Lately I've been thinking a lot about (what I'm going to call) swarms and hives — two different kinds of collective animal behavior. Examples of swarms include: what gazelles do in herds, what fish do in schools, and what gnats…Read more › Continue Reading »
Why do humans dress up in funny clothes and perform elaborate actions with no tangible effects? Remember, we're not just human beings — we're apes. Why do apes do this? A study of ritual in ten lessons. I. indirection A…Read more › Continue Reading »
or What Trees Can Teach Us About Human Intelligence. My native California is home to the world's tallest tree species: Sequoia sempervirens or the coastal redwood. The tallest living specimen towers a lofty 115 meters (379 feet) above the forest…Read more › Continue Reading »
I. National sovereignty Conservatives often clamor for strong national borders. For most of my life I had no idea why. I mean, I understood their specific (partisan) agendas — wanting to restrict immigration or keep drugs out of the country,…Read more › Continue Reading »
Time again for the annual indulgence: blogging about the blog itself. Main points for 2014: Fewer posts... but higher quality(?). I published only 8 full essays this year. Granted, most of them were long — 3500 words on average —…Read more › Continue Reading »
I write things and put them here. Maybe once or twice a month. Essays about philosophy, human behavior, and occasionally software. It's my excuse for toying around with new ideas and practicing the craft of writing.
I have to understand the world, you see. — Richard Feynman