The Last Samurai, by Helen Dewitt

No, it has nothing to do with the 2003 Tom Cruise movie (which came out 3 years after this novel was released)--and that I need to make that distinction at all is an illustration of the sad state of American culture, because this book was flipping amazing and I can't believe I've never heard of …

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digging ditches: the ultimate human achievement?

How many Potential Einsteins, Hawkings, or Nabokovs or Woolfs or Monets or O'Keeffes are out there stuck digging ditches or scrubbing floors in order to survive? How much art and literature and scientific discoveries are the rest of us missing out on in favor of that floor being cleaned by a person rather than a …

Little islands of life

I like to take breaks at work to walk around and think, but it was raining so I walked around in the parking garage. With springtime arriving, the spiders are out in force, and I noticed that nearly every overhead light I walked under was surrounded and covered in spiderwebs, with multiple spiders clearly visible--a …

Cultural evolution produces hot garbage

Evolution is not a ladder. Even the tree metaphor is flawed because it gives the faulty impression of 'progress' upward. Evolution is only change in whatever direction leads to the most reproduction. Cultural evolution is the idea that our ideas and way of life evolves generation to generation much the way an organism does, based …

Knowledge is power–that’s why it’s so expensive

In America, you have to pay lots and lots of money to get an education. So much so these days, that if you aren't born well off, it's pretty prohibitive. The steadily rising costs of education could be seen as the natural end result of a capitalist society--a product in demand will rise in price. …

our world is just vibrations

What is light? It brings us information but is itself insubstantial. Sound is has no mass, or weight. Light and sound aren't objects or material in themselves, only energy... motion... but they seem to be most of what our human experience is made of. Someone or something that knew how to manipulate light and sound …

Which world is the dream world…

What does your mind do while you're away? Could your dream world be more important and enriching than waking life? Our days so often seem like meaningless survival, as if our consciousness is just a way to keep us eating and procreating, the same way a section of our brain keeps our hearts beating and …