Rip + Read with On Being

"Material things grow familiar, become obsolete or break. Memories have very long warranties."

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—from the Time article "Want Happiness? Don’t Buy More Stuff — Go on Vacation" by Gary Belsky and Tom Gilovich

~Trent Gilliss, senior editor

Jul 22

"Applying a veneer of ethical decision-making is not the best way to make a news quiz more relevant or engaging. When one’s budget or design ability can’t support the increase in content and causality that are part and parcel of moral systems, then they should simply be avoided."

- Simon Ferrari, from “When Moral Systems Miss the Point in Newsgames”

Jul 20

"Our choice required no explanation to parents of disabled kids, but to others I almost had to apologize for…well, getting medicine for my child. The failures of the past and present — those old almanacs and new black-box notices — make us suspicious. But I don’t have the luxury of distrust. I do not love that it came to this. I do not love drugs. I do not love the companies that sell them. But I love my son."

- Paul Collins, from his essay titled "The Vanishing Boy"

Jul 19

"Feedback loops are powerful tools that can help people change bad behavior. Just as important; they can encourage good habits, turning progress itself into a reward."

- from Thomas Goetz’s "The Feedback Loop" in Wired

Jul 13

"Every time I read the comments thread on an article about the Israel-Palestine conflict, I regret it. It’s like there’s one sports team on one side called Team Israel, and another team on another side called Team Palestine and you have to support one or the other. Facts or logic don’t play into this; it’s just straight up Yankees-Red Sox or Celtic-Rangers idiocy."

- Neal Ungerleider, after reading the response to Christopher Hitchens’ piece in Slate

Jul 5

"Well, there were many spiritual communities, not just — the Quaker was one which we know about and that was, of course, surrounding everything in Philadelphia, but there was also many that we don’t talk about or know about so much. There were some German mystical communities that came to America before the Revolution, and they were in different parts of America but a lot of them were in the Pennsylvania area, and they had a very powerful influence on many people and brought something — a kind of a mystical — “mystical” is one of those bad words. They brought a spiritual vision of community that I think we need to rediscover what that was all about because our own Constitution and our own laws of government in some ways can be seen to echo a deeper meaning of human equality."

- Jacob Needleman, from "The Inward Word of Democracy"

Jul 5

"Some people I can sign a license for and some I can’t. But it’s exactly the same covenant commitment."

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Katherine Hawker, minister of Webster Groves Evangelical United Church of Christ in Missouri

Along with six other same-sex couples, she and her partner, Darlene Self, will be crossing the state line into Iowa this weekend to be legally married.

~Trent Gilliss, senior editor

Jul 1

"It is an amorphous anxiety that we’re in a free fall as a society. And I think we kind of are in free fall as a society but I don’t think it has anything to do with gays and lesbians particularly."

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Walter Brueggemann, from Krista Tippett’s live interview with the Christian theologian and author of Prophetic Imagination.

~Trent Gilliss, senior editor

Jun 29

"We are a part of this society. And I think everyone deserves dignity."

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Jose Antonio Vargas

During his interview with ABC News, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist reveals that he is an illegal immigrant in the United States and will fight to have the DREAM Act passed.

Jun 22

"Bathroom reading is a certain kind of reading—episodic, but encouraging first thing in the morning. The bathroom is a place where you can go in and pretend to be doing one thing while actually you’re reading. Nobody can interrupt you. Compendiums of this and that are very useful for bathroom reading: small reading packages within a larger book. You wouldn’t want to read War and Peace in there. You’d never come out. They’d probably call the police and get the door broken down."

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Margaret Atwood describes her media diet to Heather Horn. Read the rest at The Atlantic Wire

(via theatlantic)

Jun 22