Latest musings, analyses, and general madness

What Is Left?

If you vote for Joe Biden, you must hope that he has enough sense or conscience left in him to resist or at least curtail the most extreme instincts of his Democratic Party advisors (read puppetmasters), for which hope we have not a shred of encouraging evidence. If you vote for Donald Trump, you must hope that his Republican Party advisors (read lackeys)...

Female Marxism Part V: Frozen Women

A student recently told me about a book she had just read, Annie Ernaux’s classic of anti-motherhood indignation, La Femme GelĂ©e. She said the book, which describes Ernaux’s life as a housewife and mother, made her feel as though she were “in prison,” and as though such a repetitive life of caring for babies, cooking meals, shopping, doing house chores, sleeping with her...

Pleasure and Pain: Getting Our Logic Right

On Pain “No pain, no gain,” as we so commonly say. That is probably true, but one must never forget that most pains deliver no gains at all. Pain is a necessary condition for gain, but it is far from being a sufficient condition. On the contrary, apart from simple physical pain caused by unavoidable injury or illness, most suffering is the result...

First Thoughts On Trump’s Guilty Verdict

I assume he did it, although I don’t pretend to be an expert on the relevant laws, or even to know exactly what he is accused of having done. But I base my good-faith assumption that the New York jury of his peers got it right on the reflection that Trump is a conniving, two-faced, self-serving New York real estate liar who has...

Populism In Microcosm

The U.S. Libertarian convention has chosen its presidential nominee, i.e., has chosen the man who will be the flagbearer for freedom defined as the liberty to get stoned or marry your dog — if that is your “rational preference.” There was one moment in Chase Oliver’s acceptance speech — captured and disseminated by Al Jazeera, for obvious reasons — when the new figurehead...

From the Libertarian Convention

The American Libertarian Party is holding its national convention. Plenty of dope is being smoked (or chewed), and a lot of people in T-shirts declaring their hatred for authority and their belief that government is for losers — in other words, that everything would be so simple and cool if people were just allowed to do whatever the f___ they liked, man, and...

Reflections On Being In the World

The irrelevance of relevance, the relevance of irrelevance.– Being relevant is largely a function of being of this moment, whereas what is most needed at any given moment is precisely what is not of this moment. Hence, it may be possible to achieve fame or admiration in one’s lifetime while also being what is most needed, but only if, or to the extent...

Great Moments in Government

If the history of civilization has taught us anything — and by “us,” I mean non-progressives, progressives being constitutionally opposed to learning from history — it is that government will never be perfect, will rarely be good, and will usually be dreadful. Tyrannical impulses, fatal compromises of principle, and catastrophic blindness are such intractable facts of the human condition that it is an...

Two Reflections On The Fate of the Soul

In the eternal battle between cats and birds, I am always on the side of the birds. Make no mistake, though: I know the battle is eternal, which is to say that it is both essential and without hope of ultimate resolution or victory. I have chosen my side nevertheless, or rather perhaps I ought to say that I have been chosen by...

AI and Intellectual Property

The world may already have ended: I just noticed that Noam Chomsky of all people has publicly stated something aligned with what I myself was thinking during my morning walk today. Specifically, he commented about a year ago that AI systems such as ChatGPT are “basically high-tech plagiarism. It’s a system that…accesses an astronomical amount of data and finds regularities and strings them...