In Chaotic Times, California Offers Leadership

After a Century of Earthquakes, Fires, Booms, and Busts, We Are the Masters of Disaster

America, I see you flailing—and failing—to respond to this pandemic. Why don’t you just let California handle it?

No joke. In normal times, you’d be wise to avoid letting Californians run anything. While our artists and businesses are strong at creating culture and technology, our elected leaders typically struggle with everyday issues like managing budgets, schools, housing, and traffic. And in our daily lives, Californians famously flout the rules in favor of going our own way.

But in emergencies, we transform into very different people—calm, competent, and cooperative. You’ve seen it during …

Our Real “Existential Crisis” Is Bigger Than Trump’s Presidency

Philosophically Speaking, How Do We Live Free, Authentic Lives in a World Without Meaning?

Apparently, these are existential times. During the weeks leading up to last year’s presidential election, The New York Times columnist Charles Blow announced that then-candidate Donald Trump was “America’s existential …

“Frivolous” Humanities Helped Prisoners Survive in Communist Romania

Covertly Studying Language and Literature Connected Captives and Freed Their Minds

In a recent New York Times article on the movement to promote university majors promising higher employment and income, Anthony Carnevale, a professor at Georgetown University, sums up the utilitarian …