For my high school graduation paper, I wrote about the future of mankind. Freshly influenced by the essay “Brave New World Revisited” by Aldous Huxley, the thesis of my essay was that mankind was not meant to work in order to enjoy life — a believe that many

18-year-olds maintain today — but that we would instead invent machines to take over repetitive tasks and craft “smart apes” that would tackle more nuanced tasks, like gardening.

marcofreyWHO IS TO BLAME FOR PUBLIC HEALTH CRISES?

Smoking kills. It’s a slogan we’ve heard a thousand times over, thanks to public health initiatives and staunch anti-smoking ad campaigns, court-ordained and paid for by the tobacco industry itself. If you’ve opened a newspaper lately (who does that anymore?) you’ll find stark, full-page ads that say cigarettes claim 1,200 Americans a day. And the warnings are getting dire thanks to a court ruling following a decade-long lawsuit, USA v. Philip Morris USA.

dave fergusonNot a week goes by that I’m not asked the question, “How can we lead these millennials?”

I am to the point now that I generally just laugh at first and then quickly answer, “You lead them like you lead others.”

That usually gets me a blank stare and then some form of a follow-up question that usually starts with, “But…”

marcfreyIf you believe the hype of commercials, movies, songs, TV shows, and traditional and social media, you could easily be fooled into believing that we are generally a happy and connected society.

That is, until you look at the facts and realize that chronic loneliness is a widespread epidemic with many negative ramifications.

marcfrey may28A NEW PARADIGM SHIFT IS ABOUT TO ERODE THE LAST BASTIONS OF PRIVACY AND FUNDAMENTALLY RE-MAP OUR IDEA OF WHO WE ARE AS HUMANS.

George Orwell’s novel “1984” envisioned a totalitarian system that controlled people’s minds—a terrifying proposition when I read the book as a high school graduate, but it pales compared to what might be possible in the near future.

Gloria Origgi

Editor’s note: This column is excerpted and reprinted with permission from Aeon.co. Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan world view. Read the full article  HERE.

A paradox plays a pivotal role in our advanced hyper-connected democracies: The greater the amount of information that circulates, the more we rely on so-called reputational devices to evaluate it. Increased access to information and knowledge does not empower us or make us more cognitively autonomous. Rather, we become dependent on other people’s judgments and evaluations.

It stands to reason that if a nation spends twice as much on health care as a percentage of GDP compared with other developed nations, that care would be twice as good. But that is simply not the case. Despite our health care spending, we Americans are not rewarded by higher life expectancy, which might be the most meaningful way to measure health-related costs versus rewards.

James AMallory

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise there of; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

– The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution

Once an easily dismissed phrase, fake news is now embedded in our public discourse. It is a political weapon whose repetitive use chips away at a foundation stone of our democracy – a free and independent press.

marc janHilton Head Island and Bluffton started as small towns and the “weak mayor” system seemed sufficient. Since then, however, both have experienced major growth and a “strong mayor” system might serve us better.

There are challenges and advantages with each system. Let’s focus on the council-manager system in place across the Lowcountry. The biggest advantage is the lack of partisanship, which should not be undervalued. The professional town manager can make decisions without the political calculation of elected officials. But this benefit often comes at the cost of dynamic leadership with the “mayor effectively reduced…to the role of cheerleader and external promoter of his city’s image and interests.” It is hard to tell who is in charge when an unelected manager has more power than the elected mayor.

marcfreyprI venture to say the Lowcountry would rank very high nationally if measured by its citizens’ giving per capita. In addition to writing large and small checks, many people in our region donate countless hours of volunteer time to raise money, organize events, direct aid, build homes and provide other services to those in need. Then there are the countless in-kind donations from local businesses and the never-ending coverage by local media of the area’s thriving nonprofit community.