The Weaponization of Empathy in a Hyper-Connected World

How to Live Through the Weird Next Chapter of This Ambiguous Virtue

Every time I go on Facebook I end up staring into the eyes of a puppy. Sometimes it has been mistreated, has a bad case of mange, or worse. Sometimes it’s looking for a home. I feel a tug on my heartstrings: What if I were that homeless puppy? It also makes me feel very important: Only I can save this puppy!

But in real life I have no place for an out-of-state puppy, and I’d rather save my gofundme donation for the friend of a friend who needs help …

More In: Lisa Margonelli

Why Hand Counting Votes Makes Every Vote Count

From Maine to Alaska, Manual Tallies Bring Trust and Transparency to Nerve-Racking Elections

Just before the polls closed on election night, I met with 12 of my townspeople at our town hall in Maine, raised my right hand, and took an oath to …

Why I’m Teaching Myself to Eat Baitfish

My Small Town's Alewives Are the Fish of the Future

My town has a fish. Or maybe the fish has us. It’s a herring known as an alewife—about nine inches long, with a forked tail and a belly that shines …

Why Californians Should Believe in Snow Days

They’re Fun. They Fuel Our Nostalgia. They Remind Us of Our Obligation to One Another.

I’m sitting here in Maine having a snow day. I can only see about 30 feet in front of my cabin; everything beyond is obscured by white frosty particles, which …

Your Electric Car Isn’t Making California’s Air Any Cleaner

The Environmental Benefits of Rich People’s Teslas Are Canceled Out By All the Gas-Guzzling Clunkers Still on Our Roads

This is a tale of two zip codes.

First there’s 94582: San Ramon, California.

Since 2010, the roughly 38,000 citizens and businesses of this prosperous Bay Area suburb, where the median household …

Can the Free Market Cure Asthma?

A Group in Fresno Looks to Make Money While Helping Kids Breathe

Is there a profit to be found in reducing children’s asthma attacks? A diverse team of public health advocates, asthma care providers, financiers, and foundations has set up a pilot …