February 2011

  • Om, Pagan, Paradise

    My old blog, the Word of the Day, is defunct, and I’m getting ready to take it down. Before I do, though, I’m going to repost some of the best words here over the next few weeks. Enjoy! Om From Wikipedia: OM is a mystical or sacred syllable in the Dharmic [i.e. Hinduism, Buddhism, and… Continue reading

  • Survey: What Do You Want?

    Dear reader, I’ve been blogging since Midsummer 2006 — almost five years now. During that time I’ve moved three or four times, changed jobs, been divorced and affianced, and gotten a cat. I’ve written about spirits (evil and good), phonosemantics, choosing your religion, tossing your television, the Law of Attraction and the laws of humanity,… Continue reading

  • A Sufficiently Advanced Religion: Magic, the Ringworld and Clarke’s Law

    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. — Arthur C. Clarke’s 3rd Law Do you agree with this statement? I think that it’s true, in a certain limited sense, if you take “magic” to mean “something without rules, that can make anything happen.” I suppose it’s conceivable that technology could someday reach something like… Continue reading

  • Language and Gender: the New English Pronoun

    Something in the English language is changing, but not many people have noticed it. Maybe a teacher, here or there, has noticed it on one of their student’s papers, and thought it was an error. Or a pundit has railed against it in their column, or someone has written an angry note about it on… Continue reading

  • Nature and Social Insanity

    I’ve been talking with Alison a lot over the past week about insanity — particularly insanity in societies. Obviously individual people can be insane — usually broadly defined as mental or emotional distress that interferes with functioning normally in society. But what would it mean for a whole community to be insane? Is that even… Continue reading