As the dirt and germs are wiped away, we’re left feeling not just bodily but also morally cleansed - a kind of metaphorical virtuosity that leads us to judge others more harshly. That’s according to Chen-Bo Zhong’s team, who invited 58 undergrads to a lab filled with spotless new equipment. Half the students were asked to clean their hands with an antiseptic wipe so as not to soil the shiny surfaces. Afterwards all the students rated the morality of six societal issues including pornography and littering. Those who’d wiped their hands made far harsher judgments than those who didn’t…
This must be why not showering for five days in the sweat-fueled jungle of Flipside blew my mind.
How broken is Washington? Beyond repair? A day in the life of the president reveals that Barack Obama’s job would be almost unrecognizable to most of his predecessors—thanks to the enormous bureaucracy, congressional paralysis, systemic corruption (with lobbyists spending $3.5 billion last year), and disintegrating media.
Reading this made me feel somewhat better about Obama’s past couple of years in the White House, as it gave me a more realistic perspective of the hundred-headed hydra he’s up against in Washington. A compelling read, if a discouraging one. The Fourth Estate is no longer the press—it’s the lobbyist industry.
“Mental health doesn’t mean making the pains go away. I don’t believe they ever go away…I have not healed so much as learned to sit still and wait while pain does its dancing work, trying not to panic or twist in ways that make the blades tear deeper, finally infecting the wounds.”—