Category Archives: Columns

The fallacy of “media bias” (Part 2 of 2)

The fallacy of “media bias” is playing a large role in the current national crisis. Newspapers like to claim objectivity (fairness, balance). It serves their interests to be seen as above the fray, the “paper of record.” But clearly, given the wide range of political flavors newspapers and other news sources come in, there are […]

The Fallacy of “Media bias” (1 of 2)

Widespread confusion about “media bias” is playing a large role in the current national crisis, serving the interests largely of Trump. House Speaker Ryan, explaining why fellow Republicans shouldn’t get too worked up about all the possibly impeachable offenses: “ It is obvious that there are some people out there who want to harm the […]

Voting ourselves a bigger gun

The first night of Wellfleet’s recent Town Meeting, FinCom, trying hard to curb spending, suggested cutting the proposed $101,000 budget for “legal services” in half. In the debate, one selectman pointed out that we spent about that amount just in the lalte 2016 court case trying (unsuccessfully) to prevent Cumberland Farms’ makeover of its existing […]

Device devotion: addiction? Or the Future?

Recently I read yet another newspaper story on parents worried about their kids’ addiction to screens. The twist in this particular story was about how parents are having a hard time maintaining credibility when they themselves spend on average nine hours a day online. Some of the families in the article arrive at a compromise: […]

Trump supporters: explain your complacency.

A month into the Trump p residency, his supporters have remained a mostly silent minority. When they speak it’s often to mock the alarm of crybaby liberals as hysteria, the whining of bad losers, a “perpetual tantrum,” as one local writer put it. Trump won the election, they remind us. Why are his opponents carrying […]

Resolutions. And counter-resolutions

While a lot of us are making our annual resolutions to lose weight, the president-elect has been resolving on a larger scale. Reverse the Affordable Care Act, make climate change denial the country’s official policy, circle the wagons against the alien threat, and, in some strange dance with his Russian counterpart, take us back to […]

Rendering unto Trump at Christmastime

The last two years I broke with my tradition and didn’t do a holiday season column. Last year I felt I needed to write on the reaction to the Paris terrorist attacks. The year before it was a local racism issue that bumped Christmas from this space. And now, with Trump ruling our attention, my […]

WHAT WILL HAPPEN? WHAT WILL WE DO?

Has ever a president-elect been held in such contempt by such a large portion of the electorate? These feel like dangerous times. Those signs protesting “F**k Trump” and “Not My President”–suddenly it seems not unreasonable to ask: are we becoming one of the many countries whose violence, instability and inability to govern themselves we’ve always […]

“Community”: a shallow premise for planning

A few days after the election, 80 or so of the most civic-minded Wellfleetians took time out from anguishing over the Future According to Trump to take up what seems a more manageable topic, the future of our own town. The idea was to crowdsource ideas to be incorporated in the latest update of our […]

AI : thinking about the end of the human era

Don’t look now, but while our attention is being distracted by all the media focus on climate change, there’s a much more ominous threat on the horizon: artificial intelligence ( AI). Unlike climate change, AI is not an unintended consequence of technology but something fellow humans are working hard to bring about. The goal the […]