The Garden of Liberty

This is a fantastic video. Highly recommend, especially today. Just a few caveats: He over-emphasizes Milton, and under-emphasizes the influence of Locke and Rousseau. Milton actually precedes Locke by about 25 years, and Rousseau by about 100 years. Milton was a proto-Enlightenment figure, who’s literary work seeded the ground for Enlightenment political philosophy (much the same way that Dostoevsky seeded the ground for Nietzsche and Marx after him). He characterizes Milton’s understanding of “rights” by reading Jefferson and Madison’s view backward into him.

A Future History of Vice

We now live in an era in which Pride is Sovereign, and his two concubines Vanity and Lust are his apostles amongst men of weak will. He is the inevitable successor to the rule of his brother Greed and his two accomplices, Sloth and Gluttony. Pride’s rule will come to an end, eventually. But it will not be by succession. There is but one Sovereign of vice remaining, and he has no patience for seduction.

The Death of the Transcendent

A good one from Paul Joseph Watson: The emptying out of The Beautiful has finally come to fruition. As a civilization, we now worship nihilism in truth thanks to Rorty, Derrida, Simon Blackburn and others; nihilism in goodness thanks to Russell, Mackie, Hare, Foucault, and others; and nihilism in beauty, thanks to a long train of motley vandals starting at the beginning of the 20th century (some of them mentioned here in Watson’s video).

A Response to Bryan Lunduke

Bryan Lunduke posted the following video to his Odysee channel recently, and I think it warrants a serious response. This phenomenon is a spiritual sickness infecting the culture that extends far beyond just the “linux community”, or even the Internet. The “linux community” is just the next available target of a morally deranged mob that has been moving through the culture since at least 2000 (and probably much, much earlier). The fact that the “linux community” got to sit back and wait until 2019/2020 before this mob finally put its eyes on them, is pure accident.

Jason Fried Is a Hero

Well, this is a curiously positive coincidence. Just about a month ago, I posted a short missive here, complaining about the “bring your whole self to work” fad. I tend to be somewhat pessimistic about the direction society is going, but today, it’s taken a decidedly positive turn that relates directly to that post. It’s almost as if my post was actually read by the founders of Bascamp themselves. What am I talking about?

Cosmos: Sagan vs Tyson

I have been thinking about this on-and-off, recently. What is the difference between the Sagan Cosmos, and the Tyson Cosmos? There are lots of fairly uncharitable things to say about both of these men, but if we were forced to provide an actual explanation, I think three things could be said: Era / Audience. The original Cosmos was released in 1980. Not since the early eighties, have I felt the same sense of optimism and yearning for the promise of the future.

Bringing 'Your Whole Self' To Work

When I first entered the working world in the late nineteen-eighties, there were a few essential social ground rules that you had to learn, in order to be successful. The first was that my employer does not exist for my benefit. My role in the business is to provide some tangible value toward the end goal of the company: product and profit. To the extent that I benefited the firm, I would receive benefits in kind, after a bit of negotiation.

Book Review: The Last Superstition

This book is no ordinary work of apologetic exceptionalism, or fatalistic religious outrage. Dr. Feser attempts to go much, much further than to simply “debunk” the New Atheists. In fact, he only spends a minority of the pages of this book on the “New Atheists” themselves, because they turn out to be only the worst exemplars of a much bigger problem, according to Dr. Feser. In short, this book is a blanket indictment of the entirety of modern materialist naturalism and a significant portion of the science upon which it is based.

Kant vs Anselm vs Cary

I have been listening to this lecture series to supplement the readings in my philosophy of religion course. In the first Kant lecture, Cary says that Kant argues against Anselm on the ground that being isn’t a property. It goes a little something like this: Anselm says, that which actually exists, rather than which we can merely imagine, is superior in perfection because existence is superior to all other possible properties we could imagine.

The Pope of Platitudes

Today, I had a little extra time, so I was going to write a response to the Op-Ed piece that Pope Francis recently published in the New York Times . Seeing as how he’s such a prominent figure in the culture today, I thought it might spice up the feed to delve into current events and do an analysis. However, after reading through this twaddle twice, I have to say I found it utterly vapid and unworthy of anything like a serious critique.

Where Are All the Old People?

