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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Douglas Berger


The Setonian
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Ripple Effect: How many languages are there?

Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are, and we probably never will. The best we can do is estimate. Most counts put the number somewhere between 6,500 and 7,000.It’s a bit like trying to measure a coastline — another task which seems simple at first but is in fact quite complicated. Coasts ...

The Setonian
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Ripple Effect: The commons' globalization

The government of Sierra Leone has banned industrial fishing in its territorial waters for the month of April. Why would one of the world’s poorest nations put a halt to one of its most important industries? Sierra Leone’s fish stocks have been dangerously depleted — not by local fishermen — ...

The Setonian
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Ripple Effect: Between a state and a hard place

What is the United States? Well, 50 states and D.C. of course, but there are also 11 unincorporated unorganized territories, four unincorporated organized territories and one incorporated unorganized territory. Of these, five are inhabited.About four million American citizens inhabit these Pacific ...

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Ripple Effect: The enemy of my voter

The murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the conflict in Yemen have many questioning the United States' relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. A large plurality of Americans view Saudi Arabia as an unfriendly nation or an outright enemy, according to a YouGov poll, yet a long succession ...

The Setonian
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Ripple Effect: Free trade for whom?

Free trade certainly has its skeptics in the world’s wealthiest economies, especially in our own. Lost in the narrative of shuttered Detroit auto shops and a booming China, though, is the fact that trade liberalization doesn’t always shift production from rich countries to poor. In fact, the opposite ...

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Ripple Effect: The Charity Dilemma

International charity is borne of the noblest of intentions. But does it work as intended? Actually, quite often, it does. The pioneering work of a number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in health comes first to my mind: The Carter Center’s near eradication of Guinea worm disease across ...

The Setonian
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Ripple Effect: Comparative advantage in bribery

Why do countries give foreign aid? Most would say to advance national interest. Clearly, however, donor countries like the U.S. don’t give purely out of generosity. They expect something in return. This idea is nothing new and is probably correct — but I don’t think it fully answers the question.National ...

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Ripple Effect: Democracy and agriculture, Part 2

The act of drawing electoral districts prioritizes rural interests. For example, in the United States, the Democratic Party has a built-in disadvantage in legislative elections because most of their support is inefficiently concentrated in urban areas. There are many lopsided districts where Democratic ...

The Setonian
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Ripple Effect: Democracy and agriculture, Part 1

Democracy is not just about people. Knowing the etymology of the word, this may seem a bizarre statement. Democracy literally means “rule of people.” But democracy, in its most common form — the representative republic — is also spatial. Geography matters. And since many of the world’s richest ...

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