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“All the Reasons Why Country Rankings are Harming International Development: A Ranking” by Tunde Olatunji
Summary: Ever wonder why we tend to think that Norwegians are the happiest people in the world? Or that there’s a lot of corruption in Nigeria? In many ways, our understanding of how the world is organized (economically, politically) is informed by a handful of annual country rankings (“indices” if you’re annoying) that help make sense of a complex world that we’re otherwise not super familiar with (unless you studied abroad, in which case you already know everything and I’m sorry for wasting your time). For the rest of you, I’ll give an overview of the sexy world of country rankings and then try to figure out just how some of these rankings are defined and whether we should be skeptical of them. If this doesn’t sound interesting to you, do bear in mind that I am incredibly sensitive and WILL cry on stage if heckled.
Bio: Tunde comes to us from Lagos, Nigeria. He works on international development research at the world bank and has lived in DC for 6 years. Identifying as a nerd in 2020 feels like stolen valor to him so he won’t. But also gatekeeping in nerd culture is kind of bullshit so maybe he should to make a point? Tunde (aka the nerdiest boy there ever was) enjoys playing soccer and has a Morrissey tattoo that has aged poorly.
“The Real Constitutional Crisis: News Media Vs. Intellectual Property” by Emma Raviv
Summary: Both the press and copyright law are mentioned in our great Constitution: Art. I section 8 clause 8 allows the government to give “exclusive rights” to owners of creative works, and the First Amendment enshrines the freedom of the press. But this has become, somehow, this era’s true constitutional crisis: the press seems to be super confused about the not-so-subtle nuances of intellectual property law. Together, we’re going to untangle these nuances, and you’ll walk out of DC9 more knowledgeable about IP than the New York Times.
Bio: Emma Raviv is the Assistant General Counsel for the PBS NewsHour, the nightly news program which, for the record, has never mixed up intellectual property law terms. She used to litigate copyright, trademark, and trade secret claims at a law firm in New York for advertising and cruise ship and fitness companies, and also worked at the U.S. Copyright Office, but these days prefers advising producers and reporters on what they can and cannot include in their stories. They tend to listen, and so she mostly is able to sleep at night.
“Sexy Creatures with Mystical Features – How Coral Get Their Sex On” by Beth Lenz
Summary: Coral are super sexy – time to get down and funky with these sea beasts.
Bio: Beth is originally from The Golden State, but recently moved to DC after finishing her PhD at the University of Hawaii at Manoa studying coral reefs. While in Hawaii, she was the Nerd Nite Honolulu Boss and is stoked to share the Aloha with DC nerds. She and her island jungle pup Charlie are excited to be here while Beth works on The Hill for the next year.