Fix “the button” so that a president can’t wreck the world

Donald Trump's nuclear proliferation policy

Summary: The President of America is the most powerful man in the world, with no restraint on his (or her) ability to nuke cities or even start a nuclear war. We have come close to doing so in the past, and might not be so lucky in the future. Limiting this discretionary power is an obvious … Continue reading Fix “the button” so that a president can’t wreck the world

So many of our hit films show dystopias. This shows how we’ve changed.

Summary: America's "can do" optimists have been replaced by a people who love visions of dystopias, and is governed by fears. Look at our hit films, mirrors of our true selves, to see this change. It explains why the reform of America has stalled, and what to watch to see when its time has come. … Continue reading So many of our hit films show dystopias. This shows how we’ve changed.

Why humanity has not gone to space, and why we will.

Space Dreams

Summary: On 20 July 1969 Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed the Eagle on the moon's Sea of Tranquility and Armstrong took his giant leap for humanity. Now 45 years later we can cooly evaluate the Apollo program. What went wrong? What is the future of humanity in space? "Given time, a desire, considerable innovation, and … Continue reading Why humanity has not gone to space, and why we will.

We like superheroes because we’re weak. Let’s use other myths to become strong.

Superheroes

Summary: Superhero films dominate theater box offices. They also show our greatest weakness. We are a powerful citizenry broken into powerless individuals who see collective action as futile, or even corrupting. We have a second set of myths that show the path to a better future for America. Let's take this first step to recovering our … Continue reading We like superheroes because we’re weak. Let’s use other myths to become strong.

A philosopher explains “Arrival” and “Stranger in a Strange Land”

Summary: Today we have a twin review by the philosopher Kelley Ross, looking at the use of language as the driving force in the book Stranger in a Strange Land and the film Arrival. Heinlein is one of the great science fiction authors (his worst works are excellent). Arrival is powerful film based on a science … Continue reading A philosopher explains “Arrival” and “Stranger in a Strange Land”