Intolerance of Intolerance

I remember a friend of mine who had earned his PhD at the University of California once saying that he thought Lafayette was more tolerant than Berkeley.  That seemed unlikely to me, so I asked a mutual friend, another scholar who read constantly about politics and social issues, and who also traveled widely.  “Certainly,” she … [Read more…]

Compassion as Luxury I

In Jacob Bronowski’s classic BBC series and companion book, The Ascent of Man, he follows a modern Persian nomadic tribe, the Bakhtiari, and uses them as an illustration about what humanity is like without civilization. The nomads, like prehistoric peoples, constantly, chronically live at the very edge of survival. So despite their weaving, their language, … [Read more…]

Thanksgiving Thoughts

A Muslim friend of mine mentioned celebrating Thanksgiving, and then I overheard someone else quietly comment that Thanksgiving is a Christian holiday. I’m not so sure. I can’t imagine that the Pilgrims failed to notice that a few of their dinner guests had a decidedly heathenish look about them. Thanksgiving is a time to (drum … [Read more…]