Über commentary

This is the best of the best commentary I've read. It's insightful, thoughtful, brilliant. As of September 29, 2015.





An Interview with Pope Francis




What would it take to overcome the cultural pull of irony? Moving away from the ironic involves saying what you mean, meaning what you say and considering seriousness and forthrightness as expressive possibilities, despite the inherent risks. It means undertaking the cultivation of sincerity, humility and self-effacement, and demoting the frivolous and the kitschy on our collective scale of values.





As a nonobservant, but highly spiritual, person with a Jewish background, Pope Francis has demonstrated the yearning among all people of all faiths for a truly numinous "lodestar" to bring us together in one global compassionate community. Through his humility and willingness to put aside the petty dogmas that others use religion to divide us, he has resurrected the essential spiritual message of healing and hope where all of us equal and deserving of the warm embrace of tolerance so lacking in our materialistic world.



How Microsoft Lost Its Mojo: Steve Ballmer and Corporate America’s Most Spectacular Decline




Libertarianism has never been intentionally practiced in any government simply because society needs at least some rules and regulations. To say "protect my freedom" while doing nothing to protect anyone from being ripped off or poisoned by any business is not freedom. What it really means is the freedom by those with the power of money to exploit those without. Look to any third world nightmare for the best examples of unintentional Libertarianiem.





and people put your freaking phones down, use your eyes to experience something




Most interesting work on the brain, the most mysterious, and strange, and marvelous organ there is, at least in the multiverse we think we know. Preserving the brain artificially, until we find effective treatment of a currently universally fatal condition (Glioblastoma), and then trying to revive that brain or body/brain, and if that were possible, to recognize that person as her own self, memories and all, seems a very long stretch indeed. Its not only that the future is not ours to see, nor predict, with the crude materials at our disposal, and our high hopes based on a science in its infancy, but the thinking we can ever replace human fallibility, and our natural forgetfulness, and emotions impossible to re-create by artificial intelligence; and the brilliant flashes of insight, our ability to introspect, and to love, even to hate, in rapid succession sometimes, defies any reproducibility by machines, robots or as yet unidentified devices we may bring to life.

manfred marcus




Life is a mystery, and consciousness is a mystery. I seriously doubt that science will ever truly fathom the mystery of either one.






“SuperBetter” aims to eliminate unpleasant feelings or weakness—anything, really, that gives human character its distinctness and depth. Living gamefully means tuning out so much of the experience of actual life that you can wonder whether the gains are worth it.

Make Your Life an Epic Win!




In a tinder blur I've definitely swiped left to my future soul mate.

Raphael's Tinder profile



There's More to Life Than Being Happy




Mass media has a fascination with hookup culture among people around my age (21) meriting in-depth investigations and contentious opining about what it all means. But they often miss a simple fact: There’s nothing particularly new about trying to avoid getting hurt.

It’s just that my generation has turned this avoidance into a science, perfecting the separation of the physical from the emotional. We truncate whenever possible: texting over calling, meeting over apps rather than in person. We leave in the early morning without saying goodbye. Being casual is cooler than intimacy and vulnerability. Or so we think.

Having the last word was once a sign of one’s wit and smarts. It meant that your comment had gravitas and staying power. But today, having the last word is the ultimate in weakness: It means being the person who doesn’t merit an answer. Better to leave them hanging than risk the same happening to you. Keep it shallow so your heart isn’t on the line.

Being aware of all this does not grant immunity from its effects.


One night, my roommate’s hookup rolled over in the dark and asked her in a half-murmur, “Is this a special thing?”

Confused, rubbing the sleep from her eyes, she asked him to repeat himself. She wasn’t certain she had heard him correctly.

“Never mind,” he said.

Later, she worried she had missed a crucial moment, one she would never get back. But if she had misunderstood, she risked showing her hand by revealing that she wanted him to stick around in the morning. It was too scary a prospect, so she never said anything.

