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Zero-Sum Folly, From Kyoto to Kosovo

What do the ethnic cleansing in Kosovo, the global warming treaty in Kyoto, and the Social Security “crisis” of demand-side Keynesian economics have in common, apart from a convergence of K’s? You can even add Theodore Kaczynski, the Unabomber. Answer: They all reflect a belief in a zero-sum world. The concept of a zero-sum system originated in a branch of Read More ›

Haeckel’s Embryos

In The Origin of Species Charles Darwin wrote that “the embryos of mammals, birds, fishes, and reptiles [are] closely similar, but become, when fully developed, widely dissimilar.” He inferred that all vertebrates “are the modified descendants of some ancient progenitor,” and that “the embryonic or larval stages show us, more or less completely, the condition of the progenitor of the whole Read More ›

A Species’ Fate, By the Numbers

Population viability analysis (PVA), a favorite approach of conservation biologists for predicting a population's survival, is coming under scrutiny now that its use in critical decisions on endangered species is on the rise. Increasingly, PVAs are being attacked as too simplistic, overly demanding of data, error-prone, and hard to verify. Last month, at the first-ever major conference on the technique, scientists discussed hurdles facing attempts to extend PVA to cover a wider range of species, and how to factor in the behavior of our own species. And one scientist described how he crash-tested PVA models in the lab, a practice that could help ecologists refine the technique. Read More ›

Before He Kills Again

IT SEEMS AS IF HE HAS ALWAYS been part of the American cultural landscape, leaving dead bodies at hospital emergency-room doors, wearing Founding Father costumes to court, accusing his opponents of conducting a modern-day Inquisition. But only nine years ago, no one had heard of Jack Kevorkian, when a March 1990 newspaper article described an offer that seemed more like Read More ›

As Traffic Worsens, Economic Reality Could Take its Toll

Paul Heyne, senior lecturer in economics at the University of Washington, asks: When the population of an area grows, why is it that the roads get congested but the movie theaters don’t? His answer: Because you have to pay to see a movie. If people could walk in free, Heyne writes, “I would predict a growing problem of theater congestion.” Read More ›

Irish Centenary Group; From Idea to Reality

In the summer of 1994 a Franciscan Friar named Finbarr Flanagan returned from his post in South Africa to his native Belfast for a visit. He looked for C. S. Lewis memorials and found none. Resolving to light a candle rather than curse the darkness, he wrote a leaflet, “C. S. Lewis and Belfast,” noting the Centenary in 1998 and Read More ›

Lewis Legacy Readers Who Contributed To The C. S. Lewis Readers’ Encyclopedia

D. Aeshliman has written for journals on both sides of the Atlantic and has taught at Columbia, The University of Virginia, and two Swiss universities. He is currently Docente in English at the University of Italian Switzerland in Lugano and Associate Professor of Education at Boston University. His book The Restitution of Man: C. S. Lewis and the Case Against Read More ›

“Narnia Born Again”

The Nation, 2 February 1999 BOSTON JOURNALIST Michael Gross attended Stanley Mattson’s Oxbridge C. S.. Lewis conference in 1998, then visited the Wade Center and wrote a 3,000-word article for the 2 February 1999 issue of The Nation ( He begins and ends in the Sheldonian Theatre. (See John Bremer’s “C. S. Lewis and the Ceremonies of Oxford University” in Read More ›

From a Humble Admirer

To a great lady IN THE BODLEIAN LIBRARY there is a copy of the 1950 edition of Dymer with the following inscription to a great poet and dear friend of Lewis on the flyleaf: Ruth Pitter from C. S. Lewis 16 / 10 / 50 Not for your reading, not because I dreamTo pay my debt for the still, ghostly Read More ›