Weekend Roundup: The WorldPost Maps the Global Conversation
To become a self-conscious “global thinking circuit,” the virtual territory of the Internet needs a map that charts the currents and connects the dots of the worldwide conversation. Who are the most influential voices, and how do their ideas spread?
This week, The WorldPost joined with the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute in Zurich to produce such a map, the 2015 Global Thought Leaders Index, which, for the first time, analyzes not only the dominant English-language infosphere, but also the other top language areas of Spanish and Chinese, as well as German. One notable result, as I report in my summary of the project, is that The WorldPost, as the global portal of the Huffington Post, has emerged in the two years since we launched as a top platform for the cross-pollination of ideas beyond borders.
An intense bout of xenophobic bombast erupted across the West this week in the wake of the San Bernadino and Paris terror attacks, roiling the American election campaign as Donald Trump called for banning “foreign Muslims” from entering the U.S. and advancing the prospects of Marine Le Pen’s National Front in the French regional elections. Howard Fineman writes that a weakened two-party system in the U.S. is enabling, rather than thwarting, extreme voices. Scholar Akbar Ahmed ponders whether a Kristallnacht-type episode could happen to Muslims in America if Trump’s Islamophobic rhetoric continues. Foreign Affairs Reporter Akbar Shahid Ahmed writes a personal account of his return to the U.S. less than a day after Trump’s call to keep Muslims out. Sociologist Amitai Etzioni calls for “domestic disarmament” in the U.S. by making gun manufacturers liable for those harmed by the weapons they produce and sell.