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Monthly Archives: December 2010

New Year’s.


Summit of Red Hill, late December 2010.

A Summa of Christianity, Just Minus the Religion Part.


An extraordinary talk by Brene Brown on vulnerability. I’ve recently had a spate of conversations with people about why I would describe myself as religious – they themselves find religion unnecessary at best, and know that there many things about religion that I object to.   And here is seemingly a good example of religion […]

Winter on Staten Island.


The Staten Island book is a selection of the many essays I wrote about Staten Island life while living there.  Not all could be fit into the scope of the published book.  The following one, “Winter,” is one of four essays on the seasons; Autumn is found here. WINTER Who never ate his bread in […]

Establishment Christianity.


Astonishing statement by a U.S. servicemember on DADT, reported to me by a friend: “This is the first time my government and my religion are in conflict.” What an indictment of establishment Christianity.  On the normal processes of military operation – killing, torture, violence – a soldier can see his Church as favorable or irrelevant. […]

On the value of teachers.


From Sullivan: A teacher one standard deviation above the mean effectiveness annually generates marginal gains of over $400,000 in present value of student future earnings with a class size of 20 and proportionately higher with larger class sizes. Alternatively, replacing the bottom 5-8 percent of teachers with average teachers could move the U.S. near the […]

Cogito ergo doleo.


Graffito in the 14th street F station.  Pretty smart graffiti artist.  “I think therefore I hurt.”

Scientific Thinking. Historical Thinking. And ?


Oswald Spengler, a great and underrated philosopher, rigorously described the different modes of thinking – and hence experiencing – which constituted science and history.  From the scientific perspective, phenomena are conceived as continually possible.  If certain causes are provided, certain effects can be procured.  The hallmark of any scientific experiment is that it must be reproducible. […]

Erich Fromm’s Art of Loving.


I take as true and interesting the following statement of Erich Fromm: There is hardly any activity, any enterprise, which is started with such tremendous hopes and expectations, and yet, which fails so regularly, as love.  If this were the case with any other activity, people would be eager to know the reasons for the […]

New York Harbor, from the Staten Island Ferry.


Profile of Henry Romp in Gothamist.


Another one of the treeseller pieces I wrote for Gothamist.