Why are people so fascinated with your personal life?

Jennifer Rubell: Well one thing that really blows my mind is how almost anytime you know something about a person when you read about them in a gossip context, it’s totally untrue.  So sometimes there’s a kernel of truth.  Sometimes there’s no truth.  But it’s . . . it’s pretty weird.  And then even I, knowing that, when I read about Britney Spears I think, “Well maybe it’s not all true, but there’s gotta be a kernel of truth in there somewhere.”  People wanna believe it.  I don’t know.  I mean I . . .  I think     . . .  I don’t know.  I respect people’s interest in gossip, and I feel the same way.  I’m totally guilty of (01:02:07) it.  I think it’s a way of . . .  It’s a way of feeling like you have a human connection to someone that you don’t actually really have.  And I think that gossip has been going on forever.  I think it’s like if you lived in some little town, then you would . . . you might be gossiping about the    . . .  Well it’s very . . . it’s all very tricky, you know?  People do live in little towns today, and it doesn’t necessarily have the same gossip environment about the other people; but it’s . . . they are also gossiping about Britney Spears.  And I don’t know.  On the other hand I don’t think it’s all bad, because I think that you see examples of other people’s lives and things that might have gone wrong.  And maybe . . . I don’t know.  Maybe people can be a decent example.  It’s so easy for me to talk about food and so hard for me to talk about anything related to, you know, sort of . . . I . . .  I have a very deep respect for journalists, and I think what journalists do is amazing.  Gossip columnists don’t live up to those standards.


And I mean for instance there was an article in the New York Post about a custody litigation that I was involved in.  And the article was talking about a litigation that had already been settled, and they simply didn’t do the research to know that that was the case.  So aside from whatever junk they said which was false . . . aside from all of that, this was a case that was already settled.  So you’re not dealing with the truth.  You’re dealing with something that’s a half-truth, which is what gossip sort of is.  So I don’t know.  You know and obviously when it comes to my daughter, I would like her to be completely out of the public eye and make some decision when and if she is in that position to be public or not.  You know I mean the only real reason why people subject themselves to the public eye is to sell stuff.  That’s why people are in magazines.  When you read about an actor, they have a movie coming out.  When you read about an author, they’re selling a book.  That’s why it’s a form . . .  Media is a form of advertising even in the content.  And . . . and the interesting thing about gossip is it isn’t that.  It isn’t people using the media to sell stuff.  So I don’t know.  It’s fine.  We live in America.  It’s free.  It’s fine that it exists, and you know I have definitely not been caused any harm by that.

Recorded on: 12/13/07

It's a way of feeling like you have a human connection to someone that you really don't even know.

America’s 'Great Wealth Transfer': How to pass on values and purpose

It's estimated that $68 trillion will pass down from Boomers to millennials. Here's how ultra-rich families can do the most amount of good with what they inherit.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Approximately $68 trillion will pass from boomers to millennials over the next few decades in what's known as the Great Wealth Transfer.
  • 90% of family wealth is gone by the time the third generation comes around, primarily due to familial conflict.
  • Social capital advisor Richard Tafel suggests 4 steps families should follow so they transfer wealth in a way that does the most amount of social good.
Keep reading

You can die simply by giving up the will to live, suggests new research

The five stages of psychogenic death — aka, "give-up-itis."

"Ophelia" by Sir John Everett Millais, 1851–1852
Mind & Brain
  • Give-up-itis or psychogenic death is a real and terrible condition, finds new research.
  • People can die in as few as three days after a major trauma causes them to give up on life.
  • There are 5 stages of give-up-itis.
Keep reading

How does toleration fit into a pluralistic society?

A truly diverse society exudes open-mindedness, not just reluctant acceptance of differing viewpoints.

Videos
  • While pluralism is considered a condition, toleration is the response to it. To recognize and accept a diverse range of perspectives on ethical views is to exhibit tolerance.
  • Singapore Management University professor Chandran Kukathas points to toleration as a cornerstone of the classical liberal tradition. In fact, liberal thought arises from the reality that people disagree substantially on any number of things.
  • The principle of toleration offers guidance in understanding what makes a good society, as well as how that society upholds conditions of pluralism and diversity.
Keep reading