Z e t e o
Reading, Looking, Listening, . . . Questioning
Photo of third suicide bomber behind Stade de France blasts - photo released by French police, 22 Nov 2015 - AFP; Getty Images

. . . though that cause was, I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse. I do not question, however, the sincerity of the great mass of those who were opposed to us. — U.S. Grant, writing, years later, about the Confederate […]

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Categories: Ed Mooney, ZiR | Add a Comment

          These are preliminary notes on a tension between philosophy and friendship. They are prompted by two texts I encountered nearly in conjunction, within the passage of just a few days. The first is a remarkable passage from  Moby Dick where Ishmael, the narrator whose name echoes the Biblical figure cast […]

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  A comparison with a shaggy dog tale—with “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”—may help us appreciate and begin to think about an “elusive passage” in Plato’s Symposium. In Twain’s text, the narrator goes seeking news of the Reverend Leonidas W. Smiley and ends up hearing stories about an inveterate gambler named Jim Smiley. […]

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Categories: Ed Mooney, ZiR | 4 Comments

 As Alexander Hamilton watched the French Revolution unfold, he feared in America what he saw play out in France — that the unleashing of popular passions would lead not to greater democracy but to the arrival of a tyrant, riding to power on the shoulders of the people. His public discourse consists of attacking or […]

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Five mysteries hold the keys to the unseen: the act of love, and the birth of a baby, and the contemplation of great art, and being in the presence of death or disaster, and hearing the human voice lifted in song.                                                                              […]

Categories: Ed Mooney, ZiR | Add a Comment

  I s creation, in the arts, or elsewhere, a matter of chutzpah or daring — perhaps of overweening pride? It often is.  And sometime it’s a matter of humility, stepping aside, letting another speak through one. Thus the Odyssey begins, Sing in me muse, Sing of the man of twists and turns driven time […]

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Categories: Ed Mooney, ZiR | 2 Comments

  The only good thing that came out of 9/11 was that the building fell on him.   –Michael Scheuer, former head of the CIA anti-bin Laden task force, testifying before a congressional committee, applauding the death of John O’Neill, former head of the FBI’s NYC anti-terrorist task force.   The New Yorker has begun […]

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books, reading

Fantasy has it rough. It bears a reputation of being trivial, flashy, adolescent, and entertainment-driven. Indeed, some fantasy is. But, such a judgment is unfair to good fantasy, which is none of the above. Because fantasy is so blatantly allegorical, when it is good, it reveals a forthright understanding of how reality functions. And, when it is great, it resembles myth, with […]

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Memorable lines from William Blake: Twofold, twofold always May God us keep From single vision And Newton’s sleep       Imagination lets us see the world as other than a Newtonian assembly of spinning atoms (updated to Quarks), or as a Darwinian stage for Fitter-gene transmissions, or as a Brainy locus for neurological pathways. […]

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  I have no complaints about living in Maine. I find good music, good restaurants, good friends in the small city of Portland. I’ve taught inland and upstate in Bangor – just this side of Old Town, home of the classic canvas canoes I grew up with and rigged for sailing in a tidal river […]

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Power to Intrude, Illustration by Ben Jennings, Prospect Magazine, February 2016

Two weeks ago I wrote about the relationship between privacy and power, and how may of today’s spokespeople for the oppressed focus more on stopping surveillance in the name of privacy than daring to call for surveillance of oppressors, or imagine ways that surveillance could be used to create a world devoid of oppression. Since […]

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Two weeks ago I wrote about the relationship between privacy and power, and how may of today’s spokespeople for the oppressed focus more on stopping surveillance in the name of privacy than daring to call for surveillance of oppressors, or imagine ways that surveillance could be used to create a world devoid of oppression. Since […]

ZiR

July 26, 2018

A point of information... This book was translated as "A Fortnight in the Wilderness" and included as Appendix 2 in "Democracy In America: Historical-Critical Edition", edited by Eduardo Nolla. There this amazing text can be read in full. It is worth comparing the translation by James Schleifer to your own. In particular, the rendering of "désert" to "wilderness" is most intriguing.

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Two weeks ago I wrote about the relationship between privacy and power, and how may of today’s spokespeople for the oppressed focus more on stopping surveillance in the name of privacy than daring to call for surveillance of oppressors, or imagine ways that surveillance could be used to create a world devoid of oppression. Since […]

ZiR

July 26, 2018

Thanks so much for this translation and excellent analysis.

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Asano_Takeji-No_Series-Snow_at_Iwashimizu_Hachiman_Shrine_Kyoto

Two weeks ago I wrote about the relationship between privacy and power, and how may of today’s spokespeople for the oppressed focus more on stopping surveillance in the name of privacy than daring to call for surveillance of oppressors, or imagine ways that surveillance could be used to create a world devoid of oppression. Since […]

ZiR

July 16, 2018

Thanks a lot, Steve. And, continuing the segue-ing, here's an old (and traditional) Gary Snyder poem I just came across yesterday: Seaman’s Ditty I’m wondering where you are now Married, or mad, or free: Wherever you are you’re likely glad, But memory troubles me. We could’ve had us children, We could’ve had a home— But you thought not, and I thought not, And these nine years we roam. Today I worked in the deep dark tanks, And climbed out to watch the sea: Gulls and salty waves pass by, And mountains of Araby. I’ve travelled the lonely oceans And wandered the...

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