Bread Work and Real Work

Written by on March 5th, 2012

One of the great advantages of being a freelance writer is having the choice to write on whatever grabs your interest. But that blessing is also a curse if your curiosity knows no bounds, as does mine. Given the demands of life and the need to make a living, the curious writer can devote only so much time to explore the vast universe of subjects suitable for his craft. Not all of us can be like Isaac Asimov, the master of science fiction who wrote over 500 books in his lifetime on every topic imaginable, not including short stories, essays, and criticism.

So every writer must answer these questions: What do I want to write about? More importantly, why do I write?

Click to continue »


The European debt crisis and the media

Written by on September 7th, 2011

Here is an article I wrote for the Writers’ Guild of Alberta newsletter.

European debt crisis and the media

As I write this, European Union (EU) leaders and financial elites are meeting in Brussels to discuss a “rescue plan” for Greece which appears certain to default on its €340 billion dollar debt. Over the past several months, the mainstream media has focused primarily on the complex financial solutions being proposed by these powerful elites in order to bailout Greece, often portrayed as the poor kid of Europe and an incompetent spendthrift. At this point, the plan appears to allow for some form of selective default while shoring up the banks and preventing contagion to the so-called “PIIGS” of the EU periphery – Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Ireland. The ongoing mantra reported in the mainstream press is that the eurozone must not only be preserved but strengthened at all cost lest further defaults occur. Reporters are keen to remind us that if they do occur, Europe – and the world – could be thrown into another deep recession similar to the one that followed the 2008 global credit crash.  In the end, the taxpayers will take the brunt of it in the form of ongoing debt payments and more austerity measures.

How did it come to this? How did the debt get so out of control? And who is to blame? If you follow the corporate media, especially the financial media, you get a very different story than what’s reported in the alternative press, and by progressive economists, analysts, and activists.

Click to continue »


Thank you, Jack.

Written by on August 23rd, 2011

“My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.”


Can empathy be learned?

Written by on May 5th, 2011

This morning, I received a tweet about a new book written by Simon Baron-Cohen, a Cambridge psychologist and psychiatrist who studies empathy. His book is Zero Degrees of Empathy: A New Theory of Human Cruelty.

Baron-Cohen says that our view of cruel people as “evil” is misguided and rooted in obsolete, theological notions of morality. In an interview with the Guardian, he explains that people who are cruel have a low capacity for empathy because of genetic makeup and early childhood experiences. Cruel people tend to have had an insecure attachment in infancy, now recognized as a critical factor in the human development of empathy.

Click to continue »


On Bullshit

Written by on September 9th, 2010

Awhile ago, I came across a wonderful  little book by Harry G. Frankfurt, an emeritus professor of philosophy at Princeton. The title is simply, On Bullshit. Apparently, the book has become somewhat of a classic since it was published in 2005. It was a New York Times best seller list and reviews are scattered across the web. Here is an interview with the good professor.

The entire interview can be viewed here.

Click to continue »


Welcome to my blog.

Written by on June 21st, 2010

Hi there and welcome to my blog. I’ve been trying to decide whether to create several blogs to match my diverse interests or just pack it all into one. This is the result of my decision – one blog to hold it all. For now, at least. My current interests are in affective and social neuroscience, prenatal and perinatal psychology and health, Zen Buddhism, ethics in medical research and publishing, science vs pseudoscience, ecology and the environment, the business of freelance writing, good writing (as opposed to the crap we see online today), and living the examined life.

That’s for starters.

Whether I’ll be posting on all these topics remains to be seen. Mostly like, I’ll let  natural selection decide for me and focus on topics that are most interesting and relevant, and lead to payment!  After all, I am a professional writer. If you are an editor or publisher and like what you see here, please send me a note and I’ll see if we can work together. I’m currently working on my professional website and will soon announce its launch here.

Thanks for visiting and I hope you come along for the ride. You can find me on Twitter @brucethewriter, on LinkedIn at

See you soon!