By Jake Berg and Zachary Berg

It takes a lot of skills to succeed at the poker table, but one of the most important is a strong foundational understanding of psychology. Then again, former professional poker player Annie Duke had no idea of her future path when she first entered the field. Instead, Annie was attracted to the discipline for the unique way that psychology attempts to understand the world around us. Annie doesn’t mean clinical psychology (“things like depression and what you would go see a therapist for”), but cognitive psychology: the study of how our brains operate.

The…


By Jake Berg

Hong Kong has always been a special place: the confluence between capitalism and communism, democracy and dictatorship, East and West. Ceded to Britain in 1842 after China’s defeat in the Opium War, Hong Kong was for more than a century the physical connection between China and the Western world. With the return of Hong Kong to its mother country in 1997 came China’s agreement that they would maintain the democratic and capitalist society that had flourished on the island for decades. China was originally content to take a hands-off approach with Hong Kong for the fifty years…


By Ariel Kirman

Over 150,000 Americans have died from COVID-19; millions are unemployed; and many more are suffering the consequences of what could be the worst recession since the 1930s. Yet the issue that is at the forefront of many of many Gen Z minds, and our social media feeds, is not the passage of another stimulus package, a national increase in the minimum wage, or healthcare reform: it’s Tik Tok.

At over 2 billion downloads and 800 million active users worldwide, with 100 million users in the US, the app features one minute-long dance videos, animal clips, and cooking…


By Shaye Kirman

In recent months the coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China, has circled the globe, infecting more than 20 million people and killing more than 700,000 of them. The disease has hit the United States especially hard; the U.S. is home to more than one fifth of the world’s cases and its deaths. The American economy has consequently suffered, with millions losing their jobs and unemployment peaking at nearly 15% . Given the unprecedented level of crises, the government has rightly stepped in to prevent further damage, whether by mandating shutdowns, quarantines, and social distancing; or by making…


By Zachary Berg

In the midst of a global pandemic, it is crucial that we provide a safe way for people to exercise their right to vote this upcoming November. Mail-in voting is the best way to ensure that everyone’s voice is heard whether or not they feel comfortable putting their health at risk by voting in person.

Sadly, our President has been attacking mail-in voting, claiming that it will result in a “corrupt election” and it will be the “scandal of our times.” In reality, voter fraud is remarkably rare. …


By Matthew Lecher

Every headline that I’ve seen in the past few months has to do with the voting rights problem in this country, the police brutality problem in this country, as well as the ongoing Coronavirus crisis. There is a connection between these three crises, mostly the two former, and the spread of democracy. When a state is flowing in a certain direction politically there is always a reaction. Look at the case of the Kentucky and Georgia primary elections: poll closings and faulty machines, rather resembling the Jim Crow South. Even though people of color do not have…


By Jake Berg

If you were asked to identify the oldest surviving democracy in the world, what would you say? One approach would be to look at the oldest surviving constitutions, in which case the oldest would officially be America’s 1789 Constitution. Yet there is one constitution far older than that of the United States, survived only through oral retelling and the special belts of beads known as wampum. …


By Ariel Kirman

Defenders of democracy often make do by citing Winston Churchill’s cynical observation that “democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others that have been tried.” Yet in the past few weeks, democracy’s custodians can point to recent protests over racial injustice as a more positive illustration of democracy-in-action when making their case.

While police violence against unarmed African Americans has been on the national radar for some time, attention has been sporadic and police reform efforts have been slow. Yet a number of terrible incidents in recent months have shone a direct light…


By Ariel Kirman

With a population of over one billion, India is the world’s largest democracy. The nation’s democratic and secular Constitution came into effect in early 1950; this came after the historic protests led by Mahatma Gandhi, who campaigned for Indian independence from British rule. Seventy years later, India has remained a democratic stronghold and a multi-religious state — 80% of the population is Hindu and 14% are Muslim. However, a recent surge in religious nationalist sentiment, together with violence to match, have put India’s democracy to the test.

A glaring example of this stress occurred in 2002. After…

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