Gadgets as masters

We have become a society of mindless robots controlled by the next shiny new gadget and driven by instant gratification. Progress? Digital communication continues to push us away from others.

How did we ever survive before these gadgets? Is it really necessary to sleep outdoors to buy a cellphone? We spend our hard-earned money on them, only to have them soon become obsolete.

Steve Riccio, Trevose, bunkerhill1776@gmail.com

Gay marriage pays

The case for marriage equality in Pennsylvania can best be described as an example of doing good while doing well. The "doing good" part is simple: Marriage is a wonderful institution that knits people together into families. The "doing well" part is even simpler: Legalizing gay marriage can provide a big economic boost, generating much-needed public funds. There would be thousands of gay marriages. With the average wedding costing just over $9,000, our state could count on a major economic stimulus of local spending and sales-tax revenue. Certainly my Pennsylvania-based catering company would benefit, as would many other firms.

Jeffrey Miller, Philadelphia, jeff@partyspace.com

Boyd plan: one star

With the sweep of her wand, city film office chief Sharon Pinkenson would see the Boyd Theater's interior demolished to make room for the iPic development ("Let the show go on at the Boyd," Dec. 1). Yet in exchange, it seems, we will get an eight-screen movie theater, a high-end liquor venue, and what can only described as an Olive Garden-style Italian restaurant. I can hardly wait.

Bernard J. Nearey, Philadelphia, bernardn@aol.com

Jail fits like a glove

It is laughable, and not in a funny way, to hear O.J. Simpson declare that he is "disappointed and disheartened" at being refused a new trial ("O.J. to appeal judge's denial," Nov. 28). After the circus of his trial for the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald L. Goldman, one of the many contradictions that I will not forget is when Simpson said he couldn't have done the murders because of his football injuries - yet he had just made an exercise video, and he played golf on a regular basis.

Judy Rubin, Philadelphia

Unthinkable

When slurs against specific groups are made in news headlines, I get riled ("No Surprise? Men using just half a brain," Dec. 3). Can you imagine how funny the headline would have been if it had said, "No surprise? Women using just half a brain"? No Inquirer writer would have dared to offer up such an insult. On top of that, the article discusses how men's and women's brains have been observed to be different, with men's brains having stronger connections front to back and women's brains having stronger connections between hemispheres. How does that equal better connections for women? They're just different. The Inquirer's standards have slipped quite a bit. Oh, and - no surprise - this letter was written by a man.

Steve Hastie, Philadelphia s.hastie@verizon.net

No smile for camera

Red-light cameras are nothing more than a money-making scheme ("Not the only way to slow traffic," Nov. 29). Numerous studies and implementation have shown that adding one to two seconds to the yellow-light cycle reduces accidents. Numerous cities have removed the cameras due to this.

Bill Ruane, Garnet Valley, ruanebill@gmail.com

Fewer risky cargoes

Paulsboro residents are still trying to cope with a toxic spill a year later, so it's worth noting that fewer natural-gas vehicles means less fracking and less transporting of highly flammable fuel in the region.

Sandra Folzer, Philadelphia