Over the past five years, the idea that computer programming — or “coding” — is the key to the future for both children and adults alike has become received wisdom in the United States. The aim of making computer science a “new basic” skill for all Americans has driven the formation of dozens of nonprofit organizations, coding schools and policy programs.
Is the royal marriage story we’re being sold really a fairy tale come true? Or is it a story spun by Buckingham Palace for its own self-interest, one shrouded in myth and make-believe?
The people of the United States continue to learn how polarized and divided the nation has become. In one study released in late October by the Pew Research Center, Americans were found to have become increasingly partisan in their views. On issues as diverse as health care, immigration, race and sexuality, Americans today hold more extreme and more divergent views than they did a decade ago. The reason for this dramatic shift is a device owned by more than three out of every four Americans.
In March of this year, State Street Global Advisors unveiled the “Fearless Girl,” a statue of a little girl installed to face Wall Street’s famous “Charging Bull” statue. Her defiance was aimed at financial culture’s historical exclusion of women in the financial industry, especially in leadership positions.
As a university professor and a mother of teen boys, I am immersed in a world of young faces buried in their phones. To be fair, adults, too, are enamored with the tiny, powerful computing devices in the palms of their hands. The patterns of daily life have been forever altered by the ubiquity of digital devices. The world has been rewired. And nobody wrote a user’s manual.
When the popular television series “Game of Thrones” ended last month, fans bemoaned the long wait until the final season. Speculation pegs next summer as the earliest possibility. In the meantime, posts on the dragon Viserion’s blue flames, memes on the hookup of fictional characters Jon Snow and Daenerys and chatter about potential battle strategies indicate that there is plenty to ponder.
News coverage, even when pervasive, does not have the same effect
In 2014, Time magazine declared American culture had reached a “transgender tipping point,” with transgender people achieving unprecedented media visibility.