Vote by Mail, Solar Flares, Race after Technology
Top of Mind with Julie Rose
- Apr 8, 2020 8:00 pm
- 1:39:18 mins
COVID-19 Will Likely Mean More People Voting by Mail in November (0:32) Guest: Sonni Waknin, Legal Fellow, UCLA Voting Rights Project The coronavirus pandemic did not stop Wisconsin from holding its primary election this week. Voters donned masks and tried to stay six feet apart. Some poll workers wore hazmat suits. Imagine the challenges we’ll face keeping voters and poll workers safe if the coronavirus pandemic is still ongoing in November? How many people might just opt not to vote because they’re concerned about the close quarters and shared surfaces of their polling location? One solution is to let anyone who chooses, vote by mail instead of in person. President Trump is not a fan. He tweeted earlier today, “Republicans should fight very hard when it comes to state wide mail-in voting. Democrats are clamoring for it. Tremendous potential for voter fraud, and for whatever reason, doesn’t work out well for Republicans.” How Do You Calculate the Cost of Life? (19:33) Guest: W. Kip Viscusi, Professor of Law, Economics, and Management, Vanderbilt University Law School, Author of “Pricing Lives: Guideposts for a Safer Society” At some point in the coming weeks, countries will have to decide if the economic toll of pandemic closures and isolation has become more of a problem than the disease itself. To put it bluntly, the decision will be: Here’s how many lives we can save if we keep everything closed. Are those lives worth it? Awful as that calculation sounds, insurance companies and policy makers do something like it all the time. Dangers Posed by Solar Flares (34:03) Guest: Justin Kasper, PhD, Space and Planetary Physicist, Professor of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering, University of Michigan Periodically, the sun burps out giant bursts of radiation, and sometimes they hit the earth dead on. The last time a really big one happened like that, compasses went on the fritz and telegraph communications was out for days. But that was in the 1800s. Today we rely on so much more technology that a major solar flare could be catastrophic. Society’s Prejudice Are Embedded in Automated Systems – From Algorithms to Sensors (49:44) Guest: Ruha Benjamin, PhD, Associate Professor of African American Studies, Princeton University, Author of “Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code.” A few years ago, this video went viral of two men trying to get soap out of an automatic dispenser in a public restroom. First a white man puts his hand under the dispenser and out comes the soap. Then a black man tries. No soap. He moves his hand up and down, waves it around under the dispenser. Nothing. Then he takes a white paper towel and puts that under the soap dispenser. Yep. It works. He tries just his bare black hand again. Nothing. “The soap dispenser is racist,” laugh the men making the video. Automated systems were supposed to be less biased than humans, but the opposite has happened, says Ruha Benjamin. Obesity Stigma Consensus (1:08:18) Guest: Robert H. Eckel, MD, Professor of Medicine, Emeritus, Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes, Division of Cardiology, Professor of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Colorado The stigma surrounding obesity is so pervasive that it affects how doctors treat patients and it even affects how people with obesity think about themselves. Recently more than 100 medical and health organizations signed an international pledge to end the stigma of obesity. To understand what that pledge entails, we’ve got one of the co-authors of the statement, which was published in Nature Medicine. Uncle Sam Wants You (Women Included) (1:21:56) Guest: Debra Wada, Former Congressinal Staffer, CEO of Senshi Ame Advisors LLC Women may soon have to join the military draft, if Congress listens to a commission that recently presented. The commission’s research covered several years of surveys and concluded that women should have to sign up, too.