Rather than try to tackle complex national and international issues and institutions that affect the entire U.S. , we concentrate on place based trends and academic research that more directly reflect our everyday experiences in our own neighborhoods, workplaces, and other closer connections. We seek to grapple with ideas that stem from and have immediate implications for our personal ties and intellectual enjoyment. We deal with those grassroots issues not to influence public policy or resolve differences but to gain an understanding of the way of the world-- in order to sort out the chaos and thereby increase our pleasure as identified by Epicurus.
We start from the premise that changing the body politic at the state and national level is becoming increasingly difficult for citizens of the 21st century in the way that the power structure was able to do at the start of the 20th century, when American Progressivism was imbued with a strong reformist optimism.  “I propose that we lead”…

Why the college bribery scandal took six years to uncover and why it is no doubt the tip of the iceberg

They Had It Coming
The parents indicted in the college-admissions scandal were responding to a changing America, with rage at being robbed of what they believed was rightfully theirs.

Felicity Huffman leaves a federal courthouse on April 3.GRETCHEN ERTL / REUTERS

Updated at 5:23 p.m. ET on April 9, 2018. Sweet Christ, vindication! How long has it been? Years? No, decades. If hope is the thing with feathers, I was a plucked bird. Long ago, I surrendered myself to the fact that the horrible, horrible private-school parents of Los Angeles would get away with their nastiness forever. But even before the molting, never in my wildest imaginings had I dared to dream that the arc of the moral universe could describe a 90-degree angle and smite down mine enemies with such a hammer fist of fire and fury that even I have had a moment of thinking, Could this be a bit too much? Let’s back up.

Thirty years ago, having tapped out of a Ph.D. program, I moved to Los Angeles (long story) and got hired at the…

The inconvenient truth about genetics and success

The inconvenient truth about genetics and success By KATHRYN PAIGE HARDEN
|NEW YORK DAILY NEWS| APR 19, 2019 |11:11 AM

By reminding us that we don’t have perfect control over every aspect of our lives, genetics can encourage us to be more compassionate of ourselves and more tolerant of the differences we see in other people.Some of us are born with genes that make us struggle to lose weight and keep it off. This was the conclusion of a new
'Thirst for knowledge' may be opium craving 
One of my first blog posts--13 years ago.  I believe this addiction accounts for my own malady, keeping me from engaging in more sensible activities like marriage and a career. T.O.M.

Neuroscientists have proposed a simple explanation for the pleasure of grasping a new concept: The brain is getting its fix. The "click" of comprehension triggers a biochemical cascade that rewards the brain with a shot of natural opium-like substances, said Irving Biederman of the University of Southern California. He presents his theory in an invited article in the latest issue of American Scientist. "While you're trying to understand a difficult theorem, it's not fun," said Biederman, professor of neuroscience in the USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. "But once you get it, you just feel fabulous." The brain's craving for a fix motivates humans to maximize the rate at which they absorb knowledge, he sa…

A New Study Supports Evolutionary Psychology’s Explanation For Why Men And Women Want Different Attributes In Partners

ByJesse Singal When it comes to the heated subject of differences between how men and women behave, debate in psychology has centered on mate preferences and general interests. The available research shows that when it comes to (heterosexual) mating preferences, men are relatively more interested in physical beauty, while women are relatively more interested in earning capacity. As for general interests, men are more interested in physical things, while women are more interested in people. Even the staunchest evolutionary psychologists would acknowledge these are partially overlapping bell curves: There are plenty of men who are fascinated by other people, and plenty of women looking for physical beauty in a partner above all else. Yet the findings have been met with fierce resistance in some quarters. One of the more sophisticated rejoinders is known as social roles theory: The differences do exist, but they’re entirely or largely the result of gender roles imposed by society on indivi…