Tuesday, September 30, 2003

The Daily Gazette
Swarthmore College
Tuesday, September 30, 2003
Volume 8, Number 22


Write to us! daily@swarthmore.edu
Photo of the day: http://www.sccs.swarthmore.edu/org/daily/photo.html
Today’s issue: http://www.sccs.swarthmore.edu/org/daily/

NEWS IN BRIEF

1) John Lott argues for looser gun regulation

2) Swarthmore Coalition for the Digital Commons promotes activism
in technology

3) World news roundup

4) Campus events

SPORTS IN BRIEF

1) Women’s Tennis: Doubles team lose in the final

2) Upcoming contests

WEATHER FORECAST

Today: Mostly sunny with a high of 68.
Being sick at Swat is a funny thing.

Tonight: Spotty clouds and a low around 50.
If you skip class, you feel guilty. If you go to class and get people sick,
you feel guilty.

Tomorrow: Afternoon showers with temperatures ranging from the mid 60s to
the mid 40s.
Gives a new meaning to “guilt without sex.”

TODAY’S SHARPLES MENU

Lunch: Beef stew, cornbread, broccoli mushroom stir fry, spinach crepes, corn,
brussels sprouts, falafel bar, Jewish apple cake

Dinner: Fresh fish, cous cous, mushroom medley with spinach, broccoli, vegetable
blend, chicken patty bar, blondies

NEWS REPORT

1) John Lott argues for looser gun regulation

by Scott Blaha
Gazette Reporter

Dr. John Lott of the American Enterprise Institute gave a lecture entitled
“Guns: Crime & Deterrence” at a Math Colloquium this Monday. The
three main points he addressed during the talk were the imbalance of information
in the media, the impact of gun laws, and the economic methods of analyzing
such laws. He spent most of the talk advancing right-to-carry laws, rather than
the advertised statistical methods discussion. He stated, “I’m trying to
give you an idea of how one organizes data,” but this aspect comprised
a minimum of his lecture.

Lott is the author of “More Guns, Less Crime” and “The Bias
Against Guns.” His talk focused on the statistical methods he employs in
his research. The audience was polite, but seemed detached at times. About 40
students and faculty showed up for the colloquium. At a few points, audience
members asked some clarifying questions of Lott. Most attendants stayed for
the question and answer session following the lecture. Maarten Bar ’07 expressed
his doubts about the mathematical value of the talk, commenting, “It might
have been more interesting if he spent more time talking about the statistics,
but that was about 10% of the lecture.”

Regarding the media, Lott said, “The question isn’t so much what information,
but the balance of information.” He claimed that this is because the gory
results of gun violence are more newsworthy than stories about people protecting
themselves with guns. Lott also talked about the media’s focus on accidental
firearm deaths involving children. He countered them, saying, “It’s pretty
hard to think of any other common item so dangerous with so few accidental deaths.”
He noted that “‘Man Bites Dog’ is a much more interesting story than ‘Dog
Bites Man’.”

Lott said that it was hard to judge the impact of gun laws, since federal
reports on guns only collect information regarding the costs of guns, not their
benefits. He noted, “I could not find one survey that allowed participants
to answer questions about guns positively.” He brought forth two hypothetical
households, one of law-abiding citizens and one of criminals. He asserted that
since only law-abiding households are very likely to follow gun laws, they have
a detrimental effect. He argued that loosening regulations on guns would decrease
crime, since “if crime became costly, people would do less of it.”

Finally, Lott got to the heart of his talk by comparing different methods
of analyzing data on crime rates before and after the passage of right-to-carry
laws. He accused newspapers of providing misleading statistics by only comparing
jurisdictions, not the change within them. He emphasized that different statistical
methods can provide radically different results.

*****

2) Swarthmore Coalition for the Digital Commons promotes
activism in technology

by Pei Pei Liu
Managing Editor

Where can you get Linux installed on your computer, watch a film, and find
out about the latest attempts by technology corporations to control your life?
Try Science Center 199 today at 7:00 p.m., where the new campus group Swarthmore
Coalition for the Digital Commons (SCDC) will be holding its inaugural information
session.

Founded by sophomores Nelson Pavlosky and Luke Smith, SCDC seeks to increase
consumer and media awareness about increasing efforts by large technology corporations
to regulate and monitor consumer’s usage of software and hardware. Said Pavlosky,
“We are at a turning point between a open, participatory culture, modeled
on the structure of the internet…where users are anonymous and essentially
unrestricted…and a closed, top-down, passive culture, where consumers do not
really own the products they buy, but only license certain uses of them for
short periods of time…and privacy and consumer rights are non-existent.”

One example Pavlosky cited is a Microsoft project originally named “Palladium”
but now called the “Trusted Computing” initiative, in which Microsoft
will have control over any new computer hardware configured with the next version
of Windows. “Whenever a user clicks on a file,” explained Pavlosky,
“the computer goes over the internet to Microsoft and asks,’does this person
have permission to open this file?’ If the answer comes back ‘No,’ you don’t
get to open your file.”

“The implications are simply mindboggling,” he added, “but
you don’t have to think about all of them to know that this is probably not
something you want on your computer.”

