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Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes New Yorker staff writer George Packer for a discussion of the impact of Silicon Valley on society and politics. Topics covered include: the implications of technology for the status of the American worker, for American culture, and for economic inequality. Amazon and the consequences of its business model for the publishing industry are discussed. President Obama's response to the 2008 economic crisis is also analyzed. Recorded on 03/19/2014.

Many middle-class Americans grew up certain they would achieve the same or higher level of success than their parents had: by going to college, working many years for one employer and retiring with a pension. But starting as early as the 1970s, that tradition started to erode, says Katherine V.W. Stone, the Arjay and Frances Fearing Miller Professor of Law at UCLA. She argues that the reality today is not long-term attachment, but short-term, episodic employment and other relationships to the job market, be it part-time work or as an independent contractor or an entrepreneur. It is a dramatic change with far reaching implications.

Michael Gottfried from the Gevirtz School of Education at UC Santa Barbara discusses pre-K education, specifically which pre-kindergarten options are best preparing English language learners to start school. Gottfried is the winner of the first annual Bacon Public Lectureship and White Paper Competition sponsored by the UC Center Sacramento. Recorded on 02/26/2015.

Anthropologist Nancy Postero describes the political rise of indigenous peoples in Latin America, as they called for more recognition from the state and more inclusive forms of citizenship. Where that was impossible, they sought international attention by demanding human rights, especially human rights to culture. Postero explores what kinds of freedom these two frameworks of rights offer and how the struggles of indigenous peoples demonstrate the contradictions and limitations of liberal notions of rights.
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