Monthly Archives: November 2014

“the self is moral”

Summarizing a body of empirical research, the Duke psychologist Nina Strohminger argues that what constitutes our identity is our moral character, not (for instance) the memories that we have stored so far. Asked what characteristics a soul would hypothetically carry into another … Continue reading

Posted in moral network mapping, philosophy, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

sometimes it’s better to listen

Sometimes you should recognize that your own voice doesn’t have any special value and concentrate on listening and learning instead. (Perhaps the president should have thought that way before he made his brief and palid address last night.) I have … Continue reading

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do younger Americans think they lack the knowledge to vote responsibly?

According to a HuffPost/YouGov survey reported by Ariel Edwards-Levy, younger Americans are the most likely to believe that you should only vote if you are well-informed. According to the same poll, younger Americans guess that a majority of their fellow citizens vote in midterm years. They overestimate … Continue reading

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viewing concessions dampens rancor

In the Atlantic, Robert Wright describes research that my team at Tufts University conducted in partnership with him. He summarizes the research question: Suppose you’re a conservative or a liberal, and you’re watching a debate, and the debater you consider … Continue reading

Posted in deliberation | Leave a comment

the cultural change we would need for climate justice

One way to think about climate change is that “we” (however you define that) have the wrong relationship to nature. We are exploitative and wasteful. We must change our basic orientation to save the world and ourselves: “The survival of the … Continue reading

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why do the disadvantaged not participate?

In last week’s election, 51% of the voters said they were college graduates. Among adult Americans (by my calculation), 34% have associates’ degrees or higher and 29% have a bachelor’s or more. If a college degree is a mark of … Continue reading

Posted in civic theory, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

six varieties of politics

If “politics” means all interactions on public or common matters, here are six varieties of it. They overlap, yet no category is coterminous with any of the others: 1. Adversarial politics: The parties hold incompatible interests or goals, but some resolution must be reached. We can … Continue reading

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The Future of Democracy in paperback

The Future of Democracy: Developing the Next Generation of American Citizens has been selling slowly but steadily since 2007 and has filtered into the literature on youth civic engagement. It has now been issued as a paperback, priced at $23.83. I believe an … Continue reading

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top 8 takeaways about young voters and the 2014 election

In lieu of a post of my own, here are CIRCLE’s eight summary points about youth voting in 2014: Each election year, the headlines about youth voters tend to be the same. The relatively low turnout rate is usually lamented, … Continue reading

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Jonathan Gruber and progressive arrogance

(Westfield, MA) Progressives must denounce this statement by Jonathan Gruber in no uncertain terms: This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure the CBO [Congressional Budget Office] did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored … Continue reading

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