Man the Maker

What is the antidote to transience? The fact that everything enters and everything goes? The futility that bubbles out of death and dying? What can anchor us and provide us with meaning in the symbolic order of identities, where one thing is equivalent to another? (E.g. money, status, abstractions. Not terrible in themselves, but often … Continue reading Man the Maker


What does it mean to feel "absurd"? (That mood which Camus made so much fuss about?) Thomas Nagel, here, I think got it basically right: Absurdity is the experience of the contradiction between the objective and the subjective, stemming out of the human capacity of self-transcendence. (The significance I feel of whatever I am doing … Continue reading Absurdity?

(Very Long) Reflections on Nothing

Unedited essay for the UChicago supplement: “Don’t play what’s there, play what’s not there.“—Miles Davis (1926–91). (It is way over the word limit. But...) I “Why do you love me?” This is an impossible question that we can only answer with our flailing gestures and stutters and awkward false starts and pauses and frustrated faces. … Continue reading (Very Long) Reflections on Nothing

Be Myself?

Hannah Arendt wrote about this in Between Past and Future: We are always subject to social pressures. When parents reject any form of discipline of the child, in fear of destroying their childhood innocence, of tyrannizing them, they are only leaving children to the tyranny of the larger social group. I can see this clearly … Continue reading Be Myself?