Novel as Protestant Art

The history of literature is not tidy, and the path of the modern novel is particularly long and improbable. Can its origins be traced to Protestantism?…
The history of literature is not tidy, and the path of the modern novel is particularly long and improbable. Can its origins be traced to Protestantism?… [More]

Music to Shoot You By

What is the preferred musical accompaniment to virtual killing? Beethoven, of course. Ted Gioia on the rise of “first-person-shooter Romanticism”…
What is the preferred musical accompaniment to virtual killing? Beethoven, of course. Ted Gioia on the rise of “first-person-shooter Romanticism”… [More]

Why Satire Matters

Lost in the wave of protest and commentary that followed the massacre at Charlie Hebdo is an adequate understanding of the social function – indeed, necessity – of satire…
Lost in the wave of protest and commentary that followed the massacre at Charlie Hebdo is an adequate understanding of the social function – indeed, necessity – of satire… [More]

Evolution catechism

Darwin didn’t argue with politicians. But politicians tangle with him. Indeed, Evolution is a litmus test: Do you stand with reason even if it costs votes?…
Darwin didn’t argue with politicians. But politicians tangle with him. Indeed, Evolution is a litmus test: Do you stand with reason even if it costs votes?… [More]

On George Balanchine

Birth of American ballet. Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream opened up new possibilities. His motto: “Don’t think, just dance”…
Birth of American ballet. Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream opened up new possibilities. His motto: “Don’t think, just dance”… [More]

Oliver Sacks and cancer

Oliver Sacks has months to live. There is no longer time for anything inessential – just himself, his work, his friends. And some silliness….
Oliver Sacks has months to live. There is no longer time for anything inessential – just himself, his work, his friends. And some silliness…. [More]

Are we morally smarter?

A person of average intelligence today would have been exceptionally intelligent a century ago. We’re getting smarter. Are we getting more moral?…
A person of average intelligence today would have been exceptionally intelligent a century ago. We’re getting smarter. Are we getting more moral?… [More]

Parallel universes

Favoritism in physics. The “Many Worlds Interpretation” is popular despite its incoherence. We simply want it to be true…
Favoritism in physics. The “Many Worlds Interpretation” is popular despite its incoherence. We simply want it to be true… [More]

In Search of Authenticity

From Dickens to Dave Eggers, novelists have resisted familiar literary tropes as they reach for authenticity. Well and good, but it can make for a slippery read…
From Dickens to Dave Eggers, novelists have resisted familiar literary tropes as they reach for authenticity. Well and good, but it can make for a slippery read… [More]

Public intellectuals

What’s wrong with public intellectuals? Their underestimation of the public, which is, in fact, no less smart or striving than they are…
What’s wrong with public intellectuals? Their underestimation of the public, which is, in fact, no less smart or striving than they are… [More]