About Rationally Speaking

Rationally Speaking is a blog maintained by Prof. Massimo Pigliucci, a philosopher at the City University of New York. The blog reflects the Enlightenment figure Marquis de Condorcet's idea of what a public intellectual (yes, we know, that's such a bad word) ought to be: someone who devotes himself to "the tracking down of prejudices in the hiding places where priests, the schools, the government, and all long-established institutions had gathered and protected them." You're welcome. Please notice that the contents of this blog can be reprinted under the standard Creative Commons license.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Michael's Picks

by Michael De Dora

* The Pew Research Center has released a comprehensive new public opinion survey on the attitudes of Muslim-Americans. The findings might surprise many Americans.

* Last week I agreed with Pope Benedict XVI, who argued that ethics should play a major role in economic policy making. The Pope’s sentiment has now been echoed by Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco.

* A new study suggests El Niño may be to blame for nearly a quarter of recent global conflicts.

* “When it comes to the religious beliefs of our would-be presidents, we are a little squeamish about probing too aggressively,” writes Bill Keller in the New York Times.

* Scientific findings suggest that exercise could be a helpful prescription for depression, though there are caveats.

* Charles Blow highlights what he considers a growing crisis for American children, and criticizes politically right approaches that he says “ignore that reality at best and exacerbate it at worst.”

* Peter Nardi notes that psychics have a perfect record: of being wrong, that is.

* And lastly, two follow-ups on my recent essay on Florida’s law that requires drug tests for welfare applicants. First, 98 percent of welfare applicants have passed the drug test. Second, Adam Cohen has a compelling article on why this is bad policy.


  1. Michael, as folks here in Texas are in the worst one-year drought in history, don't forget La Nina, either!

  2. Oh, and contrary the story, La Niña ain't necessarily "El Niño's kinder, wetter mirror image." Clearly not in parts of the word where it, not El Niño, is driving the drought.


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