Blog 103. Are we terrorizing ourselves?

There’s a social science of terrorism.  Science News magazine* devoted a special article to the research of anthropologist Scott Atran** of the University of Michigan.  Atran has been on the battlefields of ISIS, Continue reading

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 89. Why Trump trumps

Donald Trump holds the leading position among Republican presidential contenders (as of mid-December 2015). TV pundits say Trump’s followers have one common characteristic: they’re angry. The big question is why. Why does Trump even have a following? Continue reading