Category Archives: Culture

Nichols, THE DEATH OF EXPERTISE

Tom Nichols’ THE DEATH OF EXPERTISE: The Campaign against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters (Oxford, 2017) is one of the better in the batch of recent books I’ve read about current events and how they reflect issues of science … Continue reading

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Levitin: A FIELD GUIDE TO LIES

Daniel J. Levitin’s A FIELD GUIDE TO LIES: Critical Thinking in the Information Age (Dutton, 2016) is a nice complement to the book previously reviewed. Levitin an academic at UC Berkeley and has written three previous books, including This Is … Continue reading

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Keen: HOW TO FIX THE FUTURE

Andrew Keen’s How to Fix the Future (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2018) is a breezy book in the Thomas L. Friedman mode, as the author travels the world speaking to various experts, and describing his trips and circumstances as he goes. … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Progress; San Francisco Values; Value of Literature

From earlier this month. New York Times, Nicholas Kristoff: Why 2018 Was the Best Year in Human History!: Once again, the world’s population was living longer and living better than ever before. Kristof does a version of this column every … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Why I am Not a Conservative

Every once in a while an op-ed in the New York Times, or a book review in NYT or PW (Publishers Weekly), will be on the subject of defending conservative values. I have a very basic intellectual grasp of what … Continue reading

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Link and Comments: About Superhero Movies

From Sunday’s NYT. Mark Bowden, Why Are We Obsessed With Superhero Movies? The issue for me is why these types of stories are so popular, recently – and how these are primitive fantasies, the very opposite type of story as … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Formal and Intuitive Religion

Two items. First, the latest survey showing the rise of the “nones,” the younger generation for whom formal religion is losing its attraction. In Nearly Every Country, Young People Are Way Less Religious Than Adults. The pattern holds throughout most … Continue reading

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C.P. Snow’s The Two Cultures, The Third Culture, Big History, and 2001

C.P. Snow’s “The Two Cultures” is the famous 1959 lecture and then essay about the divide between the scientific community and the literary ‘intellectual’ community, an essay much referenced in books about the acceptance of science in modern culture (with, … Continue reading

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Links from NYT recently, with Comments

Op-ed by Amy Sullivan in the New York Times, April 1 (posted March 31): Trump’s Christian Soldiers The recurring, amazing fact that the self-righteous evangelicals support someone like Trump. You could open a publishing press devoted to the theological and … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Sports and Trump; Pinker and Gates; Tribal Allegiance and Actual Progress

NYT, 3Feb18: Trump’s Blood Sport Politics. The writer recalls “”The Sporting Spirit,” an essay written by George Orwell in 1945 that sought to reckon with the rise of our modern athletic-industrial complex.” For Orwell, the rise of sports was bound … Continue reading

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