Why We’re Shutting Off Our Comments | Popular Science

“If you carry out [study] results to their logical end–commenters shape public opinion; public opinion shapes public policy; public policy shapes how and whether and what research gets funded–you start to see why we feel compelled to hit the “off” switch.” Read the entire article here.

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Steve Seibert: Our history of humility | The St. Petersburg Times

“The greatness of America, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in 1835, lies “in her ability to repair her faults.” In the face of crisis we band together, we compromise, we overcome. These days, not so much.” Read the entire article here.

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Matt Miller: The third-party stump speech we need | Washington Post

“How’s this for something different? I want to raise your taxes, cut spending on programs you like, and force you to rethink how we run our schools, banks, armies, hospitals and elections. And I want you to cheer when I’m done.” Read the entire article here.

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How to Turn Republicans & Democrats Into Americans | The Atlantic

“No matter who was put in charge, things didn’t get better. They won’t this time, either; spending levels may go down, taxes may go up, budgets will change, but American government will go on the way it has, not as a collective enterprise but as a battle between warring tribes.” Read the entire article here.

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Gregory Rodriguez: Why Social Media Isn’t | LA Times

“We live in an age in which overarching collective identities and institutions are collapsing in favor of narrower groupings by affinity…Paradoxically, it’s the multiplicity of channels and social niches that have led many to seek refuge in narrow niches.” Read the entire article here.

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If Only Elections Were More Like 1800! | Peter Wehner

“Perhaps the most we can realistically hope for are elections that are much more than mud-throwing contests. What separated elections at the founding of America from many others wasn’t that the former were more genteel; it was the quality of argumentation…” Read the entire article here.

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Eli Pariser: The Filter Bubble | TED.com

Must see on the danger of “The Filter Bubble” created on the internet by use of personalized algorithmic filters used by Google & Facebook, others & to pull up the information “desserts” we want to see rather than the information “vegetables” we need to see. To watch the video, click here.

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How facts backfire | Joe Keohane

“Recently, a few political scientists have begun to discover a human tendency deeply discouraging to anyone with faith in the power of information. It’s this: Facts don’t necessarily have the power to change our minds. In fact, quite the opposite…” Read full article in The Boston Globe

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Our False Beliefs | University of Buffalo

“…rather than search rationally for information that either confirms or disconfirms a particular belief, people actually seek out information that confirms what they already believe…for the most part people completely ignore contrary information…” Read the whole University of Buffalo study here.

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Rules of Civility & Decent Behaviour | George Washington

Luckily we’re not left to guess about how our Founding Fathers might have advised us on civility. George Washington left us “110 Rules of Civility & Decent Behaviour in Company and Conversation,” including the etiquette of where to put your feet when there is meat in the fire. Read all the rules here.

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The Threat to American Democracy | Al Gore

“I came here today because I believe that American democracy is in grave danger. It is no longer possible to ignore the strangeness of our public discourse. I know that I am not the only one who feels that something has gone basically and badly wrong…” Read entire address here.

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A Challenge to the Church | John Danforth

“…to even discuss [challenging issues] requires some common ground…religious people acting in the name of Christ have championed the wedge issues that divide us, that cut the common ground out from under us, and make even discussing important questions so difficult.” Read the entire address here.

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Declaration on Civility and Inclusive Leadership | CSPC

“National resolve and unity of purpose are essential for marshalling the best talent, regardless of party affiliation, and are the elements required to develop a strategic consensus on the way forward.” Read the entire declaration here.

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