The Loneliest Place in the World

Posted 9/1/2019

Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit. Proverbs 26:4-5 Social media is the loneliest place in the world. Trawling through the hyperlinks...

N. T. Wright on the Objective/Subjective Knowledge of History

Posted 3/8/2019

"History finds itself stuck between the two poles. Is it a sort of 'objective' knowledge, or is it all really 'subjective'? Or is this a false dichotomy? What sort of knowledge do we have of historical events? On the one hand, historical knowledge...

Heidegger, 'The Question Concerning Technology'

Posted 1/21/2019

Oh, for enough knowledge of German to be freed from this hyphenated nightmare of language! Heidegger seeks in his essay "The Question Concerning Technology" to find what he calls the "essence" of technology. In the modern world, we are everywhere...

Thomas Aquinas on the Limits of Human Knowledge

Posted 1/14/2019

Some Reading Notes Perusing the beginning of St. Thomas’ Summa this morning, it struck me how honest Thomas is about the sources of his knowledge, and the nature of the conclusions reachable by human reason. Human knowledge is but a feeble...

The Stages of the Bodhisattva

Posted 1/2/2019

“Bodhicitta comprises in it two elements, viz., enlightenment of the nature of essencelessness (sunyata) and universal compassion (karuna). This definition of Bodhicitta as the perfect comingling of sunyata and karuna had far-reaching effects...

On Vision: A New Year's Eve Confession

Posted 12/31/2018

> In every field, from business to politics to marketing to education, the dominant mode of experience has become entertainment. > > \-- Michael Crichton I am surrounded by both beauty and ugliness, but I cannot see either. The bloody stripes...

Computer Processing and Human Thought

Posted 11/6/2018

Robert Epstein, the distinguished American psychologist, [published in May of this year an essay](https://aeon.co/essays/your-brain-does-not-process-information-and-it-is-not-a-computer) arguing, in the words of its subtitle, that “Your brain...

Memory #1

Posted 4/6/2018

One night I went with my friends Caleb and Mike to Zips. Zips was (and still is) a tiny fast food restaurant down third street half way between downtown and the grocery store, with a brilliant red logo on their sign, red like the Cleveland...

Movie Review - The Ritual (2018)

Posted 2/22/2018

Rating: 4/5 [The Ritual](http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5638642/?ref=nv*sr1), a tense, tightly written horror film released a few weeks ago on Netflix, is a beautifully done film, that asks the right questions in a way that keeps the viewer in...

The Chinese Leviathan

Posted 2/20/2018

In a [recent article for The Atlantic](https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/02/chinas-dangerous-dream-of-urban-control/553097/), Adam Greenfield writes perceptively about the growth of intrusive, government-initiated social technologies...

Is Social Media the New Totalitarianism?

Posted 2/9/2018

It is popular to criticize the major social media giants—Google, Facebook, Twitter—for their impact on people’s minds, and the proliferation of unwanted ideologies. Both liberals and conservatives are concerned about the amount of “fake news”...

The Writer as a Character: Phillip Lopate on Personal Non-Fiction

Posted 2/7/2018

Phillip Lopate, in his book, To Show and To Tell, gives the following advice to the aspiring memoir writer: > Actions speak louder than words. Give your protagonist, your I-character, something to do. It's fine to be privy to all of I's ruminations...

Bastiat, and a Return to a Blog Long Forgotten

Posted 8/12/2017

Firstly, an aside. I have not posted here in many months; in fact, I believe the last time I posted here with any kind of regularity is when I began an ill-fated project to blog my way through some potential thesis research on medieval memory...

Each To His Desert

Posted 9/10/2016

We emerged from our wooden cave, the shed with flaking siding propped up by concrete blocks, each, passing by, laying down a song sheet: a paper oblation of harmony, absolutions of the mind turned out from its cacophony and thick-tongued worry,...

Art That Speaks: Mary Carruthers' The Craft of Thought

Posted 7/3/2016

The medieval aesthetic—and imagination, and memory—was intimately tied up with the process of communication between the aesthetic object, or the memory image, and the person viewing (or ‘remembering’) it. Works of art are works of memory and...

The Fall As a Failure of Memory

Posted 5/26/2016

> For the mind, stupefied by bodily sensations and enticed out of itself by sensuous forms, has forgotten what it was, and, because it does not remember that it was anything different, believes that it is nothing except what is seen. --Hugh...

Ars Memoriae, Introduction

Posted 5/23/2016

For the next several months, and quite possibly several years, to come, I will be researching a thesis on the medieval art of memory, and how it influences medieval interpretations of the biblical text. I hope to be doing biweekly blog posts...

Technology: A Metaphor For the World

Posted 1/27/2016

In Lewis Thomas's Essay, An Earnest Proposal, he writes, "I take it on faith that computers, although lacking souls, are possessed of a kind of intelligence." I note two points: firstly, that Thomas takes this assertion on faith, and secondly,...

