South East Asia

I became interested in South East Asia in recent years, and I traveled through the region during the summer of 2017. I live in the Bay Area of California,  which is increasingly influenced not only by China, but also by...

/ October 9, 2017

Book Recommendations 2017

Here are my book suggestions for 2017. There is a little bit of everything, and the selection is purely subjective. Some of the books are older, but have lasting value (for instance “Psychopathology and Politics.”) The books about environmental problems...

/ May 20, 2017

World Urbanization Trends

"The city allows you to become yourself by making a stranger of you." We are experiencing a historical transition - human civilization will more and more coalesce into very large urban centers. Cities are the manifestation of the cultural, economic...

/ April 21, 2017

Can Ethics be the First Philosophy?

Emmanuel Levinas is a unique philosopher in the 20th century. He redefines traditional philosophy by radically re-thinking it from the point of view of justice, which in his understanding originates in the encounter with the other. For Aristotle, the "first...

/ March 23, 2017

Flowers and Art

It is spring in California, and we had plenty of rain through the winter. Everything is in bloom, and the De Young Museum uses this abundance to organize its annual “Bouquets to Art” exhibition. The idea is simple, and it...

/ March 21, 2017

The Execution of Damiens

The use of torture as a form of punishment was commonplace in European societies into the early 19th century. Today, we are outraged by mass killings, genocide, and ISIS beheadings, but extreme violence has always been there; it runs deep...

/ February 23, 2017

Shrump I: Post-Democracy in America?

Before I get started, let’s introduce a new term that helps us to appreciate the differences between words, their meaning, and reality itself. You may wonder what a “shrump” is. If you google it you will find that the definition is still...

/ January 25, 2017

2017 – The Search for Simplicity

2016 was a strange year: more refugees, Brexit, the US Election disaster, a coup d’état by the Government in Turkey, the destruction of Aleppo, Russian and Chinese hacking, the mainstream emergence of artificial intelligence, and self-driving cars are hitting the...

/ January 3, 2017

Are we awake now?

Since election day a week ago, people have been protesting every night in the Bay Area and across the United States. I went to the demonstration yesterday, and want to share some impressions and photos. This family-friendly event on Sunday...

/ November 14, 2016

God bless America!

You wake up and realize that a dystopian vision has become reality: America just became Trump University. There is no termination clause in the contract, and the sale is final. What went wrong? Hillary won in terms of absolute numbers,...

/ November 12, 2016

On Cicero

I recently added some texts from the ancient Roman politician and philosopher Cicero (106 – 43 BC) to this blog. Cicero rose to the highest political offices in Rome, and he defended the Roman Republic, a limited version of democracy...

/ October 31, 2016

Sunset over the Bay Area

“To leave out beautiful sunsets is the secret of good taste.” (Dejan Stojanovic.) Well, occasionally we fail. A spontaneous walk in the evening, without much expectation, and suddenly, there it was, this sunset over the Bay Area, viewed from Tilden Park....

/ October 23, 2016