Our fascination with the brain seems to come from a longing to make psychology more like a hard science and hence, we assume, more useful. Physics gave us electricity, skyscrapers, and the Internet. Chemistry gave us medicine and more fresh food. Psychology is still taking baby steps, designing empirical tests of unsurprising observations. It may be too much to expect science to reliably save marriages, but how desperately we need the secret to stopping people from burning others alive.
Today, at 1:48 EST, Tiger Woods will be teeing it up at the Masters. It has been a long time since he has played in a tournament. Longer still since he has won. His round today will be closely scrutinized by fans of golf and millions of others whose interest in the game pretty much begins and ends with Woods and how he is doing.
Start with those old enough to be graduating from law school. The law business ain’t exactly what it used to be -- so hungry for new lawyers that anyone with a law degree could find work and earn enough to start chipping away at his or her student loan, unless responding to government incentives to wipe the loan from the books seemed more attractive. Those halcyon days may never return, but the worst seems to be over.
For your further enlightenment, two news stories on page one of last Sunday’s New York Times. One begins a long report on California’s water problems, attributed to a drought rather than bureaucratic mismanagement.
Harvard’s estimable Joe Nye has argued for decades that an important component of America’s ability to influence world affairs is soft power -- a culture and values that coopt other nations and makes them want to follow our lead. A notion beloved of liberals who forget that Nye also mentioned the need for hard power. Never mind.
The economy might, but only might, be slowing. In March we added only 126,000 jobs, the lowest increase since December 2013, barely enough to absorb new entrants into the workforce. Almost all measures of the health of the labor market -- the unemployment rate, the number of workers jobless for more than 27 weeks, the number involuntarily working short hours or too discouraged to continue looking for a job -- remain more or less stuck at present levels.
Several months ago, comedian Patton Oswalt, theretofore a favorite among the bien pensant Internet types, angered the online left with a plea for satire over self-victimization. After being accused of all manner of horribles, from “victim-blaming” to “victim-shaming,” he attempted to win back his former fans with some good, old-fashioned pandering.
American entrepreneurship is a wonderful thing, with its emphasis on the new and exciting, so it was no surprise that the Washington Postgave a spot on page one to a creative new enterprise: an abortion clinic that seeks to present a pleasant and even soothing experience, one that looks and behaves like a spa.