Author Archives: Mark R. Kelly

Links and Comments: World Getting Better; Choosing What to Believe; Questions for Atheists; Mathematical Ideas; Trumpian Cruelty

Vox: 23 charts and maps that show the world is getting much, much better. From 2014, but updated this month. These data echo the theme of Steven Pinker’s recent books. File under: human progress, despite conservative paranoia and fears \\ … Continue reading

Posted in Atheism, Conservative Resistance, Human Progress, Mathematics, Psychology | Leave a comment

Links and Comments: Unread Books; Psychology and Logic; GOP Paranoia; Political Extremes

From recent weeks’ NYT. Essay by Kevin Mims: All Those Books You’ve Bought but Haven’t Read? There’s a Word for That. The print title, October 14, was “The Importance of Unread Books” subtitled “Why a personal library should include books … Continue reading

Posted in Conservative Resistance, Politics, Psychology | Leave a comment

Links and Comments: Psychology and Economics; SF and Fantasy

Several items from Sunday’s NYT. First a review of a new book by Steven Johnson, FARSIGHTED: How We Make the Decisions That Matter the Most; the review is by Adam Grant: How Do We Make the Long-Term Decisions That Matter?. … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Psychology, science fiction | Leave a comment

Trump and Kavanaugh, Conservatives and Tribal Politics

It’s not so much about fundamental disagreements between conservatives and liberals, reactionaries and progressives, (let alone the simplistic take about good vs. evil), as about social reaction to change… the changing demographic of the United States, and the inevitable expansion … Continue reading

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Mouse in the House

Last night I woke up around 1am to the sound of our two cats scrambling in the front corner of the bedroom after something, with accompanying odd noises. Something behind a row of books in a low bookcase there, apparently. … Continue reading

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Thomas L. Friedman on Anonymous

Brilliant take by Thomas L. Friedman: ‘Anonymous’ Is Hiding in Plain Sight: The G.O.P. crowd who accepted the devil’s bargain is huge. That’s the anonymous-G.O.P. credo today: We know Trump is a jerk, but you’ve gotta love the good stuff … Continue reading

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Play and Stranger Danger

From Sunday’s New York Times Book Review: Does Our Cultural Obsession With Safety Spell the Downfall of Democracy?, by Thomas Chatterton Williams, reviews two books, including THE CODDLING OF THE AMERICAN MIND: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting … Continue reading

Posted in Personal history, Psychology | Leave a comment


Ursula K. Le Guin, NO TIME TO SPARE: Thinking About What Matters (2017) This book is a collection of the best blog posts Le Guin did on her site at, from 2010 until her death in early 2018. It … Continue reading

Posted in Science Fiction Nonfiction | Leave a comment

Update on SF Definitions

A couple of weeks ago I summarized several interesting panel discussions I saw at the World SF Convention in San Jose in mid-August. One panel was about definitions of SF, not so much good or bad definitions as different types … Continue reading

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Movie Review: Crazy Rich Asians

(From Facebook, Sunday 26 August) Today we saw Crazy Rich Asians, a pleasant if fairly conventional Hollywood comedy romance, the distinctive and attractive feature being that the entire cast is Asian, and it’s mostly set in Singapore among the very … Continue reading

Posted in Films | Leave a comment