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Wil Wheaton's locker room story shows exactly why homophobic jokes are a problem

Wil Wheaton's locker room story shows exactly why homophobic jokes are a problem
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Wil Wheaton | Wil Wheaton speaking at the 2018 Phoenix Comic… | Flickr

Comedy can be uplifting. And it can also be downright destructive. The rise of cancel culture has made us take a hard look at what we normalize for the sake of a good joke. And with Dave Chappelle’s controversial comedy special, that includes jokes which can be perceived as cruel or homophobic jabs by the LGBTQ community and allies.

At the same time, comedy is supposed to be disruptive, is it not? It’s meant to be audacious, bawdy, outrageous. And let’s not forget it’s often said sarcastically, meaning we don’t really believe what what's being said … right?

Wil Wheaton has previously given a brilliant take on how to separate the art from the artist. This time though, he’s confronting the art itself and what makes it problematic.

For anyone who genuinely doesn't understand why I feel as strongly as I do about people like Chappelle making transphobic comments that are passed off as jokes, I want to share a story that I hope will help you understand, and contextualize my reaction to his behavior.

Wheaton started off his story by sharing how he used to play ice hockey when he was 16, and one night enjoyed a warm welcome as a guest goalie. After a fun practice, Wheaton joined his teammates in the locker room.

Before I tell you what happened next, I want to talk specifically about comedy and how much I loved it when I was growing up… One of the definitive comedy specials for me and my friends was Eddie Murphy's Delirious, from 1983. It had bits that still kill me… Really funny stuff.

There is also extensive homophobic material that is just…appalling and inexcusable. Long stretches are devoted to mocking gay people, using the slur that starts with F over and over and over. Young Wil, who watched this with his suburban white upper middle class friends, in his privileged bubble, thought it was the funniest, edgiest, dirtiest thing he'd ever heard… And all of it was dehumanizing to gay men… I didn't know any better. I accepted the framing, I developed a view of gay men as predatory, somehow less than straight men, absolutely worthy of mockery and contempt. Always good for a joke…

…A comedian who I thought was one of the funniest people on the planet totally normalized making a mockery of gay people, and because I was a privileged white kid, raised by privileged white parents, there was nobody around me to challenge that perception. For much of my teen years, I was embarrassingly homophobic, and it all started with that comedy special.

Here Wheaton pivots back to the locker room:

So I'm talking with these guys…We're doing that sports thing where you talk about the great plays, and feel like you're part of something special.

And then, without even realizing what I was doing, that awful word came out of my mouth. ‘Blah blah blah F****t,’ I said.

The room fell silent and that's when I realized every single guy in this room was gay. They were from a team called The Blades (amazing) and I had just ... really fucked up.

"'Do you have any gay friends?" One of them asked me, gently.

"Yes," I said, defensively. Then, I lied, "they say that all the time." I was so embarrassed and horrified. I realized I had basically said the N word, in context, and I didn't know what to do. I wanted to disappear. I wanted to apologize, I wanted to beg forgiveness. But I was a stupid sixteen year-old with pride and ignorance and fear all over myself, so I lied to try and get out of it.

"They must not love themselves very much," he said, with quiet disappointment.

Nobody said another word to me. I felt terrible. I shoved my gear into my bag and left as quickly as I could.

That happened over 30 years ago, and I think about it all the time. I'm mortified and embarrassed and so regretful that I said such a hurtful thing. I said it out of ignorance, but I still said it, and I said it because I believed these men, who were so cool and kind and just like all the other men I played with (I was always the youngest player on the ice) were somehow less than ... I guess everyone. Because that had been normalized for me by culture and comedy.

A *huge* part of that normalization was through entertainment that dehumanized gay men in the service of "jokes". And as someone who thought jokes were great, I accepted it. I mean, nobody was making fun of *ME* that way…so…

This stuff that Chappelle did? …For a transgender person, those "jokes" normalize hateful, ignorant, bigoted behavior towards them. Those "jokes" contribute to a world where transgender people are constantly under threat of violence, because transgender people have been safely, acceptably, dehumanized. And it's all okay, because they were dehumanized by a Black man……Literally every queer person I know (and I know a LOT) is hurt by Chappelle's actions. When literally every queer person I know says "this is hurtful to me", I'm going to listen to them and support them, and not tell them why they are wrong…

Wil Wheaton brings up some powerful points. While this is a complex issue, the insidious nature of dehumanizing jokes is pretty blatant. At some point we have to ask ourselves: Is it really worth harming someone else for the sake of a joke? When put that bluntly, the answer, I hope, is a resounding no.

Sponsored

3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.


“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics


O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics

@skylerleestutzman/TikTok

People were shocked to find out how much Skyler Stutzman earned as a UPS driver

People are seriously considering switching careers after finding out how much can be made as a UPS delivery driver.

