Author Archives: hessd

About hessd

Here is all you need to know to follow this blog. I am an old man and I love to think about why we say the things we do. I've taught at the elementary, secondary, collegiate, and doctoral levels. I don't think one is easier than another. They are hard in different ways. I have taught political science for a long time and have practiced politics in and around the Oregon Legislature. I don't think one is easier than another. They are hard in different ways. You'll be seeing a lot about my favorite topics here. There will be religious reflections (I'm a Christian) and political reflections (I'm a Democrat) and a good deal of whimsy. I'm a dilettante.

Meet the Barbara

Sherry Turkle warned long ago that people seize on “counseling computers” and confess the most remarkable things to them. I enjoyed her account when Alone Together was published in 2011, but I hadn’t thought about it recently. Then Joe and … Continue reading

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The Magnificat and the Great Reversal

The song “O, What a Beautiful Morning” on my recording (Siri’s choice) of Oklahoma, takes 2:35. The fragment of that same song included takes about 36 seconds, just long enough to introduce the theme and then move on. For Advent … Continue reading

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Stepping up

What if there were something you would like to be able to reach and it is just a little too high to get to? Not a problem. You get a little stool and climb up on that. And if you … Continue reading

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The disappearance of narcissism

Good news! You’re not narcissistic and neither am I. And neither is anyone else you know. And why is that? Because the traits and the associated behaviors that characterize narcissism are now so common that they are no longer abnormal. … Continue reading

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Don’t talk to her like she’s a slave

This is (yet another) reflection on a dilemma presented by the Netflix show HUMANS. As the series develops, it is showing more interest in the fundamental robotic dilemma: just how is it that “they” are different from “us.?” That’s not … Continue reading

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“Professors are the enemy”

Let’s start with a paragraph from Heather Cox Richardson’s November 3 post, “Letters from an American.” She is reporting on the pushing and shoving that is going on in politics these days. Meanwhile, the Republicans continue to focus on culture … Continue reading

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Sex with Machines

This picture appears in the Netflix series HUMANS (with the A upside down) to advertise a whorehouse that has no whores in it. All the erotic services are provided by robots who, in this series are called “Synths.” It’s a … Continue reading

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Robot Servants and Friends (and Lovers)

Laura Hawkins, the mother, stands in the upstairs hallway, looking into the middle distance. Her teenage daughter Mattie, says, “Mom? What are you doing?” Her mother responds, “Just standing here being a shit mother.” That seems harsh. Here is the … Continue reading

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Are we entitled to our own facts?

On balance, yes. It isn’t as easy a question as Sen. Moynihan seemed to think when he admonished his colleagues that they were entitled to their own views, but they were not entitled to their own facts. There is a … Continue reading

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Real Religion

I want to wind up talking with you about the current series, “Manifest.” [1] I would like to start, however, with a line from Pay It Forward. The line is, “We’re not allowed to pay it back.” I am counting … Continue reading

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