Emily Dickinson (1830 – 1886) was born in Amherst, Massachusetts. After studying at the Amherst Academy for seven years in her youth, she briefly attended the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary before returning to her family’s house in Amherst. Dickinson never married, and most friendships between her and others depended entirely upon correspondence. For most of her life, she lived as a recluse. Continue reading Brief Analysis of Emily Dickinson’s, “Because I could not stop for Death”
A colleague elucidated a thoughtful reply to those who believe that culture needs a vision of an ideal future. In my case this vision is of a future where our post-human descendents attain higher levels of being and consciousness. Our role in the drama is as protagonists in that evolutionary epic, and this provides (roughly) the meaning of our lives. Continue reading A Vision of the Future
I have previously replied to the overpopulation objection to radical life extenstion, the most common objection to those of us who want to defeat death. While my defense of indefinite lifespans centers primarily around moral concerns, the computer scientist Alexandre Maurer has recently offered powerful mathematical reasons to doubt the whole premise of the overpopulation objection. Continue reading Alexandre Maurer on Why Longevity Doesn’t Equal Overpopulation
A New Life
It’s early morning on May 16, 2017. About two hours ago my wife and I picked up our four-year old granddaughter who is now safely with us. The occasion is the imminent birth of our new granddaughter, who should be born in the next few hours.
It is hard to know what say about a new birth. There are about 353,000 births each day worldwide, about 255 each minute and 4 each second. Continue reading Letter To New Grandchild
I was amused by Bret Stephen’s op-ed in the May 13th edition of The New York Times, “How Trump May Save the Republic.” As Stephen’s puts it: “His views are often malevolent, and his conduct might ultimately prove criminal. But we, too, are protected, for a time, by the enormity of his stupidity.” (Yes, this is the same Bret Stephens who spread his anti-climate change nonsense in a previous op-ed.)
Obviously, Trump isn’t an intellectual, but does that make him less dangerous? Trotsky and the intellectuals of the Russian revolution underestimated the mediocre intelligence of Stalin, and paid with their lives. Stalin was brutal and street-smart, two qualities that intellectuals often lack. The mafia kingpin John Gotti was a high school dropout, but street smart enough to have his rival killed and ascend to the top of the Gambino crime family. And that intelligent, Machiavellian Ted Cruz probably still can’t believe he lost the Republican Presidential nomination to the ignorant Donald Trump. In fact, I doubt there is a strong connection between education, intelligence and political power—street smarts and ruthlessness probably correlate better. After all, Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale lost to Ronald Reagan, Al Gore and John Kerry to George W. Bush, and Hilary Clinton to Donald Trump.
Continue reading “How Trump May Save the Republic,” But Not in the Way Bret Stephens Thinks