Thought Possible

notes & magnifications, by J.E. Robertson
AUGUST 6, 2012 9:30AM

The Humane Future Manifesto

On Saturday, August 4, 2012, the Hot Spring Network launched The Humane Future Manifesto (copied below), an effort to unite people who believe in the human capacity for imaginative problem solving, creative collaboration, and progress toward a more just, more humane future, to pool their vo/… Read full post »

Steve Jobs was not a run-of-the-mill CEO. He was not the usual technology wiz. He was not lost in the abstract. He was not working for gain alone. Steve Jobs earned immense wealth and achieved some of the most pervasive influence over human events in recent decades, through the strength and… Read full post »

Courage is a spiritual quality, and does not require brash acts or radical declarations to show through. Courage requires humility, and the ability to see the humanity in others. Courage requires strength of character, and a commitment to be just, to be truthful, to be more than the hostility that em… Read full post »
I used to think the most American I would ever feel would have been during my childhood, playing spring baseball, and going for hot dogs, or meeting my grandfather's friends at his reserved regular table at the local diner and being treated to the five and dime. 
When I was… Read full post »

The best thing a young intellect can learn is that knowing and creativity are not distinct disciplines. The idea that all knowledge can fit into scannable multiple-choice tests is undermining this vital insight. Students are graduating from high school with the idea that knowledge is the ability to g… Read full post »

In the wake of the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and 19 other people, six of whom have already, tragically, died from their injuries, the national political establishment (media, pressure groups and elected officials) has turned its attention to the perils of extremist and vitriolic rhet… Read full post »

Rep. John Boehner has tasked the chief justice of the United States Supreme Court, John Roberts, with swearing in his staff. Justice Roberts, as part of his Constitutional role, swears in the president of the United States, but not his staff. Nevertheless, his Republican credentials seem to impress S… Read full post »

Whenever legislation to price carbon starts to gain traction, the fossil fuel industry trots out this talking point: "It will kill jobs and ruin the economy." This paper, however, ties together numerous reports and case studies to present a different picture, one in which the transition… Read full post »

Switzerland-based Solar Impulse has achieved the first-ever 24-hour solar-powered flight, flying both night and day on solar power alone. World Radio Switzerland reported "History is Made: Solar Plane Makes it through Night", and the first manned nighttime solar flight is a major technological ach… Read full post »

Sustainable security is a paradigm shift in foreign policy, economic and defense planning: it entails considering that not only diplomatic relations and military preparedness or alliances, but the full spectrum of connections between our society and the world abroad, determine the degree to which our… Read full post »

There is nothing ideological about the issue of renewable energy resources. Proponents tend to care about the health of the natural environment, which motivates their wish to see renewables replace high-polluting resources like oil and coal, but the technologies, the fact of their economic viabil… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 24, 2010 12:21PM

Isner-Mahut Match was a Work of Art

The epic tennis match that just finished on Court 18 at Wimbledon was a genuine work of art crafted by two athletes playing at the top of their game. The statistics are overwhelming, in part because of the epic length of the match... well over 200 aces, more than 160 in… Read full post »

The spreading environmental fallout from the gushing Deepwater Horizon BP oil well is likely to continue throughout the summer, barring the discovery of a bold new idea for how to cap a runaway oil well. It appears that BP lied when it allegedly told regulators over a year ago that itRead full post »

Bud Selig may have done many decent or event important things for the game of baseball. He may be well liked by many, even as he is deeply criticized by others. But last night, the commissioner of Major League Baseball faced a test of leadership which clearly demonstrates he is not… Read full post »

JANUARY 29, 2010 10:01AM

Defend the Meaning of 'Democrat'

The Democratic party's biggest communicational deficit is not about the virtues of its policies, but the nature of its founding ideal: "democrat" means one who favors government of, by, and for the people. The absurd and puerile experiment in linguistic brainwashing in which the Republican party is

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Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 26, 2010 1:43PM

How Apple Tablet can Change the World

The Apple tablet should be an intensely user-friendly device that achieves a paradigm shift in the way we deal with information. That sounds big, but Apple is well-equipped to do this, even by just making a few key upgrades to what it has already made possible with its laptops and touch-sensitive… Read full post »

We are hearing some of the most long-faced, long-winded, wet-blanket commentary about American politics, the prospects for far-reaching and much-needed reform, and the charisma and talent of Barack Obama. We are hearing so much of it, in fact, it seems to be the latest fashion trend, with conservativRead full post »

The first year of Barack Obama's presidency has been fraught with controversy that is largely manufactured by a united do-nothing opposition, and by a press culture willing to give credence to the wildest false claims, about policies the vast majority of Americans across the political spectrum supporRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 6, 2010 11:18AM

Obama's First Year: a Long List of Underreported Successes

At the end of Barack Obama's first year in office, there is controversy over the nature and extent of his accomplishments, and even some allies and supporters appear to have forgotten the atmosphere of multidirectional crisis in which Obama took office. What's more, the steady decline in Obama's apprRead full post »

Brit Hume appears to have decided that the unfortunate failings of one man's character is an opportunity to promote his own need to be perceived as Christian and/or to suggest that Christianity is in conflict, in a deliberate and proud way, with other faiths. His explicit suggestion that Buddhism lac… Read full post »

The elections of 2010 will not be about the specter of "socialism", nor about terrorism, taxation, or gay rights: they will be about which party can present the most far-reaching, most credible pragmatic approach to solving the actual problems the nation is facing. They will be about whether or not

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Sen. Orrin Hatch, Republican of Utah, is flagrantly lying about both the nature of the healthcare reform legislation passed through the Senate and about the process of negotiation, in which the Democrats repeatedly made serious substantive changes to the legislation in order to win Republican support… Read full post »

Every day the Republicans and the Democratic moderates in the United States Senate delay the passage of healthcare reform legislation, 123 more Americans lose their lives to uninsurance. The inability of hard-working Americans to afford health insurance, or adequate health insurance, or to prevent in… Read full post »

Democrats in the United States Senate, in hopes of reaching a compromise on health reform legislation, are reported to be considering a plan that would scrap the so-called "public option" for low-cost, full-coverage health insurance, in favor of a non-profit plan that would be run by the privateRead full post »

An idea for how to spur investment in new job opportunities has been floating around the world of financial and political analysis: could the money coming in as banks repay their TARP bailout loans be devoted to infrastructure development in a way that creates tens or even hundreds of thousands ofRead full post »