Here is the third in a series of links to recent articles I’ve found ‘of interest.’

The first three articles, in various ways, ‘talk’ about what has happened and is happening in the world about us. Then there is an article about a modern attempt to follow Odysseus’ Mediterranean ‘jaunt.’ And finally, a very short ‘review’ about a topic that continues to interest me – the brain and how we come to believe what we believe.

1. “It All Turns on Affection,” by Wendell E. Berry.

For those of you who are familiar with the wonderful Wendell Berry, here is his 2012 Jefferson Lecture wherein he makes the case that “We do not have to live as if we are alone.”

(“The Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities recognizes an individual who has made significant scholarly contributions to the humanities and who has the ability to communicate the knowledge and wisdom of the humanities in a broadly appealing way. Established in 1972, the Jefferson Lecture is the highest honor the federal government bestows for distinguished intellectual and public achievement in the humanities. The lecture is delivered annually in the spring in Washington, D.C.”)

2. “Taxed by the Boss, by David Cay Johnson, Reuters, April 12, 2012.

I’m not sure what to make of this report, but I do think what is contained in it is not widely know: 2700 companies, as a way of encouragement to do business in a state (?), legally keep the taxes they withhold from their workers. Whether this is a good idea or not, I’d sure like to see more information about this ‘practice.’ (Note to those who believe I am unhinged on certain political issues: I have refrained from titling this “Corporate Socialism.”)

3. “Let’s Just Say It: The Republicans Are the Problem,” by Thomas Mann and Norman Orstein, Washington Post, April 27, 2012.

Wherein two long time political analysts (one from the Democratic leaning Brookings Institute and one from the Republican leaning American Enterprise Institute) finally shed the ‘both sides are to blame’ reporting to explain what has happened to our political system.

4. “Cruising the Mediterranean: A Modern Odyssey,” by Daniel Mendelhsohn, Travel & Leisure, April 2012

Mendelsohn: “He’s (Odysseus) the first tourist, the first person in either legend or recorded history who traveled because he thought the world was interesting, because he wanted to “know the minds and see the cities of many men,” as the poem puts it. So did we; and for a brief period, we felt a bit like our hero—for the 10 days we sailed, one day for each of the years he had to travel before he got to the home we never managed to see.”

5. “The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World,” by Iain McGilchrist, short review of a book “about the origin and making of today’s dominant worldviews, both ours as individuals as those of our collective cultural narrative” – a book I have not read but that will probably be part of my year long attempt to understand how we’ve arrived at a place and time where it seems difficult to have conversations about political and religious issues.