There is a legend about an encounter between Alexander the Great and Diogenes of Sinope, the Cynical philosopher. Alexander sought out the lounging Diogenes to ask him if there was anything he wanted — trying to crack the nut of his inscrutable philosophy — to which Diogenes merely replied, “Yes, stand a little out of my sun.”
In anticipating the results of the California recall election, I can’t help but feel cynical towards our whole democratic process. I am emphatically voting ‘Yes’ to recall ‘Emperor Newsom,’ who claims that surviving the referendum would give him a mandate — a mandate…
It’s an almost universal law that whenever government declares a “War on X,” the problem of “X” gets worse. The War on Drugs, the War on Terror, and now, the War on Coronavirus.
One bitter irony of the latest fiasco is that there is mounting evidence that the virus was engineered and leaked from a Wuhan lab engaged in so-called “gain-of-function” research into coronaviruses. Gain-of-function research was intended as a kind of preventive measure to shed light on how viruses that originate in animals could be transmitted human-to-human. …
The ominous orange skies over California this week put a damper on my usual optimism. You don’t have to be a doomsayer to see that things are going get worse before they get better. Is there a silver lining to the smoky grey clouds overhead?
First, the bad news: With an air quality index of “Very Unhealthy,” those who weren’t already staying indoors out of excessive fear of COVID are now self-quarantining.
The smoke is second in toxicity only to our hyper-polarized political climate. During a crisis, it’s tempting to look for someone to blame – whether it’s CO2-driven…
In The Abolition of Man, C.S. Lewis opens with a meditation on a central paradox of the modern age. This is an era which lionizes the courageous, the creative, and the driven, yet seeks to strip men of all positive values through a faux intellectualism. Our schools breed cynicism in the guise of critical thinking and the result, Lewis says, is “men without chests,” that is, men who lack the feeling capacity that inspires every heroic act and every passionate pursuit.
Today there are droves of young men seeking meaning from obscure philosophical exhortations, and rediscovering the vital physical qualities…
“Maybe you’ve just sort of lost the will to live.”
True story: 10 years ago I came down with a mysterious respiratory illness that knocked me flat for three weeks, and kept me constantly fatigued for another 3 months. The quote above was the best diagnosis my doctor could give for my condition.
He was right. Whatever had initially infected me wasn’t the real threat anymore. The problem was rooted in a deeper despair that I had already passed my prime in my early 20s. The ol’ Will to Live was waning.
How did I recover it? Not by running…
Health journalists have reputation for blatantly contradicting themselves.
Whether it’s alcohol, cardio, salt, or saturated fat, you can find at least one study to confirm your bias that [fill-in-the-blank] is either a panacea or potent toxin.
With COVID, we’ve been told:
And last, but not least:
As theories multiply about the origins, contagiousness, and mortality rate of COVID-19, it’s easy to feel powerlessness in the face of so much conflicting information — especially as we are told that we must stay indoors, where the temptation is to feed our apprehension with an endless diet of sensationalist headlines and comfort snacks.
One silver lining is the number of people who seem to be rediscovering the Great Outdoors with their families and those with whom they are already in close contact.
Prior to the outbreak, most of us were aware of the risks of staying indoors and remaining…
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for o̵n̵e̵ [free] people to dissolve the p̶o̶l̶i̶t̶i̶c̶a̶l̶ ̶b̶a̶n̶d̶s̶ [quarantine restrictions] which have c̶o̶n̶n̶e̶c̶t̶e̶d̶ [separated] them w̶i̶t̶h̶ [from] another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, t̶h̶e̶ ̶s̶e̶p̶a̶r̶a̶t̶e̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶e̶q̶u̶a̶l̶ ̶s̶t̶a̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ [the pursuit of health and wellness] to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to t̶h̶e̶ s̶e̶p̶a̶r̶a̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ [go outside].
It’s easy to get stuck on the painful consequences like forced unemployment — the inability of millions of people to productively serve one another.
In the Lego-model world of perfect equilibrium, we would find new ways to produce and consume harmoniously with little interruption, but in the real world of frictions and transaction costs (humanity’s crooked timber), a pandemic is best thought of as a negative supply-side shock. In turn, this shock has created a second-order fall in demand as many businesses suddenly lost their customers, forcing layoffs, unemployment, and a further decrease in spending.
This vicious cycle is the…
The San Francisco Bay is home to the infamous “Three Bridge Fiasco” — an annual yacht race in which skippers must round at least one span of three bridges: the Richmond, Bay Bridge, and Golden Gate. The “Fiasco” gets its name from the difficulty of navigating the currents and fickle winds of the Bay Area winter.
Until recently, you could only complete the circuit by boat, but the recent additions of pedestrian walkways on the Richmond and Bay bridges now allow one to walk an almost complete circuit (at least theoretically). Plotting the route on Google Maps, I discovered the…