The world, we are told, is in the midst of a revolution. The new tools of social media have reinvented social activism. With Facebook and Twitter and the like, the traditional relationship between political authority and popular will has been upended, making it easier for the powerless to collaborate, coördinate, and give voice to their concerns.
The platforms of social media are built around weak ties. Twitter is a way of following (or being followed by) people you may never have met. Facebook is a tool for efficiently managing your acquaintances, for keeping up with the people you would not otherwise be able to stay in touch with. That’s why you can have a thousand “friends” on Facebook, as you never could in real life.
Every year during March Madness, I think about an article I wrote as a 19-year-old sophomore at UCLA examining the role of race and politics in college sports.
Over the past couple of years, the article has been forefront in my mind as the debate over paying college athletes has grown. Additionally, there is the controversy provoked by professional athletes like Colin Kaepernick whose decision to observe “The Star-Spangled Banner” in protest of the highly-publicized spate of police killings of unarmed Black people; Quarterback Tom Brady’s boycott of former President Obama; and the current boycott of President Trump being organized by New England Patriot players Devin McCourty and Martellus Bennett.
Politics and sports have long held a close association, so much so that it is beyond laughable when commentators—professional or otherwise—suggest athletes ought to keep their opinions to themselves.
Now that all the presents are unwrapped, half of the new toys already broken and that carton of egg nog is finally empty. You might be left nursing a hangover from that epic New Year’s Eve party you went to as you contemplate the very meaning of your existence. At some point, you might have given thought to what the New Year is going to hold for you. In the aftermath of the holidays, most of us are left with a renewed sense of family or a reminder of why we never talk to some people. For a lot of us, the beginning of the year is a chance to get off to a good start. Whether it’s implementing that workout regimen that you’ve been off and on with the last few years, or figuring out how you can squeeze in more time to volunteer at your favorite charity.
The New Year is also a great time to revisit your financial goals and kick start any plans that you have been putting on hold. Since we often have multiple financial goals competing for limited dollars, the first thing to do is prioritize our goals. For most people those goals are going to include saving for retirement, paying down debt, buying a home, and if you have young children, saving for college and making sure that they are OK if anything happens to you.