Gradient Hopping

When I wrote this in 2013, I'd had a nasty head cold for the past few days. Then one day I felt better (though not yet well) and it was so wonderful it reminded me of something important: It's better to feel better than to feel good. Most of the time I feel pretty good, […]

Yes You Can!

You may not like this.  We live in an era of excuses, and everyone has lots of them.  I'm here to tell you that they are mostly illusory and are holding you back from a better life.  You will probably think I'm just lacking compassion.  I don't mind if you come to that conclusion after you've […]

Success

I say, "If you do what you love with elan and determination, and don't worry about 'making a living at it', eventually you will 'succeed'." "Easy for you to say," says the spokesperson for all those in despair over their careers.  "You are the child of privilege, plus you got lucky." "This is true," I […]

Identity

Your identity is your most valuable possession, in every sense of the word "valuable". At the crudest level, anyone who steals it (i.e. can successfully convince financial and/or governmental institutions that they are you) can empty your bank accounts, put you into unrecoverable debt, commit crimes for which you may be held responsible and trash […]

No One Else's Problem

In Chapter 3 of "Life, The Universe and Everything", Douglas Adams immortalized the idea of the "Somebody Else's Problem" field, which makes things invisible. We all tend to look at the world of politics and war through an S.E.P. field.  This has to stop. Consider the problem of Islamic terrorism: most non-Muslims feel that it […]

Communication

Academics pretend to believe that their writings are meant to transfer information intact from one mind to another. This is particularly ironic since they are so adept at preventing any such transfer, using ingenious obfuscatory language. But the model itself is deeply flawed. Words are intrinsically ambiguous, largely by design. When we read or hear […]

Poor Cuba!

Today the USA announced that it would drop its ban on travel to Cuba and relax the trade restrictions that have prevented Cubans from exchanging good cigars for electronics and cars from the USA for the past half century.  I fear this will serve to drain Cuba's remaining resources into the capitalist reservoir in short […]

Science

Last night I went to a Green College/STS meeting in which four young academics described what they thought Science was or wasn't.  The first was an Historian bent on insulting all who thought of themselves as Scientists; the second was another, more conciliatory Historian trying to educate Scientists as to what they actually do; the […]