Sometimes we just want to be alone, to meet the self, to commune with nature, to hope to glimpse that ineffable; to let our thoughts run shouting down halls that we’ve never seen, unthreatened by the jaws of other peoples’ arguments. Our soul is set free by our heart’s acceptance that alone is not lonely, […]

Sharp knives

In my woodworking days I learned how to sharpen knives on a stone, so when invited to Thanksgiving or Christmas, I would offer to sharpen the host’s knives. The offer was always well received, but such a high proportion of cooks promptly cut themselves accidentally that I now don’t offer, or add a severe caveat. […]

Split Infinitives

I’ve always had a secret liking for split infinitives. Today I found a perfect example. Therapists are trained not to tell you exactly what to do, no matter how much I ask. I would much rather see (using brackets to indicate a sentence component) Therapists are trained to [not tell you exactly what to do], no […]

Modern-day Feudalism

Here’s what the corporate state has come to: You need a college education to get a job; You have to pay for it; You can’t escape that debt (it’s high interest, and not dischargeable in bankruptcy); Therefore you have to work for us until it is paid off. Ergo: Capitalism has reinvented the feudal system.

Five Ways America is a Faux Democracy

The existence of elections, civil law and free speech gives the appearance of a functioning democracy, but in practice they are not acting as intended. 1. Voting is not Representative Voting is skewed in America in many ways. Districts are gerrymandered to bias the vote: “Through artful drawing of district boundaries, it is possible to […]

Political bias measured in Supreme Court Decisions

The NYTimes reports that how Supreme Court Justices vote on 1st Amendment claims depends on their political leanings. The worst liberal bias is 1.3, whereas the conservative biases range from 3 to 7. This is unsettling enough by itself, but even more disturbing is the implication is that conservative justices may be more biased in […]


I just ran into this sentence in Six programming paradigms that will change how you think about coding You’re probably used to type systems in languages like C and Java and marveled at its ambiguity. “Used” and “type” have several different grammatical meanings. As Hobbes (of Calvin and Hobbes) said Verbing weirds language. (The article itself […]

Faux Democracy

The Electoral College. Disproportionate Senatorial representation. Gerrymandering. Congressional inaction on higher taxes on the rich, military spending cuts and removing marijuana’s Schedule 1 classification. All are disquieting signs that we may be living in a society that only pretends to be a democracy. I’m not the only person thinking this. Check out the comments to […]

A New Consciousness

An idea cannot be named before it has been thought. A social movement cannot be identified until it has started to arise. There is a new consciousness in the world that as yet has no name. It says we are all in this together. It says that war and sectarian conflicts cannot resolve issues. It […]