Blog 99. Why can’t I make a difference?

As best I can tell, satisfaction comes from accomplishing something we regard as useful and meaningful.  That seems to be true, whether you are a scientist, entrepreneur, gardener, or Mafia hit man.  Most of us want to make a difference.  We want to believe we’ve altered something for what we regard as the better.  To assert our importance, we erect large monuments in graveyards Continue reading

Blog 95. Gentrification by Zen?

The term “Zen” suggests a process that is easy, masterful, and calming—something most of us are eager to experience. (1)  And “gentrification” sounds like a gentle transformation of a pig sty into a pastoral abode.  However, urban “gentrification” means conversion of decaying inner city housing into a “higher and best use,” Continue reading

Blog 88. Will nations ever come together?

The question looms like a cloud over United Nations negotiations in Paris this month—the 21st such attempt to forge an international agreement to curb greenhouse gas emissions.  A big reason for failing to find common ground is American intransigence on the role of government.”  Continue reading

Blog 65. Ambiguities of Experience.

My neighbor, James G. March, wrote a little book entitled The Ambiguities of Experience*.  March is emeritus professor in the departments of business, political science, and sociology at Stanford University. Continue reading

Blog 64. New rigor in education?

New research in education actually looks not only at test scores, but uses technologies of videos and eyeball-detection hardware to compile data on when kids pay attention and how learning takes place. But there are also other, more political, movements to reform public education. Continue reading