In simple terms, the world has gotten big. Since I was a child in the early 1970s, the population of the planet has doubled. Imagine a “Shaft”-era earth, with all the chaos, all the strife, […]
Earlier this week, I summarized both Orwell’s and Umberto Eco’s views on a species of thought, which we might call ideological factionalism, that has always been with us but which seemed to be in retreat, […]
If you haven’t read Orwell’s “Notes on Nationalism,” it is a classic and a chief example of why he is a writer of the first class. The title is unfortunate, which he admits in the […]
There is a kind of conformity of vision in cognitive nonconformity, which I have pointed out before. It has always suggested to me that, although the content of these people’s beliefs couldn’t be more divergent, […]
This is a video of President Nixon giving a speech he never made. The speech itself is real. It was prepared in advance of the 1969 moon landing should something go wrong. The MIT Center […]
The satirical illustrations of Daniel Garcia pretty much speak for themselves. No matter who you are, odds are there will be something here to offend.
By science writer Maggie Koerth, adapted from the litany against fear from the novel Dune: I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my […]
Celebrities don’t exist. Not really. They are characters in a public drama, which is why, whenever someone meets them — or rather, the person of the same name who plays them — there’s always an […]
Optimism — one of Superman’s often-overlooked superpowers.
16th century anti-papal political meme by Lucas Cranach the Elder: German peasants farting at the pope (1545). The whole fake news phenomenon is big and complicated and covers everything from the advent of social media, […]