Category Archives: Human Progress

LQCs: The Arc of Historical Progress vs. Religious Oppression in the US

First, my favorite print magazine The Week, for May 13th, in its “Viewpoint” box on the “Best Columns US” page, quotes Francis Fukuyama in The Wall Street Journal (a newspaper I don’t read). But unlike the similarly found David French … Continue reading

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LQCs: Back in Time, to a Perfect Past

It’s been a couple days since President Biden’s State of the Union address — in which he spoke forcefully about many things, but avoided topics that would strain attention spans, e.g. climate change — and I’ve been fascinated since then … Continue reading

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Yuval Noah Harari, 21 LESSONS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY (post #1)

This 2018 book is Harari’s third, of the three he’s published so far. It follows in ways from his second, HOMO DEUS (see here), in exploring some of its themes, but differs in being not a narrative, but a set … Continue reading

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SF as Luddite Literature?

Today’s counter-intuitive notion is from novelist and long-time Locus columnist Cory Doctorow. This essay is in the January 2022 issue, and posted (for free) online, here: Locus, Cory Doctorow, posted 3 Jan 2022: Science Fiction is a Luddite Literature

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Lc&Cs: The Sad State of Education in America

“Civilization is in a race between education and catastrophe.” —H.G. Wells

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Links and Comments: Sides of History; Myths and Lies; Voting Inequities

Washington Post: Trump brought data from the Fox News universe to a debate centered in reality How Trump, and Fox News (in particular Laura Ingraham), lie with statistics, as the article explains in great detail. It’s all spin, aimed at … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Trump, Evangelicals, Persecution, Fear, Withdrawal

The front page of today’s New York Times has an aerial photo of a house in Sioux Center, Iowa, with the words “In God We Trust” on the roof. The article, a long one, is ‘Christianity Will Have Power’ with … Continue reading

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Yuval Noah Harari, HOMO DEUS: A Brief History of Tomorrow (2017; 2015 in Israel)

This is, in effect, a sequel to SAPIENS. Top level summary: It opens with a long prologue: now that humanity has largely overcome famine, plague, and war, what next? Three possibilities: immortality, happiness, divinity. However these are predictions; this book … Continue reading

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Yuval Noah Harari, SAPIENS: A Brief History of Humankind (2015)

Yuval Noah Harari, SAPIENS: A Brief History of Humankind (2015) This is a history of the human species in the context of “Big History” – the first page sketches the history of the entire universe as a backdrop – and … Continue reading

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Arthur C. Clarke, PROFILES OF THE FUTURE (1962..1999)

This is a book first published in 1962, a nonfiction book speculating on potential technological developments and human achievements. The subtitle is “An Inquiry in the Limits of the Possible.” Clarke revised it three times, the last in 1999 (he … Continue reading

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