The Keymaker

July 13, 2016 (Kampala): Reading Bellah's book on the evolution of religion has my mind swirling. He's discussing the appearance first of mimetic culture among our ancestors, followed by mythic culture and the 'drive for conceptual clarification' which may have, in part, fueled the emergence of fully human language. The connections being made in my …

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Perspicacity in pain

The following journal entry from Uganda on June 26, 2016, recounts an episode I had of severe gut pain. In retrospect, the experience makes three things clear: 1) after years of high chronic stress, my immune system was weak and my resultant bouts of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) were getting more frequent and more severe, …

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Grammar of God

September 14, 2015: For a long time, I've had a nagging sense that we, as a human race, don't really know who we are, where we came from, or where we're going. That is not to say there aren't standard answers to these questions - there are, many of them. But to me they seem …

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5 MB miracle

Part of my job as a linguist in the Ik project in northeast Uganda was to write a scientific description of Ik grammar. In order to cover most important topics, I knew I'd have to write at least 200 pages. In light of this, it occurred to me that I could write the grammar as …

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