A government in the nature of things, with intelligent (human) design
I could not make the inaugural, but I had to be in Washington on Friday, and I decided to make a pilgrimage. After walking halfway across the city (dragging a rolling bag all the way) I stood in a happy, multiracial crowd before the White House fence,
Champagne bubbles, dot-com bubbles, credit bubbles, and bursting dreams.
After a lecture in Poughkeepsie in mid-November I had take a car down to the White Plains airport at 3 AM in order to meet my class in Atlanta. The driver—let’s call him Don—was a big, burly, solid man around fifty with a New York accent that made me feel right at home.
He turned out to be a retired police officer, pro-Obama, a classic New York Democrat like his father and grandfather before him. Don could care less about Obama’s name or race, but as a struggling entrepreneur with two daughters in college he was very, very worried about the economy.
Now I get it: This is their generation's March on Washington.
My son Adam Konner is a senior at the University of Michigan who, like so many other young people, has been working to elect Barack Obama.
Barack Obama, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the rebirth of the dream.
At this writing, Barack Obama seems set to win the most important position in the nation and the world. In June, when he won the nomination, I wrote “The Long View,” about how, in anthropological perspective, history had been made.
Why aren’t the Democrats winning hands down? A brilliant young psychologist thinks it's all in the brain–ours.
Some of my Democratic friends reading my blogs or listening to my occasional rants are starting to wonder which side I’m on. The fact is I have always voted Democratic and will do so in this election, but I am increasingly frustrated with my party.
"Conservatives" nationalize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, mocking their own market mantra
Anthropologists and evolutionary psychologists are fascinated by two poles of human behavior: cooperation and competition. You've got to get your own in terms of reproductive success, but you're in a relentlessly social species, so you often have to do well by doing good.
McCain’s VP Pick Makes Darwinian and Boasian Sense
Shock and awe. That had to be one thought in McCain’s mind when he picked a little-known governor of Alaska–the state one pundit called an overgrown igloo–to stand a heartbeat away from his seat in the Oval Office, his age and cancer history be damned.
Obama and McCain have different ideas about war. Neither may be able to prevent it.
Is war a permanent part of the human condition?
I’ve been interested in this question since high school, when an inspiring teacher named Dora Venit spent two years confronting me with the grotesque facts of history. It was not very long after the Holocaust, and the height of the Cold War.
Prejudices change slowly, but they change.
Anthropologists take the long view. Fads come and go–hula hoops, Heavy Metal–but where it counts, culture change–cultural evolution, really–is slow.
Take racial equality for instance. I am always amazed by people who say that affirmative action has gone on long enough.