Ursula Le Guin and Philosophy of Feminism Reading Lists

Ursula Le Guin‘s appearance in a recent conversation I had with some friends about favorite science fiction novels brought back memories of the time I used The Left Hand of Darkness in a class. In the fall semester of 2007, I asked to teach Philosophy of Feminism. I had long wanted to do so, andContinue reading “Ursula Le Guin and Philosophy of Feminism Reading Lists”

Justice Roberts is Playing a Long Game

Time now to tabulate the damage done by yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling in  National Federation of Independent Business et al. vs Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services et al. While Justice Roberts has made himself look extremely distinguished, statesmanlike, non-partisan, and touchingly concerned about his place in posterity, an appraisal that I’m sure he was soakingContinue reading “Justice Roberts is Playing a Long Game”

The End is Nigh: The ACA Is Upheld (Sort Of)

Today’s blog post writing hasn’t gone so well. I thought of writing a post on the correspondence between Voltaire and Rousseau, as a way of reminding ourselves of the 300th birth anniversary of the latter, then, perhaps commenting on the connections between Frankenstein and Romanticism, and then finally, noting Aquinas’ resolution of the theological problemsContinue reading “The End is Nigh: The ACA Is Upheld (Sort Of)”

Wellington, Shwellington: Waterloo and Napoleon, Perfect Together

In September 2008, I visited Waterloo. I was visiting Brussels for work, and on arriving there in the morning, quickly realized that the best way to spend my first, jet-lagged day would be to travel to the site of Napoleon’s Last Stand. Armed with directions, train time-tables, a restless stomach, a camera, a thin sweatshirt,Continue reading “Wellington, Shwellington: Waterloo and Napoleon, Perfect Together”

David Brooks Went to a Springsteen Concert, And All I Got Was A Stupid Op-Ed

David Brooks, the man who claims to have his finger on the pulse of down-home, All-American, Middle-American, (heck, Any-Which-Way American), plain-n-simple, family-values-oriented folks is a man who jets off to Europe for a Bruce Springsteen concert tour. No big deal. Lots of those good folk take vacations in Europe too. (If they can get toContinue reading “David Brooks Went to a Springsteen Concert, And All I Got Was A Stupid Op-Ed”

Distraction and Writing: Pen and Keyboard Tales

A couple of days ago, I wrote my post on fountain pens with, er, a fountain pen; this one is being written in the old-fashioned way, on a keyboard, in the WordPress blogging tool/scratchpad. Writing a few hundred words with a fountain pen was a revelatory experience in several ways. (I realize this is self-indulgentContinue reading “Distraction and Writing: Pen and Keyboard Tales”

Posner, Apple v. Motorola, James Watt, and the Steam Engine That Couldn’t

Having brought up ‘intellectual property’ yesterday, I figured it might be a good idea to follow-up with a couple of related notes today. First, some interesting news: Judge Richard Posner has ruled that the Apple v. Motorola patent infringement case be dismissed in its entirety. Apple had accused Motorola of violating four of its patents; Motorola hadContinue reading “Posner, Apple v. Motorola, James Watt, and the Steam Engine That Couldn’t”

Nietzsche’s ‘Robber-Genius,’ the Public Domain, and Intellectual Property

‘Intellectual property‘–and its rather ludicrous understanding of it by our modern legal and political regimes–is often a concern of mine on this blog.  To this end, I have, for instance, noted David Mitchell’s recounting of the provenance of his novel Cloud Atlas and Schopenhauer’s caustic remarks on the influence of copyright on writing. My choiceContinue reading “Nietzsche’s ‘Robber-Genius,’ the Public Domain, and Intellectual Property”

The Return of the Ink-Stained Finger: Writing with a Fountain Pen

As a youngster, I used fountain pens to write. I started my school career by writing in pencil, and then at some point, we were switched over to fountain pens by fiat. School work had to be done in ink; ball-pens didn’t count; and that was that. I do not remember my first shopping tripContinue reading “The Return of the Ink-Stained Finger: Writing with a Fountain Pen”

Distraction, Political Activism Online, and the Neglected Physical Sphere

Frank Pasquale left a very interesting comment on my post yesterday, highlighting the political implications of the attention deficit disorder that the ‘Net facilitates and enhances. (Please read the full comment, and if you have the time, chase down the wonderful links that Pasquale provides. Ironic advice, perhaps, given the subject under discussion.) I wantContinue reading “Distraction, Political Activism Online, and the Neglected Physical Sphere”