If you haven’t heard of the Palladium/Trusted Computing project, that’s exactly
SCDC’s point. Their biggest goal for now is to break the media silence about
the issue and spread awareness to the general populace. Whereas Intel’s plan
to place serial numbers on Pentium III chips was quickly shut down by the attention
from the media and civil liberties groups, nothing has been done so far with
Microsoft, said Pavlosky. Thus, SCDC was born, for students willing to tackle
the big name in computer technology.

———–
Swarthmore Coalition for the Digital Commons is meeting tonight at 7:00 p.m.
in Science Center 199. For more information, visit their website at
http://scdc.emegaweb.net
or contact the co-founders at npavlos1
and lsmith1.

*****

3) World news roundup

* The White House denied on Monday that Karl Rove had leaked the identity
of a CIA agent in order to retaliate against an opponent of the administration’s
policies in Iraq. The agent’s identity had been leaked after her husband, former
ambassador Joseph C. Wilson, undermined Bush’s claim that Iraq had tried to
buy uranium in Africa, a claim that the president eventually had to retract.
Though leaking an agent’s name is in violation of the law, the Justice Department
is still considering whether or not to launch a full-scale investigation of
the issue.

*The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) promised on Monday to enforce
the do-not-call list, and said that it would charge $120,000 to any telemarketers
found guilty of contacting people on the registry. Also on Monday, President
Bush signed into law a Congressional measure giving the Federal Trade Commission
(FTC) the right to enforcement. The FTC had originally been blocked from doing
so by a federal judge, and so the FCC had sought to override that ruling by
declaring its own intentions on enforcement.

*The Pentagon announced on Monday that it would pull three warships out of
Liberia as the US winds down its peacekeeping mission in that country. The three
ships carry a total of 3,750 sailors and Marines. But there are an additional
100 troops still stationed on the ground in Liberia.

*****

4) Campus events

SCDC Movie Showing/Meeting
Science Center 199, 6:00 p.m.

JP Morgan Info Session
Bond, 7:00 p.m.

College Democrats Meeting
Parrish Parlors, 7:00 p.m.

WRC Open Hours
WRC, 7:00 p.m.
(Sex and the City screening starts at 8:00pm)

SAM Test-taking Workshop
Kohlberg 226, 8:00 p.m.

Good Schools PA Meeting
Parrish Parlors, 9:00 p.m.

*****

SPORTS UPDATE

1) Women’s Tennis: Doubles team lose in the final

The third-seeded team of Anjani Reddy ’04 and Sonya Reynolds ’07 were defeated
by the second-seeded tandem of Lindsay Hagerman and Lisa Mabry of Washington
& Lee, 8-4 in the doubles final of the 2003 ITA Southeast Regional at Mary
Washington College.

Reddy and Reynolds had defeated the top seeds from Washington College in the
semi-finals.

*****

2) Upcoming Contests

Today:
Field Hockey hosts Bryn Mawr, 4:00
Women’s Soccer at Muhlenberg, 5:00

Tomorrow
Men’s Soccer host Washington, 5:00
Volleyball at Widener, 7:00

*****

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Ambition is a poor excuse for not having sense enough to be lazy.”
–Edgar Bergen

*****

Interested in reporting or writing for the Gazette?
Got a news or sports tip for us?
Just want to tell us what you think?

Contact the staff at daily@swarthmore.edu

Managing Editor: Pei Pei Liu
Campus News Editors:

Greg Leiserson
Alexis Reedy

Living & Arts Editor: Evelyn Khoo
World News Editor: Roxanne Yaghoubi
Sports Editor: Saurav Dhital
Associate Editor: Megan Mills
News Reporters:

Scott Blaha
Charlie Buffie
Jonathan Ference
Alex Glick
Mary Harrison
Jaeyoon Kim
Sanggee Kim
Ken Patton
Melissa Phruksachart
Maki Sato
Aude Scheuer
Angelina Seah
Christine Shin
Siyuan Xie

Sports Writers: Jenna Adelberg
Sarah Hilding
Holice Kil
Photographers:

Robbie Hart
Kyle Khellaf
Max Li
Casey Reed

Webmasters:

Charlie Buffie
Greg Leiserson

Weathercaster: Josh Hausman

The Daily Gazette is published Monday through Friday by an independent
group of Swarthmore College students. The Daily Gazette Web Site is updated
regularly, as news happens. Technical support from the Swarthmore College
Computer Society is gratefully acknowledged.

Our world news roundup is compiled daily, using a variety of sources, most
notably the Associated Press (
www.ap.org),
Reuters (www.reuters.com), CNN
(www.cnn.com), and The New York Times (www.nytimes.com).
Our campus sports
summaries are derived from information provided by the Swat Athletics Department
(http://www.swarthmore.edu/athletics/).

To subscribe to the Gazette, free of charge, or to cancel a subscription,
go to our subscriptions page on the web at

http://www.sccs.swarthmore.edu/org/daily/subscribe.html
.

Back issues are available on the web at:

http://www.sccs.swarthmore.edu/org/daily/archive.html

This concludes today’s report.