Legends Of The Fall

Sometimes the world gets better. Twenty years ago tomorrow, Hungary began taking down the barbed wire partition between itself and Austria. It wasn’t attended by all the fanfare of the fall of the Berlin Wall a few months later. But it was a quietly heroic start of that gloriously literal, physical dismantling of the Iron…

The Fundamentals of Terror

During my month-long visit to India, I have noticed the disturbing trend of “Hindu Fundamentalism,” which mirrors the same sort of culture war incited by all reactionary movements.In fact, there is only one Religious Fundamentalism in the world, designed to cultivate a shared sense of righteous rage at some perceived “enemy” among a certain historically…

If Music Be The Food Of Love, Why Do I Need This Loaf-Thing In My Basket?

Maybe human civilization is more resilient than I suspected. A very simple bit of evidence of that came my way this morning. NPR Weekend Edition this morning featured a segment about young people becoming farmers. It’s a trend apparently.The reason this struck me is that I’ve wondered for some time whether the abstractions that make…

the long habit of invention

After initially stumbling on clumpier-than-expected Martian soil, the Phoenix lander has successfully revised its soil-delivery methods to fit the conditions on the ground, so its research can continue. What’s awe-inspiring about that (aside from the fact that we have robots smart enough to fly to Mars, navigate the atmosphere to land properly, explore the surface,…