Recollection

Posted 1/20/2016

The summer before I came to college, my dad and I visited Yellowstone National Park. It was a good trip: we tried hiking up Mount Washburn and decided against it a few hundred feet along the trail; we tried Elephant Back mountain instead, and...

Habits Changing Desires

Posted 10/22/2015

> “Christianity is the life and death and resurrection of Christ going on day after day in the souls of individual men and in the heart of society.” ~Thomas Merton Just beyond the little town of Potlatch, among the wheat fields of the Palouse...

The Horror of Emptiness

Posted 7/5/2015

As the New York Times gleefully reports, in the wake of the Charleston shooting, “Within five days, decades of resistance in South Carolina, a state that had held fiercely to its Confederate identity, fell away.” The unchangeably “racist symbol”...

Wipe My Lips

Posted 6/22/2015

Wipe my lips and bind my back against the mast. Stretch my loosened cheeks and jaw with canvas cloth Now, that I may not with fevered feet go past True bounds to meet unwanted love in sloth. Take my hand and lead me on my way, Past the church...

A Dialectical Approach: A Parable for Moderns

Posted 5/31/2015

It would have taken an Eagle Scout to untangle the eyebrows of J. Kevin Pennyworth, as he fumbled weakly at the door of Dr. Peiro, the president of the college. His bowtie was askew, the silk handkerchief in his suit coat the recent victim...

The Truth of Fiction

Posted 5/3/2015

The Impact of the Resurrection On Writing and Criticism Anton Chekhov famously said that the purpose of fiction is to tell the truth. All literary theories depend on the definition of truth, on the construction of the all-encompassing system...

Come Let us Worship (Just Do It Nicely)

Posted 4/29/2015

I am not prepared to weigh in on the immense legal, ethical, and personal issues currently firing (literally) the streets of Baltimore, apparently in protest over the death of Freddie Gray. Neither do I want to pontificate over the two people...

World-sized Dollhouses

Posted 4/23/2015

At several points in the Chronicles of Narnia, Lewis seems to hint at a vision of Narnia which perhaps yields good fruit with regard to his love for fairy tales and "children's stories." Usually Narnia stands apart, utterly separate from our...

See

Posted 4/6/2015

Nails shot through ankle bones, back arched into spiking splinters, blood-eagled God stretched against a wooden curse. Magdalene, see that cup, overflowing, flowing oil out on your feet. See that cup poured out, for your burial. Your death....

Full

Posted 4/2/2015

Knotted hunger walked me through the Wendy’s door, and shoved a hamburger and soda into my unthinking mouth. Only later did I notice the resemblance of the mayonnaise (ladled on by the handful) to pus, and the bun’s disturbing habit of oozing...

A Hologram of Humanity

Posted 3/30/2015

Apathy is at the root of modernity. Apathy is the heart of entertainment, and by ‘entertainment’ I mean not only the film or music industry, but the entire, passive philosophy of living which sluggishly floats through the veins of modern life....

Musical Morality: Nietzsche and Wagner

Posted 3/13/2015

Aesthetics is not a popular subject in a culture that bows to the high throne of individual desire. The question of whether art could reflect, much less motivate, a philosophical or moral position is anathema, and therefore not often asked....

Joseph Weizenbaum On Tools

Posted 3/7/2015

Joseph Weizenbaum, one of the great computer scientists of the mid-twentieth century (and author of the instantly-famous ELIZA program), in 1976 wrote Computer Power and Human Reason: From Judgment to Calculation, a brilliant examination of...

A Culture of Death

Posted 3/5/2015

A Floregium > The culture of death is simultaneously a culture dominated by the notion of "entertainment." The very notion of entertainment presumes the state of boredom as the norm, which means that a culture increasingly fueled by this notion...

Beyoncé and Plastic Fish

Posted 2/24/2015

At its core all art is abstract. No art can walk along the dry earth and feel the five-month dead hay stubs cracking beneath it, while reddening at the cold air driving along the tilled valley between the ridges. All art is a rhetorical figure,...

Gray Funeral

Posted 1/31/2015

My bare scalp, tight and numb, curls beneath the cold. I hear the pastor’s voice, floating over the muffled buzz of my violin case’s zipper. I am the resurrection and the life. He that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live....

Fog

Posted 1/31/2015

That morning ladled no good fog onto the highway. Naked hills squeezed away into the blank color of silence hiding their bellies and faces against the bedrock. Ghosts in the fog metamorphosed on the hills’ back into stalking trees tearing off...

Acedia

Posted 1/29/2015

I’ve spent years looking for my life down the dirty drain of hopes and moods melting like winter, not seeing or caring outside the cramped concrete tunnels, shiny and echoing, and bright pinprick of light at the end, drawn in my glazed-over,...

Afraid of the Dark

Posted 1/22/2015

The window—square, with rounded corners—of the airplane was a smoldering, translucent orange, the sun spilling down from the left corner like a slightly burned sauce. Every detail on the window caught the light and shone back at me, the scratches...