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G. Kasten's Blog

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Jan.14.2014
In a September, 2013 article in The New Yorker, Josh Eells describes a night club scene in Las Vegas where some DJ's are paid more than $100,000 a night, the markup in liquor can be 1000 per cent, and one club brings in between several hundred thousand to a million dollars a night. Eells describes...
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Oct.01.2013
Resistance to health care reform may have a more insidious cause than greed. Yes, one can expect perennial opposition from people who profit from the status quo. I expect monetary self-interests to be translated into paranoia for public consumption by professional spin masters. I expect the spin...
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Sep.22.2013
I sometimes wonder why I write, or why anyone bothers to write, for that matter. It's not that there's a shortage of reading material. My thoughts aren’t as deep, as smart, or as funny as those of writers I admire. Others seem perfectly capable of doing the writing job. Part of my attraction to...
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Aug.30.2013
I read dozens of writer's blogs and Facebook posts, and see one particular complaint repeatedly voiced by successful writers. They often feel harassed by certain people -- whether in a mild form (a request to read something), an annoying form (a request that the writer participate in a project) or...
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Aug.29.2013
In 1971, the Athenian School was mainly a boarding school, with approximately 120 students. Meals for the high school students were handled by the cook, John, and a group of "kitchen ladies." Students worked as dishwashers in rotating crews of four, but we never helped prepare the meals that were...
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Apr.15.2013
For most of my life, I though it was important to be an unhappy person. Not for any good reason -- I've been pretty fortunate. But because something could go wrong at any moment, because how dare I be any other way? With people suffering from diseases, famines, poverty and untold tragedies all...
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Apr.06.2013
So I'm like, sitting in this little lunch place in this upper middle class setting, and drinking coffee and there are these, like, three young women talking nearby. Between the music and the distance I can only make out part of what they're saying. But I'm trying really hard not to mind my own...
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Mar.21.2013
When I was doing research for my book on perception and truth, I originally wanted to include a chapter on religion. After all, religion is a great example of the human ability to believe on faith alone. But I ran into a problem. I wanted to interview people from different faiths, and try to...
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Mar.15.2013
Suppose we forget about the obvious arguments against armed guards in schools for a moment, and just focus on the question of whether or not they could actually prevent horrific violence. If the NRA suggestion is adopted, and an armed man or woman was hired to patrol every school in the United...
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Mar.12.2013
For years my parents deferred maintenance, even though the stockpile of garden chemicals and old paint cans at their house suggested otherwise. I go to pick this stuff up last Saturday. My now-adult son shows up to help me, sleepily at noon, still wearing his pajama bottoms. I'm in a hurry,...
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Feb.24.2013
Caryn James wrote an interesting review of Idol Gossip that appears in today's New York Times Book Review section. The book is about how people both worship and resent film actors. I've long been fascinated with how films imply that our own lives could be more interesting. Characters in movies...
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Jan.01.2013
As amazing as inventions such as cell phones, computers, and GPS navigation all are, I'm sometimes surprised at how slowly our technology proceeds. After all, if technology is based on logic, why do we have to suffer through version 1.0 before we get to version 4.3? One reason is that like in...
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Jan.01.2013
What was your biggest personal disappointment of 2012? Maybe not a good thing to dwell on, but for me 2012 was the year I realized that my efforts to reconnect with a childhood friend just weren't going to pay off. We'd met in the third grade, were terrific pals through the fifth grade, then...
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Dec.31.2012
What was the best thing you did in 2012? Was it an experiment that worked well, a resolution you carried out, a good deed? Whatever it was, preserve that quality, that moment, that part of yourself, and bring more of it into the next year. If you do that, I think you can regard 2012 as a success...
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Dec.29.2012
How I Became Bitter In the mid-sixties, at age 12, my neighborhood friend Tuffy took up the business of selling greeting cards. He would go door to door carrying one of his attaché cases, asking people to buy different types, ranging from boxes of birthday cards to all-occasion cards. I went...
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