World Events, Mindful Meditation, Net Neutrality, Civics
Top of Mind with Julie Rose - Radio Archive, Episode 17
- Mar 3, 2015 10:00 pm
- 1:44:43 mins
Three World Events That Matter (1:12) Guest: Quinn Mecham, Professor of Political Science at BYU Everyone is paying attention to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today. His address to both chambers of the US Congress was televised internationally and offered sharp criticism of the Obama Administration’s ongoing nuclear talks with Iran. “Prime Minister Netanyahu is running as a security candidate—someone who is trying to stand up for Israel’s security issues,” says Mecham. “Since the year 2000, Russian democracy has been on the decline,” says Mecham on Putin’s terms as president and prime minister. Meditation and the Brain (26:38) Guest: Emily Lindsay, graduate student at Carnegie Melon and co-author of a new report on the effects of meditation on the brain Meditation and mindfulness have, for centuries, been known to improve mental and physical well-being. It can alleviate stress and even loneliness. But only recently have researchers begun to understand why. “Meditation is a pretty broad and mindfulness meditation is a specific type of meditation. The point is to bring your attention to something and you can choose what that thing is. You can focus on thoughts, your emotion. You are letting these emotions rise and pass. You are really just observing what is happening in the present moment,” says Lindsay. “The idea here is that eventually this feeling of emptiness can become a sources of quiet and comfort,” says Lindsay on loneliness and mindfulness training. Apple Seed (43:46) Guest: Sam Payne, Host of The Apple Seed We listen to a preview of Diane Ferlatte’s story, “The Word the Devil Made Up”. Net Neutrality (52:18) Guest: Michael Hiltzik, Columnist for the LA Times After a year of deliberation and millions of public comments, the Federal Communications Commission has decided that access to the internet is a lot like a phone service and so internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon are now going to be regulated like phone companies. Just like the phone company can’t give certain calls priority over others based on the content or destination of your call, internet companies won’t be allowed to give preferential treatment to certain content or websites. So, for example, Comcast won’t be able to strike a deal with Netflix that guarantees you get faster broadband when you’re streaming the latest House of Cards episode while the person next door has their speed slowed down because they’re streaming on a site that doesn’t have a deal with Comcast. This is called Net Neutrality and it’s had the tech industry tied up in knots for months as the FCC deliberated over the decision. “Internet access has become so engrained in what we do every day, it’s something that we now view as crucial to the way we live and work. The FCC now believes it should be regulated as a utility,” says Hiltzik. “It allows more competition for the Netflix and YouTubers of the world to arise,” says Hiltzik. Civics Education (1:17:19) Guest: Frank Riggs, CEO of the nonprofit, nonpartisan Joe Foss Institute, former U.S. Congressman, and a national education leader Some 650,000 became naturalized citizens of the United States last year, and in doing so, passed a civics test that would stump most natural-born citizens. “We think that the civics test is just a floor, a baseline way to gauge that fundamental teaching and learning is occurring,” says Riggs. “I believe the fundamental responsibility of education,” says Riggs, “is to prepare young people for citizenship.” The principles found in the Constitution “are what unite us as Americans. They are the inspiration and the pathway to liberty, prosperity, and opportunity in our society,” says Riggs.