May 15, 2020
The Supreme Court heard arguments on Wednesday in a case that could shape the outcome of future presidential elections. The question at hand was whether Electoral College members can “go rogue” and support candidates who did not win the state’s popular vote. In 2016, one of Colorado’s nine electors, Michael Baca, attempted to cast his Electoral College ballot for Republican John Kasich instead of Democrat Hillary Clinton. The Colorado secretary of state at the time — a Republican — removed Baca as an elector. Colorado is one of 31 other states that has a law requiring presidential electors to vote for the candidate who wins the state’s presidential election popular vote. Baca sued Colorado, and the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled his removal was unconstitutional. The case reached the Supreme Court this week. We speak with Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, who says, “What is at stake in this case is the foundation of our democracy.”
May 15, 2020
Vote-by-mail will become more important than ever in the upcoming November elections as COVID-19 continues to spread across the U.S. But President Trump has repeatedly attacked proposals to expand mail-in ballots, touting a supposed risk of voter fraud. “There is this assumption by President Trump — and some other Republicans make this assumption as well — that if more people vote, they’re more likely to lose,” says New York Times Magazine staff writer Emily Bazelon. “Voting by mail does not actually have a partisan effect — it is neutral. It does not help Democrats or Republicans; it does boost turnout.” Bazelon connects this to a long historical legacy of voter suppression tactics by conservatives such as poll taxes and literacy tests for African Americans in the 1960s.
May 15, 2020
May 14, 2020
On Wednesday, President Trump criticized Dr. Anthony Fauci over his Congressional testimony, questioning Fauci’s assertion that schoolchildren might not be safe returning to classrooms in the fall. Author and clinical psychologist Andrew Solomon says that we’re right to be concerned about the health and wellbeing of children during the pandemic. Solomon, who authored the bell-selling book “Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity,” says that in addition to the potentially fatal consequences of contracting COVID-19 and long-term health effects that we do not yet know, the immediate psychological impact of the pandemic can be devastating. Children are capable not only of detecting but also internalizing and emulating the emotional turmoil of their parental figures, says Solomon. “They can understand the situation is unnatural and bizarre,” he says. “The mental illness of parents bleeds over into the mental illness of children. Even just the stress and distress of parents bleeds over into the condition of children.”
The now-classic Metaphors We Live By changed our understanding of metaphor and its role in language and the mind. Metaphor, the authors explain, is a fundamental mechanism of mind, one that allows us to use what we know about our physical and social experience to provide understanding of countless other subjects. Because such metaphors structure our most basic understandings of our experience, they are “metaphors we live by”—metaphors that can shape our perceptions and actions without our ever noticing them.
In this updated edition of Lakoff and Johnson’s influential book, the authors supply an afterword surveying how their theory of metaphor has developed within the cognitive sciences to become central to the contemporary understanding of how we think and how we express our thoughts in language.
Writings by a pioneering linguist, including his famous work on the Hopi language, general reflections on language and meaning, and the “Yale Report.”
The pioneering linguist Benjamin Whorf (1897–1941) grasped the relationship between human language and human thinking: how language can shape our innermost thoughts. His basic thesis is that our perception of the world and our ways of thinking about it are deeply influenced by the structure of the languages we speak. The writings collected in this volume include important papers on the Maya, Hopi, and Shawnee languages, as well as more general reflections on language and meaning.
Whorf’s ideas about the relation of language and thought have always appealed to a wide audience, but their reception in expert circles has alternated between dismissal and applause. Recently the language sciences have headed in directions that give Whorf’s thinking a renewed relevance. Hence this new edition of Whorf’s classic work is especially timely.
The second edition includes all the writings from the first edition as well as John Carroll’s original introduction, a new foreword by Stephen Levinson of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics that puts Whorf’s work in historical and contemporary context, and new indexes. In addition, this edition offers Whorf’s “Yale Report,” an important work from Whorf’s mature oeuvre.