At War Against the Flat Moral Universe

When somebody’s grand explanation of everything is that everyone who opposes them is evil, stupid, or ignorant, or that they are members of an oppressing group whose every action is evil by nature (and these are not mutually exclusive: ignorant, bigoted white men, for example is a double dose of both), their moral universe is … Continue reading “At War Against the Flat Moral Universe”

Politics, Family Life & the Flat Moral Universe

(Another from the Draft folder! This + weeding = only 67 to go!) Here, I contrasted the rich and varied moral universe of Dante – of the Church – with the flat moral universe of Marx and Modernity. Briefly: in his Divine Comedy, Dante lays out  a world of complex – nuanced, even – moral … Continue reading “Politics, Family Life & the Flat Moral Universe”

The Modern Emotionally and Morally Flat World

Over on Sarah Hoyt’s blog, Cedar Sanderson writes about the modern insistence on a flat emotional world: how we are not allowed to contemplate or even acknowledge that one might, in her example, be happy and sad at the same time. As a dad with 3 kids away at college, and whose oldest daughter is graduating, … Continue reading “The Modern Emotionally and Morally Flat World”

Polanyi’s Great Transformation, pt 1

(Note: I’m reading this work in preparation for reading Patrick Deenen’s Why Liberalism Failed simply because, over dinner, a friend casually mentioned that it figures into Deenan’s argument somehow. Let’s see how this goes. Kinda busy writing these days, (huzzah!) so may be a while before I get to read and report on the rest.) … Continue reading “Polanyi’s Great Transformation, pt 1”

Curse of the Pyramids

(Thoughts not yet fully formed follow. Like that’s anything new.) When diagramming out some issue using a pyramid, we are invited (if not forced) to think hierarchically, in terms of a foundation, middle stories built on that foundation, and a crowning achievement/reward at the top: We have food pyramids, Maslow’s Hierarchy, Management hierarchies:   Even … Continue reading “Curse of the Pyramids”

Progress versus Progress

Progress with a small ‘p’ is like a certain kind of good story, one with a clear beginning, middle and end, where things are left better in some way than they were at the beginning. A protagonist is faced with a problem or challenge – the beginning – and takes action and faces challenges – … Continue reading “Progress versus Progress”

Where are the casualties?

Please read The Real War on Science by John Tierney, of whom I knew nothing before reading the article linked (name was vaguely familiar). Writer for the NYT, which is supposed to confer non-fake status (non-fake if one has forgotten Walter Duranty, among others. I haven’t.)  However, since he says a lot of what I’m trying to … Continue reading “Where are the casualties?”

Perfect Solutions

One thing working with one’s hands gives us is a perspective on perfection: there ain’t any in this life. You can work longer or with greater skill at something – laying a brick, painting a picture, sewing a skirt – but you will never get it perfect. What you can do is keep improving, learning … Continue reading “Perfect Solutions”

Bumper Sticker Sighting

I mentioned on somebody else’s blog that, even here in San Francisco Bay area, about as liberal and progressive an area in America, I rarely see any Hillary bumper stickers even now, mere weeks before the election – in fact, I see an order or two of magnitude more old Obama ’08 bumper stickers than … Continue reading “Bumper Sticker Sighting”

The Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect & Failure to Make Connections

Michael Crichton came up with the Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect, and explains it thus: Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding … Continue reading “The Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect & Failure to Make Connections”