Blog Archives

WHAT FRANCIS BACON CAN TEACHER US ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE…..

by Tom McBride

WHAT CAN FRANCIS BACON TEACH US ABOUT THE CLIMATE CRISIS?  Tom McBride       Those who think there is a climate crisis believe in what is called “climate science.” But those who resist the very notion of a climate crisis dislike climate science and climate scientists as elitist alarmists. They see nothing terribly wrong, and every time there is a polar vortex in the northern hemisphere they say, “see: what did I tell you?” One could always turn to such people and say, “Well, you also see that wall over there, but in fact, it’s mostly just molecules and empty space.” This, however, is to invite more head-scratching and opposition.       Yet even those who applaud and credit climate science may have vexed   Read on »

WILL THE PLANET DROP DEAD LIKE A RUBBER BALL?

by Tom McBride

ARTH DIE BY BOUNCING LIKE A RUBBER ALL?  Tom McBride  Professor John Passmore explains David Hume’s theory of induction with the following story. A small child is always given a nice gift of soft furry toys, such as teddy bears and little baby elephants. He sometimes drop them, and they land with an almost inaudible sound. Then one day the lad is given a rubber ball instead of a soft,, wooly, stuffed thing. He drops the rubber ball, and to his astonishment, it bounces up      He is gobsmacked. According to Hume, he could not have predicted this bounce because he had never had any experience of rubber balls before, and according to Hume as well,we gain knowledge of things only   Read on »

CAN GEN Z SAVE GOD—AND THE PLANET, TOO? Tom McBride

by Tom McBride

The climate change narrative is a tale of impending catastrophe. There are three main actors: greenhouse gases, floods & fires & famines, and Generation Z. The latter is young and scared furious about the world they will inherit and insist that something be done to reverse the heating of the planet. Yet a prominent environmental lawyer said not long ago that even if every environmental law were perfectly enforced, it wouldn’t be enough to reverse the growing concentration of carbon dioxide in the upper atmosphere. Tony Blair has observed that only by cutting back national economies can our current climate change be arrested, and no nation wants to go first and alone.  What can help? What can motivate humankind to   Read on »

WILL COVID-19 CLOSE THE GENERATION GAP: A Marist Mindset Memo

by Tom McBride

Dear Boomers and Millennials: We must shed the coronavirus of division and complacency among us. This is your Hopeful Leader speaking. You have been apart, for Millennials feel that capitalism has worked for Boomers but not for them, and that Boomers have gotten the lion’s share of capitalism’s benefits. Meanwhile, Boomers don’t know wy Millennials would rather look at their smart phones than look at them. But that was all before Covid. After Covid the two generations—you young and old alike—can come together. The Generation Gap will have passed, along with the virus itself. What can I say, and how shall I lead, in order to make this come about?  First, Covid has taught us that Evil is no respecter   Read on »

THE FLU HAS ALWAYS BEEN SPANISH: The Pandemic Mindset List

by Tom McBride

Flus Have Always Been Spanish Tom McBride Suppose there had been a Marist Mindset List for the college class of 10440. The first item on the List might have been: “The flu has always been Spanish.” College grads in 1940 were born in 1918, the year of the last COVD-19 scale pandemic in the United States. This was not the coronavirus, which had not yet hatched itself.  It was the Spanish Flu.  President Trump has sometimes called COVD-19 the “Chinese virus” because, he says, it came from China. The Spanish flu, though, didn’t come from Spain. It was so-called because when the flu hit Spain, which was not at war (this was the end of World War I), reports of the   Read on »

The Marist College Mindset List, Class of 2023

by Tom McBride

Like Pearl Harbor for their grandparents, and the Kennedy assassination for their parents, 9/11 is an historical event.  Thumb, jump, and USB flash drives have always pushed floppy disks further into history. The primary use of a phone has always been to take pictures. The nation’s mantra has always been: “If you see something, say something.” The Tech Big Four–Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Google — are to them what the Big Three automakers were to their grandparents. Their smart pens may write and record faster than they can think. Nearly half of their generation is composed of people of color. When they pulled themselves up off the floor for the first time, they may have been hanging onto the folks’   Read on »

How to LIST-ify Your Classroom: 7 Lists…7 Tips

by Tom McBride

How To LISTify Your Classroom 7 Lists…7 Tips The Marist Mindset List is a famed annual event because it supplies a witty and provocative list of items about what has “always” or “never” been true in the lives of entering college students. But the Marist List is much more than a yearly event. Here we offer some teaching tips based on creative uses of—you guessed it—LISTS. Welcome to How to LIST-ify Your Classroom. Lists: They aren’t just for supermarkets or even just for mindsets any more. –T.M. (Contact: Tom.McBride@marist.edu)  List Number 1: The First Day List  We’re so familiar with making a list that we don’t ee its creative potential. To start with, every list has two parts: what’s on it and what’s not   Read on »

IS THE MARIST LIST A MEMENTO MORI?

by Tom McBride

During the Middle Ages the church would put skulls on bridges in order to remind people that death was near. Time was short, so it behooved those still alive to prepare for their own demise and to get their souls ready so that they would be acceptable in the after-life. One character in a medieval play, Everyman, dawdled. He thought time was long; that he had plenty of time. He learned otherwise and barely got ready for the judgment of Heaven.  In some ways the Marist List is also a memento mori. To be sure, it’s not a skull on a medieval bridge in London or Rome in 1300. But, as our many fans tell us, it does remind older   Read on »