Thought for the Day – Evergreen


The work of making this world resemble one that you would prefer to live in is a lunch pail [expletive] job, day in and day out, where thousands of committed, anonymous, smart and dedicated people bang on closed doors and pick up those that are fallen and grind away on issues until they get a positive result, and even then, have to stay on to make sure that result holds.

– Jon Stewart

R.I.P. Steve Albini


It’s hard for me to articulate, but there’s a friend of mine, Peter Sotos, who’s written extensively about abuse and murder and things of that nature. A lot of his writing is extremely difficult to read. It’s repellent. You’re brought into the mind of a sadist, pretty convincingly. And I feel like that experience, reading that stuff, is shocking to your core in the way that the horrors of the reality of those things should be.

That was Big Black’s draw for me.  Albini didn’t just sing about darkness and evil.  As an artist, he threw himself into it.  He articulated something that’s very hard to articulate.  Their music captured what he describes in the paragraph above.  He wrote unapologetically from the standpoint of a perpetrator who has utter contempt for his victims.  I hadn’t heard anything similar before and anything similar since.  There was a long time, 10-15 years, where I couldn’t listen to them. I listen some now but it’s still much harder to do so than when I was young.
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Reading Material – March 31, 2024

Just a list this week, no excerpts and in no particular order:

Thought to come back to

Chronological vs kairotic time:

  • Engineering is grounded in chronos;  science is grounded in kairos.
  • “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
  • “Why was I able to stop smoking the 26th time I tried when the previous 25 I failed?”



Reading Material – February 18, 2024

Ross Douthat, Where Should Agnostics Go on Sundays?

For [Perry] Bacon himself, the key obstacle to a return to churchgoing seems to be the fear of a kind of intellectual inconsistency or hypocrisy, for himself but especially as a parent. “I don’t want to take her to a place that has a specific view of the world,” he writes of his daughter, “as well as answers to the big questions and then have to explain to Charlotte that some people agree with all of the church’s ideas, Dad agrees with only some and many other people don’t agree with any.”

To which I might respond: Why not? The desire to bring up your child inside a coherent world picture that parents and schools and churches all mutually reinforce is an admirable one; it speaks to the natural human desire for wholeness and integration. But if that kind of environment doesn’t exist for you, if you yourself don’t have a world picture that fully integrates the political and the moral with the metaphysical, then introducing your kids to a multiplicity of experiences and values and acknowledging upfront that people have different answers to the big questions and you can value institutions without fully agreeing with them — all this seems like an entirely responsible way to parent.

Aaron Lake Smith, Finding God in Punk Anarchism

I wanted to be working for the spirit and the common good, but as with all compromised positions in life, didn’t know how to extract myself from the mire or start over.