Entries by admin

The Middle Finger

This digit is a fine upstanding member of the manual community, with many beneficial uses, though it must be admitted that some dubious employment has been made of it. The Order has attempted to discourage such employment, and certainly we do not allow it among our membership. In any case, no prospective member of the […]

Travel

People say travel broadens the mind. But this is not quite accurate: theexperiences one has while traveling do the broadening, not the mere displacement of one’s body through space. But then it is the mental aspect that constitutes the benefit. And presumably this has to do with the richness and novelty of the experiences and thoughts that […]

Clockwork Orange

Reading Martin Amis’s perceptive essay on Anthony Burgess’s Clockwork Orange in today’s New York Times made me wonder about the influence of that novel on my novelBad Patches. Alex is a gleefully evil character who narrates his own depravity in unforgettable prose. My antihero Dave also narrates the less spectacular story of his merely poor character–in what […]

The Puzzle of Intelligence

Human intelligence–including complex language, advanced tool use, and elaborate social organization–is clearly among the most powerful adaptations ever to evolve on planet earth. So why is it unique to the human species? One would think that such a powerful set of traits would be extremely useful to almost any species, yet no others have evolved […]

Dear Usain

On reflection, I may have been a bit hard on you yesterday. I realize we have something in common: we are both “athletic” legends. You performed the “double double” by winning those four races in successive Games. I have performed the “double triple” in the intellectual Olympic games. Yes Usain, my friend, you are not the greatest of […]

The Modesty of Usain Bolt

I was as thrilled as anyone to see Usain Bolt resoundingly win the 100 and 200 meters events. But is all the crowing and self-adulation really necessary? Why does he have keep calling himself a “legend” and the “greatest ever”? We all saw him do it. Since when did modesty become so passe? I much […]

Hand Philosophy

The Manifesto is a tongue-in-cheek parody with a serious message. It is connected to work I am doing on the role of the hand in human evolution. This has been explored by paleoanthropologists but not by philosophers. Specifically, what is the role of the hand in the origin of language? Can we give a gradualist […]

The Prehensionalist Manifesto

The Prehensionist Manifesto (This document states the main tenets of the Cult of the Hand. All members of the cult are expected to conform to these principles. Formally, the cult is referred to as the Gripparian Order.) We seek to promote greater hand consciousness We advocate manual cultivation, arboreal therapy, and brachiation training We believe […]