About This

In the spirit of full disclosure: this blog is about everything. Yes, I know, that sounds both irresponsibly noncommital and ridiculously ambitious, but it’s not really. “About everything” in the sense that it’s about life. Call it an ongoing inquiry into how life works, how to live. My version of what I regard as everyone’s basic project, required by living, the old experiment-of-one.

Since 1994 I have written an op-ed column for the Cape Cod Times. In those 500-plus columns I have written about most things under the sun, including, in no particular order, parenting, diet, exercise, aging, the Big Bang, war, art, books, movies, TV, travel (and staying home), school, weather, climate change, nature, seasons, trophy houses (and humble cottages), sports, surf, ponds, roads (paved vs. dirt), car accidents, politics, holidays (for better or worse), god, money, the battle of the sexes, work, creativity, the meaning of life, animals (both wild and domestic). Even sun worship. And as they say, much, much more. Whatever has seemed, given the world that day, most in need of saying and hadn’t already to my knowledge been said by someone else. Often there’s a bit of a feeling of columnist to the rescue (saving a shapely idea from the clutches of a cliché, defending the hapless farmers of a small Mexican village from Inadequate Thinking, etc.). In that same spirit, although perhaps in a somewhat more spontaneous and exploratory way, this blog is about everything in life that strikes me as important to write about. Not because I’m an expert on everything but because on a lot of the most important questions there are no experts, just people (including experts) trying to figure it out. And because I am very curious. And because I do in fact continue to harbor a certain quaint faith in the power of ideas to change the world, good ideas to change it in a good way.


I must say that this feels pretty strange, committing words to this ocean of opinion. (According to Wikipedia, as of February 2011 there were 156 million public blogs.)

It’s like standing on the shore waving goodbye to a corked bottle containing a message, to whom it may concern, which one has tossed into the sea, hoping against hope to get an answer some day from someone down the Gulf Stream, in Newfoundland perhaps, or Ireland.

Or like My friend Stephan when he dropped out of graduate school to go street singing in Paris.

Or diving into a mosh pit.


  • Here I am visiting your blog. Who knew it was up and running? These days one normally hypes one’s hypes with an “email blast.” I shall look forward to receiving one soon.

  • My husband Ron and I are old 60’s activists and are looking for a Cape-based discussion group that is neither left nor right wing. Any suggestions? Please keep up the good work with your column and blog! Thanks.

  • Mark Pecker wrote:

    Rereading “Godel, Escher, Bach” after many years, I was once again struck by Hofstader’s acknowledgement of the influence you had on him during his Freshman English course at Stanford.

    This prompted me to let you know that your course at Brown during my sophomore year (1969-70) greatly influenced the way I analyze and look at the world and my own life choices, on an almost daily basis. Switching from a transcendental (Mathematics) to a materialist (Medicine) discipline being the major but not the only one.

    Just writing to thank you and to let you know that I am grateful to have crossed paths with you those years ago.

    Mark Pecker

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