Why the Billionaire Space Race Matters, or Not

Much of modern technology is a two edged sword. Think nuclear power/bombs, fossil-fueled industrial-consumer abundance/waste, chemical (eg.,plastic) products/pollution. There are many more. Various modes of transportation (air, land, and sea) have allowed humans a vast capacity for mobility unavailable before the industrial era, but always at a cost ignored or denied. One of the features … More Why the Billionaire Space Race Matters, or Not

An Epidemic of Nasty: On the Abandonment of Empathy and the Surge of Angry White Entitlement

It was hot in the COSTCO parking lot. We had just finished loading the car, but I needed to go back in to use the restroom, before our hour-long drive home. So, I reached in from the driver’s side to insert the key in the ignition so my wife could roll down her window to … More An Epidemic of Nasty: On the Abandonment of Empathy and the Surge of Angry White Entitlement

The American Way of Violence: Community or Chaos in Politics and Policing

The tension seems to grow by the day. Anyone who steps into the limelight of media exposure is subject to death threats. Anyone who happens to be in a store or workplace when an “active shooter” begins to fire his semi-automatic combat weapon may die without the slightest sense of why. A teenager at a … More The American Way of Violence: Community or Chaos in Politics and Policing

Freedom, Responsibility, and the Absurdity of Autocracy

Ideas can get away from us, even take control of our lives. Sometimes, a great idea can become destructive when taken to its most extreme form. Life is full of ambiguities and imperfections. If we take our great ideas out of this context, they can become dysfunctional, stupid, and even dangerous. So it is with … More Freedom, Responsibility, and the Absurdity of Autocracy

Risk On Risk Off: Likely or Unlikely, Catastrophic or Not

“Risk on” and “Risk Off” are terms heard among stock market traders, analysts, and investment advisors. They indicate whether the speaker feels that risk is high or low for investing in markets or in a particular stock. Risk is always a matter of degree, except under conditions of certainty—and when does that happen? Yet, “risk … More Risk On Risk Off: Likely or Unlikely, Catastrophic or Not

Taser, Gun, and Character: What You Cannot Train

I am tired of all the convenient talk of “more training” and other improvements in the formal management of police practices, as if they were a mere problem of technical engineering. They are not. The most important quality of police officers is not the skills they take from the academy to the precinct. It is … More Taser, Gun, and Character: What You Cannot Train

Mask over Civility: The Indifference of Americans to Public Health

Last Saturday we decided to take a hike in the beautiful Frijoles Canyon of the Bandelier National Monument near Los Alamos National Laboratory “up the hill” from Santa Fe. I had not experienced the pandemic claustrophobia that has caused so much anxiety; I guess I was just too busy. Anyway, it was a lovely cool … More Mask over Civility: The Indifference of Americans to Public Health