The House of Lies: on the “social media”

Friday, 11 October 2019, 12:12 | Category : Uncategorized
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It is a cataract of souls in their own hell, Descending to a common destination, The drowning dragging down the swimmer till Both drink that last insipid cold potation. It’s a perfected drug, that learns itself from you, A feverish disease, virus designed for catching; It drags you from whatever human work you do, An […]

Old Thoughts that May Be Relevant Again

Sunday, 31 March 2019, 18:29 | Category : Uncategorized
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From a draft of my book The Culture of Hope, 1995: Chapter IV. Cultural Implications of the New Cosmology 1. Guidelines to the Solution of Cultural Problems The cosmology of a culture profoundly affects what it can or cannot do. Consider how Taoism in China, for example, encouraged technological innovation while somewhat discouraging a mathematically […]

Some vaguely liberal principles I seem to have found to hold up well

Saturday, 23 February 2019, 12:32 | Category : Uncategorized
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1. Human groups range from the whole human race through the nation, the city, the family and the individual (with many intermediate groupings like friendships, clubs, churches, professional organizations, corporations, international treaty organizations, etc). Larger groups often include many smaller ones. Even an individual can have subordinate sources of action, as evidenced by various sorts […]

On Gibbs’ Law

Tuesday, 18 September 2018, 16:12 | Category : Uncategorized
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A Bitter Poem for our Times

Tuesday, 21 November 2017, 18:55 | Category : Uncategorized
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I wrote this poem back in Bill Clinton’s second administration, and it seems relevant now. It’s in my collection PARADISE, David Robert Books. Go Down for the President Go down, go down, all you little men, Know how the women ignore you; The President has come to town, His sacrament is upon their tongues. Go […]

Introducing Annemarie Estor

Tuesday, 21 November 2017, 12:21 | Category : Uncategorized
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  (“The Lamb” by Annemarie Estor)       Ride the End The end is coming, the end is coming, snorting in the rain, with great friends and grinning fire-hooks with a gallop on hollow ground, with the snot of the aeons! With colossal fellows With spatters of goo high up on their groins with […]

Your Money or Your Life

Monday, 10 July 2017, 23:06 | Category : Uncategorized
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As a true believer in the efficacy and beneficial effects of markets, I am obliged to say what I think a market is. Is a mother giving suck to her baby a market? One could make arguments that pleasure is being traded on both sides, and that the mother, as with mothers of all species, […]

Fact and its Enemies

Monday, 10 July 2017, 20:43 | Category : Uncategorized
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It is becoming obvious: a large part of our population has been persuaded that all of our systems for establishing facts are tainted, biased, and/or mendacious. This skepticism extends not only to the findings of natural science, but to those of journalism, law, history, medicine, agriculture, and economics. This is an era of “alternative facts,” […]

Books I do not want to read (the curmudgeon I become on alternate Thursdays)

Thursday, 25 May 2017, 10:45 | Category : Uncategorized
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Stories about dying relatives Divorce stories Self-justifying political/military/legal/business/finance/showbiz memoirs Chattily written biographies Biographies in general Social history Books with big explicit sex scenes Books about Trump Winner stories Loser stories Snide and sophisticated comic novels Fantasy with no coherent fantasy physics, chemistry biology, sociology Books about moving to the Mediterranean, learning how to live from […]

On the Virtues of Brutal Dictators and Trumpist Realpolitik

Sunday, 23 April 2017, 18:13 | Category : Uncategorized
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One of the things that happened to us in the course of our paroxysm of anguish and grief and fury after 9/11 was that we found out that there are worse things than brutal dictators. We had thought we were living in a post-historical world that would be governed by ideals of democracy, pluralism, and […]