My cat likes to catch lizards and bring them into the living room to frolic with. I try to remove them before he kills them. Today I found a writhing detached tail, the rest of the lizard being elsewhere. I felt a rush of disgust at the sight of the still-animated tail. This struck me […]
I’ve been reading Nabokov’s early novel Bend Sinister, about political tyranny. I would call it a “crowd-displeaser”: brilliantly written, of course, but deeply depressing about politics and people. It seems to capture our current moment of mediocre pallid (or orange) men with obscene amounts of power and bad personalities. The figure of the ruler Paduk (nickname […]
Her new book Unwanted Advances makes for an interesting read.
Yesterday when I was playing tennis with my friend Eddie a large reptile wandered onto the court–a lizard about three feet long, splendid green belly, striped tail, spikes on its back, quite a specimen. After a while it made as if to leave, but it was too heavy to climb back up the wind covers […]
Currently it is obvious: politics is all about truth, evidence, facts, arguments, falsehood, accuracy, illusion, skepticism, stupidity. But so much of life is (see Socrates). Most of morality is about truth and falsehood, facts and fallacies. The epistemic virtues are paramount. Get that right and the rest will follow. The first thing to go when […]
I pay close attention to the syntax and vocabulary of Trump’s tweets. People have been writing about his bizarre use of quotation marks, making the plausible suggestion that he uses them so as to hedge his prose, about which he feels insecure. This sounds right to me: he is clearly uncomfortable with the written word, […]
Probably the greatest rock and roller of all time, and those guitar riffs! His songs never grow stale. No wonder the Beatles and Stones covered him religiously.
People say Trump is a narcissist. I don’t think so: I think Trump hates himself and with good reason. What he loves is his image–that garish, vulgar, money-saturated image. This is why he hates to be criticized and disrespected: it hurts his image. Once you grasp that everything he does is meant to promote his […]
I was watching Planet Earth II, the gorgeously shot nature series from the BBC, and the opening segment was about spider monkeys, with their long prehensile tails. It made me think that my book Prehension would be a best seller in the spider monkey community. Finally someone appreciates the prehensile among us! But humans seem reluctant […]
I’m reading for the first time Nabokov’s Invitation to a Beheading about a man, Cincinnatus C., who is condemned to die by beheading. His crime is mysterious at first, though clearly diabolical in the eyes of his gaolers. Eventually we learn that he is guilty of “gnostical turpitude”–a crime so serious as to defy definition, though it […]