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Monthly Archives: September 2011

Harvard’s 1869 Entrance Exam.


Of course I think it’s great, because I could probably pass it.  But admittedly all it is now is an indication of how much American higher education has changed in 150 years.  This without a doubt resembles exams from 169 A.D. more than the current SAT. Full blog post of which it is a […]

Our Third Anniversary.


Our first post, three years ago to the day.  Three years and six hundred-odd posts later, we’re still producing material for this website.  I was looking over the essays I’ve posted, and there is enough to make several full-length books.  And some of the material is fairly good.  I think I need to find a […]

Just For the Record.


It’s worth Obama being a one-term president, it’s worth the Mossad assassinating him, it’s worth his losing a few million donors, to not veto the Palestinian request for statehood.  It’s the official policy of the United States that the Palestinians should have their own state. For us to veto it just shows our own disgusting […]

Moral Progress.


Will Wilkinson on the phenomenon which makes religious fundamentalism so grotesque, and argues implicitly for the necessity of a “spirit and truth” religion if we are to have any at all: moral progress.  Our moral ideas continue to move in a definite direction, in this instance away from violence.  I am curious as to where […]

Not a Human Anything in Sight.


Except for my shadow, of course.  A view into Woodland Valley from the top of Slide Mountain, the Catskills’ highest peak.

Compost Tomatoes.


This spring I had a compost-pile full of tomato seedlings.  Apparently the seed has no trouble overwintering.  I pulled three or four of the largest plants out and put them in good soil, and still had a number remaining.  So I decided not to turn over the compost pile at all this year, and let […]

“Fundamentalism is Rationalism in Religion.”


I still find Sullivan good on most topics beside religion, but his defense of religion as transcending tenet is worth a look.  It contains the nugget “fundamentalism is rationalism in religion.”  Moralism and rationalism don’t wash too well with a God conceived of as a union of is and is not. The transcendent God tends […]

Greenwald on Propaganda.


Glenn Greenwald has a cynical piece on Obama’s corporate-shill economic team, well worth reading in full – as they say, Wall Street spent more to elect Barack Obama than any previous candidate – but particularly valuable is Greenwald’s little gem of advice for interpreting propaganda: Geithner wasn’t chosen and hasn’t remained despite being “associated with the deregulatory […]

Garlic Festival.


I should be at my first-ever Hudson Valley Garlic Festival this weekend, a festival which I have long heard about but never attended, in part because I take no interest in garlic whatsoever.  In fact, I avoid it when possible.  However, the festival is supposed to be interesting in itself.  I’ll be working – manning […]

The Hungry Forest.


I found an old box of Cheerios that I had forgotten about in a cabinet; tasting them I determined they had gone stale.  I figured I’d use them as bird food during the fall migrations.  I went out with the bag a few nights ago and tossed some about a hundred feet from the cabin […]