The Magicians (and how to enjoy it)

Lev Grossman’s The Magicians is a tough nut to crack precisely because it’s so transparent. It’s one of those books that I feel like I should hate, and so am surprised to find I really loved! What gives? Its probably the best exemplar of what I’d like to call the “new high-brow.” I don’t know…

On Not Knowing What I Know I don’t Know

It’s interesting to look at the history of ideas as an evolutionary process, by which parent ideas adapt defenses to survive their circumstances which they then pass on to their descendendants. Presumably, we’re all aiming at The Truth, whatever that is, and we try out solutions until one seems to fit. And once one seems…

Who Won, Who Cares, and How Do We Know?

I’m not a big sports fan. I enjoy watching soccer, badminton, tennis, UFC, and can get myself worked up about college basketball under the right circumstances. NFL and baseball put me to sleep, and I think that pretty much exhausts the list of sports I even really know about. For the most part, it’s that…

On Raising and Lowering

Interesting (though in retrospect probably obvious) thought gelled out of a discussion with Alexis about animal rights: there are both raising and lowering solutions to inequality problems, and a lot of times people get pigeonholed into saying things they don’t really mean by failing to consider the raising solution if they’ve already thought of the…

Two Costs Twice as Much

So, if you order two beers, you pay for two. And if you want to walk out of the grocery store with two bags of chips, they customarily want you to pay for both of them. Of course, if you pick up a pair of shoes, then you get a left one and a right…