Literary Criticism as Applied Apophenia

Growing up I had far more books than friends, and have been writing regularly since I was about seventeen. In high school I was a voracious reader of “the classics”; with the lamp on late into the night I’d turn the pages of Hemingway and Dickens, not caring to wait for the English class in which they’d be taught. Owing […]

Using a Mantra Stack

For a couple of months now I have been experimenting with different protocols for designing mantras and visualization exercises, combining them into ‘stacks’ like one might do with nootropics, and nestling them into ritual structures which make them more likely to become habits. As I have now had the opportunity to explore this territory under a […]

Ancient Peoples Could Probably See Blue, But Cognitive Archaeology is Still Awesome

According to Richard Carrier, the proud holder of a PhD in ancient history, the speculations that ancient peoples couldn’t see blue is nonsense. He points out that descriptions of blue-eyed barbarians can be found in the memoirs of Julius Caesar, that not only did ancient Greek have words distinguishing blue from green but roots for […]

These Failures Form a Ladder

It doesn’t matter who you are, if you’re trying to do anything even remotely noteworthy your relationship to failure is going to have at least the following two characteristics: It’s guaranteed to happen. It’s rarely pleasant. Building a constructive stance towards failure is therefore a crucial step in increasing the likelihood that any given project will succeed in the […]

My Epistemic Status as of the end of 2015

The following is a list of things I learned or became more convinced of in 2015: * The Christian god is real, and so are all the others, just not outside anyone’s head. Almost everyone I’ve ever come across, theist or atheist, misinterprets the implications of this. Religions furnish both a ritual apparatus and introspective scaffolding, […]