Tagged: malcolm gladwell

Australia Going to Hell

When Julia Gillard became Australia’s first female prime minister last week she quickly earned international headlines (and a congratulatory call from President Obama). Being a woman was the easy part. Gillard overcame an obstacle far more troublesome than her gender: She doesn’t believe in God.  “No, I don’t,” she told an interviewer at Australia’s national...

Mission to Mars

It’s a big universe out there. We’ve all looked skyward, trying vainly to gauge the distance to a star, mesmerized by the immensity of space and the comically irrelevant role we play in the Grand Scheme of Things. We’ve all imagined that somewhere out there in the twinkling infinity something awaits us. We’ve gone to...

Marijuana Lies: Rebuttal Central

California could change the course of American History in November. Proponents of legalizing marijuana use, possession, cultivation, and distribution have successfully placed on the ballot a referendum that would end nearly a century of ignorance and injustice. Currently, one must be “sick” to own and use marijuana. If the law passes, everyone will be entitled...

Remix Manifesto

1. Culture always builds on the past. Whether it was composer and piano virtuoso Franz Liszt using Gypsy melodies in his compositions, Metallica borrowing song structures from Diamond Head or The Rolling Stones recording Robert Johnson’s “Love in Vain” as a “traditional, arranged by Keith Richards,” composers have always used previous works as inspiration for...

The Time to Care About Disaster Victims

President Obama sent us an email a few days ago, and this time it wasn’t to ask for monetary support of his healthcare reform boondoggle. He was asking us (and the millions of others on his OFA database) to help Haitians. He wrote: “Despite the fact that we are experiencing tough times here at home,...

Underfed and Overpopulated

For Americans drowning in super-sized sodas, bursting with high-calorie fat bombs from the Dollar Menu, and dying from generally too much of everything except self-discipline, it may be hard to understand that a large portion of the planet’s population doesn’t have enough to eat. If the projections are to be believed, it’s only going to...

Recommended Reading

What do writers read when they’re not writing?  Good writing. Great writing. Stuff that earns professional admiration and profound consideration. Thoughtful poetry. Arguments constructed elegantly. Wit. Lately I’ve found myself increasingly turning to the work of three writers, all different, all ingenious in their own way. If you’re a regular reader of this space, you’ll...

Defining Cowardice

The new book I’ve just completed writing attempts to examine several Big Ideas through the prism of a fable. One recurring theme is cowardice.  Our common conception of this repulsive quality is that it is simply a manifestation of outsized fear. (A soldier sees his city being overrun by intruders; instead of upholding his duty...

Belaboring Labor

Given a choice unconstrained by financial imperatives, most human beings would probably not willingly toil for nearly a third of their waking hours on earth at a job that requires them to use their brain solely for repetitive motor functions. In a utopian scenario, most people would not choose to do the same thing over...

The Immorality of Discouraging Contraception

You may have noticed that people like to have sex, including countless youngsters whose testosterone levels dramatically exceed their intelligence. Everybody’s conception of permissible activity varies somewhat, based on controlling factors that most of us don’t bother to examine. But whether or not you approve of pre-marital sex, or marital sex, or post-marital sex, whether...