I’m terrible at gratitude.
How bad am I? I’m so bad at gratitude that most days, I don’t notice the sunlight on the leaves of the Berkeley oaks as I ride my bike down the street. I forget to be thankful for the guy who hand-brews that delicious cup of coffee … More >
Did I scare you?
No? Let’s try this: Scientists currently predict global sea levels could rise up to 1.5 meters by 2100, a process that could drown cities and trigger widespread human famine and wildlife extinction.
Scared? You should be—and hopefully that little stab of fear and dread compels you to make … More >
It’s been called the cuddle hormone, the holiday hormone, the moral molecule, and more—but new research suggests that oxytocin needs some new nicknames. Like maybe the conformity hormone, or perhaps the America-Number-One! molecule.
Where does this many-monikered neuropeptide come from? Scientists first found it in mothers, whose bodies flood with oxytocin … More >
A few thoughts provoked by reading Mann and Ornstein this morning…
Barack Obama has, after all, been pursuing Bill Clinton’s gun-control policy, Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy, John McCain’s climate policy, Mitt Romney’s health-care policy, George W. Bush’s immigration policy, the bipartisan Squam Lake Group’s financial-regulatory policy, Bill Clinton’s tax policy, George … More >
Feeling ambivalent about the Fourth of July? You’re not alone.
“I don’t mean love, when I say patriotism,” writes Ursula K. Le Guin in her classic 1969 novel The Left Hand of Darkness. “I mean fear. The fear of the other. And its expressions are political, not poetical: hate, rivalry, aggression.”
In … More >
We often see people on the streets who appear seriously mentally ill – arguing with the voices in their heads, yelling at all who pass by, unable to keep themselves clean. Especially with “deinstitutionalization,” the closing down of psychiatric hospitals about 50 years ago, the psychologically damaged seem everywhere. Their presence … More >
Why should anyone thank you for just doing your job? And why should you ever thank your coworkers for doing what they’re paid to do?
These are common questions in American workplaces, often posed rhetorically—and sometimes with hostility.
Elsewhere in American life, we say “thank you” to acknowledge the good things we … More >
The film critic Roger Ebert famously called the “Up” series “an inspired, even noble, use of the film medium.”
It started in 1964, when the British TV program World in Action profiled 14 seven year olds with the aim of discovering how social class shaped their worldviews. There was no intention … More >
Differences in attitudes towards welfare and redistribution are an important source of political tension, especially during recessions. What factors shape people’s attitudes towards welfare and redistribution?
There are two main strands of thought on this question in the literature. One strand emphasizes economic self-interest as a key determinant of attitudes toward … More >