Racial Bias and Police Shootings: “The Mind of the Village”

Here is an episode from The Hidden Brain, of one of my favorite radio programs that uses social science and storytelling to explain the hidden patterns behind our behavior and beliefs (it’s also a podcast). In this segment the host explores the role unconscious racial bias might play in recent police shootings of unarmed black […]

Inequality and Unions

Ever wonder why income inequality in the U.S. is so extreme? Here is one big reason why: This graphic compares the portion of income received by the richest 10% and the portion of the workforce who are union members. Note that those at the top earners take a larger share of the nation’s income when […]

Renewing Democracy in Trumpland

Less than an hour before it began, I posted a last-minute announcement on Facebook to alert my local friends about a rally to support immigrant rights and religious freedom in opposition to Donald Trump’s recent orders.  No big deal, right? Well, maybe it was a big deal after all, here’s why: My Facebook announcement about […]

Philosopher Saw Trump Coming 20 Years Ago

We hear a lot these days that the study of philosophy has little of value to offer.  College students who choose it as their major are routinely reminded by their more practical-minded peers that there are few job openings for philosophers.  But on the heels of Donald Trump’s successful campaign for president, the following passage […]

Is There a Bernie Bias?

Underdog political candidates often claim they are ignored by the mainstream media; and the Bernie Sanders’ campaign is no exception.  His supporters are complaining that despite his string of primary election wins over Hillary Clinton, the media is not giving him the coverage he is due. I don’t put much stock in conspiracy theories, but  […]

When the Rich Get a Hair Cut

Few of us in the bottom 90 percent get to see, much less interact with, the 3 million members of the top 1 percent.  This explains why it may be difficult for us to wrap our heads around what life is like for them, and how dramatically their everyday lives differ from our own. What […]

Remembering the Losses of 9/11

Today marks the 14th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 when 2,977  Americans lost their lives.  As we pause to remember the tragic events of that day, and the senseless loss of life associated  with it, now may be a good time to reflect on some of the losses suffered since then […]

A Punch to the Gut

$100 Million for two boxers to pummel each other for our amusement.  Somehow the same system cannot find the money to provide fresh fruit to needy kids before school, or funds to hire more teachers to teach them, or a living wage for the janitors who clean up after them at the end of the […]

Scientist Sees Need for Critical Thinkers

“We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom. The world henceforth will be run by synthesizers, people able to put together the right information at the right time, think critically about it, and make important choices wisely.” ― Edward O. Wilson