The resident faculty left a strip of paper with a squiggly line at the mail room door. The staff are sure it was a clue. (More)

First our thanks to last week’s writers:

On Monday, the Squirrel warned us to Be Afraud, Be Very Afraud in Furthermore!, addisnana told us about the Civilian Conservation Corps in Midday Matinee, we discussed how #OccupyWallStreet is Established and Growing in Evening Focus, and winterbanyan probed How Humans and the Environment Interact in Our Earth.

On Tuesday, Winning Progressive wrote that Thomas Friedman Needs to Go Back to Journalism School in Morning Feature, the Squirrel was shocked by The Horror of Class Warf… Never Mind in Furthermore!, trs shared National Depression Awareness Month: It’s Personal for Me in Evening Focus, and winterbanyan reported that Marine Microbes Eat Spilled Oil in Our Earth.

On Wednesday, Winning Progressive showed the More Jobs Equals Less Debt in Morning Feature, the Squirrel was sent to The Front Lines of Class Warf… Never Mind in Furthermore!, addisnana mused on A Tale Not Told in Midday Matinee, we saw a Mississippi Jobs Subsidy Success in Evening Focus, and winterbanyan delighted that Twitter Reveals Human Biological Clock in Our Earth.

On Thursday, we began a series on Class Matters with Distinctions in Morning Feature, the Squirrel reported On M-Day at #OccupyWallStreet in Furthermore!, and winterbanyan shared Courtship, Evolution, and Feathers in Our Earth.

On Friday, we continued the series on Class Matters with Directions in Morning Feature, winterbanyan reflected that An Angel Saved Me in Midday Matinee, Asimo727 celebrated NLRB Rules to Inform Workers of Rights in Evening Focus, and winterbanyan discussed Gulf Coast Restoration in Our Earth

On the weekend, we concluded the series on Class Matters with Destiny? in Saturday’s Morning Feature, Ms. Crissie wondered if Republicans believe in Establishment Claus in Sunday’s Morning Feature, Winning Progressive shared Weekend Reading in Furthermore!, and winterbanyan brought our Eco News Roundup in Our Earth

Please Share Your Voice! We have several openings this week. If you are not yet a BPI Author and would like to contribute, please contact the BPI Webmistress. If you are already a BPI Author, you will find a list of openings in the Authors Notepad in your Dorm Room. To reserve a slot, type in your user name, topic, and date, and click “Save Notes.” I will remove your note when I add you to our Schedule.

Also: Please share your stories of offline activism in Things We Did This Week.

Thus we return to the strip of paper left outside the mail room door by the resident faculty, as they made their way from the wine cellar library where they spent the weekend drinking thinking on our motto of Magis vinum, magis verum (“More wine, more truth”) to the hot tub faculty lounge for their weekly game where the underwear goes flying planning conference.

The staff briefly wondered if P. Porcine, the Earl of Swinesty and BPI’s Villain Emeritus, had signed Chef’s petty cash voucher. She dipped into her poker money retirement fund to buy the Squirrel a tiny khaki journalist’s vest with plenty of pockets for his Blewberry and macadamias, to wear while he’s on assignment as our class war correspondent at Occupy Wall Street. But Chef insisted she wasn’t petty enough to turn in a voucher, and the Professor of Astrology Janitor added that P. Porcine was too petty to have submitted a voucher to the faculty senate.

So the squiggly line was not about petty cash. In fact, it looked like an EKG printout. Well, like an EKG printout might look if the patient had two hearts and neither was working correctly.

Or if the patient were petty enough to object when Texas Governor and Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry described anti-immigration ideologues as “heartless.” Right-wing radio talk show host Mark Steyn called that “a Democratic talking point.” Apparently the criticism stung, as Gov. Perry later apologized.

Convinced we were onto something, the staff powered up the Official BPI Googlizationalizer and found The Empathy Gap, a 2009 book by Loyola philosophy and psychology professor J.D. Trout. In an endorsement for the book, Harvard Business School professor Max Bazerman wrote:

J.D. Trout’s The Empathy Gap provides insightful answers to explain how good people can look the other way and do so little to respond to massive problems affecting other human beings. He uses the latest findings in behavioral decision research, with his practical understanding of philosophy, to outline a better world. We would all be better off if the new administration in Washington read and understood the messages that are outlined in this. In fact, Trout’s The Empathy Gap explains so much of what has gone wrong for the last eight years. This work has the power to transform how we think about and act on challenges to improve society.

So this week the resident faculty will discuss how we can be caring and generous, yet also petty and heartless, and how to bridge our empathy gaps.


Happy Monday!