The father of modern linguistics weighs in on the decline of higher education in the United States; a writer criticizes the state of dissent from the left in Israel; meanwhile, a new Republican social media campaign backfires. These discoveries and more below.

Chomsky: The Death of American Universities As universities move towards a corporate business model, precarity is being imposed by force.

America’s Ridiculously Rich: The 2014 Edition Imagine yourself part of the typical American family. Your household would have, the Federal Reserve reported last month, a net worth of $81,200.

The Amish Farmers Reinventing Organic Agriculture By studying the immune systems of plants, they’ve developed a technique that eliminates the need for chemicals.

The Age of Megacities The world is a crowded place, with more than 7 billion people on the planet as of 2014. About half of this population lives in urban areas, and ongoing migration into city centers has given rise to the megacity—a metropolitan area with 10 million people or more.

Israeli Binationalism Is Old News Just accept it, Israel became a binational state 47 years ago when it occupied the territories. All that’s left is to decide whether it will be binational with a democracy or an apartheid regime.

Brands of Nonsense A little while ago, the University of Warwick was in the news for all the wrong reasons. Its longstanding legal firm, SGH Martineau, put up a blog post suggesting that universities should take action against “insubordinate” academics with “outspoken opinions.”

Living & Leaving San Francisco Affordable housing advocates say there is an epidemic of evictions and dramatic shortages of affordable housing that has accelerated the exodus of low and middle-income families from this great city.

PBS Pulls Ads from Harper’s Magazine After Critical Essay Piece argues public broadcaster has fallen under the sway of political influence and outside money

Hilary Mantel: Margaret Thatcher ‘Wrecked This Country’ The controversial writer discusses Britain’s male-dominated literary culture and the legacy of a certain prime minster

An Expert Explains How Hong Kong’s Protesters Could Actually Win Nobody has ever gotten rich betting on democratic reforms in China. But is there a chance — even a slim one — that the Hong Kong protestors could force some kind of concession out of the Chinese authorities? Is even a partial victory thinkable?

Don’t Blame Gamers for the Sins of Capitalism There was a time when I might have called myself a “gamer.”

Israel’s Left Forgot What Dissent Really Means My colleague Mairav Zonszein has written an eloquent piece in The New York Times decrying the state of dissent in Israel, lamenting the persecutions and constraints on those who criticized the latest Gaza war from the left.

The World Is What It Is Today Because of These Six Innovations In a new book, Steven Johnson describes the many technologies that glass, refrigeration and other fundamental inventions have made possible

The New “#IAmARepublican” Campaign Is Backfiring In Predictably Spectacular Fashion One of these days people who really don’t understand social media will stop trying to use social media to get their points across.

Stewart, Colbert Save the Day: Bill O’Reilly and Fox News’ ISIS Insanity Makes Them More Essential than Ever As the nation continues airstrikes on ISIS in Syria and Iraq, the U.S. public is bracing for yet another military conflict in the Middle East.

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