I recently finished reading Stephen Pinker’s latest, Enlightenment NOW. It’s very good, but not quite what you might expect from the title. I was hoping for a powerful case, and maybe even some action-item suggestions, for our recommitment to full strength (‘European Enlightenment grade’) reason. Something to at least give some push back against our now rising tide of emotionally … Read More
I’ve just finished reading Kurt Andersen’s new book (‘Fantasyland’ subtitle ‘How America Went Haywire, a 500-Year History’). The book was superb, and full of copy/paste worthy quotes by the author, but instead I’m pasting here one that he borrowed from Hannah Arendt: “A mixture of gullibility and cynicism have been an outstanding characteristic of mob mentality before it became an … Read More
There have been many expressions which are either wholly new or have been given new meaning in the last 30 years or so. I generally approve of the additions to our language, thinking them either more precise, more honest, or both, than what we had before. Think of “going forward” instead of “from now on”, or ending correspondence with “Thanks” … Read More
There were hundreds of good reasons why we should not have elected Mr. Trump. But one was orders of magnitude more serious than the rest. Surprisingly little was said about it during the campaign, but I think that it’s now the main reason why so many young people are finding it almost impossible to put down their protest signs and … Read More
I’ve just been listening to a fine old Genesis song, which I think would resonate with Donald Trump’s supporters. It’s called ‘The Knife’.
I’m currently doing a series of articles that lead us into the regions of ambiguity. I think it could be more fruitful than the dialectic with those who assert absolute truth. That dialectic is about who’s right and who’s wrong but of course when one side views that as an absolute it biases the other side. So I progress into … Read More
“There are no atheists in a foxhole.” (NAF) I’m not sure I was even an atheist when I first heard this aphorism, and I’m not sure I even knew what a foxhole was. But I knew it was bad, and that the aphorism somehow therefore proved the existence of God. I evolved into an atheist despite the aforementioned proof to … Read More