Back in October, Skyler Stutzman, an Oregon-based UPS delivery driver went viral after sharing his weekly pay stub on TikTok.

In the clip, Stutzman showed that for 42 hours of work, and at a pay rate of $44.26 per hour, he earned $2,004 before taxes, and ultimately took home $1,300 after deductions.

This both shocked the nearly 12 million viewers who saw the video…not to mention it stirred their jealousy a bit.


Several couldn’t help but compare Stutzman’s salary to their own—especially those in professions requiring degrees and certifications.

“Not me realizing that a UPS driver makes more than I do. 20 years in my field with a degree!” one person lamented.

Another added, “$44? I’m a dang nurse only making $32 🤦♀️”

@skylerleestutzman UPS Driver Paystub Breakdown… #upspay #upswages #teamsters #ups ♬ original sound - Skyler Stutzman

Many even joked (or perhaps half-joked) about applying to become drivers themselves. But as Stutzman pointed out in multiple follow-up videos, earning his rate takes patience.


According to one of those clips, it took almost six years before he was offered a full time position, followed by a four year progression of wage increases until he started earning what he earns today. That’s around a decade, which one person pointed out was around the same time it takes to become a doctor.

Stutzman added that, depending on the location, you would be required to work in a UPS warehouse before working as a driver. So while his paycheck might have you considering taking on the job yourself, just know that it’s not exactly taking the easy route. And we haven’t even touched on the amount of manual labor that goes into the job…rain or shine.

Stutzman also said that he shared his current paycheck in the spirit of transparency, which is a value that the teamsters upheld as they fought for increased wages and better working conditions earlier this year.

@skylerleestutzman Here are my THEORETICAL thoughts… “Why would you show your paystub like that?” #upsdriver #ups #upswages #teamster #upspay ♬ original sound - Skyler Stutzman

After months of tense negotiations, as well as a threat to enact what would have been the largest single employer strike in U.S. history, disrupting deliveries across the country, the postal workers union reached an agreement with UPS.

The deal included air conditioning and ventilation improvements to delivery vehicles as well as full-time UPS drivers earning an average of $170,000 in annual pay, plus benefits. By the end of the contract, part-time union drivers would also make at least $25.75 per hour while receiving full health care and pension benefits,” according to UPS CEO Carol Tomé.

From Stutzman’s perspective, his earnings shouldn’t cause envy among those in other industries, but reflect a shared need for increased wages across the board to keep up with inflation.

Big takeaways here: earning good money doesn’t always require a degree, unions are powerful, don’t underestimate the value of skilled labor…and UPS drivers deserve respect.


This article originally appeared on 12.12.23

Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive $1000 donated to the charity of their choice.

True

Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

The #ActsOfGood Awards recognize individuals who actively support their communities. It could be a rockstar volunteer, an amazing community leader, or someone who shows up for others in special ways.

Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

Make a tangible and unique impact

Go above and beyond day-to-day work

The #ActsOfGood Awards are just one part of P&G’s larger mission to help communities around the world to grow. For generations, P&G has been a force for growth—making everyday products that people love and trust—while also being a force for good by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve consumers. This includes serving over 90,000 people affected by emergencies and disasters through the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program and helping some of the millions of girls who miss school due to a lack of access to period products through the Always #EndPeriodPoverty initiative.

Visit upworthy.com/actsofgood and fill out the nomination form for a chance for you or someone you know to win. It takes less than ten minutes to help someone make an even bigger impact.

Elmer Fudd and a confused young woman.

Studies show that in opposite-sex couples, fewer younger women are choosing to take their husbands’ last names. According to Pew Research, 20% of women ages 18 to 49 say they kept their last name, compared with 9% of those ages 50 and older.

A TikTok user named Angie proposed a new approach to married names in a world where men and women are becoming more equal. She suggests that couples choose the “cooler” name.


A user named Kristen responded with a unique dilemma. She’s getting married next year and although her husband’s name is cooler, it doesn’t work with her first name.

@kdent27

#stitch with @angie or is it 10x cooler??

"So, I'm getting married next year, and my current last name is Dent,” Kristen says in the video with over 6 million views. “Which I think is a fine last name. Like, no complaints. My fiancé's last name is McCuistion, which I think is cooler than Dent. The problem is my first name is Kristen, so I will be Kristen McCuistion. And I don't think that's quite as cool."

It’s hard to say Kristen McCuistion without smiling, but it makes you sound slightly like Elmer Fudd when you say it. "It's witawally fine," MissLaurenTaylor jokes in the comments. "I think you just go by Kwisten," Goldendoodlehater added.

Some people thought the name was amazing.

