“For some reason I can’t explain, I know Saint Peter won’t call my name.” Coldplay’s Chris Martin feels like he’s “not on the list.” The lyrics of “Viva la Vida” spell this out. It’s often an unsettling feeling, but there is an upside to being on the outside.

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Ride My Seesaw

August 25th, 2014

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With summer winding down, it’s worth asking why America leads the world in unused vacation days – about 429 million per year. The answer might lie in half of your brain not playing seesaw.

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Not Very Inclusive

August 18th, 2014

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This year, almost 22 million college students will be indoctrinated in the incontestable virtues of inclusion and diversity. Problem is, most educational institutions aren’t inclusive. In fact, they’re just the opposite.

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A Little Judo

August 11th, 2014

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Judo emphasizes winning by leveraging an opponent’s weight and strength. Japanese for “the gentle way,” you exert less energy while your opponent expends most of theirs. Learning a little judo might be the way to go in the religion and science debate.

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Winston Churchill said democracy is the worst governing system – except for all the others. Capitalism is the most moral of a bad lot of economic systems, but only when bound to conscience. Together, conscience and capitalism steer a middle course.

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James Madison wrote that when a nation follows the “dictates of conscience,” a free people remain free. What then happens when conscience, a social guardrail for such things as capitalism, dissolves?

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According to two editors at the Economist, there have been three revolutions in Western government. They believe we’re due for a fourth. Similarly, there have been three revolutions in economics since the late 19th century. Are we due for a fourth?

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When did people begin to consider capitalism crooked? The idea of capitalism is as old as Genesis. Its institutions date from the early Middle Ages. They kept capitalists steering a middle course. It wasn’t until capitalism’s social guardrails dissolved that capitalism veered off course. When did that happen?

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The Renaissance humanist Erasmus once said, “He does not sail badly who steers a middle course.” Timely advice. The three reigning Western models of economics are off course. What does a middle course look like? Lord Moulton described it in 1921.

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Americans celebrate Independence Day this Friday. But July 4th also marks the passing of three Presidents – Jefferson and Adams in 1826; Monroe in 1831. More importantly, all three died happy for having reconciled what had been severed friendships.

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Half Moon

June 23rd, 2014

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What’s with those bathroom signs reminding employees to wash their hands? How many do it? Not many writes Stephen Dubner, co-author of Think Like a Freak. His research agrees with scripture (as well as science) regarding why the signs don’t work.

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There’s no American Revolution, Constitution, or Great Experiment without the founding fathers. Now two editors at the Economist are forecasting a revolution similar to the Victorian Age. But they overlook the Victorian Age’s founding fathers.

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C. S. Lewis and Iain McGilchrist both see metaphor as how we make sense of life. It’s primary. They also agree the Enlightenment overthrew metaphor. These are two of the four ways they parallel one another. Here’s two more ways Lewis and McGilchrist are on the right side of history.

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C. S. Lewis would likely have appreciated Iain McGilchrist. A psychiatrist with extensive research in neuroimaging, McGilchrist believes metaphor is how we make sense of life. Lewis would have agreed. In fact, there at least four ways they are on the right side of history.

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Amputated Hand?

May 26th, 2014

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There’s precious little remembrance on Memorial Day. For most Americans, it’s a vacation day – barbecue, boating, and beaches. These aren’t bad, but if they’re all there is, Americans are testimony to what Emily Dickinson called the amputated hand.

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