2020: The Worst Year of My Life

My worst year started with a bang, literally. I was downtown for a meeting in the morning and walking toward Dagny’s when I saw a well-built black man running along 20th Street in my direction.  I paused to let him pass, but he didn’t run past—instead, he punched me in the face while speaking loudly...

Epistemology: Models & Mysteries

Some of these, maybe all of these questions can be answered, but the sense of mystery remains: what am I that I can understand these things and ask these things? What kind of answer am I looking for? What kind of answer would not be “just words”? Must there be something unanalyzable, always, at the base of our knowledge?

Knowledge and “Christopher Columbus”

“Columbus discovered America in 1492.” This paradigmatic bit of knowledge was taught to me in the innocent 1950s (were they “innocent”? Or was this just another of the Lies My Teacher Told Me?). It might still be taught this way somewhere in the U.S., perhaps in a few schools in Tennessee or South Carolina as required by state law, but a likelier formulation might be...

My New Diary, 10/9 to 10/11/2018

What I most like here is the idea that we learn to be bored. It may be possible to study our boredom to learn ways to turn it into something positive, either to increased self-understanding or as a cue to something subtle. [Mary Catherine] Bateson suggests, when bored, taking a closer look at what’s happening in the environment. But then, she wasn’t in jail. How about the Perfect Moment?

How I am Losing Weight: My “Low-Calorie, Low-Sodium, Low-Sugar” Diet

I began drastically reducing my intake of sugar. First to go was sugared sodas. While I usually had diet sodas at home, the fast-food fountain sodas use saccharine or some other sweetener that I can’t stand, so I had sugared sodas (Dr. Pepper, if you must know) whenever I ate out, and was glad to get it; now I drink strictly water when eating out.