• Powers of Darkness

    Powers of Darkness

    The children have collectively created a mythology that is rich, colorful, and choked with fear and desperation. Continue reading

  • The Mind of a Rock: Musings on Orr’s ‘Wakeful World’

    The Mind of a Rock: Musings on Orr’s ‘Wakeful World’

    For thousands of years, Western civilization has been living with a striking paradox. On the one hand, we are clearly physical beings living in a physical universe. And yet, we have these thoughts, feelings, dreams, and perceptions… They seem related to the physical universe, yet fundamentally different in character. We have an ‘inner’ life, which… Continue reading

  • Big Data Will Blind You

    Big Data Will Blind You

    Not all of us are scientists, but all of us today are consumers of science. And I mean science, not technology. When we want to lose weight, or make more money, or find that perfect someone, we don’t go to gurus, and we don’t go with our guts. We look at the latest studies. It’s… Continue reading

  • Integrating Work and Spirit

    For many years, I kept my spiritual life (Druidry) separated from my work (computational linguistics). Of course, there are certainly strong overlaps — you only have to look at the 50+ articles under ‘Word and Spirit’ in the sidebar to see that. And every once in awhile I’d cast a spell for prosperity or something similar.… Continue reading

  • A Prayer for the New Year

    A Prayer for the New Year

    “To pray for particular favors is to dictate to Divine Wisdom, and savors of presumption; and to intercede for other individuals or for nations, is to presume that their happiness depends upon our choice, and that the prosperity of communities hangs upon our interest.” – William Paley I’ve been thinking a bit about prayer recently.… Continue reading

  • In Which Links are Forged and Pods are Cast

    My attention has been away from this blog for a while, so I thought it might be interesting to collect some links to what I’ve been working on. Over at Faith, Fern, and Compass, for example, I’ve contributed a couple of articles that might be of interest to you: The Sea in the Skull Theologians… Continue reading

  • Story, History, and Meaning

    Story, History, and Meaning

    In the episode of Faith, Fern and Compass we posted this week, Alison and I talked a bit about stories, and what their purpose might be. Is storytelling something with evolutionary origins? If so, what? And why? It’s a completely open question, but an essential one: stories and histories, real or imagined, provide entertainment, bind… Continue reading

  • On the Meaning of Life

    On the Meaning of Life

    “In our life there is a single color, as on an artist’s palette, which provides the meaning of life and art. It is the color of love.” – Marc Chagall “The meaning of life is that it stops.” – Franz Kafka “Life is without meaning. You bring the meaning to it. The meaning of life… Continue reading

  • Sodden Spring

    Sodden Spring

    Seattle, they say, is a rather wet city. But the last few days were sunny and warm, so I guess I was lulled into thinking (wishing? hoping?) that perhaps the worst of the showers were over. Late yesterday, in the golden late evening, Alison in a coat against the wind, and I in a light sweater,… Continue reading

  • The Toxic Society

    The Toxic Society

    I stumbled on an old, ignored piece of news the other day, which struck me powerfully. Apparently crime rates in the United States continue to plummet, despite the ongoing recession. While I had assumed that the drop in crime rate was related to our insanely high rate of incarceration, apparently that doesn’t really explain it.… Continue reading