Category Archives: emergent

Who’s the brains of this outfit? Maybe all of us

Robert Wright has an interesting piece in the NY Times titled “Building One Big Brain.” In response to concerns that modern technology is affecting the way we think, he has a suggestion: But maybe the terms of the debate — … Continue reading

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Improving the Norm

New York Times columnist Bob Herbert had a recent column about an effort to reduce violence in Chicago. He points out that a basic problem with violent behavior is that many believe it’s just part of life, noting: One of … Continue reading

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Failing Institutions

The Pew Research Center recently issued a report saying trust in government is very low, with 22% saying they can trust the government in Washington almost always or most of the time, and 19% saying they are “basically content” with … Continue reading

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New Terms for New Times

Because something is happening here But you don’t know what it is Do you, Mister Jones? – Bob Dylan, “Ballad of a Thin Man” It’s tough enough to live in a time like the present, when things are changing in … Continue reading

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Got to Get Back to the Garden

We are stardust, we are golden, We are billion year old carbon, And we got to get ourselves back to the garden. –  “Woodstock” by Joni Mitchell We all have paradigms by which we understand the world around us. The … Continue reading

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“Pants” on the Web

Over the past week a guy no one had ever heard of burst onto the scene, becoming a national – if not international – celebrity. He vowed to change things, and through his sudden fame he may be doing just … Continue reading

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Fixing the System

Many of the problems confronting the US today involve systems that aren’t working properly. Examples that come to mind include financial services (the banks), the economy in general, American healthcare, the governments in Afghanistan and Iraq, and global climate change. … Continue reading

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Flu In The Time Of Globalism

The big news item of the moment is the growing threat of a swine flu pandemic. The speed with which this disease has spread is yet another reflection of our interconnected world. In earlier times diseases tended to travel slowly … Continue reading

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How the Internet Got Its Rules

The New York Times had an article recently, “How the Internet Got Its Rules,” which offered an intriguing glimpse of the beginning of a phenomena that is an integral part of life today. The article was written by Stephen Crocker, … Continue reading

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An Illuminating Paradox

One time, while driving on an interstate highway when the weather was gray and misty, I noticed a curious paradox. Although it was only sprinkling occasionally, nearly every car had its headlights on, complying with an obscure New York Sate … Continue reading

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What Do Libertarian Farmers Grow?

Washington Post writer and blogger Joel Achenbach recently wrote a piece called “Inventing the Future” for his alumni publication. It’s about a brainy fellow Princeton alum named Nathan Myhrvold, who according to Achenbach is brilliant in many areas – physics, … Continue reading

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Restoring Science – and Democracy

In a New York Times essay “Elevating Science, Elevating Democracy,” Dennis Overbye ponders the significance of President Obama’s inaugural promise to “restore science to its rightful place.” Overbye believes that “Science is not a monument of received Truth but something … Continue reading

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On Track to Saving Gas

According to Slate, there’s a growing push to raise the Federal gas tax to reduce our dependence on foreign oil (and to combat global warming, though they don’t get into that). It’s not too surprising to find an argument like … Continue reading

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