Artificial Intelligence: Will It Take Your Job?

“Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds” (Robert Oppenheimer, quoting the Bhagavad Gita following the dropping of the atom bomb on Hiroshima) Recently, my daughter shared details of her trip as an Amazon employee to Las Vegas to attend a tech conference. 8700 people from all over the world gathered there for the conference—its major theme, Artificial Intelligence. And why not! Artificial Intelligence continues … Continue reading Artificial Intelligence: Will It Take Your Job?

Alzheimer Breakthrough? Bredeson’s The End of Alzheimer’s: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline

Death has many doorways. Yet most of us go by way of heart disease, cancer, or respiratory disease; in fact, 50%. The good thing is that we can preempt these diseases, if not reverse them through lifestyle changes. Not so when it comes to Alzheimer’s disease, ranking sixth for causes of mortality. Shockingly prevalent, some 5.4 million Americans have it, with 200,000 of them below … Continue reading Alzheimer Breakthrough? Bredeson’s The End of Alzheimer’s: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline

Does the Qur’an Preach Violence?

Yesterday came news of the slaughter of up to 300 Sufi worshippers exiting a mosque in Egypt’s Sinai at the close of prayer, among them, twenty-seven children. It isn’t the first time such a murderous attack on unarmed civilians, even fellow Muslims, has occurred in Egypt and elsewhere. Increasingly, Islamic violence has spread to Europe and North America as well. Thanks to Carnegie Mellon’s interactive … Continue reading Does the Qur’an Preach Violence?

Elegy for Iris: A Review

“We can only learn to love by loving.” —Iris Murdoch I’ve just read John Bayley’s Elegy for Iris, his moving memoir of his wife, renowned British novelist Iris Murdoch—26 novels in addition to nonfiction—who succumbed to Alzheimer’s in 1999 at 79. How does something like this happen? We’re told that we may ward off Alzheimer’s scourge by exercising our brains via mental pursuits like puzzles, … Continue reading Elegy for Iris: A Review

My hummingbird friends

My hummingbird friends descend upon my garden landscape each spring, or like clockwork with the advent of April, having journeyed more than a thousand miles from their winter feeding grounds to the south or in Mexico. They stay with me, these ruby throated aerial acrobats, until the first week of October when days of shortened light signal them to begin their return journey. Often less … Continue reading My hummingbird friends

The Left’s War on Free Speech

But what was strange was that although Goldstein was hated and despised by everybody, although every day and a thousand times a day, on platforms, on the telescreen, in newspapers, in books, his theories were refuted, smashed, ridiculed, held up to the general gaze for the pitiful rubbish that they were — in spite of all this, his influence never seemed to grow less. –from … Continue reading The Left’s War on Free Speech

On First Looking Into Milford’s Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind; Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave. I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned. –Edna St. Vincent Millay   I recently finished Nancy Milford’s biography of poet Edna St. Vincent Millay (Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay … Continue reading On First Looking Into Milford’s Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay

Book fan, Barack Obama

There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them (Joseph Brodsky) Regardless of your political views, our former president, Barack Obama, was a phenomenal book fan. How he found time for his passion baffles me, given the pressing demands on his time as president of the United States. And I admire the books he’s read and recommended, among them classics like Doris … Continue reading Book fan, Barack Obama

Teach me to measure all my days

Another year, now one of many for me, is about to pass. Life flows incessantly forward. More than ever, I’m thankful for every moment in the present, wanting to indulge, pamper, and exhaust it for its sensory fullness, or like a bowl of chocolate ice cream topped with fresh strawberries, swirling its sweet coldness slowly in my mouth, titillating my tastebuds, in vain effort to … Continue reading Teach me to measure all my days

Open the door and come right in….

Mindfulness is everywhere these days. I was at our local Kroger store yesterday, sampling its magazine section and, sure enough, there were two mindfulness magazines. Go to Whole Foods, it’s the same. Mindfulness has taken off in the medical community as well, where it’s become increasingly a centerpiece in psychological therapy, helping patients cope with stress, anxiety and depression. (For a sample listing of leading … Continue reading Open the door and come right in….