An Epidemic of Nasty: On the Abandonment of Empathy and the Surge of Angry White Entitlement

It was hot in the COSTCO parking lot. We had just finished loading the car, but I needed to go back in to use the restroom, before our hour-long drive home. So, I reached in from the driver’s side to insert the key in the ignition so my wife could roll down her window to … More An Epidemic of Nasty: On the Abandonment of Empathy and the Surge of Angry White Entitlement

Mask over Civility: The Indifference of Americans to Public Health

Last Saturday we decided to take a hike in the beautiful Frijoles Canyon of the Bandelier National Monument near Los Alamos National Laboratory “up the hill” from Santa Fe. I had not experienced the pandemic claustrophobia that has caused so much anxiety; I guess I was just too busy. Anyway, it was a lovely cool … More Mask over Civility: The Indifference of Americans to Public Health

Communication, Contagion, and Conspiracy

Social contagion is an age-old process of collective behavior. It has been studied by sociologists in the U.S. for decades. In the economic sphere, stock market bubbles that end in a furious crash that reflects the contagion of panic. Economists cite the infamous collapse of the “Tulip Mania” in Holland in 1637 as the classic … More Communication, Contagion, and Conspiracy

Civility and the Climate Impacts of Denialism

Yesterday, I read an article in the Scientific American discussing a key dilemma that stymies climate action. No standards exist that could provide firm measures of how much carbon emissions reduction is necessary by what date to avoid the worst climate chaos. The article asked the difficult question of how much CO2 we must remove … More Civility and the Climate Impacts of Denialism

A Teachable Moment: Criminalizing Everyone

A recent “dust-up” in Santa Fe, New Mexico, between the school district and the police department ought to be an important “teachable moment.” But the opportunity to resolve institutional overreach and get back to basics is likely being ignored. It all started when a highly respected middle-school teacher Marcy Slaughter allegedly threw a paperback book … More A Teachable Moment: Criminalizing Everyone

Incarceration Nation

The U.S. imprisons a greater portion of its citizens than any other nation in the world. We also incarcerate a larger absolute number of prisoners than any other nation, even China! What does this tell us about our culture and about how “social control” is exercised in America? One thing is certain: more and more … More Incarceration Nation