Author Archives: William Hooke

More inaugural augury. The outlook for ethics, (and the 2017 AMS Annual Meeting).

Ethics: that branch of philosophy dealing with values relating to human conduct, with respect to the rightness and wrongness of certain actions and to the goodness and badness of the motives and ends of such actions. “Most people, when they … Continue reading

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The “augur” in Inauguration.

Many words could have been applied to America’s four-year swearing-in ceremony for new presidents, observed once again tomorrow. Why this particular word? Hard to find any history peculiar to its choice here in the United States, but generically, we’re told … Continue reading

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(More) remedial reading: three remarkable books, and a call to action.

“In old days books were written by men [sic] of letters and read by the public. Nowadays books are written by the public and read by nobody.” – Oscar Wilde  “That is a good book which is opened with expectation … Continue reading

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Living on the Real World: The Art of the Deal.

As the 2016-2017 transitional period in U.S. politics enters its final few weeks, the nation and the world search for hints and early insights into any coming changes in policy and national priorities. These run across the entirety of the … Continue reading

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Living on the Real World: the ultimate realpolitik.

Realpolitik (from German: real “realistic”, “practical”, or “actual”; and Politik “politics”, German pronunciation: [ʁeˈaːlpoliˌtɪk]) is politics or diplomacy based primarily on considerations of given circumstances and factors, rather than explicit ideological notions or moral and ethical premises.   Today’s topic: … Continue reading

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Looking for Joy – in all the wrong places?

  And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But … Continue reading

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Missing these two ingredients? Then your transition document is still incomplete

Carpe diem. Gratias tibi. Starbucks may have switched to its holiday cups. Christmas and Hannukah decorations may be in all the store windows. Annual letters from friends are starting to fill our mailboxes (joining the catalogs that have been flooding … Continue reading

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Presidential transition? Time to show spine.

“To thine own self be true” – Shakespeare (Polonius’ advice to Hamlet) “Plans are nothing. Planning is everything” – Dwight D. Eisenhower Periodic, fair, and open elections define any representative democracy, and the United States is no exception. For all … Continue reading

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Recent environmental intelligence. Part 5. Will the world of the future lack spine?

As documented so far in this LOTRW mini-series, environmental intelligence from the past several weeks has told us that: when it comes to hurricanes and other extremes, what matters is vulnerability; air pollution isn’t just causing momentary health hazards, but … Continue reading

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Giving Thanks? It’s not only an end. It’s also a beginning.

As always, Thanksgiving promises a cornucopia. But this year the bounty is more than the abundant dinner-table spread. It extends to food for thought. News and social media have issued an abundance of material on how to talk with friends … Continue reading

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