when you want them to fail

I've just started listening to The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, which is about a missionary family traveling to the Congo. I'm only a short way in, but I'm feeling a sort of anticipation for all the horrible things I know are going to happen to these people. They are described with just the right …

Invented dangers

It seems to me, that when people have no danger or threats, they make up their own. In a country where we can prevent almost every major disease we've encountered, people decide to find danger in the cure... be it doctors, or vaccines. In a country where we produce so much food that we throw …

Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders

Love, death, ghosts, and history. What a sad, funny, interesting and heart-squeezing novel. From Wikipedia: Many years ago, during a visit to Washington DC, my wife's cousin pointed out to us a crypt on a hill and mentioned that, in 1862, while Abraham Lincoln was president, his beloved son, Willie, died, and was temporarily interred …

Infinities

The idea of dying, and being gone forever, never existing again, is scary. But the idea of always existing, forever, with no end no matter what you do, is pretty horrible too. Maybe humans fear/are repelled by ideas of the infinite because everything we know is finite. Would experiencing something infinite relieve that fear? Maybe, …

Going to the Eclipse

I will see the total eclipse on the 21st! I will have to sleep in my car and drive for many hours, but I will see it! I've never seen one, and can't help but wonder what it must have been like for ancient peoples who had no idea what was going on. I'm sure …

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