All the Classroom’s a Stage

Some good observations in this essay. As the teacher, I am used to being able to set the pace and call the shots; and if I see a problem, I’m the one responsible for solving it or delegating the task. For me, acting is an exercise in humility and teamwork. I really enjoy the rehearsal process, but a performance always feels like a test… I’d rather rehearse for a month…

How cult leaders brainwash followers for total control

With each other as validation, we began to articulate the real, dismal and frightening story of life in The O, which had as its unlikely recruiting grounds the 1970s food co-ops of the US Midwest. After a dramatic exit, I wrote the memoir Inside Out (2002). The book was an effort to understand how I, an independent, curious and intelligent 26-year-old, could have been captured and held by such a…

Liberal Arts Majors Are the Future of the Tech Industry

My sister the computer programmer benefitted early in her career because she was an excellent writer. She was so good at taking notes that people would invite to her important meetings so there would be a good record, and people would consult her about important topics covered during those meetings. My brother the electrical engineer knows how to treat customers; he smiles, spends time with them, listens to their concerns,…

Scholars’ unconvincing case about the value of the humanities (essay)

A literary work is a powerful tool for simulating what it’s like to inhabit someone else’s life. Not just tolerating difference, or grudgingly giving “the other side” equal time; but generating real empathy for the diversity of humanity. There is no Frigate like a Book To take us Lands away Nor any Coursers like a Page Of prancing Poetry – This Traverse may the poorest take Without oppress of Toll…

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Harvard revokes admission of several students for posting “offensive” memes

The First Amendment of the constitution protects the incoming students’ right to say whatever they like, even if Harvard doesn’t like it. And, as a private institution that is not regulated by the First Amendment, Harvard has the right to kick out incoming students unwise enough to exercise their rights in this manner. (The government can’t throw you in jail simply for choosing to speak; but you’ll still have to…

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T.S. Eliot: “when we do not know enough, we tend always to substitute emotions for thoughts.”

I remember being fascinated with and challenged by The Waste Land in high school, though it wasn’t until I read some of Eliot’s essays in college that it all sunk in. The same man who could write such clear, sensible prose when he wanted to explain could also construct densely packed, layered, gnostic verse. What he wrote in 1921 about the difficulty of communicating outside our silos of expertise is…