New Year’s Day is approaching, a time when weby which I mean I–brood over past failures and vow to improve ourselves: I will be less judgmental with my kids and more romantic with my girlfriend.
To celebrate Winter Solstice, darkest day of the year, Im posting an edited version of a column I originally wrote for The New York Times more than a decade ago, before I got divorced and moved to Hoboken, New Jersey, from a Hudson Valley hamlet: Garrison, New York.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Murray Gell-Mann’s first paper on quarks, Gell-Mann biographer George Johnson has written several terrific posts about one of the truly great theoristsand charactersof modern physics.
Last week, a friend who knows my views on excessive medical tests and treatments sent me a link to a People magazine cover story about Amy Robach, the correspondent for ABC’s Good Morning America.
Over the past few years, I’ve taught a humanities class for college freshmen, and among the required readings is the “Stream of Thought” section of William James’s classic 1890 work Principles of Psychology.
The approach of Thanksgiving, that quintessential American holiday, has me brooding over recent scientific portrayals of Native Americans as bellicose brutes.* When I was in grade school, my classmates and I wore paper Indian headdresses and Pilgrim hats and reenacted the “first Thanksgiving,” in which supposedly friendly Native Americans joined Pilgrims for a fall feast [...]
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of President John F. Kennedy, I’m reposting a column about his “Peace Speech,” which he gave less than six months before his assassination: I’m not a big fan of the literary sub-genre of political rhetoric, even the best examples of which usually reduce to schmaltzy, self-aggrandizing propaganda.
For those titillated by Strangelovian fantasies of nuclear apocalypse, the early 1980s were a golden age. That was the height of the Cold War, when nuclear arms and rhetoric escalated, and President Ronald Reagan envisioned a space-based anti-missile “shield”—promptly dubbed “Star Wars” by skeptics—that could thwart attacks by the “Evil Empire,” also known as the [...]
On October 1, ABC reporter Amy Robach received a mammogram on “Good Morning America” to raise awareness of breast cancer, The 40-year-old reporter revealed this week that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer and has elected to undergo a double mastectomy.
Over the last few years, we’ve heard a lot about how “Big Data”—which as far as I can tell is just data mining in a glossy new wrapper–are going to revolutionize science and help us create a better world.* These claims strike me as all too familiar.
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