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A century ago, a strong federal government was needed to underwrite the infrastructure investments that were required to build a unified country and overcome the graft and patronage that were still so rampant in big cities. Ever since, the federal government, the presidency and the administrative state have grown and grown in power. As the century progressed through the New Deal, the civil rights movement and Great Society era of the 1960s, the federal government played a vital role in ensuring food and occupational safety; expanding civil rights for minorities, women and gays; establishing the great social programs like Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare that have done so much to improve the lives of our most vulnerable populations; and protecting the environment.
~ Richard Florida

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The modern-day presidency is crazy when you think about it: Why would a nation of 300 million-plus people, 50 states, 350-plus metro areas, 3,000-plus counties, and thousands and thousands of cities and communities choose to vest so much power in one person and one office? If there were any doubt about it before, we now know for a certainty that our current governance system, with its packing of humongous power in a unitary executive, is vulnerable to catastrophic failure. In addition to our well-understood horizontal separation of powers among the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government, the vertical separation of powers among the federal government, the states and the local level provides a further set of safeguards and protections that we can and must use better. As a number of large corporations have discovered, devolving decision-making from executive suites to work groups on the factory floor drives huge productivity gains.
~ Richard Florida

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If you base a society on a conception of self that is about achievement, not character, you will wind up with a society that is demoralized; that puts little emphasis on the sorts of moral systems that create harmony within people, harmony between people and harmony between people and their ultimate purpose.
~ David Brooks

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It is no coincidence that ours is a time afflicted by a widespread sense of attentional crisis, at least in the West – one captured by the phrase ‘homo distractus,’ a species of ever shorter attention span known for compulsively checking his devices.
~ Tim Wu

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“Interdisciplinary work is when people from different disciplines work together. But antidisciplinary is something very different; it’s about working in spaces that simply do not fit into any existing academic discipline—a specific field of study with its own particular words, frameworks, and methods.”

Via Joi Ito, director of the MIT Media Lab