Running in Circles

I remember years ago an argument in some classroom or other over the shape of history. Straight line or circular? That is, does history proceed in a straight line, events stringing along one after the other (the highway version) or even piling one atop the other (the ladder version) in some kind of teleological journey to the future? Or do we simply repeat ourselves, over and over again, like a dog chasing its tail, in pursuit of a future that is never reached, our eyes fixed firmly on the forever vanishing promise of that little white tip of the tail. Read more about Running in Circles



It's been de rigueur for parents of this last generation to worry about the effects of video games on their children. The violence. The sexism. The increasing isolation of the gamer who sits alone at a console with little need or desire to venture out into the wider world.

As a gamer myself (although the players of World of Warcraft would laugh at me), I have long understood the rubric of "kill 'em all, take all the money." I'm afraid my daughter will be tempted to inscribe it on my tombstone. Good thing I don't plan on having one. Read more about Games


Laws or People

I can remember years ago thinking that the concept of laws not men was, in some way, essentially unfair. The fairness of it, of course, is the concept that no matter who you are, no one is above the law. The men in the concept stands for those who have traditionally thought themselves above the law.

I, in my innocence, interpreted men as people. And people, I thought, should be more important than the law. In other words, the person who steals to feed his starving family should be treated differently than the guy who just wants a Mercedes. Read more about Laws or People



I suspect that most of those on "my side of the aisle" voicing disappointment with the change we can believe in of the 2008 Obama candidacy have mistaken what he meant by change. I suspect that many of them added words identifying pet hopes of their own to the word change, and when President Obama failed to institute change in policies affecting those hopes, they felt let down. Read more about Homework



Karl, not the Brothers.

A woman who generally takes a conservative view of things wrote, in a Facebook comment yesterday, "I'm suggesting our society is becoming so removed from itself and disconnected, or partitioned into self interest, that it no longer functions ..."

I responded, because I couldn't help myself, that her comment reminded me of "The Theory of Alienation," Karl Marx's essay from 1844 in which he described the condition of the people he saw around him during the early years of the Industrial Revolution. Read more about Marx



It's gonna be a tough year commenting on politics. I already know all the people I'm gonna vote for. All the people running against each other in order to be able to run against them are people whose opinions do less than interest me.

I just ran into a spot of trouble on Facebook with the statement that Iowa had chosen the "least icky" of the current slate of Republican candidates - only to be slammed to the floor by people who had actually knew the positions taken by Mr. Santorum. Read more about Tough