Personal vs. Social Responsibility

I’ve mostly been able to ignore the subprime mortgage mess. I don’t work in finance (although several of my classmates at Columbia are walking on eggshells), and my investments are mostly long term so the volatility in the markets doesn’t really concern me. But then I read the following paragraph in The Economist: The boldest […]

Deconstructing Sweet Home Alabama

I saw the movie Sweet Home Alabama yesterday. It was decently entertaining, but later in the evening, I started thinking about the cultural memes that it is propagating, possibly because I have been reading too many of Jessie’s posts. The rest of this post will involve spoilers so if you have not seen the movie […]

Incomplete realities

Responding to my End Times theory, Brian commented “Can we show that one reality is better than another? I hope so!” I’ve been struggling on and off with this question of what makes one reality “better” than another for at least six years. In that rant (itself a follow-up to these thoughts on morality), I […]

Big Brother is Us

I received an action alert from MoveOn today about fighting the nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court: Right now we urgently need more information, and we need your help to get it. In the next few hours the Internet will fill with facts, anecdotes and rumors about Harriet Miers. We need your help […]

Enlightened Selfishness

Picking up on yesterday’s anarchy post, I was thinking about what it takes for anarchy (or even capitalism) to work as a society. I was talking with some other friends last week about the concept of enlightened selfishness, and I think that is one of the keys. What do I mean by enlightened selfishness? It’s […]

Anarchy is Progress!

A friend of mine pointed me at this email, where a reader of Gizmodo criticizes them for having the temerity to insult the Queen of England. In particular, he says: Some institutions in the world, like the church, must stay intact or it causes a breakdown in civilization. There must be a counterbalance that allows […]

Filtered world views

This is the next post in the Latour series so feel free to skip it if you found the other posts boring. I’d actually started writing this post several weeks ago, when I noticed that while I was reading Latour, certain points resonated very strongly with me, and others I was just kind of skimming […]