Home 2017-08-21T20:59:33+00:00

How to fight neo-Nazis & oppressive governments

August 15th, 2017|Peace|

Charlottesville is only the beginning. Resisting the new Nazis overlaps with the need to resist the Trump administration's attempts to deny health care, widen inequality, worsen climate change, and threaten war. However, liberals just look childish if they lump everyone they oppose into one group. The only way for liberals to win is with nonviolence, because nonviolence is the most powerful weapon.

Work, for many, is more like dictatorship than democracy

July 17th, 2017|Happiness, Profit|

When you see it laid out plainly as in this piece from Vox, you realize why people are so dissatisfied. Most of us spend our work day, which is most of our day, under oppressive, even humiliating conditions that are more like dictatorship than life in a free country.

iPhone co-designer: “What did we bring to the world?”

July 11th, 2017|Happiness|

For my friends who work in design, a powerful question posed by Tony Fadell, Nest founder and co-designer of the iPod and iPhone. His question is powerful not just because design affects us deeply and we ought to think deeply about it, but also because it shows that great designers are so often people with [...]

Wrestling’s new villain is named ‘Progressive Liberal.’ Liberals should understand why.

July 11th, 2017|Self-evident|

When liberals can finally understand just why the crowds react to him the way they do, they'll start to get how to change their attitude and approach. Empathy instead of condescension, respect instead of contempt for people who are just plain suffering and refusing to let go of what dignity they have left. You don't [...]

From one war to the next

July 5th, 2017|Peace|

The essential problem with armed overthrows is that they rarely win the peace. Victory in the battlefield doesn't create sustainable institutions for a civil society. Pop quiz: when did World War 2 end? The fighting may have stopped in 1945 but the real answer is somewhere in 1947-8, when the Marshall Plan and the Occupation in Japan helped restore normalcy and gave the Japanese and Germans back control. That's why they are such strong allies today. That's why Iraq is not. 

Jefferson’s powerful last public letter reminds us what Independence Day is all about – The Washington Post

July 4th, 2017|Happiness|

For me, it's about remembering that we weren't born "with saddles on our backs," we weren't born to be exploited but rather, we were born "to assume the blessings & security of self government" and enjoy "the free right to the unbounded exercise of reason and freedom of opinion." And that by doing so, Americans give the rest of the world permission and courage to do the same.

Why this blog

July 4th, 2017|Self-evident|

This blog is about what I don't know and want to know. I see suffering in so many forms as I go through the day and I want to understand the systems which create it. This is just me talking to myself, but you're welcome to eavesdrop, whoever you are. But I can't promise it will make sense to anyone but me. Let's start with the tomatoes.

Qatar: not just the pronunciation that’s confusing

June 19th, 2017|Peace|

One day last week, Pres. Trump joined Saudi Arabia and a few other countries in condemning Qatar as a sponsor of terrorism. Qatar probably is, but the Saudis themselves have actions for which the president assured them he would not hold them accountable. In taking sides against Qatar, he put the US into a fight [...]

Iranian women, bicycles, nonviolence & freedom

October 14th, 2016|½ of Us|

[su_pullquote align="right" class=""]“It has done more to emancipate women than any one thing in the world. I rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a bike. It gives her a feeling of self-reliance and independence the moment she takes her seat; and away she goes, the picture of untrammelled womanhood.” Susan [...]

4.1 Miles – The New York Times 

September 30th, 2016|Self-evident|

By Daphne Matziaraki This film shows that crucial moment between life and death, where regardless of political beliefs, fears or preparation, some people will go beyond themselves to save a stranger. A coast guard captain on a small Greek island is suddenly charged with saving thousands of refugees from drowning at sea. Source: 4.1 Miles

Would You Hide a Jew From the Nazis? – The New York Times

September 18th, 2016|Self-evident|

Nick Kristof reminds us that in 1938, many Americans and Europeans said the same things about Jewish refugees that Donald Trump and Marie Le Pen are saying about Syrian refugees. (They're lying.) In New York City (where a bomb injured 29 people last night) world leaders are meeting for two days to discuss how [...]

Accidents of grace

August 6th, 2016|Happiness|

Several people have asked me, including my taxi driver, Moses just now, why Africa, why Kilimanjaro? Since they asked in a way that suggests they want a deeper answer, I tried to come up with one. I wasn’t sure myself at first, but now I can find a few reasons. Among them are another [...]

Creatures of habits

July 2nd, 2016|Happiness|

I got passed by an ambulance while riding my electric bike to Edward Hospital yesterday. I knew they were headed there, too, and I knew the person inside was probably about to meet my sister, whose 5am shift as ER physician was not quite up. It was one of those moments we all get [...]

Inalienable: the pursuit of happiness

We pursue wealth hoping it will bring happiness. But as sad, angry rich people everywhere can tell you, that can fail (and make you feel pathetic). Old Capitalism built our world, but it brings violence and exploitation. New Capitalists believe we deserve better.

What if we pursued happiness directly, and treated money as a side effect? What if we did it both individually and as a society? That’s the central question of this blog. Whether you’re an economist, entrepreneur, activist, or just tired of systems of violence and foolishness, I’ll bet you agree it’s worth answering.