Follow no one, not even yourself: How to be right about more-or-less anything, most of the time

First published on 24 October 2022. A lot of people try to make predictions about the future based on observations about the past. Of course, however, the only reality we truly experience is the present. But the present is the past moving forward to the future. This ineluctable truth reveals the inexorable flow of time. … Continue reading Follow no one, not even yourself: How to be right about more-or-less anything, most of the time

The end of eternity: Times probably aren’t that bad, though they aren’t that good either

Every age can’t be worse than the previous one — or at least, it can’t be worse than all the other ages before then. Well, it can — it’s just very unlikely. Neither is it likely to be much better, much worse, or much the same. By the Copernican Principle, according to which human beings … Continue reading The end of eternity: Times probably aren’t that bad, though they aren’t that good either

The philosophy of life: Arendt, Heidegger, Foucault

First published on 6 July 2022. In the late 1920s, Hannah Arendt helped fellow philosopher Martin Heidegger on a book that took the intellectual world by storm. Being and Time (or Sein und Zeit in the original German) contended that the human being, Dasein, was a being that took its own being into question. But … Continue reading The philosophy of life: Arendt, Heidegger, Foucault

Technology: The nuclear DNA of social evolution

First published in August 2022. I would like to propose a sociology which mimics both physics and biology in its emphasis on the molecular code of relational life. Everything is connected to everything else in the web of reality, but certain elements ‘code’ for other elements, like how a recipe ‘codes’ for the food that … Continue reading Technology: The nuclear DNA of social evolution

Staying alive: What role does consent play in Hobbes’ Leviathan?

Submitted as a university essay in spring 2020. ‘Consent’ in Hobbes’ Leviathan plays the role of legitimating the state, primarily for the sake of securing survival. Hobbes uses consent as a legitimation story to preserve and pursue (1) the survival of the citizen, sovereign, and Commonwealth, (2) the honour of the citizen, sovereign, and Commonwealth, (3) natural and theological justice, … Continue reading Staying alive: What role does consent play in Hobbes’ Leviathan?

The tyranny of positivity

Today’s frantic world of social media contrasts with the equally frenetic world of twenty-four hour news, which is seen as relentlessly negative. Social media is, by contrast, full of positivity, with everyone broadcasting how wonderful their life is. But what both share is a certain emptiness — what philosopher Hannah Arendt termed ‘banality’. Staying on … Continue reading The tyranny of positivity