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" Numeracy isn't a sign of geekiness, but a basic requirement for intelligent discussions of public policy. "
" Purely altruistic behavior is pretty much impossible because of the selfish pleasures we derive from it. "
" I have a one-question language test that people who have lived abroad do better on than those who studied in a classroom. Try my test yourself: In a foreign language you've studied, how do you say 'doorknob'? "
" We all stand on the shoulders of our ancestors. We're in a relay race, relying on the financial and human capital of our parents and grandparents. Blacks were shackled for the early part of that relay race, and although many of the fetters have come off, whites have developed a huge lead. "
" Too often, wealthy people born on third base blithely criticize the poor for failing to hit home runs. The advantaged sometimes perceive empathy as a sign of muddle-headed weakness rather than as a marker of civilization. "
" Sure, food stamps are occasionally misused, but anyone familiar with business knows that the abuse of food subsidies is far greater in the corporate suite. Every time an executive wines and dines a hot date on the corporate dime, the average taxpayer helps foot the bill. "
" When I was growing up, yearning with my pals to be a track star, one of our heroes was Bruce Jenner. He won a gold medal at the 1976 Olympics in the decathlon, and he adorned our Wheaties boxes. We all wanted to be Bruce Jenner. "
" Every high school and college graduate in America should, I think, have some familiarity with statistics, economics and a foreign language such as Spanish. Religion may not be as indispensable, but the humanities should be a part of our repertory. They may not enrich our wallets, but they do enrich our lives. They civilize us. They provide context. "
" Wilderness trails constitute a rare space in America marked by economic diversity. Lawyers and construction workers get bitten by the same mosquitoes and sip from the same streams; there are none of the usual signals about socioeconomic status, for most hikers are in shorts and a T-shirt and enveloped by an aroma that would make a skunk queasy. "
" Gays and lesbians began to gain civil rights when Americans realized that their brothers, cousins, daughters were gay. "
" One of my frustrations is that we in society generally have this bifurcation in how we see the world. That's probably a little less true with business audiences, but in general, there tends to be this view that for-profit companies are greedy, and nonprofits are noble. It's absolutely more complicated than that. "
" When the poor know that their children will survive, when they educate their daughters, when they access family planning, they have fewer children. "
" Conservatives highlight the primacy of family and argue that family breakdown exacerbates poverty, and they're right. Children raised by single parents are three times as likely to live in poverty as kids in two-parent homes. "
" One of our worst traits in journalism is that when we have a narrative in our minds, we often plug in anecdotes that confirm it. Thus we managed to portray President Gerald Ford, a first-rate athlete, as a klutz. "
" In effect, Saudi Arabia legitimizes fundamentalism, religious discrimination, intolerance and the oppression of women. Saudi women not only can't drive, but are also told by some clerics that they mustn't wear seatbelts for fear of showing the outlines of their bodies. "
" We journalists are a bit like vultures, feasting on war, scandal and disaster. Turn on the news, and you see Syrian refugees, Volkswagen corruption, dysfunctional government. Yet that reflects a selection bias in how we report the news: We cover planes that crash, not planes that take off. "
" Individual storytelling is incredibly powerful. We as journalists know intuitively what scientists of the brain are discovering through brain scans, which is that emotional stories tend to open the portals, and that once there's a connection made, people are more open to rational arguments. "
" Our world is enriched when coders and marketers dazzle us with smartphones and tablets, but, by themselves, they are just slabs. It is the music, essays, entertainment and provocations that they access, spawned by the humanities, that animate them - and us. "
" There's something to be said for CEOs' entering politics: In theory, they have management expertise and financial savvy. Then again, it didn't work so well with Dick Cheney. "
" I've always been interested in public health approaches because it seems to me we have this yearning for silver bullets, and that is not in fact how change comes about. Change comes through silver buckshot - a lot of little things that achieve results. That's a classic public health approach. "
" I wouldn't want everybody to be an art or literature major, but the world would be poorer - figuratively, anyway - if we were all coding software or running companies. We also want musicians to awaken our souls, writers to lead us into fictional lands, and philosophers to help us exercise our minds and engage the world. "
" It's maddening in my travels to watch children dying simply because they were born in the wrong place at the wrong time. "
" A basic element of the American dream is equal access to education as the lubricant of social and economic mobility. "
" Our public figures are often narcissists, utterly self-absorbed in their quest for power. "
" The caricature of Islam as a violent and intolerant religion is horrendously incomplete. Remember that those standing up to Muslim fanatics are mostly Muslims. "
" When I was born in 1959, the hospital in which I arrived had separate floors for black babies and white babies, and it was then illegal for blacks and whites to marry in many states. "
" I think we in journalism were really late to social networks. We had a built-in network already in terms of our readers, and we didn't capitalize on that. "
" Most of the time in the 21st century, we dominate our surroundings: We tweak the thermostat, and the temperature falls one degree. We push a button, and Taylor Swift sings for us. It's the opposite in the wilderness, which teaches us constantly that we are not lords of the universe but rather building blocks of it. "
" Saudi Arabia isn't the enemy, but it is a problem. It could make so much positive difference in the Islamic world if it used its status to soothe Sunni-Shiite tensions and encourage tolerance. For a time, under King Abdullah, it seemed that the country was trying to reform, but now under King Salman, it has stalled. "
" One of the most crucial kinds of intervention is in advocacy. We can think about charities in the context of delivering services, and indeed that is part of their job, but advocacy is also getting governments to step up to the plate. They can also give more voice to those who don't have one. "
" At some point, extra incomes don't go to sate desires but to attempt to buy status through 'positional goods' - like the hottest car on the block. The problem is that there can only be one hottest car on the block. "