dictionaryofobscuresorrows: n. a kind of psychological exoskeleton that can protect you from pain and contain your anxieties, but always ends up cracking under pressure or hollowed out by time—and will keep growing back again and again, until you develop a more sophisticated emotional structure, held up by a strong and flexible spine, built less like a fortress than a cluster of treehouses.
The difference is this: a market economy is a valuable and effective tool for...– Michel Sandel
Morozov, Graeber’s “diversity of tactics”, and... →
“We’re so far down the rabbit hole that we are doing monumentally terrible acts to both ourselves and the ecosystems that support us, all in the name of technology, progress, economic growth, and a reasonable rate of return. That’s why I’m unwilling to join in the choruses of ‘Morozov is unhinged,’ and ‘Morozov is mentally ill,’ or whatever – at least he’s doing...
I am a frayed and nibbled survivor in a fallen world, and I am getting along. I...– Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek via Literary Jukebox
In the empirical sciences, almost everything is a matter of weighing evidence;...– Can Science Lead to Faith?
I’m not a big fan of the “he said”-“she said”...– This, and other excellent story-telling advice, from Deborah Blum.
Tim Wise » Terrorism and Privilege: Understanding... →
“White privilege is knowing that if the Boston bomber turns out to be white, we will not be asked to denounce him or her, so as to prove our own loyalties to the common national good. […] White privilege is knowing that if you are a white student from Nebraska — as opposed to, say, a student from Saudi Arabia — that no one, and I mean no one would think it important to detain and...
Louder Than Words →
“In the tenth century BC, the priests of India devised the Brahmodya competition, which would become a model of authentic theological discourse. The object was to find a verbal formula to define the Brahman, the ultimate and inexpressible reality beyond human understanding. The idea was to push language as far as it would go, until participants became aware of the ineffable. The challenger,...
[I saw how the night came, Came striding like the color of the heavy hemlocks....– Wallace Stevens, from “Domination of Black”
Mad Girl’s Love Song (excerpt) by Sylvia Plath →
I should have loved a thunderbird instead; At least when spring comes they roar back again. I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead. (I think I made you up inside my head.)
Luc Boltanski - On Critique →
“Boltanski associates himself with a different family of thought, one following a line from Michel Foucault and continuing recently to Jacques Ranciere, Bruno Latour, and Nancy Fraser (to which I’d add Peter Sloterdijk’s early work on cynicism and Amartya Sen). This family rejects the Platonic-Matrix picture of philosopher-as-demystifier. It claims, in various ways, that the Platonic...
The Hidden Biases in Big Data by Kate Crawford →
“In the near term, data scientists should take a page from social scientists, who have a long history of asking where the data they’re working with comes from, what methods were used to gather and analyze it, and what cognitive biases they might bring to its interpretation. Longer term, we must ask how we can bring together big data approaches with small data studies — computational...
The Peace of Wild Things by Wendell Berry
When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the...