Author Archives: Mark R. Kelly

Frederik Pohl: GATEWAY (1977)

[expanded 24jun20 5pm] I need to catch up on book notes. I’m not a fast reader, and am busy with other things throughout the week, reading perhaps 3 hours a day at best, but still get through about 2 books … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Visual Illusions and Perception of Reality; Trumpian Gnostic Madness

Vox: Brian Resnick: “Reality” is constructed by your brain. Here’s what that means, and why it matters. Subtitled, What the science of visual illusions can teach us about our polarized world. A long, thorough survey of various topics on one … Continue reading

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Comments and Quotes: Good People vs. Mob-Hysteria

Here’s a curious convergence of ideas — a coincidence. A few days ago I made the comment that individuals don’t think clearly in crowds; crowds can be become mobs, and even peaceful gatherings can lead to group-think in which individuals … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Nature and Human Brains; Science Fiction and Mental Resiliency

Scientific American, Caleb A. Scharf: A Failure of Imagination, subtitled, “Nature does not have to play fair with our puny human brains.” A favorite theme of mine: how there’s more to the universe than humans are aware of; how there … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Jonathan Haidt; Religious presumption; Hanlon’s razor; H.L. Mencken; Mark Lilla on prophecy

The Atlantic: Jonathan Haidt Is Trying to Heal America’s Divisions: The psychologist shares his thoughts on the pandemic, polarization, and politics. Great profile, though long, of Jonathan Haidt, author of one of the best books I’ve ever read, The Righteous … Continue reading

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Rutger Bregman’s Ten Rules to Live By

I do love lists, especially of principles, and a new one comes with a book called HUMANKIND: A HOPEFUL HISTORY, by Rutger Bregman, whose previous book was the provocative UTOPIA FOR REALISTS (which discussed, among other things, the idea of … Continue reading

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Notes for the Book: Hierarchy of Attitudes about Gender and Sex

I’m rethinking a lot of matters, about epistemology, about culture and politics, as ranges of attitudes, from the intuitive and simplistic, to the informed and complex. Are some of these spectra, rather than hierarchies? A hierarchy implies that the top … Continue reading

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Notes for the Book: Hierarchy of Science Fiction

(updated 8jul20, with additional para’s at the end) What is science fiction? Many things, and what interests me about science fiction is not reflected in all its forms, any more than any particular music fan, interesting in dance, say, or … Continue reading

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Silverberg, DYING INSIDE (1972)

This is Silverberg’s most highly-regarded novel, and one of his most unusual. It was published in 1972, near the end of a period during which Silverberg wrote one or two critically acclaimed novels a year, from roughly 1967 to 1976. … Continue reading

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Notes for the Book: Hierarchy of Knowledge and Human Affairs

[updated 8 Jul 2020] [updated 26 Jun 2020] Everything you need to understand the reality of the world, as discovered over centuries, and especially in the past century and past few decades, is out there, available to you. All the … Continue reading

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