Author Archives: Brent

Getting sophisticated about living with risk

  Is there a five second rule for covid-19? Remember the rule that said if you drop a piece of food on the floor you have five (or is it 10?) seconds to retrieve it before the cooties climb on board? It was always a joke—but not only. It did feel–does feel–safer to eat the […]

Imagining the New Normal.

My wife is annoyed at the phrase “new normal.” She sees it as an unnecessary concession to the virus. She’s taking it one day at a time, she says, and hasn’t given up hope that the Old Normal (which is just plain normal if you don’t allow New Normal in your vocabulary) will come back […]

Covid-19: re-learning risk tolerance

“We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” Does FDR’s famous Depression Era pep talk apply to our present situation? Well not entirely of course. We have the virus itself to fear. The curve may have peaked in some places, but the numbers of cases and of deaths are still rising. It still feels like […]

Getting Biden’s Appeal

So (if one may take a moment out from the nonstop conversation about the virus) it’s come down for Democrats to Biden, our lowest-common- denominator candidate. A lot of us are having to deal with our disappointment. Really? From that attractive, smart, gender and racially diverse field of candidates? This sameold, white male is to […]

Finding out what we can’t (or don’t want) to live without

Buddhists say that all suffering in life comes from attachment—to whatever it is you’re attached to . The remedy is non-attachment. Hard to argue with that: get dependent on something and you could lose it and suffer withdrawal. The way we are discouraging the spread of COVID-19 deprives us of many things that we are […]

Life vs. quality of life and other considerations

Like everybody else I know I have for several days been doing what we’ve been told to do : social distancing, washing our hands, doing our bit to “flatten the curve,” as we’ve learned to think of it. Every surface you come in contact with (of which it turns out the world has a lot) […]

The coronavirus vs. flu-as-usual

 [Note: this was written on Sunday, March 8th, four days before it appeared in the paper. It was of course–the tone and substance–immediately out-of-date.] If the world has had a hard time getting sufficiently exercised about imminent climate disaster to do much of anything about it, not so about coronavirus. As I write, panic seems […]

Democrats’ winning issue is defeating the danger of Trump

“Dems in disarray” is the theme since the Iowa debacle. (If they cant run their own nominating process, how can they run the country?) And now the puzzling NH results: The most progressive candidate wins but the more centrist candidates taken together get twice as many votes. How are we supposed to read that? And […]

Burgers are not the cause of climate change

Impossible Burger’s CEO says cows are the cause of climate change and is aiming to reverse it by getting rid of all cows by 2035. His plan is to satisfy the world’s considerable appetite for cooked cow with a fake version of the same thing. But he’s wrong about the cause of climate change. The […]

We should see affordable housing as an opportunity for architecture

Affordable housing is more talked about than actually accomplished in Wellfleet. With under two percent of our housing stock affordable, we lag far behind most towns on the Cape in meeting the state mandated ten percent. The possibility of making a big improvement in this situation was the subject of a Community Forum on a […]