Liberalism’s Last Stand

William Gibson famously observed, a couple decades ago now, that the future had arrived, it just wasn't evenly distributed. The fact that he had to say that and that people still find it insightful suggests they thought it would be evenly distributed, or reasonably so. I'd like to say "I don't know why that is"... Continue Reading →


Nations of experience

No matter how long I make a study of it, I cannot stop marveling at the slippery imprecision of English. It is not the most poetic language, but it is the most poetical in that it conflates single words with entire nations of experience. Where other languages strive admirably to, for example, parse the diverse... Continue Reading →

The ridiculousness of everything

It's true that much of the world is ridiculous. I think most people would agree with that. However, in their agreement they would be wrong. This is because at the moment of utterance, the cynical speaker, in claiming the world is ridiculous, assumes the role of Barthes' dumb critic who believes herself "to have such... Continue Reading →

Shame on you

Since last Friday, when I saw a thread on Twitter that I wish I could've bleached from my eyeballs, I've run into this idea several times that it's wrong to consume "problematic" media and you shouldn't do it, and if you did it, you should feel bad about it. In general, I've noticed, this line... Continue Reading →

Politics is a sport

It has regular contests in which score is kept. It has seasons ending in scheduled championship contests. It has teams, complete with managers (and even owners). It has plays and strategies, many of which fail. It has scandals and career-ending injuries. It has a daily highlight reel. It has major and minor leagues and recruitment... Continue Reading →

On the proper way to eat sushi

Most of Japanese TV is about food, which is odd considering that Japan consumes fewer calories per person than any of the major industrialized nations, by far. Not that there are many cooking shows. There aren’t. Unlike in America, where people learn to cook from books and TV personalities, Japanese people learn to cook from... Continue Reading →

AI and the future of humanity

The question posed to me was whether there’s cause to be optimistic about AI. My answer is that that’s an oversimplification almost to the point of farce. To be clear, I’m not anti-AI. It really does have the potential to make life better for everybody. And anyway, as with genetic modification (of both food and humans), you... Continue Reading →

The Problem with “The Three-Body Problem”

From a recent review of Cixin Liu's Nebula Award-nominated and Hugo Award-winning "The Three-Body Problem" on Big Think: "Why We Should Really Stop Trying to Contact Aliens" by Robby Berman Cixin’s writing is beyond smart — it’s brilliant — and it's science fiction of the best kind, with mind-boggling ideas and perceptions, and characters you... Continue Reading →

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