Creative Capital

On Agency

“Agency” is a small word, but it has large meanings. In my day job in the financial industry, for example, “agency” issues refer to the differences in interests between investors (the principals) and their financial advisors (the agents). The classic example of a conflict between the interests of these parties involves stockbrokers. An investor can …

On Agency Read More »

Are We All Actually Immortal?

“There is a realm the laws of physics prevent us from accessing.” — Ryan Mandelbaum  Previously in this series: On Consciousness Part VII: Entering Unitarity “Death, be not proud.” — John Donne We are discussing the phenomenon of unitarity, a core feature of quantum physics. Last week we noted that, in the mid-1970s, Stephen Hawking argued that unitarity …

Are We All Actually Immortal? Read More »

Entering Unitarity

“Death may be the greatest of all human blessings.” — Socrates Previously in this series: On Consciousness Part V: Is It All Predictable? “I’m not afraid of death, I just don’t want to be there when it happens. –Woody Allen The Uniform Determination of Death Act (UDDA) states, simply, that “An individual who has sustained either (1) …

Entering Unitarity Read More »

Uh-oh! Free Will Pulls Vanishing Act

“I do not believe in free will.” — Einstein Previously in this series: On Consciousness Part V: Is It All Predictable? “There is no absolute or free will.” — Spinoza We are investigating my claim that free will is an illusion that grows out of our ignorance of the factors – the prior interactions – that engender …

Uh-oh! Free Will Pulls Vanishing Act Read More »

Is It All Predictable?

“Pretend that you have free will. It’s essential that you behave as if your decisions matter, even though you know they don’t.” — Ted Chiang Previously in this series: On Consciousness Part IV: Is Our Consciousness so Special? “Man can do what he wills but he cannot will what he wills.” — Arthur Schopenhauer Does free will …

Is It All Predictable? Read More »

Is Our Consciousness So Special?

“If all phenomena are determined by physical laws … then life itself becomes little more than a string of kinetic experiences.”  –Walter Pater Previously in this series: On Consciousness Part III: What Do We Know About Time? “Je suis, donc je pense.” — What Descartes should have said   It seems likely that nothing exists except in …

Is Our Consciousness So Special? Read More »

What Do We Know About Time?

“There is no coming into being nor passing away, there is neither genesis nor decay; the elements out of which everything is composed assemble or disassemble while themselves remaining unchanged.”  Parmenides, c. 475 BC” “Time does not flow … it just is.” Leofranc Holford-Strevens, The History of Time” Previously in this series: On Consciousness Part II: …

What Do We Know About Time? Read More »

How Little We Know

“I think I can safely say that nobody really understands quantum mechanics.” Richard Feynman Previously in this series: On Consciousness We are taking a quick look at the quixotic nature of the quantum world as part of our long-way-around approach to examining the nature of human consciousness. We’ll begin with how little we actually know …

How Little We Know Read More »

On Consciousness

“God does not play dice with the universe.” Albert Einstein “If you are not profoundly shocked by quantum physics you have not understood it.” Neils Bohr Across the long intellectual history of the human race, reaching back at least to the pre-Socratic philosophers (beginning, apparently with Thales of Miletus), there have been a handful of occasions …

On Consciousness Read More »

The Long War Had Definite Pluses

We are speculating about how the Taliban will govern Afghanistan the second time around. Last week I concluded that one prevalent fear – that the Taliban would protect terrorist groups that are a major threat to the West – is unlikely to happen. Previously in this series: “The Taliban and Future Terrorism: A Positive Take (You …

The Long War Had Definite Pluses Read More »

The Taliban and Future Terrorism

“If Americans are worried about the return of violent Islamist extremists … Afghanistan is not the most important place they should watch.” — Philip Zelikow, former Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission. Previously in this series: “Afghan History and the Taliban: A Positive Take (You Heard That Right) on Afghanistan, Part II” To begin – and end …

