• Rabbi of Strasbourg inspects vandalized cemetery. Cover photo for Modern Political Dialogue Has Broken Down.
    Culture and Society,  Politics,  Quick Read

    The Breakdown of Modern Political Dialogue

    When people begin to assume the worst of any given outgroup – the rate of which is increasing between today’s political tribes – that group becomes subject to attacks by the ingroup. Its members are often perceived as vile or sub-human. This designation can be used to justify even the most horrific acts against them. It is the catalyst which turns passionate hate to violent action. And it has.

  • Cover photo for Social Media and the Virtual Cult
    Culture and Society,  Politics,  Psychology

    Social Media and Virtual Cultism

    It is undeniable that people on social media tend to be a bit more…extreme. Some blame it on the oft-anonymous nature of the internet. Others believe the cult-like extremism to be nothing more than an unrepresentative vocal minority. And others still believe that the most outrageous posts simply garner the most attention. Maybe social media users fall into the same “if it bleeds it leads” trap as the news. All of this is true…in part. But there is something about social media that brings out this behavior in even the most sensible people—something that causes our calm, rational conduct to be replaced by a passionate, irrational, cult-like behavior...

  • A broken clock
    Culture and Society,  Politics

    A Broken Clock Is Sometimes Right: And So Is Your Enemy

    These two fallacies – the infallibility of one’s own group and the perfect ineptitude of the other – are beliefs which constitute two sides of the same coin, and so they tend to be held simultaneously. If the number of people who hold these beliefs becomes great enough, the result is a culture which is as incapable of acknowledging the flaws and missteps of its own tribe as it is of acknowledging the successes of its opposition. The implications of this are, among other things, a people and a government which are increasingly incapable of compromise.