A beautifully designed, thoroughly stimulating new paradigm of scientific spiritualism.

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ECO, EGO, EROS

ESSAYS IN PHILOSOPHY, SCIENCE AND SPIRITUALITY

A collection of essays on subjects that range across the spectrum of physical sciences.

Hunt’s debut volume consists mainly of reprints from three years’ worth of his “Eco, Ego, Eros” column for the Santa Barbara Independent newspaper. It includes a foreword by Christof Koch, the chief scientific officer of the Seattle-based Allen Institute for Brain Science, who alerts readers right away to Hunt’s guiding idea of “panpsychism,” the “ancient teaching” that all living things possess some measure of consciousness, whether “it’s a human brain with roughly 100 billion nerve cells…or the nervous system of the tiny round worm C. elegans…with 302 nerve cells.” The concept of panpsychism extends its claims of consciousness even to stars and electrons—questioning the very idea of inanimate objects. Guided by his studies of Eastern traditions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism, Hunt also ably assesses the technological advancements of cell phones and weapons of mass destruction alongside humanity’s long spiritual heritage. Much of his sharpest writing pushes back against excessive materialism, which he sees as a legacy of the ideas of philosopher Rene Descartes. “Today’s materialists,” he writes, “believe that all things can be explained…by explaining the relationships between fundamentally mindless particles.” In response, he stresses that the mind is very much a part of nature “from the top to the bottom.” These essays’ wit and eloquence is as formidable as their scientific understanding, which makes the essentially non-scientific observations all the more intriguing. Hunt’s confidence in the notion of “God as Source, the ground of being from which all of reality grows” will challenge traditionally faithful readers, just as his contention that electrons exercise rudimentary choices in each moment will challenge scientifically minded readers. His interviews with various spiritual and scientific writers and thinkers, including science professor Robert Kirshner of Harvard University, round out the collection.

A beautifully designed, thoroughly stimulating new paradigm of scientific spiritualism.

Pub Date: Jan. 26, 2014

ISBN: 978-0578118680

Page Count: 366

Publisher: Aramis Publications

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2014

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A persuasive, valuable addition to the ongoing immigration reform debate.

SHOW TRIALS

HOW PROPERTY GETS MORE LEGAL PROTECTION THAN PEOPLE IN OUR FAILED IMMIGRATION SYSTEM

A highly organized, informative discussion of the immigration system in the United States.

In this politically charged environment, Afrasiabi manages to broach the volatile issue of immigration in a well-rounded, surprisingly effective framework that combines case studies, historical research, statistical analysis and personal anecdotes to detail the current issues and propose solutions. Invocations of Kafka, “The Twilight Zone” and “Alice in Wonderland” prove warranted as illustrations of the often surreal circumstances that confront immigrants facing deportation. Immigrants usually lack access to quality legal representation, while their situation can be made doubly difficult due to language barriers and significant cultural differences. Afrasiabi incorporates his work with colleagues and students at the Chapman University School of Law to deftly weave together the facts of several compelling cases and their underlying legal issues, with a genuine sense of suspense as readers wonder if justice will be truly be served. Occasionally, though, the narrative becomes overwrought—two federal laws passed in 1996 are “dark storm clouds depositing their sleet”—although, considering the life-changing effects of court decisions, it’s difficult to overstate the ramifications: extralegal rendition of individuals with pending cases and the de facto deportation of native-born children whose parents are deported. Afrasiabi also addresses the legacy of various anti-alien laws in California, as well as marriage equality for same-sex couples when one partner is a noncitizen. As the subtitle asserts, Afrasiabi employs his additional experience in the field of property law to contrast the stark differences between immigration judges and constitutional judges, like their qualifications, vetting processes and even the oaths they take. His arguments culminate in seven concrete reforms proposed in the conclusion. In order to make the immigration system more just and effective, Afrasiabi claims the solutions are closer than we may think; we can implement procedures and safeguards already in place within the constitutional courts.

A persuasive, valuable addition to the ongoing immigration reform debate.

Pub Date: May 1, 2012

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 249

Publisher: Kurti Publishing

Review Posted Online: Feb. 7, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2012

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Despite this, Walkley’s beefy prose and rousing action sequences deliver a thriller to satisfy any adrenaline addict.

NO REMORSE

Walkley pits CIA agents against a maniacal Saudi prince intent on starting World War III in this debut thriller.

Delta Force operative Lee McCloud, aka Mac, finds himself in Mexico, trying to rescue two teenage girls kidnapped by a drug cartel. But things go from bad to worse when the villains don’t play by the rules. Framed for two murders he didn’t commit, Mac has two options: go to prison or go to work for a CIA black-op group run by the devious Wisebaum, who hacks into terrorists’ bank accounts and confiscates millions of dollars. However, there’s more going on than meets the eye; Saudi Prince Khalid is in possession of nuclear canisters, with which he hopes to alter world history. Khalid also dabbles in trafficking young women, and harvesting and selling human organs. When Wisebaum’s black-op team targets Khalid’s father, the action becomes even more intense. With so many interweaving subplots—kidnapped girls, Israeli undercover agents, nuclear weapons and a secret underwater hideout—it could be easy to lose track of what’s going on. But the author’s deft handling of the material ensures that doesn’t occur; subplots are introduced at the appropriate junctures and, by story’s end, all are accounted for and neatly concluded. Mac is portrayed as a rough and ready action-hero, yet his vulnerabilities will evoke empathy in readers. He finds a love interest in Tally, a hacker whose personality is just quirky enough to complement his own. All Walkley’s primary characters are fleshed out and realistic, with the exception of Wisebaum—a malicious, double-dealing, back-stabber of the worst ilk; the reader is left wondering about Wisebaum’s motivations behind such blatant treachery.

Despite this, Walkley’s beefy prose and rousing action sequences deliver a thriller to satisfy any adrenaline addict.

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0980806601

Page Count: 412

Publisher: Marq Books

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2012

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