The Taliban and Future Terrorism Read More »

Afghan History and the Taliban

It’s difficult to remain an atoll of sanity in a typhoon of madness. Previously in this series: “A Positive Take (You Heard That Right) on Afghanistan, Part I” For two decades – from the 1970s to the 1990s – Afghanistan was constantly at war, either with outside states (the USSR) or with itself via civil wars …

Afghan History and the Taliban Read More »

A Positive Take (You Heard that Right) on Afghanistan

“We learn from the mistakes of the past how to make new ones. — Historian A.J.P. Taylor I was part of the 70 percent of Americans who thought it was time to bring most of our soldiers home from Afghanistan. I was also part of the 75 percent of Americans who were angered and embarrassed …

A Positive Take (You Heard that Right) on Afghanistan Read More »

The Best-laid Plans…

I’d collapsed into a chair beside the desk of the woman named Eth. Eth had her elbow on her desk and was resting her head on her hand. She was drinking coffee sideways so as not to have to move her head too much. Previously in this series: “My Big Moment” “If you don’t mind,” I …

The Best-laid Plans… Read More »

My Big Moment

As I mentioned earlier, the Republican convention was being held that year in Miami Beach and it was being run by Gerald Ford, then Speaker of the House. Previously in this series: “Lugar for Veep” Ford had the nifty idea of having a woman give the keynote address. It turned out that in the history of …

My Big Moment Read More »

Lugar for Veep?

I’ll close out my series on Richard Lugar with a three-part episode I’ll call  “Veep.” Previously in this series: “The Hug that Rocked Indianapolis: Richard Lugar, Part VII” Richard Lugar wasn’t just the Mayor of Indianapolis and he wasn’t just running for the U.S. Senate – he was also being mooted as President Nixon’s running mate. …

Lugar for Veep? Read More »

nashville scene

The Hug that Rocked Indianapolis

Fortunately, most of my experiences in Dick Lugar’s office weren’t as creepy as the episode of “Drinking the Kool-Aid” or as alarming as “See No Evil.” There was, for example, the one I’ll call — Hello, Dolly! Previously in this series: “Lie Down with Dogs…: Richard Lugard Part VI” When Lugar was first elected Mayor of …

The Hug that Rocked Indianapolis Read More »

Policeman profile photo

Lie Down with Dogs…

“On my honor, I will never betray my integrity, my character, or the public trust.” –Indianapolis Police Dept. Oath Previously in this series: “You Meet the Strangest People…: Richard Lugar, Part V” Only a day or two after the episode of Drinking the Kool-Aid, there was the episode I’ll call:  See No Evil  Late in the afternoon a guy …

Lie Down with Dogs… Read More »

You Meet the Strangest People…

I arrived at the Mayor’s office a bit early, announced myself and took a seat in the waiting room. I had only been there a minute or two when a lady came out, told me the Mayor would be with me soon, and asked me to fill out a form while I was waiting. Previously …

You Meet the Strangest People… Read More »

Surprising the Mayor

In those days, the mayor of Indianapolis was a guy named Richard Lugar. Lugar was an unusual mayor, to say the least. He’d been first in his class in high school and college, had been a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford and was an Eagle Scout. He was as straight-laced and honest as a country parson. …

Surprising the Mayor Read More »

Joining the Force

One day I arrived at the MP station and saw a new announcement tacked up on the bulletin board. It was notifying everyone that, with the War in Vietnam winding down, nonessential personnel with only a few months left in the Army would be mustered out early. The Army needed to save money. Previously in …

Joining the Force Read More »

MPs on the Job!

Just one more exciting episode from the 226th Military Police Company, and then I can move on to the main part of my story. Previously in this series: “Policing Perils: Richard Lugar, Part I” Hot pursuit Legally speaking, the phrase “hot pursuit” stands as an exception to the usual rules that regulate police conduct, allowing …

MPs on the Job! Read More »

Top