Advent posting

December 12, 2021

Sorry to have gone missing here.  I am getting distracted by other kinds of of which I'll post here tomorrow.  But for now, just a few links!


Interesting stuff from Pankaj Mishra here (if the link works), who I usually find annoying, on needing a better understanding of religion here.  Obvious to some of us, totally alien to others.


Good piece on the limitations of surveys as a way of generating philosophical insights.


What a moving remembrance of Adam Zagajewski by Edward Hirsch, fellow poet and the person who first brought him to America.


Good article on how aging will change society in general, and the shape of the human life course.  One highlight:

“One of the report’s central theses is that modern life has a pacing problem. Middle age is uncomfortably crammed with career and caregiving responsibilities, while many older people find themselves with neither enough purpose, connection or income to live comfortably.…

To even out the pace, “The New Map of Life” recommends that education be a lifelong project rather than a sprint crammed into childhood and early adulthood, and that careers be spread out so that people work for more years, but with fewer work days in the week and fewer hours in the day.”

And here’s the report.


Are Ancient Near Eastern kingdoms, or communities, “states”?  In itself, this is not a very interesting question.  But as a prompt to explain how ancient polities worked, and how they understood themselves, it can be useful.  It is somewhat useful here.


A good podcast from April 2020, about what we can learn about Covid from plagues and other pandemics in the ancient world. A lot of really interesting stuff.


Nice piece about Amos Funkenstein.

See, the problem I have is, there's a lot that's interesting out there, and if you want to understand the world, that desire puts obligations on you that are superhuman, and so you have to generate some good criteria for limiting those obligations' grip on you.  I'm in the process of recalibrating my criteria.


Be well, everyone!