Today I celebrated my 75th birthday with friends …, and shared with them this reflection … In a nutshell, I’m saying that I welcome the new responsibilities that accrue with age, and commit myself to trying to fulfill them. And now I want to make this commitment explicit, by telling you what I will try to do in the next five years. And maybe longer, but let’s just take things one lustrum (5-year period) at a time. (2016.4.3)
My father in his last years was tentatively diagnosed as having Alzheimer’s. I never believed it. Now, new research on the human genome and, among other things, how canaries learn new songs brings us a little closer to understanding how memory works, and why it doesn’t.
Dying for a mirage: Yesterday I saw Ellen McLaughlin’s play “Helen,” based on Euripides’ play of the same name… Just like in real life, the bloodiest wars are fought for things that exist only in men’s minds: “eternal Israel,” “free Palestine,” “jihad,” “Tamil homeland,” “Aryan supremacy,” “the American way of life,” etc. Pretty perceptive, that Euripides. I hope he writes some more. 2002.03.24