Author Archives: Mark R. Kelly

Can Education Account for Evolutionary Change?

Steven Pinker on education, and how it might prioritize overcoming base intuitions that don’t apply in the modern world; The naturalistic fallacy and DeSantis’ and Fetterman’s objections to lab-grown meat. This month I’m working my way through the last ‘big’ … Continue reading

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Trust in Science, Bertrand Russell, and Religious “Truth”

An item about restoring trust in science, which doesn’t say very much except to improve education; A reading from Bertrand Russell, about religion, morals, and science; How a religious thinker thinks historians should only tell history that is “inspiring and … Continue reading

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Another Gloss on Philosophy

I think I mentioned this book before. It’s a compilation of rough summaries of twelve general topics, from American Studies to World History, with literature, music, philosophy, religion, science, and others in between, written for people who worry that their … Continue reading

Posted in Cosmology, Philosophy, Religion | Comments Off on Another Gloss on Philosophy

Illiberalism, and the Wood Age

“Illiberalism” and its history in the US; How perhaps the “Stone Age” is perhaps better described as the “Wood Age” — how science can update stale conclusions; How some “smart people” hold noxious conspiracy theories too; Kristi Noem would have … Continue reading

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Photos from Austin

I’ll post these without explanation, for now.

Posted in Personal history | Comments Off on Photos from Austin

How Art and Education are Not about Making People Feel Comfortable

Today’s reading is about art and education and how they’re not intended to make students feel comfortable, but rather to challenge their parochial assumptions and expand their worldviews; And a bunch of everyday items, today mostly about the right’s conspiracy … Continue reading

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Progress and Retreat

A reading from Steven Pinker, about progress the MAGA folks are reacting against; Double standards about Trump and presidential immunity; J.D. Vance and protesters; DeSantis and woke banks; the National Day of Prayer; another Republican taking advantage of a bill … Continue reading

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Ideology, Principles, and Fantasy

How Project 2025 is based on misconceptions; Heather Cox Richardson on Trump’s plans and how many people seem to welcome them; Slate on how Trump waffles on the abortion issue; And how Arizona’s repeal of the 1864 abortion ban undermines … Continue reading

Posted in Conservative Resistance, Morality, Politics | Comments Off on Ideology, Principles, and Fantasy

Monoculture and Tribalist Thinking

Travel perspectives; Is everything a cult now? If so, the word has lost all meaning; Is religion just a tribal marker? Then why do so many Christian zealots want to impose their beliefs on others, to the point of executions? … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Psychology, Travel | Comments Off on Monoculture and Tribalist Thinking

Our Trip to Austin

Notes about our trip to Austin this past weekend, to visit and begin to settle the house and estate of my old friend Larry Kramer, who died last September. We flew to Austin Thursday, from Oakland via LAX; spent all … Continue reading

Posted in Personal history, Travel | Comments Off on Our Trip to Austin