Elitist smugness

I wouldn’t be sharing this Vox article (“Smug American Liberalism“) but for this painfully thought-provoking nugget: Elites, real elites, might recognize one another by their superior knowledge. The smug recognize one another by their mutual knowing. Knowing, for example, that the Founding Fathers were all secular deists. Knowing that you’re actually, like, 30 times more likely to…

Upstairs downstairs

This morning I was walking down the stairs when I walked past a man from my building who was coughing and wheezing and generally having a terrible time with his lungs. The man looked up at me and said he had wrecked his lungs with all the smoking over the years, and now he couldn’t take…

The unbearable feeling of caring

The excellent Eddy Rathke responded to my previous post, “What if you’re responsible for everything?”, on his own blog: “A response to the responsibility of everything.” I would like to return the compliment. In my last post, I challenged you!!!, the person reading these words, to try seeing the world as though everyone were equally to…

What if you’re responsible for everything?

In light of the obvious and inevitable backlash against satirical-magazine-turned-bunch-of-martyrs-turned-opportunity-for-rampant-collective-narcissism Charlie Hebdo, I offer up the following trivial — but oddly irritating — provocation: What would it be like to live knowing that we are totally responsible for absolutely everything that happens in the world at all times? No exceptions, no excellent and perfectly valid reasons…

With luck, with time, you go from holding the world hostage until your expectations are met to siding with the world against your own expectations. Everything hurts until it doesn’t. Remembering this ten thousand times a day could be all the practice that’s needed.

Ignorance and stupidity

Ignorance is relative. Stupidity is absolute. Ignorance we can correct with knowledge, experience, words. We can play with ignorance as we play with matter, sculpt it as we sculpt societies and identities. Through the scientific method we chop away at our ignorance; but stupidity remains and sustains this chopping away. Through religious practice we elevate…