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The Emoji Virus

On October 8th, USA Today—inspired by FaceBook’s decision to let users add emoticons to their online interactions—incorporated the little guys into several of their front-page stories. I think the results are brilliant, if unintended. I can’t imagine a better way to convey that these unfortunate memes are a health hazard to humanity, serving only to dumb us down. And if emoticons don’t belong on the front page of our newspapers, there’s no reason to believe they belong anywhere else.

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Reasons for Hope

At a garden party the other night I asked our guests—all of them deeply mindful of humanity’s growing global crises—what gives them hope. I found their answers helpful—words of light to dissipate encroaching shadows of despair. Read more


“At this moment in time, we are called to lead and act with courage. We are called to embrace change. Change in our societies. Change in the management of our economies. Change in our relationship with our one and only planet.” The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet Read more

Free Respect

To interpret the cyber attack on Sony or the murder of journalists at a satirical newspaper as a threat to Western values and free speech is another example of simplistic thinking in a complex world. It reduces the conflict to an “us versus them” mentality when it is clear that today there is no “them.” There’s only us. Read more


I live in Mountain View, California. It happens to be where Google has its corporate headquarters. In addition to more traffic and higher housing prices, Google has introduced into our community “self-driving cars.” I object.

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