The Owl of Minerva

28may2023

The Triumph and Terror of Wang Huning and review of America Against America. Very interesting read on the work of “arguably the single most influential “public intellectual” alive today”.

The Long View: Why We Need to Transform How the World Sees Time by Richard Fisher. 4/5 Very interesting ideas, fluent read. A much needed book in this “time-blinkered” world.

14may2023

I have noticed that when all the lights are on, people tend to talk about what they are doing – their outer lives. Sitting round in candlelight or firelight, people start to talk about how they are feeling – their inner lives. They speak subjectively, they argue less, there are longer pauses.
(…)
Life is too short to be all daylight. Night is not less; it’s more.
Jeanette Winterson

To Know the Dark

To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.
To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,
and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.
Wendell Berry

01may2023

The modern condition is this: We’re hairless apes who evolved on the third planet from an unexceptional star in an unremarkable galaxy adrift in a desolate universe ruled by mathematical laws of no discernible purpose. The only thing separating us from the various molds, bacteria, and mammals that swarm the planet is that we’re aware of that fact. We’re so barely in this existential funk, we’ve only had this realization for a couple of centuries; large numbers of us aren’t even educated and well-fed (or simply bored) enough to realize it yet.

Anything anybody believes beyond the purely empirical is so much sweet metaphysical frosting on a pretty bitter nihilist cake. The adherents of Sunni Islam or ‘effective altruism’ are engaged in a debate among flavors of frosting, chocolate or vanilla?, with no obvious criterion other than maybe picking the flavor that’s least bad for your (and society’s) health while still allowing you to pay your taxes and not step in front of an oncoming Caltrain.
Antonio Garcia-Martinez

Copyright © 2021–2024