I haven’t been writing about politics lately. There is a reason for that. It is because, frankly, I’m having trouble finding inspiration among the hundreds of presidential candidates, the millions of crimes the Orange boss man commits on a regular basis, the lengthy and tragic coverage of the big winds and rains pounding eastern lands, and the extended summer heat brought on by climate change.

So, rather than emptying the contents of my brain on the unsuspecting public, I’m attempting to fill it up with something interesting. Listening to Rami George Khouri, columnist and author, who usually holds forth as a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and the American University of Beirut, was enlightening. Hearing his take on poverty, and inequality as a structural threat to the Arab region woke up the old brain cells. Among several enlightening perspectives was that Arab nations have been unable to manage the increase from 60 to 400 million people in recent years, resulting in unequal economic and political development. When only parts of a population are served by government, societies fragment, citizens are alienated, and conflict results.

Having never studied economics, this was a revelation to me and made me wonder whether our dear old USA might take heed?

A while back I was gifted a copy of Harari’s book, “Sapiens”, a history of human beings. I finally read it this past month. Wow! This guy really set my brain cells on fire! He has a grasp of history, economics, anthropology, biology and all the other “ologies” organized into a way of thinking about the development of life on this planet that probably should be taught in a college course. It was published a few years ago, so maybe most other folk have read or listened to it? When I put the book down I drove to the bookstore to pick up his second and third books, “Homo Deus”, a brief history of tomorrow, and “21 Lessons for the 21st Century”, a framework for processing the news. God knows we all need that! I’ll let you know.

Elaine Parmenter