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"Of the brilliant boys I knew at [Bronx High School of] Science whose minds were made to solve mathematical problems and skip happily among the most abstruse concepts of physics, a large number were jerks. I've since run into a few of them in their adulthood and they are still jerks. It is possible that the scientific character of mind is by its nature childish, capable through life of a child's wonder and excitements, but lacking real discernment, lacking sadness, too easily delighted by its own intellect. There are exceptions, of course, the physicist Steven Weinberg, for example, whom I've read and who has the moral gravity you would want from a scientist. But I wonder why, for instance, the cosmologists and astronomers, as a whole, are so given to cute names for their universe. Not only that it began as the Big Bang. In the event it cannot overcome its own gravity, it will fly back into itself, and that will be the Big Crunch. In the event of a lack of density, it will continue to expand, and that will be the Big Chill. The inexplicable dark matter of the universe that must necessarily exist because of the behavior of galactic perimeters is comprised of either the neutrino or of weakly interacting massive particles, known as WIMPs. And the dark-mattered halos around the galaxies are massive compact halo objects, or MACHOs.
Are these clever fellows mocking themselves? Is it a kind of American trade humor they practice out of modesty, as the English practice self-denigration in their small talk? Or is it
bravery under fire, that studied carelessness in the trenches while the metaphysical rounds come in?
I think they simply are lacking in holy apprehension.
I think the mad illiterate priest of a prehistoric religion tearing the heart out of a living sacrifice and holding it still pulsing in his two bloodied hands ... might have had more discernment..."
From City of God by E. L. Doctorow
We offer several contributions about Israel and Palestine in this issue, the most prominent being in Features: an animated book and film by Ari Folman, who took part in the Israeli invasion of Lebanon when he was 19 years old. It’s synchronicity with the current situation in Gaza is obvious. Not to be missed!
In the Editor’s Page we try to analyze the same situation - and an Israeli, Naom Sharon, tells us about the Israeli reaction to Barack Obama’s election. Also under Features Tom Englehardt reviews the destruction wrought by Bush and Co. and wonders what should be done about it. Mike Ingles describes the progress in race relations in small-town USA.
Current events includes articles by Anand Gopal about the history and reality of Afghanistan and Arundhati Roy of The God of Small Things fame, writes about the Mumbai terrorist attack and its relation to the India-Pakistan conflictive situation; and then Michael Lewis gives us the lowdown on Wall Street.
One of my all-time favorite James Thurber stories is reproduced under Fiction for the benefit of our younger readers who may never have heard of him. There’s also a bi-lingual fantasy by yours-truly lurking there.
Under Anthropsophy Keith Francis, the author of Alchemy and Anthroposophy which by the way is now available as an e-book, brings us the first lecture in his Evolution of Consciousness series. The third lecture in Rudolf Steiner’s Genesis lectures appears and well as the continuation of his Anthroposophical Guidelines. In the Science section Graig Holdrege, with his usual erudite style, appeals for a new understanding of genes and life.
Stanley Fish reviews what he considers to be the 10 best American movies ever. Your editor doesn’t quite agree with him. What do you think?
Poems by Walt Whitman, Maricel Mendiguibel and Jeanpaul Ferro bring up the rear.
You can find us under the
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, Associate Editor
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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Frank Thomas Smith
Evolution of Consciousness
From the Pre-Socratics to the Post-Moderns
Secrets of the Bible Story of Creation
Guidelines - VI
Genes and Life
The Need for Qualitative Understanding
The Best American Movies - Ever
A Woman Waits for Me
Lovely and Soothing Death
Caballo y Luna - y otros poemas
Pre-Invasion Jitters - and other poems