Santa Fe Institute, the Humanities, and Learning

“If I had to vote for one novel by a living American it would be Blood Meridian which is a fearsome story…with a deep implicit warning for American society…Bloom Meridian is the ultimate western.”  –Harold Bloom, How to Read and Why (see video below)

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I have heroes in life.  Most of them are writers.  Barry Lopez, Wendell Berry, Peter Matthiessen, EO Wilson, Emerson.  Their voyaging curiosities usually interact with science, philosophy, anything and everything to help follow the narrative and tell the story.  One of the people I look up to, Cormac McCarthy, has articulated some wisdom in this two minute video below.  He says the Santa Fe Institute, where he engages regularly, is “absolutely relentless at hammering down the boundaries created by academic disciplines and by institutional structures.”  It is also good to hear the focus on sustainability, the environment, and human welfare.  It doesn’t narrow down the avenues to achieving improvements in these things, but identifying them as the center points for our pursuits is a timely focus based on what we know at the present moment.

It is inspiring to see one of America’s heroic story tellers interacting with science and society.  If you have not read Bloom Meridian, give it three tries.  Even uber critic Harold Bloom had to put the book down the first two times he tried.  “You get a great vision, a frightening vision, of something that is very deeply embedded in the American spirit, the American psyche.”  I love the unity of literature, history, and science working to solve the problems we have in front of us today.  We need all the help we can get.

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