The Aesthetics of Piet Mondrian (New York: MSS Educational Publishing, 1972) -- an examination of the theories behind the paintings of this seminal artist. Click here for a .pdf version.

Backstory to The Aesthetics of Piet Mondrian


Stereo Views of the Golden Era in San Francisco (Lafayette, CA: Stereoptic Perspectives, 1976) -- a stereoscopic photographs from 19th-century San Francisco, with commentary on each image

Backstory to Stereo Views of the Golden Era in San Francisco


Old Tales of San Francisco (Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Co., 1977; second edition, revised, 1987) -- an anthology , with prefaces and notes, of San Francisco literature from 1776-1906

Backstory to Old Tales of San Francisco


Through the Communication Barrier (New York: Harper and Row, 1979) -- an edited collection of essays on language and thought by S.I. Hayakawa

Stereo Views (San Francisco: Troubadour Press, 1979; reprinted by Price/Stern/Sloan, 1983) -- a historical survey, with anaglyphic reproductions of stereoscopic photography and art

The Biography of San Francisco State University (San Francisco: Lexikos Press, 1986) -- a history of the university

The Fantastic Fair  (Minneapolis: Pogo Press, 1994) -- A history of the first international exposition staged in San Francisco, 1894

Scanned version of The Fantastic Fair



The following entries link to my essays on the great Parisian universal expositions held in the 19th and 20th centuries:

"Fanfare for the New Empire: The Paris Exposition Universelle of 1855," World's Fair, spring, 1986 -- an assessment of the architecture, art, and social thought of the first international exhibition held in France

"Empire of Autumn: The Paris Exposition Universelle of 1867," World's Fair, summer, 1986 -- an assessment of the architecture, art, and social thought of the second international exhibition held in France

"Heroism in Defeat: The Paris Exposition Universelle of 1878," World's Fair, autumn, 1986 -- an assessment of the architecture, art, and social thought of the third international exhibition held in France

"Revolution: The Paris Exposition Universelle of 1889," World's Fair, winter, 1986 -- an assessment of the architecture, art, and social thought of the fourth international exhibition held in France

"Culmination: The Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900," World's Fair, summer, 1987 --an assessment of the architecture, art, and social thought of the fifth international exhibition held in France

"Where Art Deco Was Born: Paris, 1925," World's Fair, winter, 1989 -- a discussion of the Exposition des Arts Décoratifs

"Empire of the Republic: the Exposition Coloniale Internationale de Paris, 1931," World's Fair magazine, Volume VIII, Number 4 and Contemporary French Civilization, Winter/Spring, 1990 -- a discussion of the social, intellectual and artistic aspects of the French colonial exposition

"Confrontation: The Paris Exposition Universelle of 1937," World's Fair, winter, 1988 -- an assessment of the architecture, art, and social thought of the sixth and final international exhibition held in France


*** Three essays on the Paris expositions -- 1867, 1878, and 1937 -- appear in Historical Dictionary of World's Fairs and Expositions (Greenwood Press, 1990), edited by John Findling


The following essays treat the eleven national industrial expositions held in Paris between 1798 and 1849. 


Here is the introductory section, concerning the history of marketplaces, fairs, salons, spectacles, etc. as predecessors of the Paris expositions.


"The First Exposition: L'Exposition Publique des Produits de l'Industrie Française, Paris, 1798," -- an analysis of the first national industrial exposition

"The Napoleonic Expositions: 1801, 1802, 1806" -- includes the first major public appearance of the Jacquard Loom

"Expositions of the Restoration" -- the national expositions of 1819, 1823, and 1827

"The July Monarchy Expositions" -- the national expositions of 1834, 1839, and 1844

"Exposition of the Second Republic" -- the last national exposition, 1849



Essays on Various Subjects


"Pictures from Plato's Cave," The New Mexico Humanities Review, fall, 1985 -- a comparison of the intrinsic capabilities of painting and photography

"New Visions of Space-Time," Magazine, fall, 1984 -- a comparison of the languages of contemporary physics, painting, and film.

"The Relative Absolute," California Humanities Association Bulletin, fall, 1976 -- a discussion of the replacment of laws by theories in art and science

"The Faustian Infinite: Western Mathematics and the Humanities of Endless Space," Western Humanities Review, autumn, 1975 -- an attempt to find a common vision of the world in Western mathematics, painting, and music; winner of the Fels Award for Non-Fiction in 1976

"Comparing Frontiers: A Scout Report," in Magazine, spring, 1988

"The Doré Vase," World's Fair, Volume III, No. 2, 1983 -- the history and aesthetics of Gustave Dore's major work of sculpture, now in the California Palace of the Legion of Honor; reprinted as a monograph for the San Francisco Museums

"Science and the Humanities," California Humanities Association Bulletin, fall, 1972 -- a plea for including scientific masterpieces in courses of humanistic study

"Therapy for a Dying Craft: A Reconstruction of Literary Criticism," Pequod, summer, 1975 -- a rejection of "New Criticism," and a program for an integrative approach to literature

"The Vision of Hyperspace," Stereo World, Nov.-Dec., 1975 -- a discussion of the perceptual qualities of hyperstereoscopy (a branch of three-dimensional photography)

"Oswald Spengler and the Morphology of Cultures," Humanities, 1979 -- presentation and analysis of Spengler's most innovative ideas

"The Towers of San Francisco," World's Fair, summer, 1984 -- an assessment of the Bonet Electric Tower (Midwinter Exposition, 1894), the Tower of Jewels (Panama Pacific Exposition, 1915), and the Tower of the Sun (Treasure Island Fair, 1939)

"The Electronic Humanities," Humanities, spring, 1985 -- a discussion of the implication of computers for the theory and practice of the humanities

"The Signature Buildings of San Francisco," San Francisco Bay Architect's Review, spring, 1985 -- a humanist's view of the five skyline-defining buildings in the city's history

"The Fantastic Fair," World's Fair, winter, 1985 -- a humanistic study of San Francisco's first international exhibition

"Life Juggling," in Juggler's World, Winter 1990-91 Vol. 42, number 4) Click here for text

"On the Symbolism of Juggling: The Moral and Aesthetic Implications of the Mastery of Falling Objects," in Journal of Popular Culture, Volume 25, Number 3 (Winter, 1991) 

"The Morality of Computer Gaming: Messages Explicit and Implicit," in Humanities, 1991-1992

"Have We Been Here Before? Hippie and Raver Cultures of the 60's and 90s" in Assemblage 1.1 (an electronic journal published on the Internet), November, 1992

The Media's Tribute to the Unabomber (1995) -- a personal essay on the response of the American media to the Unabomber's threats

Overlinked -- An essay on the perils of putting in links to other sites -- for the much-reduced published version, see the "Idées Fortes" section of Wired, January, 1996.

The Jazz Flute -- A brief essay on the history and nature of the flute in jazz

The Aesthetics of Customized Cars

Sacred Places of San Francisco

Saint Patrick’s Church

Hua Zang Si Temple

Saint Ignatius Church

Calvary Presbyterian Church

Visual Essays

The Idea of Progress

Two Parties

The Indecisive Moment

Having a Ball in Paris, Brussels and San Francisco





The Dungeon in the Tree

The Digital Demon

Broken Music

The Origin of Jack Juggler


"Voodoo Juice Music"





Madame de Sablé -- maxims, biography, etc.

La Rochefoucauld -- maxims, biography, etc.