Forum Summaries:

Meridian 180 publishes summaries of the central themes and ideas discussed in our online forums. Forum summaries are drafted by students and interns (and occasionally by Meridian members).

What is a Book? Experiments in Idea Dissemination
Summary by Mary Picarella, Andrew Lai, Owen Yisoo Kim, and Solene Fanny Alexia Balaguette

The book, a “form for producing knowledge . . . since the European Middle Ages,” has played a crucial role in fostering scholarship and disseminating ideas.  But, as Professor Annelise Riles (Cornell Law School) noted, printed academic works—and the publishing industry that produces them—face “new ‘threats’ in the digital age.”  Modern, digitally-connected audiences expect quick and efficient access to new ideas, a demand that traditional books, still a mainstay in academia, may not be able to satisfy. (read more)


Keyword: Destruction
Summary by Jessica Kim, Frances Wang, and Sophia Wang

After the Northridge Earthquake, an art institution relocated to a facility formerly used to develop technologies for destruction; a center of creation reappropriated a center of destruction.  But perhaps this reappropriation was not so ironic.  Destruction is commonly linked with haunting visuals, wars, and tragedies.  Yet, destruction may not always be negative.  Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento inaugurated this forum by asking, “Should we destroy art in order to create something better?”  Xingzhong Yu responded, “Is [destruction] absolutely bad? . . . Could destruction be a value in itself?”  Throughout the discussion, participants considered the notion of destruction through different perspectives, including its symbiosis with creation and preservation. (read more)


Does Bitcoin Have a Future?
Summary by Andrew Maharajh

Beyond “Satoshi Nakamoto,” the pseudonym of Bitcoin’s creator, little is known of the origins of the enigmatic electronic currency. Bitcoin’s processes, however, are somewhat better understood. Tied neither to country nor bank, regulation was instead built into Bitcoin’s structure: new units of currency are produced only by solution of complex mathematical problems. (read more)


What is Effective Education?
Summary by Rena Ogura and Rachel Pollak

Effective education is a difficult, yet highly important concept of debate. It penetrates our global economy on every scale: individual success, cultural beliefs, wealth, and the future of an economy as a whole. Qi Wang and Shin Arita initiated a forum on this topic in order to discuss and compare perspectives common to Eastern and Western forms of education. (Read more)