Category Archives: Culture

Link and Comments: American Narratives

David Brooks NYT column on May 26: The Four American Narratives. He recalls his own characterization of the American unifying story as an Exodus story: one about people leaving oppression to settle a new promised land. A story that no … Continue reading

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Link and Comments: Kids These Days

From Sunday’s New York Times Book Review, a review by Jennifer Szalai of a book by new Nebraska senator Ben Sasse, THE VANISHING AMERICAN ADULT: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis — and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance. The review is … Continue reading

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Parents, Children, Identities: Andrew Solomon’s FAR FROM THE TREE

This is an enormous book, 962 pages long, 702 of that text (with the remainder consisting of encyclopedic notes, a lengthy bibliography, and an index). The book is about how parents deal with exceptional children, covering ten categories of exceptionality, … Continue reading

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Link and Comment: The Changing US Demographic

Essay in Sunday’s NYT: The Census and Right-Wing Hysteria, by Herbert J. Gans The “right-wing hysteria” concerns the predictions, for several years now, than within a few decades the US would become a “majority-minority” nation by the 2040 — i.e., … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Bannon’s historical cycles; the Myth of Main Street; Late Bloomers

Interesting stories and essays from Sunday’s New York Times. Bannon’s Worldview: Dissecting the Message of ‘The Fourth Turning’ A news article about a book that has influence Steve Bannon’s thinking about the world, a book by two amateur historians, that … Continue reading

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Media Bubbles and Fake News

There was a fascinating piece on NPR’s Morning Edition Tuesday morning, about an analysis of news media sites shared on Facebook and Twitter during the election campaign, aligned by allegiance to Trump or Clinton. The researchers stressed how neutral they … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Distrust of Science; Trump’s conviction; Global society; a Two State solution

This subject is everywhere — the rejection of reality by the current administration — and I don’t collect very many of these links, but here are a few more. Tom Nichols at Scientific American, via Salon: Don’t go with your … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Political bubbles; Group knowledge; Randall reviews Rovelli

Interesting pieces from Sunday’s New York Times Front page article: How to Escape Your Political Bubble for a Clearer View. About how to overcome the built-in biases in Facebook and other social media to feed you only what you want … Continue reading

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The Enlightenment and This Moment in American Culture

From Washington Post, a week or so ago: Harvard scientist worries we’re ‘reverting to a pre-Enlightenment form of thinking’ Prompted by how some presidents — Bush 43, and now Trump — are actively pushing back against scientific findings and research. … Continue reading

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Steven Pinker on the future under Trump

An interview, conducted by Phil Torres, of Pinker: The United States Is Not an Apocalyptic Wasteland, Explains Steven Pinker. Pinker is well-known for his book The Better Angels of Our Nature (2011) arguing (with copious references to sources of evidence) … Continue reading

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