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Terrestrial Science

Terrestrial Science
We make a mistake in thinking state socialism is the challenger to capitalism as the most important system of terrestrial knowledge. Instead, the real challenge comes from ecology, not from economy. The mania for growth built into capitalism isn't compatible with the steady state nature of ecological systems as a whole.

Settled Unsettling

Leave taking I have always wondered why the Buddha left his wife and child and went into the forest. The usual explanations are pretty patriarchal aren’t they, e.g., – that he was escaping from the bonds that tie us to…

A Good Death

D One of my college classmates was an excellent hockey player and a true sportsman. The cricket grounds where I spent my evenings abutted the hockey field. D* and I spent many hours chatting on the sidelines and in the…

Smelly Science

Photographer: Tadeusz Lakota | Source: Unsplash Philosophy has a vision bias. The Sanskrit name for philosophical activity, ‘Darsana’ means ‘vision.’ Intriguingly, across Indo-European cultures, knowledge at a distance is closely related to blindness. Homer was supposedly blind and the great war…

The Skin of the World

Photographer: David Clode | Source: Unsplash I am taking a step back from writing about contentious topics — authoritarian politics, climate change, approaching extinction and animal rights. Not for ever, but for a few weeks. It feels like every conversation about those topics…

Navigating Higher Education

Note: this is the first post in a series that looks at how higher education needs to change in response to the wicked problems we face in the 21st century. Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash I think a lot about my…

Many Mes

Photographer: Andrew Seaman | Source: Unsplash MeMe and YouMe The Buddha, peace be unto him, is famous for declaring there’s no self. Strictly speaking, he denied the existence of an abiding, permanent self, especially the metaphysical Atman of Brahmanical Hinduism. We are…

Subversive Intelligence

Photographer: James Lee | Source: Unsplash If you read or watch any mainstream media source that deals with facts instead of imaginary threats, you will notice the constant invocation of two civilizational threats: automation and climate change. This is mainstream media…

The Great Unsettling

Introduction I have written a few hundred essays over the last five years, with a year and a half in the middle being devoted to a single text, the Mahabharata. I might start the Jayary again this fall, prompted…