Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The world cannot be mastered, but it can be known in part. History cannot be known, but it can in part be mastered.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The world is everything that is the case.
History is everything that happens.
God is doing all He can.

Note: Pith has taken precedence over precision. Things are to the world as people are to history, and being is to things as becoming is to people, so history isn't everything that happens so much as it becomes everyone who happens or, better, everyone who happens becomes history. Or, we might say, history happens to everyone. Also, seeing is to doing as the world is to history. The last line could read, "All-seeing God is doing all He can."

Monday, June 12, 2017

The lyric is to the aphorism as the lyre is to the lamp.

Friday, June 09, 2017

An image is what a thought feels like, who the feeling thinks of.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

The Question

Is it nobler to suffer in the mind or to trouble the arms?

PS: The mind's eye. The heart's hand.

Friday, June 02, 2017

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Human Factor

The facts don't make themselves known,
nor do our acts master themselves.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Between the rational,
and the hysterical,
our reasons and passions
find their composure.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Poets do not tell you what they feel. They show you how they feel. Philosophers don't tell you what they think, but show you how they do it.

No one can tell you what to think or feel. But some can help you do it better. Our poets make us feel better. Philsophers make us think better.

It's not that they give us better thoughts or better feelings. They hone our concepts and emotions, to make our minds and hearts precise.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

"Haven't you tried long enough to understand? Isn't it time, perhaps, to obey?"

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The poet arranges strophes to present an emotion. The philosopher arranges remarks to present a concept.

The philosopher makes you think, not so that you'll believe anything in particular, but in order to clarify the concept. The poet makes you feel, not so that you'll desire anyone in particular, but in order to intensify the emotion.

Both articulate our experience. They join us more precisely to it.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Poetry is to politics as philosophy is to science. It is not political philosophy that we need, but a poetics of policy.

We cannot understand the ontology of social science, but we must obey the ethnopathy of social policy.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Money is the fact of value. A price is the value of a fact.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Because ideologues don't really understand the things they believe, they expect others to do the same.

Monday, April 17, 2017

If everyone were decent, tyranny would be impossible. If everyone were honest, genius would be unnecessary.

Genius is the tyranny of the mind. Tyranny is the genius of the heart.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Genius always doubts itself. That is its suffering and its passion.

Monday, April 10, 2017

A Transcendental Aesthetic

The point of a work of art must never be that the beholder become an artist.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

"Science is the theory of the real." (Martin Heidegger)
Politics is the practice of the ideal.

The purpose of an idea is to make our work easier.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

An ideologue will distort a fact in the service of an idea.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Left of Bizarro

Where punching people in the face is okay and pleading for head is rape.

Thursday, March 23, 2017


You are your virtues, your potential for goodness, excellence. The mistake is to identify yourself with your vices. You are not your vices. Your vices merely prevent you from becoming yourself, from doing what you are capable of, at any given time.

(Christianity is the application of this view of oneself to others through love.)

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

No age is insane. Your sanity is judged against it.

The House of Language

Is a philosopher better able to tell you what a thought is? Is a poet better able to tell you what a feeling is? Is an architect better able to tell you what a house is?

Sunday, March 19, 2017

If you want knowledge, you must learn how to change your mind. If you want power, you must be open to a change of heart.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Do not write mediocre poetry about problems that could be solved with good policy.

Monday, March 13, 2017

After you have gone too far the truth always lies in the other direction.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Your prose determines what you can do with a poem. We might say that our prose "affords" us our poetry.

(Cf. Jonathan Mayhew)

The good and the true make you better. True perceptions make you see better. Just actions make you do better.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Institutions protect us from the caprice and malice of people who don't like us, and people we don't like, likewise, from us. With strong institutions you cannot punish someone you don't like on a whim. They have to have done something wrong.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

To Those in Search of Social Justice

If you want to experience joy, kindness, and understanding, you must not close yourself off to pain, selfishness, and bigotry. If you want the love and wisdom of others, you must be able to suffer their foolishness, too, their hatred.

Monday, February 27, 2017


Nobody becomes true or false in the eyes of another. People see themselves, or not.


Nothing (no thing) is either good or bad in itself. Some things, however, ought to be done, some not.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Media of Immediacy

Intuition, said Kant, is that through which things are known immediately. Institution, I submit, is that through which people are immediately empowered.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

If I am to show you how to do something, I must, unfortunately, also tell you what the difficulty is.

Friday, February 10, 2017

This is a work of fiction.

Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events, is their own damned fault.

All Rights Reserved

No part of this work may be reproduced, published, distributed, displayed, performed, copied, stored or memorized for public or private use in any information retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any mechanical, photographic, biological or electronic process, including electronically or digitally on the Internet or World Wide Web, or over any network, or local area network, or nervous system, without written permission of the author.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Basic income will not work as a fiscal policy, a welfare program. It will work as a monetary policy: a way of creating money, not as private and public debt, but as purchasing power for everyone, rendering the welfare state obsolete.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

The Killers

The same people who want our leader to call another country's leader a "killer" are outraged when he admits that he, too, has killed—that we, too, have killed.

Friday, February 03, 2017

There's no particular providence in the fall of an apple.

Pace Isaac Newton. See Ken Robinson's "The Book of Nature" in Into Another Mould. Routledge, 1992, p. 87.)

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

What you would know, you must first understand. Who you would master, you must first obey.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Do not think you can understand if you feel you cannot obey.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

To know a thing, we must understand its nature. To master people, we must obey their culture.

(And what of our own selves, you ask? And what of our bodies? "In ghostlier demarcations, keener sounds.")

All science is natural science. All politics is cultural politics.

Cf. Jonathan Mayhew.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The facts determine the results of our acts. Acts, we might say, resolve themselves into facts.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

"Poetry," said Auden, "might be defined as the clear expression of mixed feelings." Philosophy is the tenuous* expression of distinct thoughts.

*I tried a "intense", "terse" and "coherent", before hitting on this. The pangrammatical supplement of "clarity" is "intensity". The words tenet, tense, and tenuous share the same root, namely, "to stretch". So we can here capture the pangrammatical point, and also reproduce the "tension" (!) between "clear" and "mixed". Very satisfying exercise.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Learn to understand your reasons. This is wisdom. Be free to obey your passions. That is love.

Friday, January 13, 2017


When life is, literally, the search for lost time.


When life is a man's self-imposed exile from a country that never let him in.


When life is a play something like the murder of a king put on by a prince as part of an elaborate attempt to avenge the death of his father.


When life is the story of a man who thinks he is a knight written by a man who thinks he is a novelist.

The hand is to the eye as the heart to the mind.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

William Carlos Wittgenstein

We make ourselves a picture

the red wheel

If you can

imagine the white

we'll grant you
all the rest.

Art improves imagination.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Between the act and fact,
the seen and done, the concept
and emotion, between the feeling
and the thought, slips the image.

Wisdom is the stillness of the mind in which things are what they are.

Love is the movement of the heart through which we become ourselves.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

The purpose of poetry is to make us feel better. A poem doesn't always make us feel good, but a good poem makes us better able to feel.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Friday, January 06, 2017

The need for a genius in any age is as regrettable as the need for a tyrant.

Genius is the tyranny of knowledge. A tyrant is a genius of power.

Thursday, January 05, 2017