The Us of Us: Aristotelian Politics in the Age of Unreason

We live in odd and curious times where politics are more performance than punditry and more perfunctory than professional. How did we get in such a mess of unequal consequences? We won’t just rise or fall and find the mean when this comet ride is over — we’re heading into a catastrophic tumble of immortal termination — just as the Gods before us fell from the temple and humankind stopped looking to the heavens for confirmation of the merits of their lives in the glow of the clouds and decided to forgive their own sins while skipping the punishments.

In critical moments, I turn to my training, and seek the greater mind, and the more universally sophisticated aesthetic for guidance and comfort. As, Aristotle wrote, in “Politics” —

Man is by nature a social animal; an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human. Society is something that precedes the individual. Anyone who either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient as not to need to, and therefore does not partake of society, is either a beast or a god.

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Esse Quam Videri: How to Live in the Fifty-Year Long View

My body lives in 2014. My mind belongs to 2064. Yes, it can be a difficult task to physically be in one place — while the rest of you, and your wishes and wants and intentions — are fifty years in the future, but that’s the disconnected task of living in a virtual world with an INTJ personality; to be, rather than to seem.

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Reaping the Fallow and the Fallen: The Law of Diminution at the Margin

There’s an economic theory — The Law of Diminution at the Margin — that has largely been echoing in the hollow.  Few of us are attuned to the consequence of the condition, but that doesn’t mean the meme doesn’t exist or factor into the existence of what binds us to the living.

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Gullible Part of Brain Found

It happens at least once a week — I open up my email and find in my inbox a message from an older family member, always a forward, containing a warning about the dire warning about the crumbling economy, the threat from various terrorist organizations, and computer virus warnings. My reaction is always the same — I go to a fact checking website and find a link to a page that refutes the e-mail entirely and send it as a response. I wondered how it could be that the e-mails keep coming and how the forwards are not questioned for validity before being sent. It is possible that it is related to gullibility which scientists have located in the brain and moreover have determined that people in two age ranges are more gullible. Those are young people and older people.

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Mariano Rivera Ends His Career with a Bang… in his Whimpering Knee

Yesterday, in Kansas City, the greatest baseball reliever of all time — Mariano Rivera — ended his season, and likely his career, by blowing out his knee trying to shag a routine fly ball during batting practice.  His ACL is torn and his meniscus is damaged.

At 42 — and threatening this year to finally call it quits at the age that matches his soon-to-be-forever-retired uniform number — it is hard to imagine Mariano making a future final pitching appearance in a Yankees uniform simply because the ravages of tides and the inequities of time only weakens us every year.  None of us meeting middle age ever get any stronger, or more durable, as we begin that slow and lonesome decline down the hill in our return to the grave.

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Is a FedEx Waybill a Handshake or a Promise?

On January 14, 1998 I wrote a seminal article for GO INSIDE Magazine called — The Decline & Fall of FedEx — and in the 12 years since its original publication, that FedEx piece has generated more positive email than anything else I’ve ever written.  Having one article watched so much by so may people is both pleasing and numbing.

Continue reading → Is a FedEx Waybill a Handshake or a Promise?