Asher Berlin is a columnist for the Opinion section. He is a sophomore studying history and can be reached at [email protected]

Around the Corner: Sentient computers? Never.

A common trope in science fiction is “what if the computer comes to life?” The plot of “Free Guy” (2021) — a mediocre film — for example, revolved around a nonplayer character in a video game gaining sentience and struggling to preserve it. The problem of what to do with a sentient computer is an […]

Around the Corner: Averting the end of truth

AI has gripped the United States, as technologies like ChatGPT and Midjourney have astonished the nation with their uncanny abilities. Midjourney, an AI art generator, can convert a prompt into an art piece in around a minute, in any style or medium. It has effectively demonstrated that art, a bastion of human creativity, may fall […]

Around the Corner: We cannot abandon nuclear power

Our efforts to fight global warming, while increasingly significant, have not been enough. The prospect that warming will be halted at 1.5 degrees Celsius, the boundary between the bad and the disastrous, is growing less likely by the year. Indeed, the World Meteorological Organization estimates that there is a 50% chance that temperatures will reach […]

It’s Happened Before: The battle for America’s soul

In 1892, an immigrant from the Russian Empire stepped off a ship into the bustling city of Boston with nothing but the clothes on his back. He did not come to the country by choice: Indeed, when he was younger, he did not imagine that he would ever leave his village, much less Europe. The […]

It’s Happened Before: With social media, it actually hasn’t

Public speech has traditionally been, well, public. Before the advent of the internet and social media, if one wished to make their voice heard they merely had to find a printing press or, failing that, climb up onto a soapbox and speak. The great movements of history have often been sparked by public speech. Martin […]

It’s Happened Before: A more violent normal

The late Roman Republic is, in many minds, synonymous with political violence, civil war and the erosion of republican values. Less remembered, however, is how it got there. Rome wasn’t built in a day, as the saying goes, and neither did it — or at least its republican version — fall in a day. Thus […]

It’s Happened Before: Putin’s scare tactics won’t work

 In the 1930s, Britain was terrified of the bomber. It was thought of as the ultimate weapon: It could swoop in virtually undetected and deliver devastation of biblical proportions upon vulnerable cities, wiping them out. A massive aerial first strike, some military experts claimed, could bring Britain to its knees before it had a chance […]

It’s Happened Before: To pardon, or not to pardon

In a recessionary economy, there is one group whose future looks very bright: Trump’s lawyers. Now fighting battles on three legal fronts, former President Trump is spending millions to hold off a growing cast of opponents. Initially only dealing with a House of Representatives investigation into his involvement in the Jan. 6 debacle, Trump now […]