TELEGNOSIS [tell-e-NO-sis]: learning from afar, intelligence which is seemingly beyond human capabilities


Lots of new words are cropping up all the time in this cybernetic age.   The speed and abundance of discoveries in the world of technology means the necessity of creating language to describe the phenomenon. Such is the word telegnosis. Its roots are ancient, found in the Greek language, where tele is a prefix referring […]

VACCINE: preparation used as a preventive inoculation to confer immunity


My favorite NPR host pointed out today that Americans have the memory of gnats.   His point of reference was that when Ebola was rampant and we in America were concerned about what would happen if Ebola came to the USA it was the #1 news story of the day…every day.   Front page, above the fold  […]

INFINITY: the assumed limit of a sequence, series, etc., that increases without bound.


There are some things that just go beyond the mind’s capability of calculating.  At least most minds.   As in the case of  infinity, there are some theoretical mathematicians and scientists who seem to have conquered this extremely complex concept.   I am not one of them. The envisioning of a concept with no limitations is […]

CERTAINTY: without a doubt


There is little in life about which one can be absolutely certain.  Except, maybe, that one day each of us will die.   In spite of cryogenics (the freezing of the body in expectation that it will be restored to life) I don’t know of any sane person who believes that (she) will avoid death. But […]

ASTONISHED: filled with sudden and overpowering surprise or wonder


At Grace Church this morning I was struck by the use of the word “astonished” as it appeared in the lesson from the Gospels assigned for today.   In the story that is told, Jesus is responsible for healing a man who has been blind since birth.  Those who see the newly-sighted man are astonished.   Those […]

BIAS: prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group


Several of my colleagues have referred me to an article on NPR by Adam Frank in which he comments on the slide from idealism to bias. The word bias goes back at least to Old Provençal, a former language of southern France, in association with the sport of lawn bowling, where it referred to the […]