Societal Needs

These messages describe what matters in our society with respect to our basic needs.

    • Insurance

      What do the owner of a coffee house in London, the developer of the first calculator, an early developer of the fundamental concept of calculus, and the namesake of Halley’s Comet have in common? Each of the above played pivotal roles in the beginnings of what we now...

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    • Mortgages

      We tend to think of mortgages as being something that originated in the last few centuries. Actually, the first mortgages began in Persia in the fifth century BC. The original purpose of a mortgage was quite different from today. The original mortgages were used as...

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    • Causality

      Bradford Hill, a scientist born in 1897, developed criteria for determining whether causality in medical treatments exists. It’s striking that his work, which was first used in 1965, is a model for us today in areas outside of medical care. Our society has become one...

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    • Leadership and Education

      How important is a college degree as preparation for leadership? That’s a question that’s fodder for vigorous debate. There are valid points one could make supporting any number of positions. Most universities now have a leadership studies program. Are those programs...

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    • Transcendence

      It was 1967, and women were not allowed to officially run in the Boston Marathon. That didn’t stop Kathrine Virginia Switzer. While attending Syracuse University, she was granted permission to train with the men’s cross-country team. Her coach, Arnie Briggs, thought...

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    • Bot Prevention, Crowdsourcing, Language Learning

      Louis von Ahn was born in 1978 in Guatemala. Both of his parents were doctors, and he had privileges that others in his country did not have. His privileged background has helped shape his career. His experience in applying for college in the U.S. left him with a...

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    • The Purple Heart

      In 1782, George Washington commander of the Continental Army created the Badge of Military Merit. The original badge was a medal heart on a purple background. The award was discontinued in use until after World War I. In 1927, the Army Chief of Staff asked Congress to...

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    • Electronic Books

      Angela Ruiz Robles was born in Spain in 1895. Her family was wealthy so she was able to get a college education. She studied to be a teacher, preparing women for office jobs. Ruiz lived during the Spanish Civil War and became an advocate for female literacy. At the...

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    • False Reality

      In a number of conversations he had with colleagues and former students, he was often questioned about the moral decline of students he taught. With a teaching career that spanned 50+ years over seven decades, he seemed to be one who had a unique insight into the...

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    • Passports

      The concept of a passport has ancient origins. Documents were put together to grant safe passage from one country to another. Since travel between countries was so rare, the documents had limited value. It was Benjamin Franklin who created something like what we would...

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