The Little Things Matter

A country where people do not wait in line in orderly fashion, or where the drivers do not stay in their lanes, is usually a country with serious economic and political problems.1 If you like that passage, I recommend reading all of Arnold Kling’s discussion of Tyler Cowen’s new book, Create Your Own Economy. Tyler’s […]

The Best Question of Conscience

The heaviest weight. — What if some day or night a demon were to steal into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: “This life as you now live it and have lived it you will have to live once again and innumerable times again; and there will be nothing new in it, but every […]

Learning from Rainstorms

There is something to be learned from a rainstorm. When meeting with a sudden shower, you try not to get wet and run quickly along the road. But doing such things as passing under the eaves of houses, you still get wet. When you are resolved from the beginning, you will not be perplexed, though […]

Very Like Leaves Upon This Earth

Very Like Leaves Upon This Earth

Men come and go as leaves year by year upon the trees. Those of autumn the wind sheds upon the ground, but when spring returns the forest buds forth with fresh vines. Even so is it with the generations of mankind, the new spring up as the old are passing away.1 Homer : The Iliad […]

Simplificar y Complicar

Every time I open Gómez Dávila’s books, I fall in love with them just like I did the first time: El católico debe simplificar su vida y complicar su pensamiento.1 I’d apply this to everyone, not just Catholics. Siempre es más fácil tener opiniones atrevidas que ser inteligente.2 Nicolás Gómez Dávila : Escolios sobre un […]

Your Disdain for This Banal Existence

Today’s Rolcats image is certainly my favorite so far.

Norvig and Partisanship

Peter Norvig has a great post on his website about models used to claim that the primary system induces greater partisanship in our elected officials. I’d encourage everyone to read it, if for no other reason than to see for yourself that Norvig really does call someone his “homey” while writing about simulated election results. […]

Arnold Kling on Liberaltarianism

Arnold Kling has just written an interesting response to Ross Douthat’s piece in The Atlantic on Liberaltarianism. I agree with a great deal of what Arnold says, especially his claim that the role of libertarian thinkers in America is “to restrain the power-hungry elites in both parties.”

To Create Difficulties Everywhere

It is now about four years ago that I got the notion of wanting to try my luck as an author. I remember it quite clearly; it was on a Sunday, yes, that’s it, a Sunday afternoon. I was seated as usual, out-of-doors at the cafe in the Fredricksberg Garden. I had been a student […]

Morality, Ethics and Optimization Problems

We’ve just begun taking a course in ethics here in the Princeton psychology department. I find it hard not to play the devil’s advocate during class by poking fun at the haphazard and half-consistent theories behind much of moral philosophy. My attitude seems always to echo one of my favorite of Nietzsche’s aphorisms: Are we […]