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A house for ages

I am feeling my lack of involvement in good work. In my current mood, “good work” means something useful which endures, preferably for generations. I don’t think anything I’ve been involved in will last 100 years. One hundred years isn’t forever. Nothing lasts forever, I acknowledge that. But when you see a house or a barn or a stone wall Read More


A sign in the area advertising a local hospital reads: “With a stroke, time matters. We give you more of it.” The intended meaning is immediately clear: the hospital will prolong your time alive. But the carefully analyzed and deconstructed meaning comes out quite differently. Time matters in the case of a stroke because delay leads to greater and more Read More

Et tu

Back in November, I suppose, I came across a news story about a researcher who found that he had brain activity that fit the profile of a psychopath. I thought I’d been told that we stopped trying to identify criminals by their physiology since we condemned the Germans for being better at it. But evidently Minority Report was just too Read More

Lowering the bar

I was raised in a dry family. My dad was raised Baptist, the kind of Baptist where you don’t drink – or if you do maybe have some liqour tucked away, you don’t talk about it. Neither of my parents themselves were strict teetotalers, but neither care much for the taste of alcohol, and besides it just wouldn’t fit the Read More