Category Archives: In the News

Las Vegas, internet advertising and collective delusions

This blog started out looking at how fragile probabilistic randomness often affects our collective and individual fates as a society. The next few posts work toward exploring some of the mathematics behind how half of America found itself embracing a collective political delusion which is objectively 180 degrees from its own long-held conservative religious and political norms. That math may… Read more »

“Wink and a nod” contract consideration – part 2

The first part of this series of posts looked at the growing inability to prosecute political bribery because the courts and legislatures have enabled layers of opaque legal entities to hide the delivery of the political favors from the receipt of the “consideration.” As I noted in that part, no official “contract” exists other than a “wink and a nod”… Read more »

“Wink and a nod” contract consideration – part 1

One of the foundational concepts of the university Business Law course, a staple of every business curriculum, is that of contracts, the agreement between two parties to do something (or sometimes, not do something). Most often, that “something” is an exchange of goods or services. And we were long taught that fundamentally, you have no contract unless you have this… Read more »

The “God language” of violence

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I noted in an earlier post in my continuing series on ethics that I believe we often see religious language backwards in this pursuit. My view is that the various religious “God languages” of humankind, as well as the many philosophical and popular cultural languages, are the “means of expression” for more basic human needs and goals. And “God languages”… Read more »

When God plays dice in Hawai’i

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Now I don’t know … I don’t know I don’t know where I’m a gonna go When the volcano blow.  – Jimmy Buffett – “Volcano” This blog has been going for some time now, but it started with pondering a basic human dilemma, best illustrated at this moment in time by the volcanic lava flowing into inhabited parts of the “Big… Read more »

Who is my neighbor?

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In the preface to Luke’s parable of the “Good Samaritan” [1], Jesus is challenged by the crowd, during a discussion of the deontological Jewish Law, to answer the question, “Who is my neighbor?” His answer was that the stranger who responded with compassion to the injured man lying alongside the road was his “neighbor,” even though the benefactor’s ethnicity was despised. [2]… Read more »

Gun violence: What will really change the statistics?

The wave of mass shootings in the U.S. continues unabated and, based on my prior analyses of the math behind the shootings [1], it will get worse because Americans can’t or won’t deal with that math. It will get worse because the root causative factor is, simply stated, the ready availability of weapons, and the root predictor of “high-lethality events” is… Read more »

Ends, means and the banality of evil

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For each of the different types of ethical/moral systems that this blog has been exploring lately, I have been asking the question, “Is this ethical system sufficient for making moral judgements and ethical decisions?” This post looks at the “end-based” models of recent discussion, such as teleology and consequentialism. Two of the “fatal flaws” that render these moral systems as… Read more »

Iowa, abortion and ethical nuance

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With the signing of a draconian, and likely unconstitutional, anti-abortion law by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, I want to share the view of a different group of women on the subject. In an earlier post, I mentioned getting to know, as a non-Catholic, a group of anti-war nuns while doing graduate study in ethics during the first Gulf War in… Read more »