Tag Archives: science

The Custom House: Louis Agassiz with Christoph Irmscher

Episode 2 is now available for download: Agassiz, Inc. Please share far and wide, early and often. Thanks! This week I speak with biographer Christoph Irmscher about the legacy of Louis Agassiz, one of the most influential men in the development of the practice of science in America.  Irmscher’s book is called Louis Agassiz: Creator […]

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What is a Metaphysic?

Evolution may be considered as a fairly straightforward metaphysical theory with a long history which was not so much confirmed by the theory of natural selection as embarrassed by it.  The difference between the two is indicated by the fact that Darwin himself did not use the word until the fifth edition of the Origin […]

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Thou Vain Toy

For Bobby C., underlinings from an essay by Morse Peckham, “Man’s Use of Nature,” offering powder and ball to my NO! in thunder.  And, perhaps as expected, Ahab will have the last word. *** An ideology explains the world, and justifies our behavior in it and towards it, and validates that behavior.  An ideology tells […]

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The Binary Whole?

The militarization of life requires a binary mind, one prepared by ignorance for fascism. Black and white. Good and Evil. Us and Them. Terrorism and Patriotism Mine (Not Yours). This is the mind grown thoughtless via the Image. This is devotion. This is technology.* This is nations. This is possession. Possession is 9/10 of the […]

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Heat & Light

Think of all the religious imagery that depicts fire as Satan’s element–Lucifer’s light is flame and it burns, but it is how the deep is illumined–the cave sees not moon nor stars nor sun at noon. Now, think of our assumed greatness as a species.  How do we “evolve” into the masters of the planet? […]

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Iniquitous Airy Abstraction, or The Lawyer’s Truth

Having neither the wherewithal nor the erudition (nor the patience, nor expectation of readership) to craft a cogent article on the fact that Western civilization as represented by governments and ideologies serving “manifest destiny” as created in minds “blessed” with thousands upon thousands of square miles of “empty” geography has from its inception been keenly […]

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Human Science…But a Passing Fable

In some particulars, perhaps, the most imposing physiognomical view to be had of the Sperm Whale, is that of the full front of his head. This aspect is sublime. In thought a fine human brow is like the east when troubled with the morning. in the repose of the pasture, the curled brow of the […]

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Addendum: Intruding Quantification Where It Has No Place

The question of whether politics can in fact be studied like the natural sciences is bewildering; it involves questions of free will and determinism, the nature of human action as distinct from animal behavior, the limits to predictability in the field of human affairs, and the limits to the possible understanding of events and institutions […]

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Calculable Obligations: Motivations of Money and Technology

Debt, that is, as opposed to a promise, is a calculable obligation. I was reading a review of two books on the current state of global indebtedness in the London Review of Books (“Forgive Us Our Debts” by Benjamin Kunkel) when it seemed clear to me that this is the basic ground of all domination […]

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Girls Do Science!

Or, Learning Meaningless Utilities Today, via the local newspaper (Bloomington’s The Herald-Times), comes an illustration of the modern mind “on science.”  My friend Monkeywrench is in my ear…slow down, find some common ground. It’s not easy, Wrench. We are given an incomplete presentation (as our apperceptions always are) and asked to believe in it as […]

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Building the Insanity In: Ex Machina

This is not a movie review. This is me thinking about empathy. Last night, lonely little ol’ me sat in […]

Dislodged Giant: Can We Use Stevens to Interpret Dickinson?

You tell me. “I thought that nature was enough” by Emily Dickinson I thought that nature was enough Till Human […]

By Metaphor Alone

Motivation matters. If the scientific method (which we make into the massive all-encompassing abstraction of SCIENCE to compete with the […]

By Force of Law

Nothing new under the sun. Why do you suppose a “Sanders” presidency would change what is described below in Chapter […]

Now You Know What A Horse Is: Views On Education in the 19th Century

Schools are scenes of extreme manipulation and coercion. Our national and state interest in them is less than benign, or […]

A Rule of Storytelling and Unhappiness

As my friend began reading William Morris’s News From Nowhere, or, An Epic of Rest, I thought I might take […]