UCI News

KTLA5, March 31, 2022 (Video)
Workers rally for better conditions
UCI [associate] professor of finance, Christopher Schwarz said “Wages here in the U.S. and California are  probably up about 5% year over year so even though your paycheck has gone up 5%, the price of the stuff you want to buy is 7%, so even really with a 5% raise your standard of living has actually declined.” Schwarz says it can be challenging for both employees and employers to keep up with inflation and believes it’s a delicate push and pull. “It’s sometimes hard for the employer, the employer has to be able to afford the wage they are paying you. It doesn’t help if they go bankrupt trying to give you a raise.”

The New York Times, March 30, 2022 (Opinion)
Opinion: Does the End of Cash Mean the End of Privacy?
On Monday, [Representative Stephen] Lynch introduced a bill directing the Department of the Treasury, rather than the Federal Reserve, to develop and experiment with issuing digital dollar technologies …. Mehrsa Baradaran, a law professor at the University of California, Irvine, who studies how financial products and services can be made more equally available, said that having the Treasury Department be the issuer of digital dollars makes sense to her. [Subscription required, campus-wide access provided by UCI Libraries. Sign-up here: https://guides.lib.uci.edu/nytimes]

Film Threat, March 31, 2022
Virtual Cultures in Pandemic Times in Second Life
Virtual Cultures in Pandemic Times is a new feature length ethnographic documentary by award-winning media maker Draxtor. And you can see the premiere of the documentary on Saturday, April 2nd in the Film Threat Cinema in Second Life. Since March 2020, Draxtor has been following UC Irvine Department of Anthropology researchers [professor] Tom Boellstorff, Evan Conaway, Chandra Middleton and Sandy Wenger around Animal Crossing and Second Life to find out how the COVID-19 pandemic is reshaping online interaction. In the film, protagonists from all over the world open up about their anxieties and everyday challenges during the last two years, and share what virtual worlds and social games mean to them in the context of a global health crisis.NBC News, March 31, 2022
Federal judge blocks Florida restrictive voting law
A federal judge barred Florida from enforcing the bulk of its new restrictive voting law on Thursday, siding with opponents who said the law was discriminatory and needlessly infringed on Floridians’ voting rights. … “This is an opinion that full throatedly reads the Voting Rights Act in the expansive way that Congress intended it to be read, and essentially dares the higher courts to overrule it,” said Rick Hasen, [Chancellor’s Professor], an election law expert at the University of California, Irvine.

MIT Technology Review, April 1, 2022
Droughts are cutting into California’s hydropower. Here’s what that means for clean energy.
During high-stress times on the grid, the reduced reliability of hydropower is already causing problems, says Brian Tarroja, an energy researcher at the University of California, Irvine. … These difficulties are likely to continue, Tarroja says. Climate change is altering rainfall patterns and causing higher temperatures, even if overall precipitation stays constant. The effects are likely to challenge hydropower in the coming decades.

Previously “In the News”