Latest musings, analyses, and general madness

What Independence Means: A Personal View

I once had more readers in any given week than Nietzsche and Kierkegaard had in their entire lives, combined. I lost all those readers by choice, or rather I should say by lack of any agreeable alternative. The thought of “keeping them” was revolting, given what I would have had to do to myself to achieve that end. I now write — as...

Our Freedom

We have cast off all the gods and their tyrannical ways, and hence all need of submission. Thus we define our freedom. And thus, having rejected the notion that there are gods, which is to say aspirations and ideals beyond our present limits, we happily submit to our own chains, rejecting all thought of anything beyond ourselves, which is to say beyond our...

Rorschach Test for Republicans

Dr. Oz, a television celebrity who, like his endorser and “friend” Donald Trump, has tried to parlay empty fame and business success into a political career, slightly led Pennsylvania’s GOP senate primary after initial vote counting. Today, it appears that the absentee votes are tipping the scales toward one of Oz’s rivals, Dave MacCormick.  Donald Trump’s response to this on social media: He’s...

On Becoming God

I had an interesting written exchange with an independent-minded student recently, which I record here (personal details removed) as something to chew on for anyone facing a similar situation.

Student: I need someone who listens to me and who is curious about me.

Teacher: Yes, in general it feels meaningful to know….

Dinesh D’Souza Reveals His Problem

Ben Shapiro is basically Rush Limbaugh for smug millennials, which is to say a moderately clever profiteer of the Republican establishment, but one who substitutes snotty rich boy arrogance and snide self-certainty for Limbaugh’s everyman persona, playful wit, and self-deflating vanity. Dinesh D’Souza is a less clever and less circumspect version of Shapiro; he doesn’t know how to hedge his bets against future...

Proof the Establishment Wants Trump To Run?

This past week, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the poster boy for the logical fallacy of “argument from authority,” publicly stated that if Donald Trump were to win the presidency in 2024, he, Fauci, would retire from the elite executive branch bureaucratic position where he has enriched himself at the public trough more brazenly, and for more years, than almost anyone in American history. His...

John Bolton Reveals the Ugly Truth of U.S. Foreign Policy

John Bolton, the career bureaucratic climber who has, shall we say, “forged” a reputation for himself as a fearless, tough-as-nails military man, has decided, as usual, to add his two cents to America’s current foreign policy discussion, and in the process revealed everything you needed to know — or were hoping not to have to admit — about the U.S. government’s true aims...

You Only Live Once

“You only live once,” as that phrase is typically used today, is the perfect practical synopsis of existentialism. The motto’s modern meaning encapsulates the fundamentals of existentialism’s philosophical, or quasi-philosophical, perspective, without all the high-minded intellectual fidgeting that was once needed to persuade people that their lives were essentially meaningless — in other words, that their lives were without essence. “You only live...

A Small Torrent

There is a sense of everything closing in or coming to a head. It is palpable. But this sense does not answer to simplistic and tribally convenient conspiracy theories. It belongs to the more complex realm of historical inevitabilities….

Random Reflections

The fact that their answer is awful does not mean your answer is correct. However, from a purely opportunistic perspective, an instance in which their answer is truly awful would be an excellent time to offer an alternative that was at least semi-rational. If you cannot do that much, then it might be better to offer no alternative at all, to abstain from...