Articles Published in The Boston Globe

Take a hit of acid and call me in the morning

In “How to Change Your Mind,” Michael Pollan makes it clear that he could not agree more. If “everyday waking consciousness” is “but one of several possible ways to construct a world,” he writes, “then perhaps there is value in cultivating a greater amount of what I’ve come to think of as neural diversity.” By “neural diversity” Pollan seems to mean a broad, embracing experience of the human mind and its links to the universe at large, an experience largely unconstrained by “heuristics,” the cognitive shortcuts that allow us to solve problems and make quick judgments but that also sometimes lead us astray.

‘Cooked’ by Michael Pollan

Before reading Michael Pollan’s latest foray into food — “Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation” — I never would have thought a book with recipes could also brilliantly and coterminously fire one’s sense of moral comprehension and political imagination. Toss in a shot of spiritual zeal, and you have that rare, ranging breed of narrative that manages to do all of this, and then some.