Did the Rat Race take a Hit from the Virus?

The tension between the economy and the people has never been quite as intense as it is now. I hear all sorts of explanations, and speculations as to why many people are not returning to low-wage jobs where they must confront the public—especially in the restaurant and hospitality industries. Even hiring bonuses don’t seem to … More Did the Rat Race take a Hit from the Virus?

Rethinking Modern Infrastructure: The Vulnerability of Complex Systems

The COVID-19 pandemic is not so much about the characteristics of a virus as it is about the organization of modern societies. The modern infrastructure of hyper-mobility allowed the virus to move rapidly all over the world. Without that infrastructure, the pandemic could not have happened. The Black Plague in the Middle Ages, when mobility … More Rethinking Modern Infrastructure: The Vulnerability of Complex Systems

Masking Truth and Distancing Lies: Living in a Vacant Moral Universe

Life just keeps getting weirder and weirder. It is very hard to make sense out of the behavior of so many fellow humans. Some say we live in a post-truth world. What does that mean? Others claim that “alternative facts” ought to have superior standing despite contradicting the actual facts for which the evidence is … More Masking Truth and Distancing Lies: Living in a Vacant Moral Universe

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

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

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