Category Archives: Ideas

James Dickey documentary

This James Dickey documentary is required viewing: “James Dickey: Lord Let Me Die, But Not Die Out”

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Shells and pearls

This is a series of rewritten, streamlined posts on the theme of shells and pearls, which I’m considering incorporating into my pamphlet. I’ll link to the originals. If you have time to compare, let me know if you think anything was lost in … Continue reading

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Reenlightened or Snuffed

Here is our choice:  a) Update how we as a species think, act and feel so we can finally reach some fundamental agreements that permit us to continue to enjoy the fruits of our blessed artificiality… or b) Refuse to … Continue reading

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America is philosophically diseased

America is philosophically diseased. Most Americans perceive, believe and intuit using 19th and 20th century modes of understanding which are 1) are incompatible and irreconcilable with the others, 2) mutually hostile, and 3) inadequate for making theoretical, practical and moral sense of … Continue reading

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The most vulnerable population

In violent times the most vulnerable people are those with who keep an intact conscience.

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We are diplomats

Whether we like it or not, when we act as the individual Who we know we are, we represent a What others believe we are.  Each of us is a diplomat of the categories we are to others.  Hannah Arendt … Continue reading

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Alternative wisdoms

The wisdom of the romantics: “Close your ears to distracting and deceptive voices and obey your heart’s commands.” The wisdom of the liberals: “Listen to the voices of the others around you and educate your heart before you trust its … Continue reading

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Like a spiral

A spiral is a symbol of inclusive enclosure. It can be seen as an enclosing line or as an opening circle.  Enclosed, but not closed. Supplely conservative.  Inclusive, but not borderless. Discriminately liberal. 

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Contained and comprehended

If Levinas is right — and I believe he is — it is no accident that the person I know whose formula for intellectual victory was to “contain and comprehend” the other was also among the most amoral people I’ve … Continue reading

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Two kinds of othering

According to Wikipedia “when the term the Other is used as the verb Othering, it labels (distinguishes and identifies) someone as belonging to a category defined as the Other. The practice of Othering is the exclusion of persons who do … Continue reading

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Bar aphorism

I’ve been working on this aphorism for years, and I think I’ve found the best way to say it: The bartender who politely listens to your story is not interested in who you are, but the bar brawler picking a … Continue reading

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Dying of disrespect

Americans generally believe it is good not not care what other people think. Saying “I don’t care what you think” is often seen as a sign of independence, toughness and spirit. We say it with a tone of pride, as if … Continue reading

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Worldview referendum

Our national elections are no longer about which person is most qualifed to lead or which candidate’s policies will work best in our pluralistic but unified nation.  Increasingly, our elections are referendums to determine whose worldview defines our national identity, … Continue reading

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Darkness, blindness, distraction, obscurity, remoteness

Perception can miss a reality because of darkness, blindness, distraction, hiddenness, or remoteness.  Darkness is obsurement due to absence of medium. Absence of light makes dark. A vacuum makes silent.  Blindness is a failure of reception. Failure of sight is … Continue reading

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Liberal democratic life

Liberal democratic institutions stand on a foundation of liberal democratic popular philosophies. The liberal democratic philosophical foundation is sheltered by the liberal democratic institution built upon it. This structure is the home of liberal democratic life, the place that sustains … Continue reading

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In theory he said it

In theory, Yogi Berra should have said “In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.” In practice, however, he did not say it. 

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Not the person I thought you were

Nobody is the person you think they are; they are the person they actually are. Only the latter is a being who can be loved. Emotion toward the former, however intense, however positive, is not love. 

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Trapped in transitivity

The root cause of today’s conflicts is what has been the root cause of conflict since the dawn of human existence: we do not know how to relate ourselves intellectually, practically or morally to that whom we are not. We … Continue reading

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Micro-omniscience is knowing everything there is to know within a worldview with a frisbee-sized horizon. ex. “There is no arguing with the micro-omniscience of a 23-year old libertarian.”

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You defy [my current] understanding. I cannot continue both to understand my world and to understand you. You do not fit inside my soul. I am faced with the most fundamental choice. Will I break open my soul? or will … Continue reading

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