In Reply to Walter Block: Relocation Must Be Off the Table

It is not particularly interesting that I disagree with Block’s argument. I am a bleeding-heart left-winger who thinks every human being has a right to healthcare, housing, education, and much more…The interesting part is that [his arguments] fly in the face of the values he cares about.”

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Lynn Xu’s Cantilevered Vase of Moonlight

“Here reposes the reverie-inducing freedom of Rilke and Proust, where you get to say ‘dreaming’ twice, or a thousand times, and even ‘et cetera’ twice, in case you forgot to fill in the blank with your own lyrical, rapture-adjacent images the first time.”

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Aprinism: A Worldview

“As mentioned, comparisons with other life-forms are often useful for understanding our human existence. Accordingly, I have derived the word ‘Aprinism’ from the Latin ‘aprinus,’ meaning ‘boar-like.'”

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When the Elites Declare War

(Reuters/Brendan McDermid)

Show trials, we had thought, were totalitarian relics, a blunt tool wielded by dictators like Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong in order to show people, quite literally, what would happen to those who dared to defy the regime. And here it was, happening in 2024, in America.”

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On the Music of John Prine

“For me, though, there is one Prine song I find the most philosophical, though many of his songs do indeed have that bent…The song is  ‘Fish and Whistle,’ the first track on his 1978 album Bruised Orange…”

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J.S. Mill: Equiliberal

“For [Patrick] Deneen, the most nefarious influence in the history of liberal political thought is John Stuart Mill, son of Enlightenment radical James Mill, godson of utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham, and the author of the canonical 1859 liberal text, On Liberty.”

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Chasing Immortality, Living on the Edge: A Review of “Transhuman Citizen,” the Biography of Zoltan Istvan

(Credit: Zoltan Istvan)

“Although the project to end death is clearly important to Istvan, his forthcoming biography, ‘Transhuman Citizen: Zoltan Istvan’s Hunt for Immortality’ by Ben Murnane, reveals that he has arguably lived his life in response to a related but slightly different question…”

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You Actually Do Co-Parent with the Government, So Make It Co-Parent Better


“Although pithy and pugnacious, the slogan is wrong. The moment parents drop a child off at the schoolhouse door, they entrust the school to take over some of their parenting responsibilities.”

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Kink or Worship or Both: Megan Fernandes’ “I Do Everything I’m Told”

Bianca Berg

“In invoking (and sometimes tweaking) cherished predecessors, this gently impious collection also helps refurbish form.”

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Commodification in America: Old and New

(The surrender of General Robert E. Lee to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia on April 9, 1865. This a reproduction of a painting by Thomas Nast.)

And yet, today, we continue to engage in various forms of commodifying the human person, even if they are less visibly brutal and bloody.”

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On Not Responding to Email

“Henry David Thoreau, writing in 1854, remarked: ‘I never received more than one or two letters in my life…that were worth the postage.’ What would he make of the modern email inbox?”

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Review: “The Handover: How We Gave Control of Our Lives to Corporations, States and AIs” by David Runciman

(R Boed/Creative Commons)

The Handover is, at bottom, a plea for liberal democratic states to discipline, if not disempower, the sociopaths and psychopaths who currently have control of the technologies and resources which are changing us and our environment and promise to change both ourselves and the planet we inhabit more radically still.”

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All University Protests Must Stop, Period

((Ted Eytan/Creative Commons))

Holding myself to this standard, I am comfortable in saying that in each and every one of those scenarios, my view would be unchanged: The protests, all the university protests, must be stopped.”

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“The Rhapsodic Fallacy” and Maurice Manning’s “Snakedoctor”

(Maurice Manning)

“The ‘free’ in ‘free verse’ was never meant as a free pass, an anything goes, for to succumb to it does, in fact, leave us standing in a well-intentioned mush.”

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Critiquing Stoicism

(Marcus Aurelius)

“However, my impression is that there is something more fundamentally toxic about Stoicism. In line with [Will] Durant’s assessment, its dominant theme seems to be retreat: retreat from unpleasant emotion into indifference (despite protestations to the contrary)…”

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