“I knelt and started to pray and prayed for everybody I thought of”

Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises: I knelt and started to pray and prayed for everybody I thought of, Brett and Mike and Bill and Robert Cohn and myself, and all the bullfighters, separately for the ones I liked, and lumping all the rest, then I prayed for myself again,

Log off

Elizabeth Bruenig on (currently my favorite podcast) The Argument: I don't think we're particularly well designed to cope with getting news of the entire world updated every ten minutes on a live stream. I think it's extremely stressful; it's too much true information. And I think it can lead to

The Daily podcast on "cancel culture"

The latest two episodes of the NYT's "The Daily" podcast try to get to the bottom of "cancel culture." One conclusion from a guest on episode two: I don't think that Twitter rewards asterisks, and 'ums,' and skepticism, and ambivalence, and questions. I think Twitter rewards absolute claims. You

Criticism and Leadership

Criticism is the price of problem-solving in leadership.—Carly Fiorina on “The Ticket” from The Atlantic

Žižek and Peterson

I first heard of this debate on a recent Ezra Klein podcast episode where Klein's guest basically portrayed it as an "easy take-down" of Peterson by Žižek. However, after watching, my biggest takeaways are just how un-debate-like it was at all and how much the two agreed: there are pervasive

Discussing bad ideas

Paul Graham, co-founder of Y Combinator, on his blog: There are two reasons why we need to be able to discuss even "bad" ideas. The first is that any process for deciding which ideas to ban is bound to make mistakes. All the more so because no one intelligent wants

Demonstration or spectacle

E.D. Mondainé, president of the Portland branch of the NAACP in the WaPo: Images of “Naked Athena,” as the protester has been labeled, have gone viral, her unclothed confrontation with police earning her accolades as a brave ally of the cause. But I see something else: a beneficiary of

Why This

I hate to write. It’s time-consuming. It requires prolonged focus. It demands study, reflection, confrontation, written and rewritten sentences, rough drafts, and crumpled pages. And that’s all before a piece is completed. After it’s “finished,” new torments emerge: the unanticipated argument, the missed typo, the now-obvious point,
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