June 28, 2018

[Early grad-school notes...] I'm reading about John Brown--David Reynolds' John Brown, Abolitionist: The Man Who Killed Slavery, Sparked the Civil War, and Seeded Civil Rights--an excellent, massive book that rehabilitates Brown from the propaganda that he was insane and a fanatic...

John Brown, hero. R. W. Emerson: “John Brown will make the gallows as glorious as the cross.” Did...

June 18, 2018

[As an undergraduate at Wesleyan University I wrote hundreds of essays not all of which, I think, are worthless. Here's a short one on social democracy. Needless to say, the best form of 'government' is in fact socialism, in which workers democratically run the economy themselves. But in capitalist conditions, nothing beats social democracy.]  

Social Democracy Is the Best Fo...

June 11, 2018

[From 2008. Copied here, somewhat irrelevantly, in recognition of the recent suicides that have been in the news.] Read an article in Rolling Stone about Wallace. I see that his whole life was essentially my life between 18 and 25. In other words, it sucked. Right up to his suicide he had the same insecurities, the same thoughts, I had. Consider what he wrote in a letter: “I go t...

June 11, 2018

Phenomenological explorations of consciousness and the self have always fascinated me, and over the years I've taken reams of notes on the subject. Many of them are collected here (and also on this page). Here's a short passage on the desire for recognition, or self-confirmation, that lies at the foundation of the self.

If you deeply appreciate the meaning and the power of the des...

June 10, 2018

The journal I've kept for two decades is full of notes on books I've read. Sometimes I reread these notes and think it's possible that people might find them of interest, so I post them on my website. Here's one set of old notes on a classic book by the psychoanalyst D. W. Winnicott. I happen to be skeptical of psychoanalysis, since it lacks a scientific foundation and consists l...

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