Why are supposedly serious and profound fiction often difficult and boring to read? Is there a necessary connection between the two? I argue yes, a bit, but it's hard to tell when the connection is illusory and fake. Read more (23 min, 5700 words).
A long review, with further musings, of "Cynical Theories". Read more (30 min, 7600 words).
To celebrate my 100th post, I wrote 100 haikus as summaries of each post so far. Read more (8 min, 2000 words).
I discuss how you can dismiss, acknowledge, or generalize from the particular to the general, and how this matters for the way political capital is created and accumulated. Read more (11 min, 2800 words).
I folliow up on "Cat Couplings" from 2019 with a bunch of new examples and further thinking on how and why cat couplings work. Read more (13 min, 3300 words).
I reread a book that influenced me a lot when I was younger and review it. Defenders of the Truth: The Sociobiology Debate by Ullica Segerstråle chronicles the intense discussion in the wake of E.O Wilson's book "Sociobiology" from 1975. Read more (20 min, 5100 words).
When I was a kid my mother had a visual encyclopedia I explored again and again as we watched TV in the evening. As an adult I've come to understand how perfect it was for me, and how formative it's been. This is a tribute with many, many photos of its excellently designed pages. Read more (10 min, 2400 words).
I elaborate on and explain my satirical piece from the month before Read more (19 min, 4700 words).
An argument that secret ballots is an unacceptable exercise of power without accountability. Read more (6 min, 1400 words).
I muse on whether there is a link between being easily stressed by having to keep many things in mind and having a rights-based, individualist political intuition. Read more (12 min, 3100 words).