Is faith essential – even if you don’t believe in the supernatural?

Yuval Noah Harari’s book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind covers an enormous range of topics in 400 plus pages. But one (of many) ideas that got me thinking is his claim that we all believe in things that aren’t objectively real. Money is a cultural myth. Take money. Why do we think a green piece of paperContinue reading “Is faith essential – even if you don’t believe in the supernatural?”

Reflections on Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations

Meditations is a disjointed book. It’s the personal journal of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (A.D. 121-180), which he called “To Himself.” He didn’t intend for it to be published, so he didn’t bother to do much polishing. Aurelius’s journal rambles a bit. But his perspective comes down to the notion that, “All is as thinkingContinue reading “Reflections on Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations”

Baby Boomers and Millennials don’t exist

Some say Millennials are really two generations – younger Millennials had different experiences growing up. And P.J. O’Rourke claims Baby Boomers are made up of four classes. I know what he means. My father was born in 1946. His youngest brother was born in 1964. Both are Baby Boomers, but they’re not from the sameContinue reading “Baby Boomers and Millennials don’t exist”

When Did Americans Lose Their English Accents?

American and British speech are so different that even professional actors struggle with sounding authentic. So when did Americans lose their English accent? Maybe Americans never had an English accent. At least not a modern British accent. English is constantly changing. In the late Middle Ages Geoffrey Chaucer wrote the Canterbury Tales: Whan that Aprille with hisContinue reading “When Did Americans Lose Their English Accents?”

US History from a Latino Perspective

European colonization of what is now the United States starts with the English landing in Virginia and Massachusetts. Well, not so fast, says Felipe Fernández-Armesto. In his book, Our America: A Hispanic History of the United States, Fernández-Armesto points out that in 1508 Puerto Rico became the first permanent European settlement in what is now US territory. St.Continue reading “US History from a Latino Perspective”