How many of the Romanticists ever visited the peasants in winter? Did any of them bother to pass by their frozen shacks when there was not enough food, fuel, clothes or warmth? In its focus on the ideal, how much disease, starvation, and death did Romanticism miss, in the nature all around them, and in the homes of their poor neighbors? The Romantics are like all of us: we only see what we wish to see…
The world is changing rapidly – politically, socially, technologically – and we have repeatedly considered here how we are ill-equipped to deal with it. One of the major problems blocking progress is one of authority vs critical thinking. All of us, professionals included, often defer to authority without critically thinking about the complexities of a … [Read more…]
We are at a particularly contentious point in American politics. In all of it, there is a lot of finger-pointing. We blame the party bosses, the media, big money, lobbyists, extremists, and our own elected officials. Oh, and partisan politics: the worst bastards that every walked the Earth are our beloved fellow American sitting across … [Read more…]
In high school it was a great surprise for me to discover that the United States is overwhelmingly protestant. Living in Cajun country, I had simply assumed that most of the country was Roman Catholic. There are so many fascinating quirks and oddities that living in a ‘foreign’ culture offers. There are the differences of … [Read more…]
In one of the recent presidential debates, a panelist asked Ben Carson what he would do about ‘grey’ drugs, life-saving medicines that have recently seen astronomical price inflation. My ears perked up. For some time I have wondered about how we might resolve the tension, and where the balance point lies, between the considerations of … [Read more…]
We think that prejudice, in and of itself, is a problem. But we, all of us, are constantly prejudiced about what is going on in the world around us, not just about people but about business, technology, and government. If we were not ‘prejudiced’, if we did not expect certain patterns, we could not function.
The real problem is that when our initial impression – our prejudice – becomes our only impression. The problem isn’t prejudice; the problem is closed-mindedness.