A Puff of Absurdity: If We Could Be as Smart as Frogs

I regularly tell students about our likely future. It’s often met with skepticism, so I provide lots of citations from the IPCC and NASA. Then I sometimes get a lecture on being so doom and gloom. Denial is our go-to defence against reality. But for whose benefit? It’s just for our own short term enjoyment ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Social Control in Universities

Chris Hedges has concerns with Trump’s impact on intellectuals: Trump and his Christian fascist minions, sooner than most of us expect, will seek to shut down the small spaces left for free expression. Dissent will become difficult and sometimes dangerous. … The Trump administration will hand our Christian jihadists a platform to champion a repugnant ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Social Control in Universities

Chris Hedges has concerns with Trump’s impact on intellectuals: Trump and his Christian fascist minions, sooner than most of us expect, will seek to shut down the small spaces left for free expression. Dissent will become difficult and sometimes dangerous. … The Trump administration will hand our Christian jihadists a platform to champion a repugnant ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Pie and Goldblum on Trump’s Win

Two videos for a Saturday: Jonathan Pie argues that the left is responsible for this result because they’ve given up putting up any argument at all: “Clinton…a candidate who’s been dry-humping corporations for years….They didn’t vote for her because she offered no palpable change whatsoever….She represented very little.” But more importantly, he argues for arguing: ...

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Taoist Lessons for Politicians

Those who look down upon this world, will surely take hold and try to change things. So begins verse 29 of the 4th century BCE Chinese classic (Jonathan Star translation*), the Tao Te Ching. That verse suggests that those who feel themselves superior to the world and to others, who feel their actions, thoughts, views and beliefs are above ...

A Puff of Absurdity: The Tao of Environmentalism

At Politics Respun, Stephen Elliott-Buckley suggests we make decarbonizing our New Year’s resolution.  In a fit of frustration, I commented thusly: What does it look like to join you? I mean I’m totally in, but what do I do to “seriously begin to decarbonize”?  How to stop this? I already don’t own a car, freezer, ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Humans: Too Invasive or Too Compassionate to Survive

In my last post, and elsewhere over the years, I went all Agent Smith and suggested that humans are a virus that can’t be contained. All other animals work within their environment to regulate their population.  As long as people don’t mess things up by moving animals around (like bringing rabbits to Australia where they have ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Following Your Dreams or Living an Illusion?

Ken Robinson, Sir, you are killing me!  I know you probably didn’t mean for people to interpret your words in a warped way.  Nobody does.  But that’s what happens when you use several rare examples as if they are the norm and send people off to change the world. Some of my students watched his TEDTalk ...

A Puff of Absurdity: A Crisis of Environmentalist Faith

A couple of sentences from Matthew Altman (from “The Green Onion“) have been weighing on me for days: Ironically, environmentalism itself can become a means of advancing our own selfish interests, as when we barely adjust our lifestyles in order to feel a disproportionately strong sense of smugness….If a well-intentioned environmentalism does nothing for nature, ...