Monthly Archives: September 2012

Seeking unhappiness

A butter croissant sits on the patio table next to a half-pint cup of caffè macchiato, both never unspoilt by neither teeth nor tongue, yet it seems that many a thinker has pondered this familiar scene before. The morning’s brisk rays illuminate grooved textures on the French pastry: layered butter and folded dough, sugar, milk, and an all-around exemplary delight. Adjacent to it, liquified ejecta from the bowels of our dicotyledonous subjugators are an equally tempting t(h)reat, not only for their chemical potency and social connotations, but also for their distinctive bitterness. The cult of misery is nothing new to those who have grown to enjoy herbal tea and such foods as bitter melon. Okakura Kakuzō’s essay on teaism in Japanese culture explores how tea and a related set of other foods and drink are important in maintaining perspective of… more →

Crime and affliction

Who is responsible for poverty? Whose fault is disease? All but the most skeptical of people agree that there is unpleasantness in the world whose persistent endurance is beyond the wicked capacity of any one person, but instead is the result of simple things that we understand but cannot control. Searching for the answers to these questions quickly reduces your humanitarian contemplation to rehashes of the physical properties of matter. At their essence, there is no cause for sickness and death beyond antagonistic configurations of elementary blocks and flaws in our quaternary information storage system1. Consequently, we have to introduce abstract entities before we can really plunge into these philosophical problems: humans, their affiliations, and their relationships among one another. Whom do we blame for heartbreak? Whose sin is mass deception? And whose is envy? To understand a human being,… more →