Posts Categorized: Uncategorized

Non-Conventional Weapons and a Lasting Peace

Currently reading the book Greek File, Poison Arrows and Scorpion Bombs by Adrienne Mayor, detailing the use of unconventional (i.e., chemical and biological) weapons in the ancient world.

Flaws Make Beauty

Flaws make beauty.  Anyone can draw a perfect tree.  It happens to look like a lollipop.  However, with a crack in the bark, a wilted leaf, a hole from a worm, a knot in the wood, the tree takes on character and depth.

Learning History

History allows us to bear witness to the past. It is nothing short of amazing that whole kingdoms and empires rose and collapsed, that people lived and died for their ideals, and yet few people today know anything about them.  It is amazing because history has amazing stories to tell, lessons to teach, and those… Read more »

Black Friday

A prevalent drive of individuals in this society is to be a part of the crowd, to belong to a movement, something greater than oneself.  This drive is greatly alluring.  Regardless if people really love Twilight or the Democratic Party or Dr. Who, there is an attraction of sharing an experience or an emotion with… Read more »

Educational Testing and its Repercussions

Education does not work in isolation.  Legislative efforts (such as No Child Left Behind, Common Core, and others) focus on high-stakes testing to standardize teaching and educational performance across the nation.  While schools should deliver a guaranteed minimum of education, in practice these efforts force a “teach for the test” effort.  As has been argued… Read more »

Expressing One’s Potential

The mind dreams of possibilities and potentials and is cursed by the inability to express them all.   The disconnect between our dreams and reality is felt during the weeks after New Year’s, when resolutions are put to the test and people find that it is much harder to write that book or run that mile… Read more »

Must all Debts be Repaid?

Debt is a very confusing topic, mixed up with economics, politics, morality, and religion, not to mention a wide spectrum of emotions from grief and apathy to anger.  The book Debt by David Graeber delves into several of these aspects in his history, and opens for discussion a key question: What role and to what… Read more »

Devil’s Advocate

Playing “devil’s advocate” is a lazy way to seem intelligent because it has guaranteed success.  If there is likely no such thing as an objective truth (link), i.e., something that is true regardless of time and place, then any statement or thought will have exceptions.

Nature vs. Nurture

In the dichotomy of nature vs. nurture, nurture wins.  Most characteristics that tend to be placed in the nature column in fact belong to nurture, such as much of the supposed gender divide.  The sometimes held myth that women are not as good at mathematics, for example, is more a result of imposed gender roles… Read more »

Justice and Education

When meting out justice, the courts say that ignorance is no excuse; not knowing the law and courtroom/police procedure does not protect one from the punishments resulting from breaking the law.  If this is true, then justice seems to require a populace educated in law, police work and courtroom protocol.  Yet, many remain uninformed and… Read more »