Was my airplane interlude a special thing? Would things have been different if one of us had had the courage to say something other than goodbye before heading to our trains?

On the platform, walking away from him, I had decided that the whole affair was just one of many half-formed romantic liaisons that trail you in your youth. But maybe that attitude was also the problem.


I don’t know what else could have happened. But I wonder what we collectively lose as we try so hard not to care. We pretend that it doesn’t matter, that we have time, that because we are young we are invulnerable.





Questions about anarchy

1.Who could be trusted to report the truth to the populace?

2. What about people that could afford and profit off of war?

3. Wouldn't war be more profitable than peace for a security company?

4. People can pay to keep people in the state?

5. Why can't the security firms pay off the watchdogs or media?

6. How would a security firm have enough money to fight insurance companies?

7. Who prevents bio weapon manufacturing?

8. Who prevents pollution?

9. Who enforces quarantine?

10. Who prevents basement WMD'S?

11. Who investigates the murder of drifters or the poor?

12. Who investigates victimless crimes?

13. Who pays to build roads?

14. Who pays for traffic management? 

15. Who pays for the poor to go to school?

16. Who pays the media?

17. What is the incentive to sell/research cures over treatment?

18. What prevents sweatshops?

19. What prevents indentured servitude? 

20. Who deals with foreign relation?

21.Who prevents foreign invasion?

22. Who pays for immigration control?

23. Who protects the environment?

24.Would someone with no insurance and bad credit not have access to emergency services?

25.What prevents the murder of the poor?

26. Why would a company choose a poor person over the rich in a tie?

27. Who prevents discrimination?

28. Who and why would anyone protect minorities? (Not just racial minorities)

29. What prevent cartels?

30.  What prevents monopolies?

31. What prevents price fixing?




If I knew then what I know now, I would say this: if you feel something, say something. There is nothing to lose. What you really want to see is if you can truly be "met" by the other person. That is what we are seeking: true love. It begins with one small step, like any journey. If you are too insecure to take that step, regardless of the outcome, then your work is clear: cultivate more confidence and the ability to accept rejection. No big deal, really! And the reward could be a great relationship, which takes courage and inner strength. Exhibit the behavior you would like to see in others. That is the best advice I have after living many years.

Diane Epstein




I suspect my tortured gay soul of my youth re emerged and reconciled with me.




Life is not about what happens to you. It's about what you do with what happens to you.

Dorothy Clinton



I’ve been called many things by many people, quitter is not one of them.

Hillary Clinton



The form of political correctness criticized by Brooks is despicable. In the long-er run, it far more dangerous to those who might be the victims of hate speech and behavior than discrimination and abuse. A society that celebrates diversity is not one that squelches it based on personal vulnerabilities of each individual. That each of us might become a commissar of sorts with a veto over the discussion of matters of real importance is the end of democracy. 

Mike Crump




There are not many things that America's polarized and ghettoized cultures can agree upon but maybe we can agree that we need a place when ideas can be openly expressed and debated and instead of talking past each other we can reason together. What should of been colleges and universities have become mainly glorified trade schools to train the technicians needed in our highly technologized society. People trying to become doctors, businessmen or accountants should not be subjected to the rigours of reasoned thought that are demanded in an open intellectual institution dedicated to thinking.

David Brooks puts forth a profound question as to how much non traditional ideas should be tolerated on campus but I think it more fundamental that we decide whether we continue to believe that our need for highly trained technicians allows us to pretend that our doctors, lawyers and business executives are indeed educated. Some are some aren't but let us understand that most of today's colleges and universities are dedicated to training not thinking.

It was after all William F Buckley Jr who warned us back in the mid-fifties that Ayn Rand and her merry band of intellectual mischief makers were a greater danger than communism.

Montreal Moe




What becomes of students so committed to their own vulnerability, conditioned to imagine they have no agency, and protected from unequal power arrangements in romantic life? I can’t help asking, because there’s a distressing little fact about the discomfort of vulnerability, which is that it’s pretty much a daily experience in the world, and every sentient being has to learn how to somehow negotiate the consequences and fallout, or go through life flummoxed at every turn.

