Category Culture

In Defense of Marriage

With apologies for this week’s more relaxed posting schedule. I’ll get back to work sometime soon! Several of my close friends — coincidentally, all extremely intelligent, math/science oriented, and leaders in the freethought/rationality/atheist communities — find themselves practicing and promoting an arrangement they term “polyamory.” Essentially, this describes a post-jealousy, highly rationalized state where participants […]

In Full Defense of This American Life

About a month and a half ago, Ira Glass and the crew of This American Life came upon a story that seemed almost too perfectly designed for the show’s introspective, vaguely counterculture hipster aesthetic: the tale of a die-hard believer in Steve Jobs’ Apple discovering that those hallmarks of the intelligentsia, iPads and iPhones, are made possible only by […]

Defining a Place for the New Atheism

I’m moving to Brooklyn! With no internet. Hence delays.  Andrew Sullivan, with Bryan Appleyard, together question the value of the “new atheism,” which they define as a belief system devoted to the absolute eradication of both religion, and its influence on mankind. Appleyard: By “neo-atheism”, I mean a tripartite belief system founded on the conviction […]

Error Deflection

Because it’s come up a few times, and because I feel like a more life-based post is in order, I’d like to hit on a topic that’s come up before: even and especially when making especially important decisions in politics, or the law, how do we choose between two courses of action? The concept I […]

The SOPA/PIPA Question as a Quintessentially American Debate

With apologies, again, for delays. Enjoy this picture of subzero skiing as compensation/explanation for my prolonged absence. How gratifying to see democracy work as well as it has during the SOPA debate. A cadre of lobbyists devise a plan to protect their interests inimical to both the people, and to the larger society; the people […]

Apple and the World You Love

When Steve Jobs passed away last week, one commentator stuck us with this summary of the impact of the ubiquitous iPod/iPhone/iPad triumvirate: He put white earbuds in the ears of everyone on the planet, and shut us all in to our own little pods of experience. Harsh, but it doesn’t feel entirely wrong. Walking the […]

iPhone Metaphysics

Today wound up being fairly busy, so in lieu of something more political, I encourage those of you with iPhones to take this common error screen as life advice. Our past mistakes made us who we are today so, there’s nothing to undo. Alternately, live life well, so that there’s nothing to undo. Sage little […]

Sick Day Photos

Is it possible to be allergic to fall? If not, I think I have a cold. So, in lieu of anything requiring complicated thought, of which I am certainly incapable today, enjoy this picture of graffiti found just north of Canal Street, which I take as a hipster reduction of Billy Joel’s “Tell Her About It.” Of […]

The Good Guys, and the Excuses We Make For Ignoring Them

Permit me to indulge in a bit of idealism. I spent the close of last night reading Catching Fire, the sequel to The Hunger Games — and I’ll explain. It’s a series of young adult books that, like Harry Potter and Ender’s Game, made the crossover and gained some popularity among the older and wiser set. In […]

Let’s Stop Reliving It

This weekend, expect to be deluged by a sea of violent images: the towers burning, falling, the planes impacting, and probably a series of images even more disturbing, which I won’t link to or even name. We’ll agonize over rumors, look over our shoulders, and in many respects maintain the last decade’s focus on the […]