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David Brooks

David Brooks
David Brooks became a New York Times Op-Ed columnist in September 2003. He has been a senior editor at The Weekly Standard, a contributing editor at Newsweek and the Atlantic Monthly, and he is currently a commentator on "The Newshour with Jim Lehrer." He is the author of "Bobos In Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There" and “On Paradise Drive : How We Live Now (And Always Have) in the Future Tense,” both published by Simon & Schuster. His most recent book is “The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement,” published by Random House in March 2011. Mr. Mr. He is also a frequent analyst on NPR’s "All Things Considered" and the "Diane Rehm Show." Related:  Commentary

40 Of The Most Powerful Social Issue Ads That’ll Make You Stop And Think Many people complain about advertisements as an obnoxious way for companies to invade our everyday lives and cram their products down our throats, but that’s not all that advertisements are good for. The advertisements on this list are excellent examples of effective advertising strategies for social issue campaigns that let their voices be heard. Show Full Text A well-made advertisement is designed to grab your attention and to remain in your memory long after you’ve left it behind, and that is exactly what many of these social causes need. Getting people to think and worry about various social and environmental issues (or even simply getting them to be aware of them) is important for raising public supporting and affecting meaningful changes. A few of these ads are, in fact, commercial ads, but it’s still nice that they champion socially or environmentally aware causes/products. Just like with commercial advertisements, having just the facts is not enough. “THE END. Unhate Buckle up.

Je Suis … [?] How People of Faith Should Respond to Paris Our first response to the horrible and frightening violence of Paris should be grief. False religion always makes the religious grieve, but when it engages in ghastly violence against other human beings who are made in God’s image, it should break our hearts as it breaks God’s. Peaceful protest in Place de la Republique in Paris in response to the Charlie Hebdo attacks, Anky / Shutterstock.com Take Action on This Issue Circle of Protection for a Moral Budget A pledge by church leaders from diverse theological and political beliefs who have come together to form a Circle of Protection around programs that serve the most vulnerable in our nation and around the world. These hateful terrorists, masquerading as religious believers, said on video they were the “avengers” of the prophet Mohamed. While the tenet of freedom of speech has been invoked throughout the media coverage of the attacks, the religious implications here run much deeper. I am not Charlie, I am Ahmed the dead cop.

Nude in your hot tub, facing the abyss (A literary manifesto after the end of Literature and Manifestos) Down from the Mountain Once upon a time, writers were like gods, and lived in the mountains. They were either destitute hermits or aristocratic lunatics, and they wrote only to communicate with the already dead or the unborn, or for no one at all. They had never heard of the marketplace, they were arcane and antisocial. Later, there came another wave of writers, who lived in the forests below the mountains, and while they still dreamt of the heights, they needed to live closer to the towns at the edge of the forest, into which they ventured every now and again to do a turn in the public square. Soon, writers began to take flats in the town, and took jobs—indeed, whole cities were settled and occupied by writers. Now you sit at your desk, dreaming of Literature, skimming the Wikipedia page about the ‘Novel’ as you snack on salty treats and watch cat and dog videos on your phone. The Puppet Corpse To say that Literature is dead is both empirically false and intuitively true.

6 Ways to Keep Terrorists From Ruining the World I have a question, and this is mainly for those of you old enough to vividly remember the 9/11 attacks. Let's say the Navy SEALs had found and shot bin Laden just a couple of days after -- say, on the 13th. Would we still have gone to war? We'll come back to that; it's pretty important. Obviously what's all on our minds right now is the horrific attack in Paris, in which Islamic militants massacred an office full of comedians for drawing pictures that mocked their religion (if you're reading this in the future, just insert whatever mass killing is most recent to you -- it will still apply). There is a number of terrible knee-jerk ways we react to these horrors when they occur, so I've made a handy guide you can walk through each time. Wandervibes, via TripAdvisor So, even before the first responders are on the scene, I want you to ... #6. TB1353/iStock/Getty Images Allow me to quote that classic philosopher known as The Poster for Death Wish 2: "First his wife. It's: Rape 2, Society 0. #5.

Why bullshit is no laughing matter — Aeon Opinions Panache 2620/Flickr We live in the age of information, which means that we also live in the age of misinformation. Indeed, you have likely come across more bullshit so far this week than a normal person living 1,000 years ago would in their entire lifetime. If we were to add up every word in every scholarly piece of work published prior to the Enlightenment, this number would still pale in comparison with the number of words used to promulgate bullshit on the internet in the 21st century alone. If you find your head nodding, start shaking it. How could I possibly know how much bullshit you have come across this week? It was very easy to construct this bullshit. According to the philosopher Harry Frankfurt, emeritus professor at Princeton University, bullshit is something that is constructed absent of any concern for the truth. How might we go about investigating bullshit empirically? Of course, this is all my opinion. These statements are, definitively, bullshit. So what about Chopra?

nonsite.org The Danger of a Single Story In 2009 the Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie gave a fabulous TED talk called “The Danger of a Single Story.” It was about what happens when complex human beings and situations are reduced to a single narrative: when Africans, for example, are treated solely as pitiable poor, starving victims with flies on their faces. Her point was that each individual life contains a heterogeneous compilation of stories. If you reduce people to one, you’re taking away their humanity. American politics has always been prone to single storyism — candidates reducing complex issues to simple fables. Every problem can be solved by finding some corrupt or oppressive group to blame. Worse, the stories have become identity markers. Hillary Clinton is not naturally a single story person. One true minimum wage story is that corporations are reaping record profits while pushing down wages of the unskilled. The key is to find a balance between those stories. Yet there are other opposing stories, also true:

If Not Trump, What? Donald Trump now looks set to be the Republican presidential nominee. So for those of us appalled by this prospect — what are we supposed to do? Well, not what the leaders of the Republican Party are doing. They’re going down meekly and hoping for a quiet convention. They seem blithely unaware that this is a Joe McCarthy moment. The better course for all of us — Republican, Democrat and independent — is to step back and take the long view, and to begin building for that. This declinism intertwines with other horrible social statistics. Trump’s success grew out of that pain, but he is not the right response to it. That means first it’s necessary to go out into the pain. We’ll probably need a new national story. I don’t know what the new national story will be, but maybe it will be less individualistic and more redemptive. We’ll probably need a new definition of masculinity, too. We’ll also need to rebuild the sense that we’re all in this together. Trump will have his gruesome moment.

Are We on the Path to National Ruin? Photo San Antonio — I never really understood how fascism could have come to Europe, but I think I understand better now. You start with some fundamental historical transformation, like the Great Depression or the shift to an information economy. A certain number of people are dispossessed. They lose identity, self-respect and hope. They begin to base their sense of self-worth on their tribe, not their behavior. Once facts are unmoored, everything else is unmoored, too. And then perhaps there’s a catalyzing event. Normally, nations pull together after tragedy, but a society plagued by dislocation and slipped off the rails of reality can go the other way. This happened in Europe in the 1930s. Blood was in the streets last week — victims of police violence in two cities and slain cops in another. On the other hand … I never really understood how a nation could arise as one and completely turn itself around, but I think I’m beginning to understand now. Culturally things were bad, too.

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