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 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 90. How to boil an egg in a microwave.

Submerge the egg in a mug of water.  Turn on the microwave for one minute.  Listen for  snap as the eggshell cracks.  That’s ok, the crack relieves pressure.  Reduce power to 40% and run the microwave for another minute.  At 35 seconds you will hear a loud pop.  Continue reading

Blog 86. A message from Kathmandu

The story below is an email from an American anthropology professor who is doing aid work in Nepal.  It illustrates what happens when critical reasoning isn’t applied in social or governmental services.  For those of us who thought of Nepal as an impoverished but bucolic place populated by kind, reverent people, this report is a new view.  Might the developing disparity of wealth and power in the U.S. eventually bring a similar social situation here? Continue reading