Should I Bring My Umbrella Along?

Weather may not be a politically correct conversation in Washington, but it is on the news channels. Most evenings, I watch the national news and noticed, some time ago, that the weather, which occasionally used to show up late in the program, is now often the featured story, night after night. Every night, I watch Ginger Zee explaining why half the country is going to be either inundated or parched. ABC, my usual channel, has a huge techie display that enables them to show extreme events in infinite detail. It’s clear from all this that extreme weather has both entered our consciousness and our conscience. Death counts are frequent as… Read More

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A Brooksian Christmas Story

I have been away from my blog for several weeks. I claim overwork. I am writing an essay for the Great Transition Initiative, and finishing plans for a course I am delivering at my learning at retirement institute. The subject of the course is “Authenticity” or a look at the notion of self through the ages. It’s a chance to put some of my current thinking on self, being, and authenticity into a historical context. But I have been buried. So when I read David Brooks’ op-ed piece today, as it so often happens, a little voice inside said I would have to respond and not let him get away… Read More

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Killing Time*

Never waste a moment again.
 Never let the world come in. 
Never worry that some one 
Will look at you enjoying fun. Time is money so they say. 
Working in our modern way
 Spare5, the app, finds jobs to fill. 
No chance for existential thrills.
 A penny here, a nickel there,
 You’ll soon not have a cupboard bare. But like the Red Shoes dancer, Life for you will have no answer. Time is never there to kill. 
Nor to deliver you a bill.
 It’s all we have to let us be.
 Free moments are a part of me. I need to stop myself some times And listen to the warbler’s… Read More

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Sustainability Is Growing Warts

I have been harping about the decline of the meaning of sustainability for some time. Today, the Boston Globe carried an [interview](http://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2014/12/07/sustainability-older-than-you-think/qCjnEzwtxmBjxebceg8OzL/story.htmlHip, Hip Hooray. Taking the old one away. Hoping that you may Recover quickly And walk pain-free every day.) with Jeremy L. Caradonna, author of the recently published book, Sustainability: A History. In the interview Caradonna makes many of the same points I so often do. Here are a few extracts. > In recent years, “sustainability” has become an inescapable buzzword. Companies launch sustainability initiatives; virtually every major American university now has an office of sustainability; and the word is a staple of United Nations commissions and conferences. >… Read More

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Talk, Not Body Cameras

> Brown’s family wants to see every police officer working the streets wearing a body camera. The White House has said the cameras could help bridge deep mistrust between law enforcement and the public. This paragraph came from a Boston Globe [story](http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2014/12/02/obama-toughen-standards-police-use-military-gear-provide-cameras-for-officers/meAQroN36Sjzfmiramzh6L/story.html) about plans for sending military equipment to local police force. Most of the article was pretty much gobbledy-gook, but this jumped out at me. How in the world can body cameras build trust? This idea is terrible. It is just another example of the addiction we have to technology. This one is particularly disturbing because of the nature and importance of trust. Cameras can only provide a record… Read More

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