The Vale of Tears: From Babe to Adult – II

A year or so ago, I wrote a post on how my infant daughter’s crying sometimes provoked, in me, thoughts that seemed considerably weightier than those one might have imagined as being occasioned then. On Monday, a spell of night-time crying triggered a chain of reflection that felt similarly cosmic. A little background: my daughterContinue reading “The Vale of Tears: From Babe to Adult – II”

From Santa Barbara to Badaun: Misogyny and Masculinity

It’s been a bad week for women. They found out, in sunny California, that when they do not dispense sexual indulgences to those who seek (or demand) them, they can provoke murderous rages; they also found out, in India’s central provinces, that their bodies remain to be taken by others, used, and then finally, strungContinue reading “From Santa Barbara to Badaun: Misogyny and Masculinity”

Keep Marijuana Illegal; It Might Be Used to Aid Sick Children

This is how morally depraved the anti-marijuana legalization debate has become. The New York Times reports: For the fifth time in seven years, the State Assembly on Tuesday passed a bill legalizing medical marijuana, backing a measure that would far surpass a program Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced this year. But with less than fourContinue reading “Keep Marijuana Illegal; It Might Be Used to Aid Sick Children”

My Mother’s Books: Symbols of Resistance

Among the many old books on my shelves are a couple of dozen especially battered ones. Some belong to my father’s collection (I will write on these on another occasion); some belong to my uncle’s. And then there are another two, especially fragile, their pages browned and brittle, also brought back from India, just likeContinue reading “My Mother’s Books: Symbols of Resistance”

Saba Naqvi on A Supposed Crisis of Indian Secularism

Saba Naqvi has offered an interesting critique of Indian secularism; in it, she writes of the need to: [C]onfront the great crisis of Indian secularism, that is now so hollowed out that it makes it easy for communal forces to grow….Indian secularism is not about some utterance of the soul as a Jawaharlal Nehru may haveContinue reading “Saba Naqvi on A Supposed Crisis of Indian Secularism”

Waiting for Jury Duty: Crowd Observation Notes

A curious fact about the crowd enduring the interminably long wait to be called for jury duty selection  at Brooklyn’s State Supreme Court building today was how its interactions slowly began to resemble those of passengers on an airliner stranded on an airport tarmac. Before lunch, some folks had already dozed off (I had takenContinue reading “Waiting for Jury Duty: Crowd Observation Notes”

Yosemite and Sequoia: Visiting John Muir’s Playgrounds

Last week, my family and I traveled to California; more precisely, to Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon National Parks. (We visited family in Los Angeles as well.) Superlatives for national parks are a dime-a-dozen, so most writing on them is doomed to cliche. But let me press on regardless. The landscapes of these parks, likeContinue reading “Yosemite and Sequoia: Visiting John Muir’s Playgrounds”

Constantine Rafinesque’s Anticipation of Evolutionary Theory

The opening paragraph of the Wikipedia entry for Constantine Rafinesque notes that he was: [A] nineteenth-century polymath who made notable contributions to botany, zoology, the study ofprehistoric earthworks in North America and ancient Mesoamerican linguistics. It then continues: Rafinesque was eccentric, and is often portrayed as an “erratic genius”.[1] He was an autodidact who excelled in various fields of knowledge, as a zoologist, botanist, writer and polyglot. HeContinue reading “Constantine Rafinesque’s Anticipation of Evolutionary Theory”

Urban Climbing: Over And Above A Dead-End World

If you are hankering for a serious attack of nausea consider viewing the Channel 4 documentary Don’t Look Down (featuring James Kingston) or the RT documentary ‘Russian Daredevils’ or, perhaps, best of all, go to Mustang Wanted’s webpage. The folks in these documentaries are ‘urban climbers’ – young folks, invariably men, who free-climb up skyscrapers,Continue reading “Urban Climbing: Over And Above A Dead-End World”

Academic Writing In Philosophy: On Finding Older Writing Samples

Yesterday, while cleaning up an old homepage of mine, I found some old papers written while I was in graduate school. Overcome by curiosity–and rather recklessly, if I may say so–I converted the old Postscript format to PDF, and took a closer look. The first is titled ‘No Cognition Without Representation’; its abstract reads: AContinue reading “Academic Writing In Philosophy: On Finding Older Writing Samples”