The Vanishing World of Touch

Not long ago I celebrated in my brimmings blog the realm of touch, so wonderfully depicted by my favorite nature writer, Diane Ackerman, in A Natural History of the Senses. What she doesn’t touch upon is the increasing loss of that tactile dimension in a virtual age powered by Artificial Intelligence now pushed to the forefront by the corona pandemic. Nearly a third of us … Continue reading The Vanishing World of Touch

The Left’s Problem with Free Speech

It didn’t take long for opposition to Harper’s Magazine letter featuring 153 heavyweight intellectuals, largely academics and writers protesting censorship, to engage counter protest. Not from the Right as one might suppose, but from the Left in a counter letter featuring 160 signatories, published in the online site, The Objective. Some argued the Harper signatories were white, economically privileged, academic elitists who don’t merit any … Continue reading The Left’s Problem with Free Speech

70th Anniversary: Korea, the Forgotten War

Seventy years ago today, North Korean troops crossed the 38th parallel, invading South Korea. I was ten years old, but my father would send me up Front Street in Philly to get the Inquirer or Bulletin. I think it was five cents in those days, fifteen on Sundays. Pa would split the paper with me. I knew the details intimately and followed the battle lines … Continue reading 70th Anniversary: Korea, the Forgotten War

Oliver Sacks’ Ambivalence on Living in the Digital Age

There isn’t anything I enjoy more in a stress-laden world than a time-out for a good read. Books lend me a purview of how others experience life, lending sagacity and connection with my fellows. Books teach me that I’m not alone. Courtesy of The New Yorker (February 11, 2019), this morning I came upon Oliver Sacks’ restive short piece, ¨The Machine Stops.” Written in the … Continue reading Oliver Sacks’ Ambivalence on Living in the Digital Age

And a Child Shall Lead Them: Healing What Ails Us

I was talking just a few minutes ago with my better half, wondering just how I used to spend my idle hours before the Internet came into vogue. As is, I’m cuffed to a binary lodestone, whether smart phone, iPad, or desktop, dulling awareness, squandering time, exponentially addictive. Generally, my dawns begin not with photographing sunrises or heading to the gym, but grabbing my tablet, … Continue reading And a Child Shall Lead Them: Healing What Ails Us

The Plight of Native Americans in a White America

The White Man’s misdeeds in America towards its indigenous peoples are incalculable in number and cruelty. I was reminded of this last week when Karen and I visited the Grand Canyon and learned from the Visitor Center that Yavapai and Apaches once lived adjacent to the Canyon. That is, until 1874, when the government closed the Camp Verde Reservation and forced its residents to trek … Continue reading The Plight of Native Americans in a White America

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?

Is Mindfulness Warmed-over Buddhism?

Mindfulness meditation seems everywhere these days. Even the corporate world embraces it, e. g., Google, Facebook, EBay and Twitter. And in medical circles, it’s all the rage, particularly in psychiatry where it increasingly rivals pharmaceutical intervention as a primary therapy in treating depression and general anxiety disorders. But is there any real science behind mindfulness, or is it simply Buddhism warmed over for Western consumers? … Continue reading Is Mindfulness Warmed-over Buddhism?