This Week in the News…

Posted: September 12, 2003 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage George Mason received during the past week:

Saturday, Sept. 6, The Washington Post

Fearing Viruses, GMU Limits Internet Access

George Mason University administrators temporarily cut off Internet access yesterday to 3,600 students living on campus in an attempt to protect the school’s computer network from a raft of viruses and worms plaguing the Internet. The move came after school officials asked students to update their anti-virus software, install other fixes and sign a statement confirming they had done so. When many failed to comply, network administrators cut off access; they began to restore connections building by building as they verified no infected PCs were plugged into the network. Students living off campus were able to continue dialing in to the university’s computer network. ‘I think we really need to groom a new type of student who is responsible for their computer security,’ said Kathleen E. Gillette, manager of the school’s beleaguered tech-support center.”

Sunday, Sept. 7, The New York Times

The World: Who Won?

“And Roger W. Wilkins, a professor of history and American culture at George Mason University who has lived near Capitol Hill for more than two decades, said he had developed a new appreciation for the United States Capitol building, which was believed to have been one of the targets in the Sept. 11 attacks. ‘All of a sudden, when the idea of that building being destroyed was in my mind, I began to really look at it and see it,’ Mr. Wilkins said. ‘I see it from all different vantage points, and at all different times of day.’ Now, he added, ‘it has taken on this enormous place in my psyche, and I never go anyplace when I’m in sightline of the Capitol without looking at it and appreciating its beauty.'”

Sunday, Sept. 7, Associated Press

Sept 11 Archive

“The keepers of the Sept. 11 digital archive do not sugarcoat its contents. The e-mails, photos, and computer animations encapsulate the visceral reactions people experienced after the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. That’s why the archive will be so valuable to future historians, says Tom Scheinfeldt, the archive’s co-director and a history professor at George Mason University: It captures people’s gut response to a calamitous event in a way that hasn’t been done before. ‘We’re getting the real-time, spontaneous responses–the good, the bad and the ugly,’ Scheinfeldt said. ‘It’s going to affect the way historians write this history 100 years from now.’ The project is a collaboration of George Mason and the City University of New York Graduate Center. They have collected about 135,000 items in the archive, ranging from the most mundane e-mails to the most poignant photographs.”

Friday, Sept. 12, Fortune

The Man Who Would Have Us Bet On Terrorism

Robin Hanson is a married, 44-year-old father of two who teaches economics at George Mason University, a commuter school with aspirations that’s plunked amid the affluent sprawl of northern Virginia. At first glance there wouldn’t seem to be anything radical or controversial or even particularly interesting about him. Then he opens his mouth. The words spill out in a nervous torrent, and what words they are: Hanson thinks we should replace democracy as we know it with a system he calls ‘futarchy,’ in which government policies are determined largely by a futures exchange. He thinks it’s odd that people ever disagree (since the truth is the truth, after all) and has been doing extensive research into why they do. He wants the U.S. to open its borders to unrestricted immigration. He figures he has a better than 5 percent chance of living forever–thanks to the several hundred dollars he pays each year to a company that promises to cryogenically freeze his head after he dies.”

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