Sexual Paranoia Strike Academe




This phenomenon is wrapped up in the short-sighted, shareholders' quarterly earnings myopia that predominates in corporate philosophy and ethics. The mindset is a callous worker-as-commodity disdain. The irony is that it is to the detriment of long-term company health and success. The loss, or perversion, of the social compact is a major component of American decline. Not "exceptional" by any means; exceptionally stupid and destructive, yes.





For many people, abstract thinking is fatiguing work – for me, on good days, it is a feast, an intoxication.

Friedrich Nietzsche, from Writing From The Late Notebooks



How many cool game quirks (or movie scenes or book chapters or ... the list goes on) have we missed out on because creators didn't have enough strength in their convictions to ignore outside voices and trust their instincts.




For the last 35 years, the GOP has taken it upon itself to denigrate the government as being a dysfunctional monolith that needs to be pared down to the barest of essentials.


Everything should be privatized except for the military. Regulatory agencies should be abolished with Wall Street and the corporate structure trusted to police themselves in providing for the commonwealth needs of our citizens. 


This republican pipe dream has been structured solely to accommodate that very small portion of citizens that comprise less than five per cent of the populace. With the collaboration of a Supreme Court majority that has extended the Bill of Rights to the corporate oligarchy , declared wealth to be free speech, and decimated populist access to the polls by declaring racism a thing of the past. Within minutes, every red state in sight took advantage of this daft opinion and enacted restrictive voting laws .


Health care, education, and our country's infrastructure have been sacrificed to the altar of avarice that has been erected by GOP legislation




The choice is anarchy , with only the very wealthy succeeding , or a government by and for the people.

Laurence Voss




One of the worst trends in our political process is that we have become so divided, and the right has demonized the left so madly, that candidates like Cruz and his competitors know that they only have to speak to that small group of ideological followers. To the rest of us, as the comments always show, these candidates are either crazy, morons, and/or evil. But they don't care what we think, not at all. They want to lead a nation that already exists within the USA, the radical, rabid right, which via steady propaganda, has been duped into voting for corporate interests. When they win, as they do in gerrymandered state elections, they also govern (like W) only concerned with their base. They don't even consider representing all of us because we, the majority on just about every issue, don't matter. They gerrymander, they create voting restrictions, they run the voting machines, and as a last resort there is the Supreme Court. This simply has to change or this dying country will be buried forever. When most people don't figure in the political life of the nation, any resemblance to either democracy or a representative republic has ended.





Liberal Arts vs. Neoliberalism




I Was An Animal Experimenter




Too many humans simply have empathy deficit disorder and are unable or unwilling to acknowledge that nonhuman animals have nervous systems, pain receptors and suffer horribly from pain and fear at the hands of humans. How did it take the auther half of an adult life to grasp what I knew at age 3: that animals are sentient and feel and suffer. Empathy deficit. 

This culture has normalized cruelty and violence and spawned benumbed humanoids devoid of genuine natural feeling. Our senses eating the corpses of enslaved animals kept in miserable conditions (read about CAFOs: concentrated animal feeding operations), we destroy the planet in our quest for ever greater consumption (more things to fill our spiritual emptiness), we unleash shock and awe on the bodies of innocent children and civilians, we reward bullies on the airwaves and tolerate them in the schoolyard and on the Internet, everywhere man the destroyer, man the cause of pain. 

Most of the animal torture done in the name of science advances absolutely nothing and nothing good comes of it. Much animal torture is done so some grad student can write another obscure meaningless thesis, or so some professor can get another grant. 

No disease has been cured because of animal torture. Indeed, the drug thalidomide which caused thousands of children to born deformed, often limbless, was tested safe in animal studies. Today with molecular biology and nanotech, we no longer need to torture, poison, burn our animal kin.