Tell that to Quine! (& other miscellany)


“That philosophers should be professors is an accident, and almost an anomaly. Free reflection about everything is a habit to be imitated, but not a subject to expound; and an original system, if the philosopher has one, is something dark, perilous, untested, and not ripe to be taught, nor is there much danger anyone will learn it.”

Georges Santayana

Yeah, tell that to Quine (& to everyone who came after).


A prayer to the god of unsettled times.


hansel, n1. First encounter with or use of something taken as a token of what will follow.


Over at NYT, Mark Bittman proposes taxing unhealthy foods. While I applaud Bittman’s effort, I question his way of framing it. There are 2 objections that conservatives are bound to make. 1.) This is just nanny state-ism writ large. 2.) This proposal represents a loss of personal freedom. For these reasons, I don’t see much happening so long as Bittman pitches the idea as a TAX on unhealthy foods. Yet what if it were seen as a job creation program? And what if it could be argued that this would SAVE the health care industry on runaway costs? Or that it would cut federal spending in the long run? In short, Bittman and others have to appeal to conservatives’ core principles if they want to see legislation like this pass on a federal level. (Of course, on a local level, in places like SF or Portland, the case is much easier.)


“People say it’s not what happens in your life that matters, it’s what you think happened. But this qualification, obviously, did not go far enough. It was quite possible that the central event of your life could be something that didn’t happen, or something you thought didn’t happen. Otherwise there’d be no need for fiction, there’d only be memoirs and histories, case histories; what happened—what actually happened and what you thought happened—would be enough.”

Geoff Dyer, Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi


Steel-cut oats are surprisingly delicious.