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Tag: free will

Review: Peter Watts’s “The Freeze-Frame Revolution”

I’ll be the first to admit that Peter Watts’s The Freeze-Frame Revolution might be a better book than I’m willing to give it credit for. It was nice to take another trip into the mind-bending ideas and dark humor for which Watts is rightly loved, but I found myself unable to sink into this novella in a [...]

Review: Thomas Nagel’s “Mortal Questions”

The title of Thomas Nagel’s Mortal Questions may appear to promise a set of inquiries with reachable termination points, but in fact the opposite is true. This collection of short essays explores a slew of multifaceted and often-insouble problems surrounding the nature of human society and experiential life that Nagel pondered during the 1970s. Nagel is nobly [...]

Review: Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and Christian B. Miller’s “Moral Psychology, Volume 5″

Walter Sinnott-Armstrong’s Moral Psychology series represents the sole source of truly academic writing that I’ve managed to keep up with since college. When I was contemplating applying to graduate school back in 2012, the field of moral psychology was my target niche, so reading these books over the years has been a way of catching up with my [...]

Review: Robert M. Sapolsky’s “Behave”

Books that examine the relationship between science and morality have become ubiquitous, so readers interested in these important subjects need to choose carefully. It is not an overstatement to say that one could do no better than to alight on Robert M. Sapolsky’s Behave. This engrossing, encyclopedic examination of the causal mechanisms that determine human behavior is [...]

My Life as a Shepherd’s Dog: Iron & Wine’s Masterpiece Turns Ten

Introduction In fall 2007, I was beginning my sophomore year at the University of Oregon. Having made it through the growing pains of freshman year, I had begun to relax a little. I’d found a great group of friends to live with, and finally felt ready to embrace the college persona that made the most [...]

Review: Daniel Suarez’s “Freedom”

When I give a book a top rating, it is usually because I think that book is perfect, or close to it. I will not make that claim about Daniel Suarez’s Freedom. No, this book has some very significant and undeniable flaws. Even so, it is perhaps the best technothriller I’ve ever read, and beyond that, [...]

Review: Daniel Suarez’s “Daemon”

The modern book market is oversaturated with technothrillers, so it’s always a risk to pick one from the pile and give it a whirl. Fortunately for me, one of my closest friends identified Daniel Suarez’s Daemon as one that would be worth my time. But even my high expectations couldn’t prepare me for how much I was [...]

Review: Alice Munro’s “Selected Stories”

Having now read more than 1,000 pages of Alice’s Munro’s prose, it is clear to me that she is a once-in-a-generation kind of talent. This woman appears to produce beautiful phrases with the readiness and ease with which average humans produce carbon dioxide. Her fictional examinations of the human condition are simultaneously plainspoken and impenetrable; [...]

Review: Yuval Noah Harari’s “Homo Deus”

“Who could heed the words of Charlie Darwin Fighting for a system built to fail Spooning water from their broken vessels As far as I can see there is no land” So sings Ben Knox Miller in The Low Anthem’s “Charlie Darwin,” one of the best songs I discovered during my college years. The track [...]

Review: Nancy Isenberg’s “White Trash”

If such a thing as disillusionment is possible inside the skull of Donald Trump, this may be one of those rare weekends in which it is buzzing about. As the idea that leading America would be somehow simple or easy crumbles before Trump’s eyes, those of us looking on do well to remind ourselves that [...]