For People Who Believe in the Power of Thinking Together

Our Questions of Civic Proportions Newsletter features the questions, ideas, and good work that lend extra power to the civic-minded.

* indicates required

Political Thinking for Everyday Citizens

Our First Color Salon: Recalling a Human Capacity for Goodness

Our digital lives make it so that information washes over us all day, every day. People announce when they decide to quit social media and disconnect for any period of time. We have to devise a plan not to watch all the stories develop in a never-ending scroll of updates. We need to protect time to think.

An evening of deliberate thinking proved to be more refreshing than the usual social media detox. We started the evening as skeptics. An evening of thoughtful conversation restored our faith in humanity.

Practicing a civic perspective

Since the beginning, thoughtful political observation has happened by way of big questions. What makes a question big? It’s something like the theory of relativity. From one angle, the question looks as simple as asking what time it is, but the answer requires looking at everything we thought we knew from a different perspective.

Questions of Civic Proportions: Can we fight loss with love?

Questions of Civic Proportions: Can we fight loss with love?

In an instant, the right song has the power to transport across time and space to some past moment. On this day, there’s a song that transports me to a moment that we share.

At some point in the day, every April 4th, I think “A shot rang out in the Memphis sky.”

This is the shot that killed Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968. A shot that marks the end of so much, a final chapter in the Civil Rights Movement.

read more
Repeat the Question: Is Disinformation a Required Part of Living in a Democracy?

Repeat the Question: Is Disinformation a Required Part of Living in a Democracy?

There’s a bad idea masquerading as a principled commitment to free speech. We know we have a disinformation problem, but we have yet to decide what we can do to fight against it.

In the days following the January 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, Twitter took action against misinformation by banning President Trump. One study measured that misinformation declined by 73% on that platform as a result. This decision also spurred an effort to remove QAnon accounts promoting false claims of election fraud. Then came the complaints of censorship and that “big tech” had steamrolled the First Amendment.

read more
Questions of Civic Proportions: What will we do with our “Two Americas” story this time?

Questions of Civic Proportions: What will we do with our “Two Americas” story this time?

“Two Americas” has been a theme in our political discussion for decades. Headlines in January warned that a “clash of Two Americas” was real and could get worse.” That’s a tale of Republicans vs. Democrats. It reads like a rhetorical device, something that amps up the drama.

It has roots in our past. We can’t let it slip through our collective memory and become just another strategy to get more clicks.

read more
Our First Color Salon: Recalling a Human Capacity for Goodness

Our First Color Salon: Recalling a Human Capacity for Goodness

Our digital lives make it so that information washes over us all day, every day. People announce when they decide to quit social media and disconnect for any period of time. We have to devise a plan not to watch all the stories develop in a never-ending scroll of updates. We need to protect time to think.

An evening of deliberate thinking proved to be more refreshing than the usual social media detox. We started the evening as skeptics. An evening of thoughtful conversation restored our faith in humanity.

read more

We can judge our progress by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers, our willingness to embrace what is true rather than what feels good.

—Carl Sagan

We love smart quotes and quotes about being smart. Add something to think about to your daily scroll.