Wednesday, December 06, 2017

A man may say too much even upon the best subjects.

Michel de Montaigne

Monday, December 04, 2017

So many mutations of states and kingdoms, and so many turns and revolutions of public fortune, will make us wise enough to make no great wonder of our own.

Michel de Montaigne


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The disdain that so many people feel [millennials] reflects an unease about the forces of deregulation, globalization, and technological acceleration that are transforming everyone’s lives. (It does not seem coincidental that young people would be criticized for being entitled at a time when people are being stripped of their entitlements.) Millennials, in other words, have adjusted too well to the world they grew up in; their perfect synchronization with economic and cultural disruption has been mistaken for the source of the disruption itself.

Jia Tolentino, "Where Millennials Come From" (The New Yorker, December 4, 2017)

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Now is now!  There is never more to experience than this single "now", which recurs at an interval exactly one second in length.

Jack Vance, Tales of the Dying Earth

 See also:

Thursday, November 16, 2017

In truth, knowledge is not so absolutely necessary as judgment; the last may make shift without the other, but the other never without this.

Michel de Montaigne

Monday, November 13, 2017

What shall we do tomorrow? What shall we ever do?...

Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead,
Forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep sea swell
And the profit and loss.
                                   A current under sea
Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell
He passed the stages of his age and youth
Entering the whirlpool.
                                   Gentile or Jew
O you who turn the wheel and look to windward,
Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.

T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Weber was wrong: the modern world is not disenchanted (even if secularists pretend otherwise) but a continuation of Christianity by other means. Whether liberal, communist, fascist, or authoritarian, every polity relies to one degree or another on the persistence of charismatic authority and the (usually disguised) theological legitimation of political power.

Benjamin Nathans on Yuri Slezkine'd  The House of Government: A Saga of the Russian Revolution in the New York Review of November 23, 2017

See also Freud and Plato - The Politics of the Soul (Pt 1)