Category Archives: Life

You Can’t Idiot-Proof the World

There’s no way to make the world safe for idiots. No matter what you do, it can go wrong somehow. And then it won’t be safe, for idiots or anyone else. I thought of that while watching “Love Crossed,” a … Continue reading

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The Basic Truths Are The Same

My mentor Brand Blanshard, a philosophy professor at Yale, said that “the basic truths of life are the same for every honest mind, whether atheist or devotee.” My grandfather, a Methodist minister, said that “Every person you meet knows something … Continue reading

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Celebrating Pi Day

Today, March 14, is “Pi Day.” The date matches the first three digits of pi, 3.14. On the Nerd Calendar, Pi Day is even more important than Festivus or G.H. Hardy‘s birthday. Pi is the ratio between a circle’s circumference … Continue reading

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Why The News Is So Bad

Why is the news so bad? I’m not talking about biased news. Yes, there’s bias, and it’s getting worse. But that’s not the issue here. I’m also not talking about why the news is full of so many evil and … Continue reading

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Don’t Live Thoughtlessly

The American philosopher John Dewey argued that for most people, most of the time, thinking is a last resort. They only think when a problem or obstacle blocks their path. And he wasn’t wrong. Most of the time, we live … Continue reading

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For The Chinese, Context Is Everything

It ain’t much, but it’s the first story I’ve written in Chinese. I’d wanted to write about Chinese political philosophy, but I found that my vocabulary was too limited to do it. Surprisingly, some Chinese ideas about governmental legitimacy are … Continue reading

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Kathy Shaidle, R.I.P.

Blogger Kathy Shaidle died yesterday, but she lived long enough to write her own obituary. It’s a classic of class. R.I.P., Kathy. I hope to meet you someday (but not too soon): “Kathy Shaidle 1964 – 2021 Following a tedious … Continue reading

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Don’t “Other” Other People

Most people aren’t familiar with the idea of “othering,” but they are familiar with what it is. They’ve seen it. They’ve done it to other people, and they’ve had it done to them. To “other” a group of people is … Continue reading

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Be a Winner in 2021

Life is like a game of chess. I was going to say “life is like a box of chocolates,” but apparently someone else has used that already. In high school and college, I played a lot of chess. A chess … Continue reading

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Minding Our Own Business

I’m pretty sure that the Dalai Lama quote is fake, but it’s still true. “Not my effing problem” can be a path not only to inner peace, but also to social peace. Think for a moment about what it means … Continue reading

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