Monday, December 31, 2018

Blogyear 2018 in review

A new record low number of posts, yet this blog isn՚t quite dead.

The past year obviously sucked politically but also sucked for me on a personal level. Details don՚t belong here, but in the good news department I started a new job in October which is infinitely better than the last one. I՚m once again hacking Lisp for science which seems to be my professional destiny, one I can live with.

I had a few postings about politics in the abstract, mostly drafting off of SlateStarCodex. I still think this is an important and interesting topic but I haven՚t found a good way to talk about it. I think this is what “attracted” me to NRx writers (to their writings, not to their beliefs) – they are raising fundamental questions about the processes of group formation, social cohesion, conflict and violence. They have the right questions but the wrong answers. SSC also raises deep questions, and comes up with answers that are not as obviously wrong but still, IMO, wrong and dangerous. But the times are too fraught; trying to pick arguments in blog comment threads, which always seemed kind of dumb, is more of waste of time now than ever.

This year I rediscovered Italo Calvino and read a bunch of his books, which I highly recommend. Good places to start: If on a Winter՚s Night a Traveler (fiction and metafiction), or Six Memos for the Next Millenium (personal esthetics and philosophy).

And just yesterday the Twitter group mind seems to have founded the new field of patarationalism which I find describes what I՚ve been doing for decades, more or less.

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