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Siegfried Othmer is a physicist who over the last 28 years has been engaged with neurofeedback as a technique for the rehabilitation and enhancement of brain function. He is Chief Scientist at the EEG Institute in Los Angeles.
The Nuclear Arsenal and Global Warming
our trillion dollar program to refurbish our nuclear weapons arsenalis going forward with very little controversy, debate, or even broad awareness. We know, however, that everyone involved in the decision chain remains persuaded that these strategic weapons are intended as a deterrent. The moment these weapons are actually unleashed, all predictions are off on what might happen once the smoke of battle clears.
Climate Change: Doubt is not Enough
Global warming deniers have used the strategy of raising doubt about the facts, following the very successful reliance on such strategy by the tobacco companies. Those who saw the danger have engaged the critics in an ongoing contest of competing claims. This has it entirely backwards. It is not what is known that should frighten us. Rather, it is what is not known.
Tuesday, December 22, 2015(10 comments)
The Predator-Prey Society
we have bifurcated into three species--predator, prey, and parasite...
How does this wretched system sustain itself? The powers that be are doing a good job persuading the hoi polloi that the threat to their well being comes from the bottom rather than the top--from the immigrants; from the needy; from the undeserving underclass
Monday, November 30, 2015(3 comments)
Caging the Nuclear Genie
Any large-scale attack on Iran by Israeli forces would likely come at the price of the destruction of Israeli society as we know it. A significant risk is that the major cities will be made uninhabitable, and that would be the end of the society that Israelis have constructed.
Sunday, December 14, 2014
Our Moral Burden After the Torture Revelations
Coming to the US in 1951 as an 11 year old from Germany, I was seen as an emissary from the nation that was seen as categorically evil. I thoroughly absorbed and accepted the judgment of collective guilt that my new country had imposed.
And now that same principle demands that I must also accept responsibility for the torture that was committed in our name.
Saturday, January 4, 2014(4 comments)
We Have Black Swans
A lack of future-orientation seems to characterize our society and our politics these days. This is happening even while our ability to shape future events is increasing substantially. Even the close call at Chelyabinsk last year did not have major policy repercussions. By contrast, Native Americans had an ethic of preserving the integrity of the environment unto the seventh generation, even while they had only limited means
Saturday, September 18, 2010(1 comments)
A Lesson in Potholes
Our near-term economic performance depends on our attention to infrastructure concerns and to our societal needs. This is primarily a government burden, which requires more taxation.
Friday, September 10, 2010(3 comments)
Ruminations on the San Bruno Fire
Fire hazard after earthquakes is one of a number of societal concerns that could lead to economic recovery via a focus on infrastructure improvements.
Monday, September 6, 2010(3 comments)
The State of Labor
The check-mating of Democratic initiatives in Congress increasingly means that progressive causes must be served by private initiative to the greatest degree possible. The cause of labor is the most obvious case in point.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Worrying a Fragile Social Cohesion
Religious belief may be the key animating impulse behind a fragmenting social cohesion in the US. If so, a frustrated progressivism must choose its causes wisely.
On Negro dialect
If Senator Reid cannot speak the truth about race without it being considered a gaffe, then perhaps others among us need to carry the discourse forward.
Thursday, December 31, 2009(1 comments)
The Path Not Taken
President Carter's views on the state of the country in 1979 are even more relevant today. A historical perspective on how we got here helps to clarify our current challenges---political, economic, and technical.
Monday, December 28, 2009(4 comments)
The article considers the desirability and means of allowing individuals to either opt in or out with regard to public support of abortion, capital punishment, and undeclared wars.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009(1 comments)
Rumination on Taxation
Options for restoring tax equity are discussed, with the dual objectives of restoring fiscal credibility to Washington and of righting the economic ship of state.
On Torture: The Issue of Collective Guilt
After Hitler, Germany had to deal with collective guilt.
Now that the USA has its own issue of the violation of the Geneva Convention regarding torture, the question of collective guilt needs once again to be raised. As far as I can tell, there has been essentially no discussion of our common, shared responsibility for what we have allowed to happen.
Friday, September 26, 2008(2 comments)
Toward a New Economy
The proposed bailout is a rescue effort for an economy that has not served the nation well. But the alternatives are not up for debate. As the bailout is unlikely to be effective in the long run, it is best to explore alternative economies now.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
A Revitalized Liberal Agenda
A reflection on a liberal resurgence on the basis of foreseeable technological developments that imply a moral mandate for our society.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008(2 comments)
Musings on the Fed
The center of power in our country has already gravitated from Washington to Wall Street. Its incestuous marriage to the Fed completes the hegemony of capital over our political institutions. On the one hand, capital claims the freedoms accorded all private ventures. And on the other hand the Fed has been deliberately insulated from public pressures.The people hardly matter anymore. This is the essence of fascism.
Monday, March 24, 2008(1 comments)
Assuring a Progressive Future
The opposition has no intention of playing fair.
Too bad the press is otherwise engaged. It is not our press anymore, simple as that. It has become the mouthpiece for interests not our own.
In this fragile state of our democracy, it is not enough for us to shove Barack out front as our gladiator against the forces of evil. It is not enough to mobilize for the election and then retire to the sidelines.
Monday, July 17, 2006
A couple of years ago our California ballot offered voters the opportunity to support stem cell research in the form of a $3B state funding commitment to a targeted research program. I recall only the vaguest details of what I voted for, and I certainly had misgivings about many aspects of this initiative. This is not the kind of issue where direct democracy should be exercised.