Respondeo Blog

A Book About Freedom

A Book About Freedom

Invention: The Art of the Liberal Arts, by J. Scott Lee, is about freedom. It shows with erudition and wit the way that the freedom gained through the liberal arts has always been, and will always be, the source of invention and thus the source of our future.  Scott...

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Science and Civilization in China

Science and Civilization in China

There are many theories about how to answer Needham’s question. Perhaps it was religion? Governmental structures? Language? One answer that some Chinese educators discuss is Western-style liberal arts education. The argument is that a humanities education that...

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Travels in Africa Excerpts

Travels in Africa Excerpts

The Hottest Place on Earth In mid-afternoon, four hours later than I’d expected, we came at last to In Salah: a short stretch of unbroken pavement, a gas station crowded with trucks and smelling of diesel, a bitter dust rising in great clouds of yellow as the winds...

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What Can We Share?

What Can We Share?

What is needed to create the kind of conversation that will help us to be a strong, inventive society?  One answer is that we need something we share. What would that be? Lots of suggestions have been made, although in so large and multiple world many of them...

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Law and Humaneness

Law and Humaneness

Watching what is happening in America today, I reflect that there might be people—Confucius could have been one—who can be trusted not to need law, but they are not likely to be the kind of people who want power.

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Writing and Painting

Writing and Painting

Writing Challenges It was a proto-blogger, the sports columnist Red Smith, who was asked if it was hard to turn out a column a day and responded “Writing is easy. You just sit down at the typewriter and open a vein.” On the other hand, the science fiction writer and...

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Why Write?

Why Write?

One day my memory, working in the unpredictable way it does, presented me with the first time I had encountered someone who gave that reason for writing. I was eighteen and traveling through Greece and the Middle East…

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Travels in Africa

A Travelogue by Fred Abramowitz

“shot through with vivid portraits”