Has the Nation Gone Mad? Well, Sort Of…

What was once a routine celebratory national ritual—the inauguration of a new president—grows near, the political and cultural tensions grow evermore severe. Not only is the national Capitol subject to assault by a ragtag mob of self-appointed “patriotic” seditionists, incited by none other than the president himself. We are also unfortunate to observe the chaotic … More Has the Nation Gone Mad? Well, Sort Of…

Earth System Discontent with Civilization

Climate scientist Dr. Andrew Glikson’s brief assessment of our global prospects in his article, “How long for civilization?” is uncomfortably right on target. He begins his short essay, published the day after Christmas, 2020, with an epigram consisting of Albert Einstein’s famous statement, ‘The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over … More Earth System Discontent with Civilization

It’s a wonderful life, but not for Ebenezer Scrooge

With all the crises and stress in our family and in the world, we decided to spend a good part of Christmas day watching old Christmas movies. First, we watched the 1946 classic “It’s a Wonderful Life,” starring James Stewart, which I had not seen in decades. Then we watched the 1984 version of “A … More It’s a wonderful life, but not for Ebenezer Scrooge

Past Perfect, Present Imperfect, and Future Extreme

Yes, we do live in interesting times, which does not mean that we understand very well our place on time’s arrow. We pine for an idyllic past, misinterpret what is going on right now, and imagine a utopian future that cannot be. If only the experts will come up with impossible new technologies and materials … More Past Perfect, Present Imperfect, and Future Extreme

Acceptable Lies: Believing Dystopia

The nation appears to disintegrate before our eyes. Suspicion proliferates. What were once ‘normal’ channels of communication about politics and the state of the world are no longer trusted. Trump’s repeated assertions (even before it began) that the 2020 presidential election was rigged have failed the test of multiple lawsuits, each thrown out of court … More Acceptable Lies: Believing Dystopia

Dress Rehearsal: Failed Pandemic Response is the Harbinger for Climate Chaos Policy Failure

“Nobody could have seen it coming or how bad it could be.” Wrong! Epidemiologists and virologists saw the earliest warnings of the global danger of the COVID-19 pandemic and warned the politicians. Even I, with my modest background in epidemiology, knew as soon as I saw the characteristics of this novel corona virus that its … More Dress Rehearsal: Failed Pandemic Response is the Harbinger for Climate Chaos Policy Failure

Moral Fraud: Liberty, Responsibility, and Mutual Aid

The tension in America has hardly lessened by the fact that Trump is now a “lame duck” president wallowing in his infantile denial of failure, unwilling to cooperate in the American tradition of a peaceful transition of power. Instead, he continues to rally his ‘base’ with foolishly tweeted feeble claims of, “I won!” or that … More Moral Fraud: Liberty, Responsibility, and Mutual Aid

Arrogance and Ignorance: Not the Best Package for National Leadership

“What is a UFO?” I asked the students attending my Research Methodology class. I intended the question to get them to think about how it is that we know what we think we know and how we determine the quality of evidence we use to judge “reality.” “A flying saucer,” one replied. “It’s an alien … More Arrogance and Ignorance: Not the Best Package for National Leadership