Michael Horwitz

My Ideas

“You have to think for both of us”

You have to think for both of us


I just watched the film Casablanca last night at an old movie palace. They certainly don’t make many films like this anymore. I think what drove home to me the different era this film was made in was its portrayal of women. The power imbalance is remarkable. A woman in Casablanca has only way source of power and that is through influencing a man to act on her behalf.

Now this might be simply be an accurate reflection of the status of women at the time. Yet even then I don’t think women abdicated their right to reason for themselves as Ilsa does to Rick asking him to do the thinking for both of them

But I didn’t live back then so I could be wrong. What do you think?


Mathilda the Musical


I went with my wife to see Mathilda on Broadway. It was a great play with amazing special effects and great songs. But what stood out to me the most was the truly inspiring incredible performances of these young children. Their singing, dancing and acting  in no ways was any less skilled than their adult counterparts. Are these children natural prodigies? Did their parents drive them to achieve? Maybe they are just really self motivated?

And what about the 99.99% of the rest of our children? By not expecting adult performances of them are we stealing their potential for greatness at a young age?

Online Learning Platforms

Online Learning Platforms


I’ve recently been experimenting with Learnist an online learning community. At first glance I thought there was no need for such a platform. Why silo discussions and information away from mainstream social media like Fb, Twitter, Youtube and LInkedin? I am starting to see the advantage of a forum dedicated to learning though. On the social media outlets its hard to filter the noise out. Moreover the context in which a post appears can have a significant impact on its reception and understanding.

What do you think the pros and cons of an online forum dedicated to learning are? What are some other good ones?

Deep Questions from a Marching Band

There is an irony here with a deep lesson. The marchers are forming these beautiful patterns for the spectators above. They look perfectly synchronized and coordinated from the stands looking down. Yet to the marchers themselves see nothing probably but chaos. Random groups and lines going every which way certainly not forming any coherent pattern. So why are they doing it? Why trust that these seemingly ridiculous marching directions they have really make sense? Why subordinate their own perspective to anothers?

Are Words Cheap?

I just started reading Masters of the World: How Media Shaped History. 

ImageJust taking the book out off the library shelf got me thinking, “there are a lot of books here”. There were more than 2 million books published this year alone according to Wordometer. A lot of that probably has to do with printing technology making the price of each word vanishingly small.

And what about blogging? These words cost me nothing to put out.

Is the quality of writing related to the money invested in it? What is lost when words go from dear to cheap to free? What is gained?


Halloween Moral?

Matt asks is it okay for Christians for celebrate Halloween given its pagan origins and connection to the occult. http://carm.org/halloween

He answers its okay provided its done just as kid oriented fun activity ie. dressing up and getting candy.

Would you agree that its harmless fun? Do you think the macabre costumes and fake cemeteries in peoples front lawns respect the real dead? What about going around demanding candy from strangers and all the other pranks that happen on Halloween? Is this what we want to be teaching our children?

Who are the most influential people in our culture?

I went to a panel discussion last night composed of a multi billionaire philanthropist, an op-ed writer for a famous newspaper, a president of a prominent university and a well known Rabbi. Money, Media, Political, Religion. Who do you listen most to?

Do Parents Brainwash?

According to Ethan Metzger they do and its called education.

I once heard Richard Dawkins say there are no Jewish children, Christian children or Muslim children. His argument was a decision of this importance should be made independently and at a mature age. In other words, dont brainwash.

But who is supposed to give us our identity if not our parents? Would we rather abandon our children to be raised by their peers and Tv?

Who are your friends?

friendsDo you spend more time with characters from “Friends” the Tv show and other shows  or your “real” friends? If the answer is the former then who do you care more about or enjoy being with?

To snack or not


James J. Kenney does a fine job discussing the health effects of eating 3 meals a day vs. snacking


I would like to see a similar serious discussion of the moral effects of snacking. What does it say about our relationship to food that we eat while doing other things?  Snacking is a solitary activity vs. meals which are social. When and where do we make up that lost social time? Do we lose self discipline by eating whenever we are hungry instead of waiting for meal time?

What do you think?