TV Shows are the dominant popular performing art form of the last 60 years. If you look at the most exemplary shows, one trend stands out: the viewership has gradually become radically homogeneous, and self-centered. This can be seen in the characters portrayed. Beginning with I Love Lucy and The Dick van Dyke show, right up to Black Mirror and The Good Place, one thing is clear: old people are anathema.

What Is Philosophy For

There are a number of questions that constantly resurface around philosophy as a discipline. What is it? What is it for? What has it produced? Are its products useful? Does it make progress? And so forth. Today, we are asked to consider the singular question, “What has philosophy done for us?” I’m not going to answer this question, but I will say this. This question presupposes three underlying assumptions: That philosophy must be for something, That something must be a collective good of some kind, and That philosophy must justify itself in terms of its utility to that end.

Two Dystopias: Despair and Redemption

Last night, I re-viewed George Lucas’ “THX-1138” (for the 20th time), and paired it with Phillip Noyce’s 2014 film treatment of “The Giver”. Both films portray differing versions of what I like to call the “escape trope” in science fiction dystopias: the main character’s whole motivation is to leave his society. In the first, THX is rejected by the dead society within which he is trapped in an unremarkable role, as soon as he is discovered to be non-compliant.

Movie Review: Planet of the Apes (1968)

This is only the second movie review I’ve ever done. The first was for my old video channel, which you can find on my new video channel, here . I don’t do “standard” movie reviews, because I know nothing of film production, the arcane science of camera angles and lighting, or the fine art of “pacing”, and “tone”, let alone the intricacies of acting. But once in a while, the allegorical meaning of a film jumps out at me, and I can’t help but write about it.

On Culture, Knowledge, and Discipline

Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “Sea Symphony” is often giggled at for its overt sexual imagery, given to it by the famous poet who supplied it’s libretto. One must concede, the titterers have a point. Walt Witman’s “limitless heaving breasts”, and “husky nurse” who sings “her husky song”, are visuals that are rather hard to refute. But, just as much as Witman’s poetry is littered with sexual symbolism, it is also laden quite heavily with religious imagery.

The Struggle Between Public and Private

The world around me is getting ever more crazy, with each passing day. Politics is rapidly consuming all aspects of life within itself. We’ve reached a point in some areas of society where nothing can be considered except in terms of political relations and power dynamics. From toilet functions, to one’s choice of entertainment genres, to whom one takes as friends, to larger social and electoral questions, all things are seen through the lens of ideology now.

Plato, Freud, Orwell, and the Danger of the Modern Mind

In The Phaedrus, Plato offers up two rapturously beautiful visions of the soul of man. The first, is the Manichaean winged being of pure beauty, trapped against its will in a prison of corporeal form, and able to find relief only in the apprehension and achievement of true love. The second is a famous metaphor who’s hold on the modern mind is as ubiquitous as it is distorted and tragic.

Philosopher Kings and Smartphones

”When a man’s knowledge is not in order, the more of it he has, the greater will be his confusion” Herbert Spencer Today, I attended a lecture by Derek Bates hosted by the Conway Hall Ethical Society, in London. I call it a lecture perhaps too generously. You’ll see why in a moment. The event was billed as one man’s attempt to provide a reasoned defense for the efficacy of a more direct democracy, and to propose a technological solution to the logistical problems inherent within it:

Philosophy - an Obituary

Last night, I watched a debate between a journalist, a sociologist, and a scientist over whether or not philosophy is “dead” (as Stephen Hawking put it). Lewis Wolpert completely wiped the floor with the non-philosophers pitted against him. And sadly, he was also mostly correct. Philosophy has not done itself proud of late, and the fact that this panel didn’t actually include any philosophers to stand in its defense, is evidence that it is struggling, if not dead.

Potpie for Dinner

[BRADLEY] “Jerry?“ [JERRY] ”Yeah, Bradley?“ [BRADLEY] ”Where are we?“ [JERRY] ”I ain’t quite sure, but I can smell that fruit gettin’ close, and I ain’t stoppin’ till I find it!“ [BRADLEY] ”Shouldn’t we be getting back to the pad?“ [JERRY] ”Goddammit, Bradley! You wanna be eatin’ mold your whole damned life?“ [BRADLEY] ”But I can’t see a thing, Jerry. I’m scared!“ [JERRY] ”Well, me neither, but Jes’ stay close, and you’ll be fine!