“Because the individual mind cannot be fully described by itself or by any separate researcher, the self — celebrated star player in the scenarios of consciousness — can go on passionately believing in its independence and free will. And that is a very fortunate Darwinian circumstance. Confidence in free will is biologically adaptive. Without it, the conscious mind, at best a fragile, dark window on the real world, would be cursed by fatalism. Like a prisoner serving a life sentence in solitary confinement, deprived of any freedom to explore and starving for surprise, it would deteriorate.
So, does free will exist? Yes, if not in ultimate reality, then at least in the operational sense necessary for sanity and thereby for the perpetuation of the human species.”
— Edward O. Wilson, “On Free Will.” We’re all a bunch of nuts.
10:38 pm • 14 September 2014 • 9 notes
Essays I could write on topics that are inscrutable to me:
- Stuff my boyfriend eats.
- Things my roommate leaves lying around the house when she comes home at night. (Tin foil, socks stuffed into high heels, tissue paper covered in lipstick.)
- Thoughts from the squirrel who inhabits our fire escape.
- The Future.
- The Indifferent Universe.™
- Times that I wake up on mornings when I should sleep late. (6:07 AM, 7:32 AM.)
- Sundays, before anybody else is awake.
- The world is not really living.
- Women, race relations, personal agency, political agency, where the Real Problem is, our political future, Democracy, weight loss, karma.
- "Baby," by Gal Costa.
9:32 am • 14 September 2014 • 15 notes
I live in a new apartment that makes me crazy with joy. The park is close, the walls are blue, my roommate walks around naked, and so do I. Yesterday, some boy came over to have dinner. It’s fall and this is my version of my favorite Italian pasta.
Pasta con le Sarde: garlic, onion, tomatoes, sardines, salt, chili flakes, (dry) white vermouth, lemon, long pasta, toasted bread crumbs. A single fried egg.
Slice the tomatoes in half. Core them. Line them on a baking sheet and broil them for 10 - 15 minutes, until the skins blacken and are easily removed. Pour a tablespoon of sardine juice into a skillet. Let it warm. Add the garlic and onion and cook it down… for … a … long… time. Add salt and chili flakes. Let them “bloom.” (Become fragrant.) Add the tomatoes, chopping them up with your spatula. Let them cook down… down… down. Add lemon (to taste.) Add two tablespoons of vermouth. (One for your, one for me.) Add the sardines, roughly chopping them with the spatula. Let it cook down… down… down. Boil the pasta to just-al-dente. Add them, with a splash of the pasta water, into the sauce. Stir everything. Sprinkle with toasted bread crumbs.
Top with a fried egg. Fry it in butter.
9:29 am • 10 September 2014 • 17 notes
“For years, he had trained for that day. He had been told that war was coming and that the Arabs would have to go. “And yet you are in shock. In Lydda, the war is as cruel as it can be. The killing, the looting, the feelings of rage and revenge. Then the column marching. And although you are strong and well trained and resilient, you experience some sort of mental collapse. You feel the humanist education you received collapsing. And you see the Jewish soldiers, and you see the marching Arabs, and you feel heavy, and deeply sad. You feel you’re facing something immense that you cannot deal with, that you cannot even grasp.””
— Ari Shavit, Lydda, 1948. I feel sick.
9:15 am • 9 September 2014 • 4 notes