06 Aug 2017
David Hill for McSweeney’s:
Zugzwang is a term used in chess to refer to a position where every move you have is a bad one. Once you’re in zugzwang, things like having more pieces than your opponent doesn’t matter anymore. If you can’t use them to attack you may as well not have them at all. Often players who find themselves in zugzwang simply resign.
A growing number of people in America know what it feels like to be in zugzwang. For some of them their whole life has been one long zugzwang, they can’t remember ever having any good options.
15 Jun 2016
Morally speaking, democracy is an insufficient foundational value for a political system; democracy is not the sole value in political life. “The more democracy, the better” is not true – whether in political, social, or cultural life.
14 Jun 2016
In these last three years, out from behind my computers, I have been reminded that life is not rational and that everyone makes mistakes. Or, in Biblical terms, we are all sinners.
We are all sinners. On the streets the addicts, with their daily battles and proximity to death, have come to understand this viscerally. Many successful people don’t. Their sense of entitlement and emotional distance has numbed their understanding of our fallibility.
13 Jun 2016
Some of my PhD work is on the nature of the political philosophy discipline and the canon that has been constructed around it. Having run into a bit of a wall, I was able to trick Dave into dedicating an entire episode that was aimed towards helping me climb that wall. Thanks Dave! PS: “I Will Never Speak To You Again. I Hate You.”
13 Jun 2016
Like the child you were, literally hold a real book and tune out, and turn off, the digital distractions. Embrace the content that lets you explore far off worlds where hours fly by in the blink of an eye. The king will always beckon you back to reality but, at least on occasion, make sure they are calling you back from some imaginary world.
13 Jun 2016
The act of shedding tears, hyperventilating, losing my balance, letting the despair beat me down without a fight… it all brings a real and tangible relief. There’s comfort in it, a feeling as warm and intimate as a cherished blanket.
12 Jun 2016
I’m not a noun. Neither are you. Think car crashes, lightning flashes, flowing waves of crazed relations, long meandering conversations, smoke and mirrors and obfuscations. We’re fictional characters, fluid creations, in a story that never ends. Truth is just one reflection in this funhouse mirror of worlds. But don’t worry. It’s not so bad—being a dream.
11 Jun 2016
A number of myths around creativity are simply hardwired into our culture. In no particular order: The belief that designers are sensitive prima donnas whose needs must be catered to; The idea that “eureka” moments come only after great toil; The belief that you need to create a mess in order to pull out a gem; The perception that ideas occur as a result of random, chaotic action, and are only impeded by rational, clear-headed examination and planning.
10 Jun 2016
All hail young, skinny Alec Baldwin.
09 Jun 2016
Losing almost all the money I had in the world in six hours stirred up only a cold, scraped-out feeling of knowing—the calm that freezes out your brain when you watch someone younger make the same mistakes you made at their age. Staring out at the empty skyscrapers, I tried to figure out what might be the right reaction to losing $12,000.