Sometimes even smart and literate people are somewhat naïve when it comes to science. We had an example just recently when educated and sophisticated people compared prevalent conservative skepticism about climate change / global warming with almost non-existent skepticism about the causes of the recent solar eclipse. But this turns out to be a case of dueling misconceptions about differences in scientific methodology: the methodology used to substantiate climate change and the methodology used to account for solar eclipses. The differences are subtle, requiring a working knowledge of the history of science, but important in appreciating the extent to which the two cases – climate change and eclipses – are not quite comparable. Almost. But not quite.
I am riding this partic
I begin with a question: Izzit just me, or have zombies largely taken over popular movie and text culture in the United States? I do not think it is just me. Now, please understand at the outset: I do not ask this question rancorously, or with the least pejorative intent. Fact is, I like “zombie lit”! I am into the 13-volume-and-counting Kindle-book Arisen cycle of zombie lit, by Stephen Michael Fuchs and Glynn James, and D. J. Molles' The Remaining saga of I-don’t-know-how-many volumes. Ditto Max Brooks' World War Z, both movie and book. I have seen, and loved, Abraham Lincoln vs. the Zombies. Ditto Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I am an over-the-top fan of Fear the Walking Dead, The Walking Dead, and Z-Nation. When I take a sabbatical from reading about the history and interpret
Does anyone besides me remember Marshall McLuhan?
Like a lot of other people, I was drawn to McLuhan and his writings, beginning as a college sophomore in the late 60s and continuing into graduate school in the early 70s. When I was an undergraduate, everyone and their dog was reading Understanding Media. So, at first just to follow campus fashion, I bought the paperback edition of the book and began reading. I was captivated from the first paragraph of the first page. In fact, one of my most vivid memories of that time is of being in my room in my parents’ house and being totally engrossed in Understanding Media while a violent Kansas thunderstorm raged outside. I vaguely remember the air-raid sirens howling holy Hell, warning of an approaching tornado . But I did not come fully aw