Author Archives: anomalogue

Jesus as Jewish missionary

A friend of mine said “…so basically, Jesus converted you to Judaism.” Yes. My attempts to understand Jesus’s teaching without the overwhelming influence of Paul’s interpretation led me to sharing Jesus’s faith, which precludes idolizing him as a god, a … Continue reading

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Will over feeling

I do not care how I feel, and neither should anyone else. I feel all kinds of stupid things all the time, and I cannot afford to take them seriously. What matters — what I take seriously about myself — … Continue reading

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Synesis

To understand another culture it is necessary for an ethnographic investigator to suspend or temporarily suppress their own reflexive cultural judgments, at least long enough to get a sense of how life looks and feels from within the other culture’s … Continue reading

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Belief versus faith

The ideas we profess are our beliefs. The ideas we use to produce our thoughts and to guide our actions — these are faith. The two rarely coincide. * The better a thing is suited to its purpose, and the … Continue reading

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Principled hypocrisy

One of the most distinctive virtues of Generation X developed out of what was initially identified as its distinctive vice: apathy. It is a virtuous cynicism, a principled hypocrisy, a refusal to allow social norms to dictate individual sense of … Continue reading

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Theological geometry

My native language is geometry. Until I see the shape of a thought, I don’t truly know it. This morning, reading Inventing the Individual, I realized Borges might have given me the shape of my theology 25 years ago. When … Continue reading

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Liberal symbol

I’ve been marking passages in Inventing the Individual that show the emergence of liberal traits. I’m making a list of these traits in the back of the book, with the goal of distilling a set of liberal family resemblances which, … Continue reading

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Blackness

When there is no light and we see only blackness, we think we see nothing. We look out into the emptiness of space and we see blackness, we think we see nothing. We see nothing when we look out at … Continue reading

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Isolation and delusion

Isolation makes existent things seem nonexistent. Mass delusions make nonexistent things seem to exist.

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Demographelia

Demographelia is the preference for thinking in terms of social categories over encountering the uniqueness of individuals. And of course, since categories are features of our own minds, this signifies an impulse to reduce individuals to oneself — a solipsism … Continue reading

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Explanation vs. understanding

“Explanation, when regarded as the only goal of inquiry, becomes a substitute for understanding. Imperceptibly it becomes the beginning rather than the end of perception.” — Abraham Joshua Heschel

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Reflections on Inventing the Individual

Here is a list of random thoughts that have occurred to me while reading Inventing the Individual: When you realize how deep the connection was between family and land, and what it meant in the ancient world to lose these … Continue reading

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Repost: anti-science = anti-social

This old post warrants an edited re-post: A person’s attitude toward science tells us much more about his attitudes toward his fellow human beings than it does with his attitudes toward nature. Science is a multi-generational collaborative unfinished accomplishment of … Continue reading

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Science is a style of quarreling

From Adam Gopnik’s “The Porcupine: A pilgrimage to Popper”: In the real world, as Popper knew perfectly well, the response of the scientist who has proposed that all swans are white when a black swan appears is not to say, cheerfully, … Continue reading

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Tool users vs service users

I am not one of those people who sees service design as the grand catch-all for multi-touchpoint multi-/omni-channel experiences. I feel the same way about “service” as I did in the early aughts about the term “user”. These words imply … Continue reading

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Obtrusive conveniences

A design trend that disturbs me intensely: obtrusive conveniences. What makes these conveniences obtrusive is that they make it incredibly inconvenient to refuse what they offer and you end up fighting for control over what you are attempting to do. … Continue reading

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Gadget-porn addiction

Apple used to innovate by asking “Wouldn’t it be great if people could ____?” This was what made them uniquely great. Now Apple does what every other banal tech company does and asks “Wouldn’t it be great if we could … Continue reading

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Why I get emotional about design

When I use a product, I feel the milieu that produced it. Products are crystallized philosophies. In a designed object I feel people — the people who produced it and sometimes a precise person for whom an object is intended. This … Continue reading

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George Soros

I’ve been hearing such dark and incredible tales about George Soros’s depravity and deviousness I felt I’d better look into who he is. And what better better place to start than to go directly to the source and read one … Continue reading

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Four sides to every conflict

In conflicts, there are four sides to every story: there is my side, there is your side, there is what I think your side is, and there is what you think my side is. If you want to know a … Continue reading

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