"Please PLEASE go by Kristen McQuisten. It will bring me so much joy to know that name exists somewhere out in the world," Lady Katherine wrote.

Ultimately, Kristen says she wants to embrace her unique luck in the marriage lottery because the name brings a smile to people’s faces. "Our families have always had fun with my future name, so I always just accepted taking his last name,” Kristen told Newsweek. “I used to worry about having to introduce myself to people and being laughed at, but now I see it as a good icebreaker and laugh for new people that I meet."


A child being rude.

Sometimes, it can feel like half of parenting is repeating yourself over and over again, asking your child to brush their teeth or take a dish from the living room to the sink. It’s exhausting and makes you feel like a nag. Don't you wish there was a simple way to make your kids listen the first time?

Dr. Rebecca Kennedy, aka “Dr. Becky,” is a clinical psychologist and founder and CEO of Good Inside who says she has a quick way to make your kids more cooperative and less rude. Talk about killing two soul-crushing birds with one parenting stone.

Dr. Beckly got into psychology after growing up with anorexia as a teenager.

“Okay, no matter how old your kid is, you can use this 15-second tip to decrease rudeness and increase cooperation,” she says in a TikTok video with over 32,000 views. “Find your child today and ask them this question. 'Hey, I was just wondering, what could I do better as your parent?'”


The psychologist says that even if the child has a random or impractical answer such as “Let me stay up ‘til midnight” or “I’d like to eat macaroni and cheese for breakfast, lunch and dinner,” just to listen. Simply by listening, you can change your child’s behavior.

She says we should also ask more questions to further the conversation: “Tell me more. What would that be like?”

Want to improve your relationship with your kid in less than 15 seconds? Watch this reel for a quick-win strategy. 

@drbeckyatgoodinside

Want to improve your relationship with your kid in less than 15 seconds? Watch this reel for a quick-win strategy. The best part: When we use strategies like this in calm moments, we reduce the frequency of difficult moments with our kids. Of course, I’m a realist… I know you need in-the-moment strategies too! Cue: My Conquering Problem Behaviors Workshop. You’ll get an entire toolbox of in-the-moment and outside-the-moment strategies for reducing outbursts and strengthening your bond with your kid. Learn more in the link in bio!

“I mean, imagine your boss coming to you randomly and asking how they could be a better manager to you. Just by asking the question and listening,” she continued. Dr. Becky says that asking our kids how we’re doing as parents communicates three essential ideas: “I care about you. I respect you. I'm invested in this relationship.”

This type of questioning builds a connection with a child that can spill over into other behaviors. “You're building connection. And with more connection always comes more cooperation,” she ends the video.

The big takeaway from the video is that when we enhance our connection with our kids, they will be less likely to disobey or be rude because they feel heard and respected, so there’s no need to act out. They will also return that respect by listening to you when you have a request, such as taking out the trash or putting down their phone and coming to dinner.

Some people in the comments got funny responses when they asked their kids what they could improve. “I asked my 5yr old. I got a mildly scathing look and she said ‘erm, maybe try and burn dinner less next time?’” Collette wrote. “My 5 yo told me to look better and get a haircut,” Mark Amend added.

Dr. Becky’s quick question is a great way for parents to strengthen their relationships when things are going well instead of trying to forge connections during conflict. It’s a great reminder that even when parenting, an ounce of prevention is a pound of cure.

Dr. Becky sums up the importance of prevention in her TikTok caption: “When we use strategies like this in calm moments, we reduce the frequency of difficult moments with our kids,” she wrote.

Woman tries to discover 90s working moms' secret to balance

Being a mom is often a thankless job but it's also one that feels nearly impossible to do while still maintaining balance in other aspects of life. This is especially true for moms that also work outside the home.

They're somehow fitting in 40+ hours a week at an 8 to 5 while also keeping up with appointments, activities, special events, groceries and housekeeping. Then there's the matter of fitting in time with your partner if you have one while also finding time for your friends and yourself.

There just simply don't seem to be enough hours in the day for working moms to do all that is expected of them. But many working moms grew up with working moms who somehow seemed to have this work-life balance thing all figured out. One mom took to the internet to demand to know the secret that moms from the 80s and 90s are keeping around this common struggle.


The mom uploaded a video to her account, FamPhiji to express her confusion on how her own mother was able to do everything while never appearing stressed.

"Am I the only mom that's actually confused at how her own mom was able to do this? How are you able to wake up, get yourself dressed, get me ready, take me to daycare or school, go to work, work a full shift," Phiji asks. "Get off, pick me up, take me home, make sure I was fed, make sure I was bathed, put me to bed, wake up and do it all again?"

Other moms shared Phiji's confusion on how their working moms were able to keep up with everything while maintaining their sanity.

"They had a different batch of 24 hours," one woman claims.

