A few thoughts on culture, religion and Jewish identity

So much talk about religion is empty of substantive content or tediously partisan, mere apologetics. I try to avoid the subject myself as far as I can. But religious practices and beliefs constitute an important aspect of culture and so can't entirely be ignored, even by those who count themselves as non-religious. There is also … Continue reading A few thoughts on culture, religion and Jewish identity

Politics, personal attitudes and the approaching crisis

The following notes have their origin in an email exchange I had with a friend who is strongly committed to certain ideas about - and attitudes towards - politics and human freedom which I see as being false (the ideas) and counterproductive (the attitudes). 1. Attitudes For me politics is a boring necessity which, at … Continue reading Politics, personal attitudes and the approaching crisis

The decline of literacy

I find myself frequently having to modify and simplify my language to avoid misunderstandings. This is partly because of traditional divergences between British and American usage and the inevitable compromises that come with globalized and inter-cultural communication. But it goes further than this and relates, I think, to declines in levels of literacy. Levels of … Continue reading The decline of literacy

Dreams, perceptions and delusions

I have never considered dreams – my own or anyone else's – worth recording or trying to analyze in any serious way, but I have always maintained an interest in the various manifestations of consciousness and the functioning – and malfunctioning – of the brain. Doing some sorting recently, I came across some scribbled notes … Continue reading Dreams, perceptions and delusions