Posted inRacial justice

Legislator’s dashiki invites sting of systemic racism

Reading Time: 3 minutes As an American traveling the world over the years, I noticed with curiosity that, especially in foreign cities, people generally dressed as Americans do—clad not in their traditional garb but in Western-style (global West, not Wild West) shirts and pants, blouses and skirts. They did this despite their own indigenous fashions being, in my view, […]

Posted inHistory

The unmaking of Enlightenment myth

Reading Time: 2 minutes In this week’s first column, “The Enlightenment didn’t change everything,” I explored how vaguely gesturing at histories of “The Enlightenment” does a disservice to the present. There was no magical transformation in human neurobiology in the 17th and 18th centuries. No sudden shift from a time of mystic thinking to an era without. Enlightenment myth […]

Posted inHistory

The Enlightenment didn’t change everything

Reading Time: 9 minutes My eldest nephew was three years old the first time I let him down. We were watching a video about deep-space exploration, and I had just finished explaining that “we” had launched Voyagers 1 and 2 in 1977, to study the outer solar system and interstellar space. “We? Did you do that?” “Well, no, I […]

Posted inPolitics

We’re Still Not Going to Hell in a Handcart

Reading Time: 10 minutes I wrote about this years back when Steven Pinker produced his book The Better Angels of Our Nature, in which he set out that things, despite what we are constantly told, are not getting worse. In fact, they are getting better across pretty much every metric (overpopulation and environment aside). Pinker’s new book Enlightenment Now, deals with the […]

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