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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A Dangerous Partnership: the Managerial Revolution and the Immigration Revolution

(Joseph Prezioso—AFP/Getty Images)

New populations moving into a country creates ready-made client groups to which the managerial state can administer, gaining new voting blocs, which continue to vote for the party of the managerial state.”

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Nitazene: Scenes From Britain’s Struggle with a Powerful New Drug

Meanwhile, the death toll rises. John told me he was 44—the same age as me—when we first met. That is just under the average age of death for homeless men in Britain. This is more than 30 years shorter than the country’s average male life expectancy.”

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Too Many Excuses for Tyrants

(Vladimir Putin and Bashar al-Assad in Syria in 2020)

Despite all of this, [Robert D.] Kaplan’s analysis of the greater Middle East should not be ignored. His travels throughout this vast region across the decades give him insights into its diverse challenges that few Americans possess.”

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In Defense of the Bugmen

But I am not interested in chiding Bronze Age Pervert—as other publications, such as National Review, have done—for his use of dehumanization. Instead, I want to offer a full-throated defense of these nasty bugmen.”

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Irregular Beats: The Surprising Politics of Kerouac, Burroughs, and Ginsberg

(Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs)

“It is hard to say whether this philosophy would have had any adherents other than Kerouac, but it would have represented something new and uplifting—a counterculture to the counterculture.”

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For Whom the Nobel Tolls: Tomas Tranströmer’s “The Blue House”

(Jessica Gow/AFP/Getty Images)

“The lines, like long, rolling ocean waves on a cold Baltic sea, create their own reasons, their own rhythm, their own understanding. Anaphora is used, as Whitman did, to summon us to the great historical pageant of life, of happenings beyond our immediate knowledge.”

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Rescuing Religion from Atheism

(The Old Country Church, Búðir, Snæfellsnes, Iceland by O Palsson)

It seems, then, that religious practice is beneficial but unpalatable to many highly analytical people because they deem religious doctrines unpersuasive. The question therefore arises how one can make it palatable to them.”

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By the Known Rules of Ancient Liberty: A Review of Masha Karp’s “George Orwell and Russia”

(vfutscher/Flickr)

Lest I should have appeared overly critical, allow me to restate that even in this, her analysis is exceptional and that overall, George Orwell and Russia is a uniquely penetrating study of Eric Blair’s life and legacy.”

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Reckoning with Medicine’s Unseemly Past

(Victims of the Guatemala Syphilis Experiment. National Archives and Records Administration/Via bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu)

“How does such an advanced nation and forward-looking profession embrace ‘medicalized mass murder’ and a philosophy calling for the ‘annihilation of life unworthy of living’? How did those who pledged to follow ‘the Hippocratic tradition of healers,’ they ask, ‘become killers’?”

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Lessons from Machiavelli and Guicciardini for an Unstable World

(Francesco Guicciardini and Niccolo Machiavelli)

“The world is in flux. November’s elections in the United States will speed up the pace of change. There is a danger that politicians across the West are positioning themselves to govern a world that will no longer exist by the time they come to power.”

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