The advent of historically-themed movies and TV shows has given interest in history a tremendous boost. There are no significant historical events that have not been the subject of at least one movie. The drawback is that not every movie is historically accurate - Hollywood portrays versions of the facts that bring in the most profits, not necessarily those that are true to life.
One of my personal gripes nowadays is e-mail. Not, I hasten to add, my own use of it, but other peoples'. Use, or perhaps I should say, misuse.
E-mail today seems to be something that is uniquely capable of laying bare all the personal foibles and failings of the American public. Carelessness, inattention, confusion, disorganization, and inability to follow simple directions; not to mention ignorance of English grammar and spelling.
Travel for the masses is one of the benefits of living in the 21st century. While it has a few drawbacks, travel brings so many benefits that they easily outweigh the negatives.
For some, travel means just having a good time but there are so many other things to be gained beyond rest and recreation. And of course, it's not an either/or situation: one can easily combine all of the advantages of travel into one trip.
Facts are facts and theories are theories. It's important to understand the difference because many promoters of theories want you to believe that they are fact.
Facts are reality; they are what is, and what happened. They are absolute and the same for everybody. There cannot be more than one correct version of the facts. There are no "alternative facts".
In the age of COVID-19, scientists have been much in the news. Let's think for a minute or two about how they do what they do.
I believe in the scientific method. It is the nearest thing I have to a religious belief. But the scientific method is not really a faith because there are countless examples of its success. Faith requires the capacity to believe in something for which there is no evidence.
It is popular among many people of my generation (that is, people in their 60's and 70's) to speak of their "spirituality". People like to claim that they are spiritual. I have even been described as spiritual myself, by a handful of my acquaintances, even though I espouse a strictly rational, science-based world view. I can accept this attribution only on the basis of a definition that I read somewhere recently: "religious people do as they are told to do, no matter what is right; spiritual people do what is right, no matter what they are told".
It is commonplace in the United States to hear people complain about drugs, medications, and vaccines. Many people I know do not want to use them, particularly vaccines. This point of view has various rationales: drugs are ineffective, drugs have side effects, natural remedies are better, the drug companies are out to rip us off, etc. While all of these assertions have some truth in them, these people are in danger of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
Moderation is not a popular attitude nowadays. Moderates (and I'm not talking only about political moderates) are seen as people who are "fence-sitters"; the folks who "cannot make up their minds". There probably are a group who genuinely are unable to come to a conclusion about things, but I believe that moderation is the approach to life adopted by the strong-minded. A moderate attitude to an issue is one which has required fair-minded consideration of the pros and cons, and the disciplined application of common sense.
Although it's not fashionable to say so right now, I admire and respect immigrants. How can I not? I am one myself. I grew up in Europe and came to live in the United States during my twenties. I have spent the greater part of my life as an immigrant. So I know more than the average person about immigration.
Think for a moment about the meaning of the word.
Literally it means: "things that happen at the same time".
But there's a little more to it than that. Things happen together all the time, but we don't call every simultaneous happening a coincidence.
Two things happening together form a coincidence when cause and effect appear to be at work, but in fact are not.