicts of the future, which would see us getting involved. there used to be a famous song during world war i, "over there." t was about the distant
shores where we fought. in our time, there is no "over there. " they are practically at the doorstop. we have to deliver assistance to communities and family to provoke -- and families to promote worldwide, not just because it is in keeping with our national youth those. but, because our security and prosperity demands this. we are bliss -- blessed to live in a country with a $17 trillion economy. yet, we just spend a penny on our foreign aid. to encourage and
diversify economies and stop corruption to ensure the education of young people and that it actually teaches young what they need to know and keeps them from being radicalized. there is more that we can invest in and many more projects for my generation and yours to take on, as you take on your careers in the days ahead. i ask you to think about the careers of the distinguished americans who received honorary degrees today. span of decades, susan dedicated her vision and talent to the fight against brain cancer. through genius and high purpose, mccarthy has reached the pinnacle of his arts. been an aviator and a military commander.
above all, an aspiring leader of women and men. none of them would be a today, if they were easily satisfied. the accomplishments came about, because they dared to always explore the limits of what they charlie --hinking of what they could do. thinking of charlie, i want to tell you about a group of people ago toe called on years test themselves under the most extreme conditions. the setting was asia. the time was a few months after the start of world war ii. enemy airplanes dominated and, to get the supplies to the friendly forces in china, the american aviators had to fly over the highest mountains,
including the himalayas. they called it, "flying in the hump." the airplanes were untested. the pilots were given no routes. they were asked to fly higher than they were trained to, and did so over the most for bidding terrain. rbiddingost for terrain. each night, plane after plane flew off. had they not, the allied forces would have stood no chance. eventually, the pentagon sent to a point.
the officers said some of the flyers were mentally drained after the first lap. crack after the first weeks or months. only a few were able to go on longer than their buddies. in a few years, more than 1000 pilots were lost. together these courageous airmen, none of them famous or with a reputation's, kept the supply lines open and helped to win the war. some of the pilots were better the and others to persevere but here's the point, none failed. it is all went as far as their own capabilities allowed. each pushed like a dedicated marathoner has to push to plumb those last reserves and find the spark of greatness within them. that is the most anyone could've asked from them. it is what history demands for the united states of america.
future asks of you. you graduate with an increasing reservoir of knowledge and skills. but how you use those gifts, how far you push yourselves, whether you give your own capabilities a full chance, that is not just about education. is a question of character and a question only you can answer. kennedy was running for president in 1968, he raised what the students -- he raised the students some basic questions about dignity and purpose. he said what we now call our gdp was measured among other things ouritems like the size of military, the capacity of our jails, the production of our pollutionnd the emanating from our factories. it was not, he lamented, measured in new things that
mattered most in our daily lives. said the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children. the quality of their education. play.y of their it does not include the beauty of our poetry, the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate, the politicians.our it measures neither which nor courage, and neither wisdom nor neither compassionate nor devotion to country, it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. my friends, we're under no illusions about the gigantic challenges before us but we should remember that compared to any other earlier generation we have tremendous advantages. a child today is more likely to be born healthy, be adequately fed, get the necessary vaccinations, were likely to attend school and live a long
life. individuals and companies around the world thrive on new tech knowledge he's that have made possible incredible breakthroughs in communications, education, health care, economic growth. in a number of democracies -- the number of democracies has doubled while the number of nuclear weapons has fallen by two thirds in the last 30 years and all of this is not because of any one country or because of .hat governments do it is what happens when people have faith in their own values and their own skills. when they respect the rights and dignity of each other and when they believe in the possibility of progress no matter how many setbacks may stand in their way. that is not a complicated formula but it gives me a powerful sense of confidence in what together we can achieve now and in what you can achieve in the years and decades ahead.
because meeting those challenges, pursuing arenas that excite your compassions, completing the mission to teach and serve and heal and give back -- that is what makes life worthwhile in the i encourage you to search for the great within while you push for the outermost horizons and remember always as you do this what "all thendela said hardest jobs seem impossible until they are done." congratulations again to all of you and thank you for letting me share the state with you. [applause] announcer: the house will take ups legislation this week to try
to cure opioid addiction. specifically prescription drug and painkillers. we will get an update next on c-span. ae united states filed lawsuit with north carolina over its transgender bathroom law. we will hear from attorney -- attorneyury and general mccoury and loretta lynch later. carries -- covers for bloomberg. a packet of bills dealing with opioid and hair when abuse, why is this an issue the house is focusing so much time on? >> essentially it is because a lot of the lawmakers have a problem back home where the opioid abuse epidemic has hit their constituents and in in election season is coming home where they feel the need they have do something about it.
of theslation coming out committees, three separate committees, a lot of bipartisan support one of them dealing with justice department grants to states for programs. how much money is attached to statesd how much would benefit? >> at just under $3 million over four years. it is not a lot of money because the bill mainly authorizes it. it does not appropriate. that is up to the individual committees. the committee's are going to allow the states to use the money to fight addiction in various programs. >> what will be some of the others is so pure week will touch on -- what will be some of the others this opioid week will touch on? >> veterans, athletes, mothers and babies, and also the amounts of patients that doctors can prescribe opioids to.
issue onng has been an these measures in the house. you talked about a letter the democratic sent to speaker ryan talking about emergency funding for some of these programs and other measures. how is that faring? >> it seems like it is not going to happen because democrats in the house do not have as much tools as they have in the senate. it doesn't mirror the senate -- it does mirror or the senate where they are calling for money to get these bills actual appropriations but house leaders have said there already is money and it has been appropriated and laster's omnibus bill and they are not willing to spend any more money on it so looks like the credits we'll have to let that go. >> that request for spending in the senate bill back in march when the senate passed that, that fell through. so how different is the senate measure from what the house is proposing is coming week.
is one senate bill anders upwards of 20 or more house bills. the senate bill was much more comprehensive and who was getting grants, how they were authorized, that sort of. the house bill is taking it on a piecemeal approach. >> what about advocates groups, hair when and of opioid abuse, how had they waited and what would they like to see done? >> the differences centers around issues of prevention and the bills in the house do not really address the issues of opioid abuse prevention. they would like a provision that matches the one in the senate to be taken up the house but so far it has not been concluded. it could be an amendment on the floor but it is unclear as to whether it will happen. we likely see a conference between the house and the senate on a final measure?
>> these bills are supposed to asbasically bunched together an amendment to the senate bill and then thursday or friday it is probably going to go to congress. it will be a motion to instruct the conference committee. covers policy for bloomberg and it you can follow him on twitter at nate what. thank you. announcer: this week the u.s. house will debate a number of bills aimed at debating opioid abuse. next, president obama in the house talk about the growing problem of opioid addiction. >> tonight on c-span's issue spotlight, the growing addiction to painkillers and terror when. the drugs are known as opioids