RU030714This week we talked about American debt and folded a whole new and incredibly interesting sector of debtors into the conversation: those who’ve gone through the criminal justice system. That’s careful wording, by the way, because you don’t even have to be convicted—just charged—to start racking up legal fees with compounding interest and compounding effects on your future. We also got a look at how race affects school suspensions and the oft-overlooked problem of homelessness among college students. No, it’s not all good news, but with the right information and appropriate action, we can keep moving toward the good news, right? That’s worth something! For palate cleansers, we offer the annual Mardis Gras archive, the DRM-coffee-bot, and why we shouldn’t let law enforcement end up based on the quality of business owners’ gaydar. mesothelioma


The Cruel Poverty of Monetary Sanctions,” by Alexes Harris. When legal debt becomes a life sentence, long past time served.

Scholars Strategy Network:

The Problem of College Students without Reliable Housing,” by Katharine Broton. Student debt goes well beyond tuition.

North Carolina’s ‘Moral Monday’ Protests in Defense of Equal Voting Rights and Social Protections,” by Rebecca Sager. A hashtag for humanists.

Reading List:

Divorce is Contagious: Social Networks in Splitsville,” by Sarah Lageson.

There’s Research on That!:

Language and Political Conflict in Ukraine,” by Scott DeMuth. Deep divides and the long arc of history in social conflict.

Facebook Expands Gender Categories,” by Rahsaan Mahadeo. Why more choices can also translate to  more constraints, even as they help many feel just a little more human.

Religious Freedom and Refusing Service,” by Amy August. Not only are the laws ridiculous, how would you possibly enforce them? Gay rights and the trustworthiness of “gaydar.”

Citings & Sightings:

The Sociology of Oscar-Winning,” by Erin Hoekstra. Who you are, who you know, and just how gritty your role is all help determine your Oscar worth.

A Few From the Community Pages: