Latest Essays

Many people gathering together in a circle

A Resumption of our Humanity

As I watched the Biden-Harris inaugural ceremonies this week, I found myself overcome by unanticipated thoughts and feelings.

Although I've been aware of presidential inaugurations since 1960, when I was nine, this is the first one I've ever taken the time to watch in its entirety.

Of course, as a reliable Democrat, there were the expected feelings of relief as the political pendulum swung in favor of my preferred affiliation.

Compass dial with needle pointing towards Truth

The Big Truth

As I write these words, the invasion of our US Capitol in DC is only a week behind us.

At least in terms of what I've been reading (and writing) over the intervening period, many of us are wracked anew by the question of how it could have come to this, and what these actions might mean for our future.

Tourists by the Christmas Tree in Trafalgar Square

What Christmas Means to Me

Here we are at the end of another year, well into what many of us call the holiday season.

As I've remarked elsewhere, when it comes to religion, I'm a bit of a mongrel, so my approach to the holidays, while imbued with many of the traditional elements associated with a good Methodist upbringing, does not hew closely to any particular set of Christian dictates.

But that's perhaps as it should be, for Christmas, it seems to me, has always been too big a thing to be narrowly claimed by any particular religious organization.

Gary Cooper looking askance at his newly acquired butler in a scene from the Frank Capra film Mr. Deeds Goes to Town

Reframing our Debates about Capitalism

There is a flaw in the reasoning behind our infernal, never-ending, society-splitting debate concerning socialism vs. capitalism, and I want to point it out.

To start with, imagine the lives of our hunter-gatherer ancestors.

(Notice I say “our” with confidence because, even though I don’t know who you are or where you were raised or what you look like, I do know that you, like all of us humans, are descended from one or more tribes of hunter-gatherers.)

Green World

The Era of Environmental Accommodation is Over

When historians look at the long span of our human history, they try to make sense of our arc of cultural evolution by breaking it up into phases: the agrarian era, the industrial era, the digital era, and so forth. But of course, there are multiple perspectives we can use for this sort of exercise. Perhaps the most important perspective to consider is the relationship of our human population to the rest of our world.