"They had real coke in their coke, energy drinks [keep] me standing," another mom jokes.

"Air quality was different," someone says.

@_phiji

I’m tired. #momtok #momsoftiktok #toddlermom #toddlertok #millenialmom #momlife #momstruggles #fyp

Others were more serious with their answers as they lamented about what moms in the 80s and 90s went through.

"Honey, it took me til adulthood to realize my mom was depressed," a commenter reveals.

"I don't think they had time for themselves. I think they just kept moving and never even stopped to think about how exhausted and miserable they were," someone assumes.

A mom from that older generation chimed in to confirm the suspicion of others, "there was no balance. We just kept moving cause we knew what had to be done," she reveals.

So maybe it wasn't magic or a super secret extra set of hours. Maybe it was the more likely scenario where they absolutely were overwhelmed and exhausted but we didn't notice because we were children.

One day our own children will be asking how we made it all work and that's your time to tell them the truth–balance is a lie. It takes equal partnership to make a household run smoothly and something will always get put down. It's up to you to prioritize what you need to hold, what you can delegate, and what you can set aside for another day.


This article originally appeared on 1.12.24

Internet

Carl Sagan's future 'celebration of ignorance' prediction from 1995 was spookily spot on

"I have a foreboding of America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time…"

Images courtesy of NASA and Amazon

As a participant in the Amazon Associates affiliate program, Upworthy may earn proceeds from items purchased that are linked to this article, at no additional cost to you.

Cosmologist and science educator Carl Sagan made a name for himself in popular culture as the host of the TV show "Cosmos" and the author of more than a dozen books bridging the gap between the scientific complexities of the world and the people who live in it. Intelligent and eloquent, he had a way of making science palatable for the average person, always advocating healthy scepticism and the scientific method to seek answers to questions about our world.

But Sagan also possessed a keen understanding of the broad array of human experience, which was part of what made him such a beloved communicator. He wrote about peace and justice and kindness in addition to science. He did not shun spirituality, as some sceptics do, but said he found science to be "a profound source of spirituality." He acknowledged that there's so much we don't know but was adamant about defending what we do.

Now, a quote from Sagan's 1995 book, "The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark," has people talking about his uncanny ability to peek into the future. His predictions didn't come through supernatural means, of course, but rather through his powers of observation and his understanding of human nature. Still pretty spooky, though.


He wrote:

I have a foreboding of America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time–when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all of the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; with our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

And when the dumbing down of America is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30-second sound bites now down to 10 seconds or less, lowest-common-denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance.”

His words seem downright prophetic in an era where the least qualified people rise to the highest levels of power more and more often, people glom onto outlier voices that contradict broad scientific consensus on everything from climate change to public health, and social media sound bites fuel more and more extreme views devoid of nuance and complexity.

And the most frustrating part is that the people who get wrapped up in quacky conspiracy theories or take on radical stances based on illogical rhetoric don't see their own ignorance. They're told they're the ones thinking critically, they're the ones who are knowledgeable simply because they're questioning authority (as opposed to the "ability to…knowledgeably question those in authority" Sagan refers to, which is not the same thing).

“When we are self-indulgent and uncritical, when we confuse hopes and facts, we slide into pseudoscience and superstition," Sagan wrote. We watched this play out in the U.S. during the pandemic. We see it daily in our politics at either end of the spectrum. We witness it in social discourse, especially online. One thing Sagan didn't foresee was how ignorance, pseudoscience and superstition would be rewarded in today's world by algorithms that determine what we see in our social media feeds, creating a vicious cycle that can feel impossible to reverse sometimes.

However, Sagan also offered a hopeful reminder that people who fall prey to peddlers who push "alternative facts" for their own gain are simply human, with the same desire to understand our world that we all share. He warned against being critical without also being kind, to remember that being human doesn't come with an instruction manual or an innate understanding of how everything works.

“In the way that scepticism is sometimes applied to issues of public concern, there is a tendency to belittle, to condescend, to ignore the fact that, deluded or not, supporters of superstition and pseudoscience are human beings with real feelings, who, like the sceptics, are trying to figure out how the world works and what our role in it might be," he wrote. "Their motives are in many cases consonant with science. If their culture has not given them all the tools they need to pursue this great quest, let us temper our criticism with kindness. None of us comes fully equipped.”

Discerning truth from falsehood, fact from fiction, science from pseudoscience isn't always simple, and neither is the challenge of educating a populace to hone that ability. Taking a cue from Sagan, we can approach education with rigorous scientific standards but also with curiosity and wonder as well as kindness and humility. If he was right about the direction the U.S. was heading 30 years ago, perhaps he was right about the need for understanding what led to that direction and the tools needed to right the ship.

You can find much more in Sagan's "The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark" here.