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When mathematical reasoning gets murky

In a recent piece for the Phoenix, “Why Mathematical Reasoning Should Be a Part of Civic Education,” Zhicheng Fan advocates expanded mathematical education as an antidote to the post-factual political climate into which the U.S. has unfortunately ventured.  The argument, in essence, rests on two assertions: (1) mathematics reinforces the notion of universal truths, leaving… Keep Reading

Op-Eds/Opinions

Social Interactions in Sharples

There are a multitude of experiences, commonalities, and quirks shared by Swarthmore students. Add the plethora of traditions and the collective grind of academia, and the Swarthmore experience feels like a unified struggle. However, perhaps nothing brings together Swarthmore students like the ever-polarized SHARPLES! As the only dining hall on campus, Sharples is a hot… Keep Reading

Op-Eds/Opinions

ML: a home like no other

If you take a look at any of the maps posted around campus, you can generally find where you want to go. The campus is pretty easy to follow – the lower half of campus is student life, the upper half is classes, and Parrish stands in the middle. With the Science Center at the… Keep Reading

Op-Eds/Opinions

Why Mathematical Reasoning Should Be a Part of Civic Education

We now live in a world where reason and truth are under siege on a daily basis. The Economist declares that we have entered an era of “post-truth politics.” Falsehoods are called “alternative facts.” Science is subject to ideological manipulation. On both sides of the aisle, moral relativism and partisan politics have largely replaced commitment… Keep Reading

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Mushrooms, Mushrooms, Mushrooms!

On Saturday, January 28th, one of my more strange – yet important – dreams came true!  I taught a class called MUSHROOMS, MUSHROOMS, MUSHROOMS! at Peripeteia Weekend.  My opening slide quoted well-known Mycologist Paul Stamets. It read: “Fungi are the grand molecular disassemblers of nature.  They are the interface organisms between life and death.  They… Keep Reading

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Musings of Mariani

Fire alarms go off at odd times in the Willets dormitory, where I sleep and clean myself and occasionally work and socialize. Late one night near the end of the last semester, the alarm sounded, and we all filed out. It was a forlorn period, when the sinking, impending reality of Trump’s election and the… Keep Reading

Op-Eds/Opinions

Trump’s Subtle Language of Oppression

Cw: xenophobia and homophobia   As I watched Donald Trump’s inaugural address, eyes both welling and rolling, a certain section stuck out to me. It occurred early in the speech as Trump was still getting started. After thanking Obama for his gracious support during the transition process, Trump said, “Today’s ceremony, however, has very special… Keep Reading

Op-Eds/Opinions

Revisiting the Social Justice Requirement Debate

As a former debater, I am keenly aware of how manipulation of language can shape our perception of arguments. It was Aristotle who identified the three modes of persuasion that are still taught and used in academic debate: ethos, pathos, and logos, or appeal to authority, appeal to emotion, and appeal to logic. The first… Keep Reading

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