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…”

Read more

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.”

Read more

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.”

Read more

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.”

Read more

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.”

Read more

People over Place: Reviewing “The Culture Transplant” by Garett Jones

“Any serious government would, therefore, develop and implement immigration policy with the utmost care. Instead, our governments are experimenting with unprecedented peacetime increases in immigration that further expand ethnic and cultural diversity.”

Read more

Review: “A Web of Our Own Making: The Nature of Digital Formation” by Antón Barba-Kay

(Wikimedia Foundation Servers)

Barba-Kay’s central claim is that digital technology is categorically different from prior technologies. It is not just a matter of degree but, rather, a matter of kind.”

Read more

Grappling with Liberalism

(The Berlin Wall at the Brandenburg Gate in February, 1979 by Ad Meskens)

Modern liberalism, equally, cannot go on as it is at the moment, veering toward destruction, becoming ever more decrepit and ineffectual, incapable of meeting the challenges—domestic, geopolitical, planetary—of the 21st century.”

Read more

The True Origin of Palestinian Suffering Was Not 1948

Amin al-Husseini (Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

However, there was one man who positioned himself very early on as an opponent to this growing Jewish presence in his homeland. This man was Haj Amin al-Husseini, who, in 1921, became the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.”

Read more

Review: “In Defense of Civilization” by Michael R. J. Bonner

“Bonner has done a great service in reminding us what true civilization means, the cost of losing it, and how we can regain it.”

Read more

Incurious: George and the Postcolonialists

“Schwartz-DuPre is dedicated to putting an end to the idea that Curious George is nothing more than an amusing story.”

Read more

Confessions of a Beautiful Soul

Despite the book’s homage to Friedrich Schiller via its title, we get nothing even remotely reminiscent of the profound intellectual mind meld between him and his great friend Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.”

Read more

Review: “Crassus: The First Tycoon” by Peter Stothard

“Now, Peter Stothard has given us the final decades of the republic through the eyes of Crassus—Rome’s wealthiest man and former consul who famously embarked on a vainglorious and ultimately failed conquest of Parthia that culminated in his embarrassing death.”

Read more

Review: “Uncommon Wrath” by Josiah Osgood

Pierre Bouillon’s 1797 painting “The Death of Cato the Younger of Utica”

“[Josiah] Osgood’s book is a welcome and exciting read about the rivalry between Caesar and Cato; Cato, in the process, finally receives some much-deserved due in the story of the republic’s final decades.”

Read more

On Literary Science and the Bounds of Knowledge

But philistinism is not limited to the arts. I believe that those who cannot appreciate the wondrous beauty of the real world as revealed by science are philistines, too.”

Read more