The Observer

Zhu: Democrats must stand united, now more than ever

Caroline Zhu, Staff Columnist

April 13, 2020

After Bernie Sanders suspended his presidential campaign on Wednesday, Nov. 8, Joe Biden has become the presumptive Democratic Party nominee for this year’s presidential election. This decision comes amidst the chaos of the coronavirus pandemic, which makes it both a responsible decision and one th...

Zhu: Technology is the answer to the question nobody asked in the Iowa caucuses

FILE - In this Jan. 3, 2012 file photo, voters sign in on caucus night at Point of Grace Church in Waukee, Iowa. More than 40 years ago, a scheduling quirk vaulted Iowa to the front of the presidential nominating process, and ever since most White House hopefuls have devoted enormous time and money to a state that otherwise would get little attention.  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Caroline Zhu, Staff Columnist

February 6, 2020

The Iowa caucuses reflect not only a complicated political season, but also a major issue in the intersection of technology and other fields—what problems does technology solve, and what problems are created for technology to solve?  A few days after the caucuses, at least some of the blame has fa...

Zhu: What do we see in the Wuhan coronavirus epidemic?

Caroline Zhu, Staff Columnist

January 30, 2020

During an ongoing crisis, it is difficult to judge the efficacy of a proposed solution. China currently faces the unexpectedly rapid spread of a deadly strain of coronavirus in Wuhan, and its subsequent spread to other provinces, and, soon, other countries. Everyone has questions, and although the vir...

Zhu: Dissolve Disney, find new artistic voices

Caroline Zhu, Staff Columnist

January 23, 2020

Two months after the release of Disney’s new streaming service Disney+, it seems more evident than ever that The Walt Disney Company is not what it used to be. As a studio, Disney seems to be relying more and more upon revitalizations of its classic tales, which have been released to mixed reviews....

Zhu: Cancelled culture is moral absolutism, and it’s unsustainable

Zhu: Cancelled culture is moral absolutism, and it’s unsustainable

Caroline Zhu, Staff Columnist

January 17, 2020

Although social media has introduced us to instant connection and a global community, it has also created a stage upon which everyone is a public figure and subject to a growing “cancel culture.” The term refers to “cancelling” public figures, or publicly denouncing them for their negative actions...

Zhu: Why I feel awkward when you speak Chinese to me

Zhu: Why I feel awkward when you speak Chinese to me

Caroline Zhu, Staff Columnist

November 15, 2019

For years, I’ve admitted I’m uncomfortable when foreigners try to speak Chinese to me. Even though I don’t take offense at it, something about these interactions feels hollow and awkward. I know that I’m not the only one to feel it, but voicing these discomforts is often met with confusion and...

Zhu: What we let social media companies get away with these days

Caroline Zhu, Staff Columnist

November 1, 2019

With news commentators comparing our current political and economic state to historical periods like the 1880s, it is of little wonder that antitrust concerns continue to grow, particularly in light of the recent attention Facebook has been getting. The boom in the early 21st century of fast-growing te...

Zhu: The commodification of activism by self-interested corporations

Caroline Zhu, Staff Reporter

October 25, 2019

When did corporations start taking stances on cultural and political movements? When it started to seem profitable to do so. Today, we see some companies put forth genuine efforts to give back to communities and to their consumers, while others put forth hollow advertising that supports social movements....

Zhu: Why we romanticize the hustle, and why I hate it

Caroline Zhu, Opinion Editor

October 4, 2019

Ever since millennials and more recently Generation Z started growing into maturity, older generations have levelled claim after claim of laziness and entitlement at young adults, while many protest that this generation works just as hard as previous generations did, often for less payoff. Tuition rates ...

Zhu: Reboot culture limits creativity, stifles new voices

Caroline Zhu, Staff Columnist

April 19, 2019

In the past decade, more and more blockbusters have been either reboots or remakes of old films and franchises. It raises the question of not only why this is happening, but whether or not these films have any value to offer to popular culture beyond pure nostalgia. Although it is difficult to pinpoint when th...

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