Category Archives: Politics

Links and Comments: Petty Rage; EO Wilson; Rutger Bregman; Conservative Causes; Zealots

Paul Krugman’s March 11 column, The Power of Petty Personal Rage discusses incidents about plastic straws, hamburgers, and Captain Marvel. The point is that demented anger is a significant factor in modern American political life — and overwhelmingly on one … Continue reading

Posted in Changing One's Mind, Conservative Resistance, Lunacy, Politics | Leave a comment

Links and Comments: Scientific Humanism; the Socialist Menace; Border Crisis

Michael Shermer’s final Scientific American column, in January, summarizes The Case for Scientific Humanism, a “blending of scientific naturalism and Enlightenment humanism,” echoing my own Provisional Conclusion #5: Modern science arose in the 16th and 17th centuries following the Scientific … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Politics, Science | Leave a comment

Lilla: THE ONCE AND FUTURE LIBERAL

THE ONCE AND FUTURE LIBERAL: After Identity Politics (Harper, 2017) is by Mark Lilla, a professor at Columbia University, and is much more explicitly about politics than most books I read. (Because my concerns extend far outside the relatively narrow … Continue reading

Posted in Book Notes, Politics | Leave a comment

Gladstone: THE TROUBLE WITH REALITY

The Trouble with Reality: A Rumination on Moral Panic in Our Time (Workman, 2017) is by Brooke Gladstone, co-host of a syndicated radio program, “On the Media,” that I occasionally hear on my NPR station. The book is small, 91 … Continue reading

Posted in Book Notes, Morality, Politics | Leave a comment

Kakutani: THE DEATH OF TRUTH

Michiko Kakutani’s THE DEATH OF TRUTH: Notes on Falsehood in the Age of Trump (Tim Duggan Books, 2018) is, remarkably, the first book by the long-time and influential book reviewer for the New York Times, now retired. It has extensive … Continue reading

Posted in Book Notes, Conservative Resistance, Politics | Leave a comment

Levitan: NOT A SCIENTIST

Journalist Dave Levitan’s NOT A SCIENTIST: How Politicians Mistake, Misrepresent, and Utterly Mangle Science (Norton 2017) addresses a dozen or so kinds of mistakes that are typically behind any politician’s use of the phrase “I’m not a scientist, but…”, and … Continue reading

Posted in Book Notes, Politics, Science | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Book Notes, Culture, Politics, Psychology | Leave a comment

Hawking: BRIEF ANSWERS TO THE BIG QUESTIONS

This is the lightest Stephen Hawking book you are likely to read. Published posthumously, it’s a set of reminiscences on 10 big questions compiled and edited from various speeches, interviews, and essays in Hawking’s personal archives, “completed in collaboration with … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Science | 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

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

Posted in Conservative Resistance, Politics | Leave a comment