All Upfront Blog

  • In modern education, metrics 'r' us

    Measuring achievement is the hallmark of the current approach to education. But is passing tests the only point of learning?

  • The calm trust that pays dividends

    We can hover and worry about the economy or our finances, about the weather or our tomatoes. We can also just do our due diligence and then trust what takes place.

  • What it means to restore, and repair

    The 21st century may be the moment humans leave the 'use it up and throw it away' mentality behind.

  • Countering a digital jihad

    Conflicts in the Middle East are drawing in young recruits from Europe and elsewhere. Needed now: An effort to channel that fervor in more constructive directions.

  • John Hughes has been editor, publisher, diplomat -- but at heart he's a reporter

    Despite seismic shifts in the world of journalism in recent years, the intrepid curiosity of a reporter remains unchanged.

  • Building for a better world

    Hobbyists and do-it-yourselfers were 'makers' long before the term was coined. What's new today is the combination of networking, open-source knowledge transfer, crowdfunding, and relatively cheap machines such as 3-D printers.

  • Progress pauses, but never stops

    Whether you consider progress real or wishful thinking depends on how you measure it, not just short term versus long term but ideas versus appearances.

  • Learning compassion from combat

    Wars end. Nations move on. But for those who fought, the memories of combat -- of pain, loss, and desperate choices -- don't easily fade, which is why compassionate, effective ways of coping with war's aftermath are so important.

  • Rethinking the old '9 to 5'

    Sometimes by choice, sometimes involuntarily, the US labor force is shifting from a one-size-fits-all work week to more flexible arrangements. Not everybody can swing it, but those who can often discover that there's more to life than labor.

  • Is college worth what it costs?

    Deciding on a college, getting into it, and paying for it is a huge decision for most high school graduates and their families. Is all of the drama, sacrifice, and debt worth it?

  • Keeping new empires at bay

    One hundred years ago, the age of empire came crashing down. Seventy-five years ago, the age of ideology sparked the cataclysm of World War II. Today's world has its challenges, but the balance still tips in favor of freedom.

  • Good government: the happiness factor

    Over the centuries governments have been feared, revered, and made the butt of jokes. The best governments do one thing right: they add to the balance of human happiness.

  • Europe's brush with its past

    However the crisis in Ukraine plays out, it has had a profound affect on the thinking of European leaders. Overnight, a continent that seemed to be on a holiday from history has had to grapple with the question of what it stands for.

  • Partners in war, and in ending it

    The inclusion of women in front-line combat operations is a belated recognition of their already-substantial role in the US military. 

  • Teaching that's tailored to learners

    A classroom revolution is under way that harnesses technology to allow students to learn at the pace best suited to them -- and changes the role of teacher from "sage on the stage" to mentor and coach.

  • Better together? A new generation try

    Sharing a dwelling has never been easy. But the idea has always been appealing. Now a combination of economics, technology, and new attitudes about owning is spurring the co-housing movement.

  • The news bubble around Vladimir Putin

    What we tell others can end up convincing us as well. The Russian leader has created a modern, Russia-centric news machine that puts forth his view of the world. Is he deceiving himself?

  • What our freedom demands

    In the fight against heroin and other addictive substances, the slippery slope of self-gratification is too often overlooked and the need for self-control too often minimized.

  • The never-ending energy transition

    Everything goes in the world of energy.  We’re splitting atoms, wood, and hydrocarbons; tapping the heat of the planet and harnessing its wind and waves. We're harvesting sunshine, squeezing fuel out of corn and sugar cane, and fracturing shale. No one technology looks like it will carry the day.

  • An appetite larger than Earth

    For most of history, humans struggled to survive in the natural world. Today, the very success of the human race has put nature under severe stress. Now it is up to humans to help.