In Praise of Perplexity

Our world praises certainty. We must be confident even when we are unconfident. We call this self-confidence. For, the truism goes, if we don't believe in ourselves, who will? That we shouldn't believe in ourselves occurs to no one, though we spend so much of our time telling each other how others are completely wrong.… Continue reading In Praise of Perplexity

News without Action is Dead: And Most News is Dead

How often does it occur that information provided you on morning radio or television, or in the morning paper, causes you to alter your plans for the day, or to take some action you would not otherwise have taken, or provides some insight into some problem you are required to solve? ... most of our… Continue reading News without Action is Dead: And Most News is Dead

Starbucks Stoppers & Decision Fatigue

Yesterday, in a state of need for something that could warm the cockles of my heart, I grabbed a cup of coffee from Starbucks for me and my wife. Today, in a state of need for something that could make my dead-tired heart beat, I pre-ordered a cup, stumbled in to the store, and grabbed… Continue reading Starbucks Stoppers & Decision Fatigue

All Things, Old and New

On this day, of all days, I struggle to find that depth I once knew -- the deeper parts (“deep unto deep”) that dragged me in until I, nearly drowning, water in my lungs, eyes lolling upwards, I caught a grasp of the thing itself and took a breath in and, coughing, taste a brief… Continue reading All Things, Old and New

Theseus by Plato

A note on the text Theseus, as named for one of the protagonists of the dialogue, is a newly-discovered dialogue of Plato, in which Socrates encounters two new founders of “schools” in ancient Athens and converses with them on the nature of learning and education. Within it, Plato returns to themes of the nature of… Continue reading Theseus by Plato

Beliefs like Helium Balloons

In one of Plato's dialogues, Socrates makes a distinction between knowledge and true opinion. The distinction, he says, is that true opinion is accidental -- whereas knowledge is opinion tethered by reason. What's the difference, you ask? And why does it matter? And how many different shades of color are there in a night rainbow?… Continue reading Beliefs like Helium Balloons

Under Construction

Photo by Colin Czerwinski on Unsplash

He had not noticed the sign earlier that day -- the one that read "road closed, under construction". He wondered at that but didn’t wonder too much. A man drives up and down the same road for the majority of his life and he begins to not see it. Though, still, it seemed strange — it… Continue reading Under Construction

In Praise of Underachievers

An Aesthete's Ode I’ve talked with numerous students over the years. There are the students who set out to achieve and achieve; those that do not set out to achieve and succeed in not achieving; and those that set out to achieve but underachieve. It’s the latter class that I have a particular affinity for,… Continue reading In Praise of Underachievers

Religion: Me or Us?

Assessing William James' Definition of Religion Religion, therefore, as I now ask you arbitrarily to take it, shall mean for us the feelings, acts, and experiences of individual men in their solitude, so far as they apprehend themselves to stand in relation to whatever they may consider the divine.-William James, The Variety of Religious Experiences Is… Continue reading Religion: Me or Us?

We’re so Ugly

If only we'd all believe it. I was a teenager when the grunge movement hit its stride. And I miss it. Not so much the music, as such, but the attitude that stands against the modern self-righteousness and presents a clear view of human nature: Humans are terrible and that includes me. Take Nirvana, for instance,… Continue reading We’re so Ugly