Coronavirus 2020 will go down as the social science epidemic of the modern age. The deluge of data and analysis is so great that its sheer quantity has created a qualitative shift in how most of us—those not directly engaged with the sick and dying—think about this crisis.
“Dearly beloved, we have gathered here today To get through this thing called life” ~Prince One evening in early March, before we were all sent home to shelter, I got a call from my mother. She told me that her cousin and her cousin’s husband had been rushed to the hospital. Both were diagnosed … Continue reading »
Addendum as Prologue: 22 April 2020, Earth Day I wrote the essay that follows a decade ago, in 2010, the year the novel The Great Bay by Dale Pendell (1947-2018) was published. I also nominated the book for a Pulitzer Prize in Fiction. It didn’t win one, nor has it yet received the kind of … Continue reading »
We hope you are staying healthy and safe during this period of uncertainty as governments around the world take dramatic and unprecedented measures to try to contain the pandemic currently disrupting life on our planet. As has been pointed out in many commentaries on the current situation, the pandemic exposes the inadequacies of our health … Continue reading »
Orders from Italian Government: 1.The Italian government has ordered all sporting events to take place ‘without spectators’ 2. Italians should try to remain 1 meter apart from each other. (Carrying a tape measure is optional) Advice from a few illustrious saints and a few notorious sinners. — “Stay calm and don’t lose your head.” – … Continue reading »
Critical reading in the humanities is the antidot to fake news, which has been around since the “Donation of Constantine,” which an Italian scholar discovered wasn’t what it was touted to be.
In The Death of Democracy, Benjamin Carter Hett (Henry Holt, First Edition, 2018, pages 38 and 39) writes: ADOLF HITLER LIED all the time. Yet he also said clearly what he was doing and what he planned to do. This is the essential paradox of Adolf Hitler. We can see this paradox at work in … Continue reading »
When Pope Francis arrives in Ireland this August to officiate at the Vatican’s triennial World Meeting of Families, the pontiff will be landing in a country that has changed almost beyond recognition over his lifetime. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, S.J, first visited Ireland in 1980 when Ireland was still one of the most observant Catholic countries in … Continue reading »
Regional publications do work that really matters to their communities. And local journalists know it in their bones. A fatal single-engine plane crash in a corn field was the first story I ever covered for a local newspaper, the Kalamazoo Gazette. Life and death. That’s the bread and butter of local newspapers. The obituaries are among … Continue reading »
I was part of the second class of undergraduate women at Williams College, which became co-educational in 1970 after nearly 200 years of being an all-male enclave – and for many of those years, all-white as well. I became accustomed to being one of the only women in a classroom. I didn’t have a single … Continue reading »
This is cross-posted from the Haas Institute Blog of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society. This week people all across the world are pausing to acknowledge the incredible life and the tragic death of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I always deliberately include the “Reverend” in his title as we … Continue reading »
Buying stuff can make you happy for a short time. But you will revert to needing another happiness boost by buying even more stuff. We can, however, replace the boom and bust of a consumption-driven search for satisfaction with lives that are more fulfilling and economically sustainable.
No less disturbing than the recent news that the personal data of millions of Americans was culled from Facebook by the shady research firm Cambridge Analytica and provided to the Trump campaign, has been the behavior of the masters of Silicon Valley. The CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, has so far been mostly silent. This … Continue reading »
As teenagers in Parkland, Florida, dressed for the funerals of their friends – the latest victims of a mass shooting in the U.S. – weary outrage poured forth on social media and in op-eds across the country. Once again, survivors, victims’ families and critics of U.S. gun laws demanded action to address the never-ending cycle of mass shootings and routine violence ravaging American … Continue reading »
As one of world Christianity’s most admired leaders, the Rev. Billy Graham, who died on Wednesday at 99, had extraordinary opportunities to affect the character of the Christian religion and to pronounce on its implications for personal conduct. He scored at the top of lists of “most respected” Americans decade after decade. He was loved … Continue reading »
(These remarks were delivered at the opening of a Nov. 16-17 conference observing the 60th anniversary of UC Berkeley’s Center for Studies in Higher Education, held in partnership with University World News, and exploring the influence of nationalism on major national universities around the world.) With varying levels of intensity, university are extensions of the … Continue reading »
(This is cross-posted from the site, Public Books, where it appeared as the 24th installment of The Big Picture, a public symposium on what’s at stake in Trump’s America, co-organized by Public Books and NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge.) Exit polls conducted during the 2016 election yielded a fact about the political allegiances of American Jews that … Continue reading »
Trump really missed his chance when he didn’t get a dog. He should have followed Jupiter, as Emmanuel Macron is called, when the newly elected French president formed his government over the summer, gave up the family dog and officially adopted a rescue animal from a local pound, First Dog Nemo, a Labrador Griffin cross. … Continue reading »
If you’re into counterculture kitsch, you might want to check out the nostalgia-themed resort hotel at Walt Disney World in Florida. It features a “Hippy Dippy” swimming pool, surrounded by flower-shaped water jets, peace signs and giant letters that spell out “Peace, Man,” “Out of Sight” and “Can You Dig It?” Fifty years after the … Continue reading »