Author Archives: Mark R. Kelly

Rutger Bregman, UTOPIA FOR REALISTS: How We Can Build the Ideal World (2014/2017)

This is a breezy, fast-reading book that summarizes grand conclusions simply and directly, and then provides background references to support those conclusions in 40 pages of notes at the end. The Dutch author is “one of the continent’s most prominent … Continue reading

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Link and Comments: Social Health is more than Endless Growth

Recalling this post, about the US rank in social progress, and thoughts by the writer Rutger Bregman (via this NYT profile and his book Utopia for Realists), about how the GDP is a poor measure of social healthy, and the … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Against Trump; Roe v. Wade and Personal Choices; Scientists and Stories

Sunday’s NYT Opinion section — typically 10 or 12 pages — was devoted entirely to spelling out (yet again!) why Trump is such an awful president: End Our National Crisis, subtitled “The Case Against Donald Trump.” One section of which … Continue reading

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Film Notes: Summer Stock and others

Lately our evening TV has trended toward checking the movie channels around 8pm (after watching the TV game shows Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, the former my favorite and the latter Y’s) to see what’s on. We subscribe to a … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Religion and Government; Sophisticated Believers; Religious Indoctrination of Children

NY Times, Wajahat Ali: If Amy Coney Barrett Were Muslim, subtitled “It’s not hard to imagine how conservatives would smear her religious beliefs.” For all that Christians complain that they are oppressed or victimized, in fact their religion so saturates … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Sides of History; Myths and Lies; Voting Inequities

Washington Post: Trump brought data from the Fox News universe to a debate centered in reality How Trump, and Fox News (in particular Laura Ingraham), lie with statistics, as the article explains in great detail. It’s all spin, aimed at … Continue reading

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Link and Comments: Cory Doctorow on Story

Slate: Cory Doctorow: The Dangers of Cynical Sci-Fi Disaster Stories, subtitled, I’m changing how I write fiction—for the benefit of the real world. The essay is on occasion of the publication of Doctorow’s latest novel, Attack Surface, a follow-up to … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Make-Believe worlds and Donald Trump and his supporters

As evidence for my thoughts, in this post Notes for the Book: Magical Thinking, Cognitive Dissonance, Group-Thinking, about how many people live in a kind of make-believe world, for reasons of group solidarity, and despite the inevitable cognitive dissonance with … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Abortion, and Mayor Pete

Here’s a transcript of a portion of an interview with Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who ran for the Democratic nomination for president earlier this year. This transcript has been floating around for months, and when … Continue reading

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Link and Comment: The Pace of Change

Guardian: 25 years of His Dark Materials: Philip Pullman on the journey of a lifetime. Pullman reflects on the quarter decade since he began writing the sequence of novels about Lyra that began with Northern Lights, aka The Golden Compass. … Continue reading

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