4 Questions for Marianne del Cerriota

Marianne del Cerriota, M.D. is a senior fellow at the Kassel Institute for Bio-Economic Policy, a think-tank in San Diego. del Cerriota is a respected authority on bioeconomics issues at the frontier of medicine and technology, most notably generative medicine and semantic bio-diagnostic research. Author or editor of 14 books as well as a chapbook …

Continue reading

Paling Kings

“Most of us are allowed to go through the span of life allotted to us in actuarial tables.” from The Echo newspaper, November 1, 1869 Except the tables don’t tell the whole tale, do they? There are also qualitative burdens—especially when it comes to certain folks, say for example kings, who: …must bear all. O …

Continue reading

Democratization of Language

Subtitle: Have you ever seen the phrase “piacular recompense” and the word “stuff” (the noun variety) in the same sentence? After Tuesday there will be no more President Bush press conferences. During these linguistic spectacles, the Harvard- and Yale-educated oil-tycoon scion sometimes dropped the “g’s” off his gerunds and uttered phrases such as “We’re gonna …

Continue reading

Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton

In a radio interview, Tracy Kidder, who’s written quite a few good books and at least one important one, advocated for a sort of Maxwell’s demon approach to book reading. He divides books into two main categories: books in which he has interest and books in which he does not. He went on to say …

Continue reading

Already There

One of the difficulties of diagnosing contemporary US culture is that we lack perspective. Here’s a helpful ichthyological fable I heard somewhere: Two young little fish are swimming around and they come across a big older fish who asks, “How’s the water, boys?” The little guys are unsure of how to respond and they swim …

Continue reading

Apocalyptic Occasion with a Curmudgeonly, Andy-Rooneyesque Beginning

Can you believe the newspaper? Have a look at the last two graphs from a recent article in the business section detailing the long lines and general excitement associated with the release of the new Blackberry Storm: Standing on line in San Francisco’s financial district, Fred Vassard, a systems administrator, said he owns both versions …

Continue reading

What Rough Beast Slouches Toward Bethlehem to Be Born?

I’m in the process of being bludgeoned by three media whales – Ike, Obama vs. McCain, and the meltdown of the financial sector. I can’t check my electronic mail or turn on public radio without encountering “news” about them, and I’ve descended into a sort of meta-panic, not about the “news” but about the fact …

Continue reading

Learning Curves

How Differential Calculus and Reading Employ the Same Skill We build too many walls and not enough bridges. -Sir Isaac Newton It’s fairly widely known, and confirmed in an old NFL Films piece, that former Pittsburgh Steeler Lynn Swan studied ballet in the off-season. I’m sure some of his teammates who spent their free months …

Continue reading