About 10,000 years, a group of cave dwellers in what is now Argentina laid their hands on the cave wall, and sprayed paint
through little pipes made of hollow bones to produce these images.
There are a lot of things I want to share, from being a lifelong
learner, a heavy reader for 60 years. Despite being in a Math
Ph.D., program, and later a full participant in the main organization
for historians of the early 19c U.S., the
last 10 years of semi-retirement seem like my peak of intellectual
ambition. I've been goaded by growing sense of
the impotence of facts, and have wanted to do something
about. I have read, and want to write about and interpret for
- contributions of neuroscience
- massive research
into how childhood unfolds our nature, and
- how that nature can be
illuminated by primate nature,
- social epistemology,
- a very broad
background in history,
- esp. close study of the last few years and
the long-term trends that helped form the present.
I suspect all the descriptions of human actions we've
ever heard are like this superficial description of a chess game:
"The pawn exchange in the centre of the
board opened him up to an attack, his black knight sacrificed for
position. Might have been a blunder, his opponent seemed more
confident. He saw a possible check and decided to take it -
Protected obliquely by his bishop, might just pull a win out of this
situation and flip it. Unless there was something he didn’t see.
Reluctantly, he removed his fingers from the rook, committing to the
Suppose we thought we were playing chess, but we only understood it at
that level; or suppose we dressed up like chess pieces and had group
skirmishes in what we imagined was the style of chess.
But if we needed to really play chess well, we would be very deluded if we thought we knew what we were doing.
Alex Dau, another member of this class, writes about a teachable
way of training people to deal effectively with violent arguments and
people in massive breakdowns, called Nonviolent Communication (NVC).
It sounds a bit like what I'm after: a set of "moves of the game"
which people generally don't
know. Many people discover amazingly powerful things like NVC,
through practice and intuition and if NVC is teachable, that is much
more encouraging than the mere existence of "gifter" people who can
talk someone down off a ledge or get a kindnapper to release
one thing that gives ideas more power is when they have a foundation,
and everyone who looks into it with energy and good faith will see that
it has a foundation. The developer of another set of crisis
Brené Brown, was driven (unwillingly at first) in the direction of her
life work by masses of psychological data showing that vulnerability is
what makes for happiness.
I am always looking for something new that could contribute to a better world.
Passage Writings (In progress)
Michael Tomasello on How and Why Humans Achieve Sociability and Culture
What Happened to Russia? (extremely unfinished)
Can This Be True
3/7/2020 Sunday Feedback Session
Possible Directions for my Online Work:
"Lord Ronald ...
flung himself upon his horse and rode madly off in
That's how I seem to some people, and feel to myself at times.
How do I promote, and exploit my own almost manically diverse interests.
Attempting to explain deep structure of human nature: "From
Monkey Neurons to the Meta-Brain"
What is Science? How it is a social enterprise, and how we can socially search for truth
"Cannon Balls, Plate Tectonics, and
Blogs I've tried to start: