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Dave Pruett
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Dave Pruett, a former NASA researcher and computational scientist, is emeritus professor of mathematics at James Madison University and the author of Reason & Wonder (Praeger, 2012), now out in paperback (IngramSpark POD, 2015).

Entries by Dave Pruett

What Economists Don't Know About Physics -- And Why It's Killing Us

(5) Comments | Posted July 1, 2016 | 12:52 AM

Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist. -- Kenneth Boulding

2016-06-29-1467234163-5809773-blue_marble.jpg (Spaceship Earth: NASA)

The mantra of classical economists is "growth." So fixated are they on growth that recessions are often referred...

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America's Ghost Dance with Trump

(1) Comments | Posted June 2, 2016 | 9:02 AM

"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them." - Matthew 7:15

2016-06-01-1464824227-7850948-Wovoka_Paiute_Shaman.jpg
Wovoka, the Paiute Messiah: Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=506583

In watching aghast the incomprehensible ascendancy...

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We're All in the Sacrifice Zone Now

(15) Comments | Posted May 3, 2016 | 12:46 PM

sacrifice zone: a geographic zone that has been permanently impaired by environmental damage or economic disinvestment. These zones are commonly found in low-income and minority communities. (Wikipedia definition)

I grew up in the shadow of Appalachia. My hometown, Bluefield, wasn't Appalachia, but you could see it from there. Just twelve...

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From the Party of Abe to the Party of Donald

(1) Comments | Posted March 24, 2016 | 7:46 PM

2016-03-24-1458779612-1156776-abe_n_donald.jpg(Lincoln photo by A. Gardner, 1863. Trump caricature by DonkeyHotey, available under Creative Commons license through flickr.)

There's poetic justice in Trump's rise to the top of the GOP presidential field. The GOP is reaping precisely what it has sown.

One might indulge in...

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America's Alternate Political Universes

(1) Comments | Posted February 22, 2016 | 11:12 AM

2016-02-21-1456086346-6719795-political4.jpg

The Iowa Caucus, New Hampshire Primary, and South Carolina GOP Primary are now in the rear-view mirror. Jeb Bush has bailed from the presidential race. It's time to pause and take political stock.

Of the four leading candidates -- Donald Trump and...

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Ripples in the Cosmic Pond

(1) Comments | Posted February 16, 2016 | 3:43 PM

I am now exclusively occupied with the problem of gravitation, and hope, with the help of a local mathematician friend, to overcome all the difficulties. One thing is certain, however, that never in my life have I been quite so tormented. A great respect for mathematics has been instilled within...
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Science and Mysticism

(5) Comments | Posted January 25, 2016 | 9:10 AM

"We are in trouble just now because we do not have a good story. We are between stories." -- Father Thomas Berry

2016-01-25-1453734347-7857664-vitruvian_man_cdp.jpg

Our species -- Homo sapiens -- is endangered.

Never has humankind faced simultaneous crises on so many fronts: over-population; a rapidly...

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My Encounter With Pope Francis

(0) Comments | Posted October 1, 2015 | 1:23 PM

"A new mentality is needed, and this implies above all a recovery of ancient and original wisdom. And a real contact with what is right under our noses."
-- Thomas Merton, in a letter to Thich Nhat Hanh

On Thursday, September 24, I saw Pope Francis with my own...

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Taming the Elephant on Wall Street

(2) Comments | Posted August 31, 2015 | 5:17 PM

2015-08-29-1440859572-2171847-wall_street_sign.jpg

Wall Street likes it simple: promote bull markets; avoid bear markets. But there's now an elephant on Wall Street, and few are daring to talk about it.

In you hadn't noticed, the market has been essentially flat for a year; that is until...

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The Demise of American Democracy and the 2016 Election

(2) Comments | Posted July 29, 2015 | 9:46 AM

2015-07-29-1438177409-1876156-DSC_0002.JPG

On this Americans agree: There's too much money in politics, and it's eroding our democracy.

A recent poll (New York Times, June 2, 2015) reveals 85 percent of Americans believe we must either make "fundamental changes" or "completely rebuild" how campaigns...

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Francis' Momentous Encyclical: On Care for Our Common Home

(1) Comments | Posted June 19, 2015 | 1:45 PM

"We are in trouble just now because we do not have a good story. We are between stories." -- Father Thomas Berry

I'm not Catholic. Nevertheless, fond of this pope, I've eagerly awaited the release of Laudato Si', Francis' encyclical on ecology and climate. Immediately after its June 18 release,...

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Pope Francis' Integral Ecology

(14) Comments | Posted May 28, 2015 | 10:40 AM

"The age of nations is past. The task before us now, if we would not perish, is to build the earth." -- Teilhard de Chardin

2015-05-28-1432823782-9481302-rupi8744NatureBeautynaturepptpowerpoint118_88.jpg

There's a new term being bandied about, and it's high time we paid heed: integral ecology.

Whenever...

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The Fallacy in the Culture Wars: The Individual vs. the Collective

(3) Comments | Posted May 15, 2015 | 2:37 PM

"Nothing is precious except that part of you which is in other people, and that part of others which is in you. Up there, on high, everything is one." -- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

2015-05-15-1431701422-8854315-interlocking_hands.jpg

At the root of the culture wars lies a...

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A Multinational Trojan Horse: The Trans-Pacific Partnership

(7) Comments | Posted May 7, 2015 | 12:59 PM

"The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, ... may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny."
-- James Madison in The Federalist Papers.

2015-05-05-1430860012-7431421-trojanhorse.jpg (Image source: Wikimedia)

You don't have to know much about the "trade"...

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The Great Transition

(38) Comments | Posted March 19, 2015 | 3:29 PM

"The Stone Age came to an end not for a lack of stones, and the oil age will end, but not for a lack of oil." -- Ahmed Zaki Yamani, former Saudi Arabian Minister of Oil, 2000

2015-03-18-1426721285-2413800-solar_array.jpg(The author's home with new solar array.)
...
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Beyond Reason

(0) Comments | Posted March 17, 2015 | 11:34 AM

2015-03-15-1426463785-6539629-beyondreasonPCA_2.jpg

Sometimes the universe surprises you.

A few months ago, I received an email from independent filmmaker Frank Huguenard. Having read some of my posts on the science of consciousness, Frank wanted to know if I'd consider being interviewed for a film on that...

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The Greater Danger: Precipice or Slippery Slope?

(23) Comments | Posted March 9, 2015 | 4:23 PM

2015-03-08-1425822352-320536-Crabtree_Falls.jpgLower Crabtree Falls, Virginia, National Forest Service image

I'm a boomer, so I missed the greatest existential crisis of the 20th Century: The Second World War. My Dad, however, was in the thick of it, helping mop up after the Battle of the Bulge.

...
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Global Warming or Climate Chaos: What's in a Name?

(44) Comments | Posted March 5, 2015 | 4:04 PM

This winter has set record lows in many states, a fact the editor of our conservative local newspaper, and others of his ilk, must be relishing. "There's no global warming," I can imagine him crowing. "It's all a liberal hoax." Such distorted logic reveals either an appalling ignorance of the...

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A Party of Judases

(16) Comments | Posted February 13, 2015 | 3:31 PM

"I've heard some folks try to dodge the evidence by saying they're not scientists -- that we don't have enough information to act [on climate change]. Well, I'm not a scientist, either. But you know what? I know a lot of really good scientists at NASA, and NOAA, and at...
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Global Divestment Comes of Age

(1) Comments | Posted January 26, 2015 | 3:11 PM

"It makes no sense to invest in companies that undermine our future. To serve as custodians of creation is not an empty title; it requires that we act, and with all the urgency this dire situation demands." -- Desmond Tutu

2015-01-22-oxford_divest.jpg(Oxford Fossil Free Future...
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