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Tag Archives: thoreau
Who exercises in the United States? Richard Florida of The Atlantic summarizes some recent research: [E]xercise may treat diseases as effectively as drugs, as one BMJ study recently showed. Everyone knows it, but not everybody does it. Just a month after making those New … Continue reading
I am soooo in love with the Fiat 500 series microcars, and am tempted to buy one whenever I see them on the road (which is frequently; microcars are everywhere in California). But I already have a small car and … Continue reading
Really. Look. __________ No method nor discipline can supersede the necessity of being forever on the alert. What is a course of history, or philosophy, or poetry, or the most admirable routine of life, compared with the discipline of looking … Continue reading
Zygmunt Bauman On What Made The Holocaust Possible (And Whether Something Like It Could Happen Again)
In Modernity and the Holocaust (2000 edition), sociologist Zygmunt Bauman (b. 1925) explores the question of responsibility: who or what is responsible for the direction of the modern world? He explores this question via the prism of the Holocaust and has a provocative thesis: … Continue reading
Lazarus El Anthony was a university lecturer in literature and philosophy in Australia, an atheist of 40 years and a Marxist. Then his mother died. And he entered the desert. And:
Entering the Twilight Zone via Solitude and Day Dreaming, and Maybe Meeting the Devil (or Rod Serling)
Last week, I wrote a meditative piece on the role that solitude plays in the life of the mind, and how I felt it to be akin to entering Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone (see here). I suggested that if you expose … Continue reading
Virginia Woolf once wrote of the great human need, for intellectual and emotional flourishing, of having a room of one’s own. And the New York Times today has a profile of a 40-something woman, Sandra Foster, who has built her own … Continue reading
Are you noticing? Here’s a bit from Henry David Thoreau’s Walden (1854, chapter 17): The brooks sing carols and glees to the spring. The marsh hawk, sailing low over the meadow, is already seeking the first slimy life that awakes. … Continue reading
Lancaster, California’s only general purpose bookstore—serving a city of close to 200,000 people—closed a couple of weeks ago. It was a Waldenbooks, and, ironically, it shut down within about a week of the city’s mayor—R. Rex Parris—making this comment to a gathering of 160 … Continue reading
Are human carbon emissions actually greening the Earth? According to the UK’s Independent, a new study says that trees today are growing faster in Maryland than they did 225 years ago (the oldest trees in the study), and the researchers attribute … Continue reading
From “The Optimism of Uncertainty,” The Nation, 2004: The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous … Continue reading
How cool is this? Harper’s Magazine has made its popular Index searchable! You can now go to the Harper’s Index page here, type in, say, “evolution” or “Walt Whitman,” and find suprising and curious little stats about them. Sometimes you might even … Continue reading
I thought it might be fun (at least for me) to lay out, in a series of short blog posts, some of the basic terms and ideas that I present to my students when talking about the “close reading” of literary texts. Maybe … Continue reading
In Walden, Henry David Thoreau wrote: “To know that we know what we know, and that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge.”
One reason that I am an agnostic is that I think that both atheists and theists can sometimes be too dismissive of DISORIENTATION as a means of accessing the IMAGINATION. If we know too much of the end of a story, … Continue reading