Stephen Levitt calls him the “main character” in his TEDTalk on crack economics: Sudhir Venkatesh, the young grad student who infiltrated a Chicago crack-dealing gang. His research brought back reams of sociological data — and offers an unfiltered glimpse into gang life. In his new book, Gang Leader for a Day, Venkatesh writes about his experiences during the six years he spent with the Black Kings gang in Chicago’s Robert Taylor Homes. Venkatesh is interviewed on NPR, whose site also offers an excerpt from his book, while the Chicago Sun-Times has an MP3 of the author reading his work.
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Here, your weekly recap of TED-related news: Science writer John Bohannon (watch his TED talk) runs the annual Dance Your Ph.D. contest. This year’s winners must be seen to be believed. In the video above: a dance that explains sperm cell competition in chickens. Bloomberg BusinessWeek has a brilliant, troubling cover story on the drowning […]
Why I document the often violent and traumatic daily lives of others: Fellows Friday with photographer Jon Lowenstein
Social violence in Guatemala, Mexican and Central American migrant communities in the United States, the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake, children with cerebral malaria in Uganda — for the past decade, photographer Jon Lowenstein has been documenting the often violent and traumatic daily lives of individuals and communities living at the edges of society, both […]