Another Special Session: January 3

Tomorrow, we plan to discuss Asia (broadly). We agree on “Implications of the Trump Administration’s Decision to Recognize Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel” as this week’s topic when we met last week.

But now we have several somewhat related topics to discuss as well:

Iran–Another Green Revolution?, and

Trump and Pakistan–Where Will This Lead?, and

Kim Jong-Un: Softening Stance?

Should be lots of fun for the foreign policy enthusiasts.

10:30 in the Bass Room. (We’ll probably be evicted at 12:15.)

Special Session: December 27

Given that the library will be closed on the next two Mondays (Christmas and New Year’s Day) and many of us cannot go three weeks without a Beyond Labels discussion, we’ve booked the Bass Room on Wednesday, December 27 for a special session.

The topic will be “Net Neutrality.”

There’s been a lot of recent reporting around the FCC Commissioners’ recent decision to rescind an Obama-era regulation that was intended to ensure that all internet sites, services, etc. get equal access to the “last mile” of network (i.e., connections to actual users) which is owned by the likes of Time Warner Cable (now Spectrum), Verizon, Comcast, AT&T, etc.

Most of the reporting (and petitions, campaigns, etc.) have suggested that the demise of “Net Neutrality” regulations will be “the end of the Internet as we know it;” very little of the recent coverage and public lobbying efforts have argued for the other side (i.e., allowing ISPs like Time Warner, Verizon, AT&T, etc. to provide preferred access to certain services (think video streaming companies who require large amounts of consistent bandwidth to provide a high-quality service to users) in return for payments by those traffic sources.

We’ll discuss.

If I have time, I’ll try to identify and post a couple of “pro” and “con” articles (or “impartial” analyses of both sides). If you find something you think the group should read before Wednesday, post a link as a comment below.

For Dec. 18: Urban Liberals vs. Rural Conservatives

I wasn’t there a couple of weeks ago when this topic (what drives the observed(?) divide wherein the more rural population skews conservative and the urban folks skew liberal?) was supposed to be discussed, but yesterday’s group thought it would be interesting and hadn’t been fully mined when it was on the agenda. So we’re going to try again.

Mike Wolf’s original description and meeting review post of the meeting on November 27 has some links to articles/data that may be helpful in framing the discussion; if you have other sources you think the group should considering reviewing before next Monday, please post them in a comment here (or email Mike or me if you want us to post them).

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