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The Good Place: Philosophy as a Virtue

[Spoilers for The Good Place below. Obviously.] I forking love the good place. Obviously there’s a lot there: Kristen Bell, that guy from Cheers, and humorous discussions about ethical philosophy. It’s that last part, of course, that makes the show truly exceptional. There’s been a few think pieces on the anti-intellectual strain that runs through […]

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The Contents of My Pockets

I think we’re defined, in part, by what we keep in our pockets. The objects that reside there create our little internal worlds of feeling and habit that can never truly be shared with anyone else. I verify the presence of my wallet many times a day by pressing my elbow against the coat pocket […]

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Matilda’s Twenty-fifth

Twenty-five years ago this month, Matilda, by Roald Dahl, was first published. I don’t recall the first time I first picked it up, but I have this memory of reading (or rereading) the book when I could have been no more than six or seven as our car rolled down a hill in Galway in the […]

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A Symphony of Ship Horns

I was being strange and went down to the water’s edge for New Years and watched the fog roll in and swallow the ski-slope constellations and then the stars as the world frosted over. When the hour struck, and the old year died, all the ships in the inlet sounded their horns like some great […]

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On Space Travel and Neil Armstrong

On Saturday, the first person to set foot on another world died. In some ways, it is fantastic how rapidly we progressed from the first powered flight to stepping onto a celestial body. It was a mere sixty six years from the Wright Brothers’ flight to Apollo 11, but since the end of Apollo, we’ve […]