Category Archives: Society

Heroes and Artists

I don’t agree with the heroization of entertainers, athletes, lucky survivors, and the strong-willed handicapped. If you’ve scored a bunch of touchdowns, performed in a great film, survived a devastating attack, or managed to walk despite the odds: that’s super! It’s fantastic, and in many cases it is even downright inspiring. But that does’t make you a hero.… Read More »

Why I Blog

On a spring day about a year ago, after urging another particularly eloquent friend to not give up on his blog, I realized that I hadn’t really answered for myself that question of why I keep a blog. Why do I write, and in particular why this blog? I’ve been mulling over this for over a year now, and here’s my answer: This blog is my legacy.

It Matters.

The world witnessed weekly and sometimes daily revelations of assault and rape in the #MeToo-drenched 2018, culminating in the horrific Kavanaugh hearing. During this disturbing time, I too often heard people shrug these stories away. Even if they believed them, they didn’t see the importance.

Noticing the Wonder

About five years after we moved to our home in Beaverton, Oregon, and then for maybe 5 years after that, the tree just across the street was a starling tree. Hundreds and hundreds of the local starlings would congregate in this tree every afternoon in the spring and fall…

Coming to Terms with Alzheimer’s

When a loved-one’s diagnosis with Alzheimer’s syndrome is still brand new, it is easy to get buried deep in denial. If you catch yourself saying “When this gets better…,” this is proof that you are being incredibly unrealistic and setting yourself up for a bad time. It will not get better or go away: things will only get worse and you just aren’t preparing for it.

Why I Facebook

I have some friends and family who don’t use Facebook, including a few who tend to look down their noses at those who do. This has led me into conversations in which I end up defending it. Now, I’m not talking about Facebook as a source for news: therein lies danger. If you learn about something on Facebook,… Read More »

Stop Using One-off Plastic

Plastic bits in the ocean and in the food chain have created a big, scary problem. If all of us would take a few small steps to minimize disposable plastic usage, the cumulative effect could make a big difference. Many of us bring our own bags to the store, but we can do more. Here are five steps you can… Read More »

Divisive politics

In late 2017 I got an email from a Democratic organization venting about the just-passed tax bill that ended with: “We want to give you this anti-Republican bumper sticker!” I think this is a bad approach. I don’t want to perpetuate the us-and-them bullshit that is US politics right now, and I think things like this bumper sticker… Read More »

On Kaepernick’s Kneeling

In 2016 and 2017, there was an uproar over a black football player, Colin Kaepernick, quietly kneeling on the field during the national anthem rather than standing with the rest of his team. He was protesting the repeated killing of black men by police in America, and this lead to many months of heated arguing among Americans. All of… Read More »

Potential

Walking around in almost every one of us is a wellspring of untapped potential. Some call it inspiration, some call it god — whatever you call it, there exists in us a deep beauty, a spark, that few of us acknowledge, let alone show or attempt to express. The thing about potential is that it is nearly useless… Read More »

Merry Xmas!

I don’t celebrate Xmas at all. I have zero decorations at my house, I don’t do cards, and I don’t do gift exchanges (except that I sometimes send end-of-year chocolates or such stuff to my clients). But though I don’t “celebrate” it, I love the holiday season as an interested bystander. I love how everyone is in a… Read More »

Philosophy Matters

I think it is important that people carve out head space in their mental lives to ponder questions of existence and meaning beyond the mechanics of how it is discussed. It’s what gives us depth and puts us in touch with a reserve of somethingness/nothingness that can be very powerful. Some people use religion to tap into that… Read More »

Who Supported Trump?

Immediately after the 2016 presidential election, I took off for a 10-day trip, first to Los Angeles, and then to Salt Lake City for an international tradeshow on Supercomputing. Wherever I went, almost every taxi driver, theater-goer, restaurant worker, and fellow tradeshow exhibitor and attendee I talked to mentioned the election results. Since this tradeshow of more than 11 thousand attendees included people from… Read More »