I write about technology, psychoanalysis, philosophy, design, ideology & Slavoj Žižek.


June 23, 2011

Since the Dawn of Time: A Series


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September 6, 2011

Home on the Range

A few years ago, Lenore Skenazy let her 9-year old ride the New York City subway back home and wrote a column about it. This turned into a blog, then a book, then the Free Range Kids movement. Its premises are as follows: parents today are paranoid and driven to madness by exaggerated media-generated phantasms of drug dealers and pedophiles lurking around every corner. This madness manifests as a refusal to permit the unsupervised play that children once enjoyed. Where once children would roam the streets on bikes and skateboards with nary an overprotective adult or safety helmet standing between them

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October 4, 2010

The Messianic Christ & The Limits of Empathy

The scope-severity paradox is well-known: a single person who is the victim of some tragedy provokes an outpouring of empathy, support, money and often legal action. It’s why we have laws named after victims like the Brady Bill and Megan’s Law and why charities try to humanize the problems they are solving. But in large-scale tragedies, millions of people are affected, but we care much less, leading to the quote “A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.” In one study of jury trials involving exposure to toxic chemicals, the researchers showed that as the number of

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August 15, 2011

On Buddhism, Happiness & Pessimism

The question of how to be happier is sort of boring to me, a bit like “How can I save over 50% on my car insurance?” It’s probably worth knowing what the answer is, and especially useful for people who are paying too much for car insurance. But the knowledge is not, in itself, very interesting. I already know that certain things will make me happy or unhappy, and having positive psychologists tell me what those things are with greater specificity is a minor discovery in the scheme of things. We learn very little about the human condition that we didn’t

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Recent Popular Posts

February 13, 2014

Left Activism Goes Corporate: A Detour Through the Raw Food Underground

One of the most tedious features of the Silicon Valley Hype Machine is its endless repetition of progressive sounding marketing slogans about democracy and freedom, all while promoting a pro-business agenda. But it’s too easy to read this as a sinister corporate ploy to co-opt the language of activists and twisting

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December 20, 2013

Civility: A Distance That Brings Us Together

Just in time for the holidays, Apple’s marketing department released Misunderstood, an ad about a surly teenager absorbed in his iPhone in the midst of scenes of his family’s idyllic Christmas togetherness. But he surprises everyone when he reveals that the whole time he was making a touching video for everyone

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January 26, 2014

Ten Parenting Lessons I Learned from Franz Kafka

Here’s an adage which I think is true: every theory of parenting is implicitly a theory of society. It follows that even if you aren’t a parent now, nor ever intend to be one, if you’re interested in society and culture, you ought to be interested in the topic because the

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