Where did the summer go? It is August in this little tourist village, and the swimmers and sailors are in peak form.
It has been quite some time since I last visited your inbox because until quite recently, I have been busy finishing up as interim editor of Skeptical Inquirer magazine in time for the new editor, Stephen Hupp, to take over. The last two issues produced under my editorship are now in the can. The July/August issue featured a wonderful cover story “The Ideological Subversion of Biology” by Jerry Coyne and Luana Maroja. Since its appearance, the article has been translated into four languages and has drawn worldwide attention.
The September/October issue, which will be out soon, features a cover story on pervasive bullshitters by psychologist John V. Petrocelli. Coincidently, the issue was just being finalized when we received word of the death of philosopher Harry Frankfurt, whose bestselling book, On Bullshit, was the inspiration for Petrocellli’s research on the subject. Frankfurt was a towering figure whose influence on philosophy will be felt for a long time
Now that I am back to just being a columnist at Skeptical Inquirer magazine, I will be writing my “Behavior & Belief” column on a more regular basis. My most recent article, “Mental Illness and the Tragedy of Good Intentions” came out on August 17th. It gives a brief history of deinstitutionalization and a review of the remarkable new book by Jonathan Rosen, The Best Minds: A Story of Friendship, Madness, and the Tragedy of Good Intentions. Rosen tells the very moving story of a childhood friend stricken with schizophrenia, and in the process, he offers a clear-eyed view of the glaring problems faced by people with severe mental disorders and those who care about them.
I have been on quite a few podcasts and YouTube shows over the last few years, but few have been more enjoyable than an episode of the Eurotrash podcast with host Zaza earlier this month. We covered many topics and laughed a lot.
That’s all for now. I hope you have a few more sunny days of summer to enjoy before the realities of the fall set in.