On Morality

OK. Let’s start with basics: What is right? A few centuries ago, the above question would have been enough to start the search for an ethical system. Modern philosophy, of course, is much more devious, and back steps to an even more basic question: Is there such a thing as “right”? That is, an absolute…

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Ethics Esthetica

Diamond-shaped logo representing Truth, Love, Freedom, Art, and Hope

In the beginning—as far as we know—there was nothing [Note 1]. And then, roughly 15 billion years ago, the greatest event in the history of the universe happened. This occurrence was so important and so wonderful that humans call its cause God and often ascribe intelligence to it. We may never know the truth of…

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On Nobility

To the Right Highly-Esteemed Misunderstood Undoubtedly-Noble Maharajah of Meaning and Ameer of Angst— Dear Steamy: Someday our correspondence will constitute Appendix A of one or both of our Collected Works. (Properly edited, of course.) While it’s always nice to get mail, there’s no adventure quite like reading an S. Williams epistle. Just wanted to let…

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Constitution 2.0


In 1976, I celebrated my 6th birthday while my native country celebrated its 200th. It was many years before I realized that one of us had been somewhat premature. The truth is that in 1776, the United States was only an idea. The legal basis of government—the Constitution—would not go into effect until 1789. It was in that latter year also that the first regular session of Congress met, that George Washington was inaugurated as our first president, and that the Supreme Court was created. Surely, then, the United States should consider 1789 to be its year of birth. Yet there was no bicentennial celebration in 1989.

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On Government


The framers of the new United States knew exactly what the country should be—or at least not be; the Declaration of Independence is, in fact, a long list of grievances the Colonies had with England. Mixed with a few recent political ideas of the Enlightenment, their vision led to a brilliant experiment in democracy that…

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The Great Secrets (PDF)

Sadly, Web layout and typography doesn’t quite live up to my standards for print. And maybe you prefer to read everything in one place, instead of scattered across multiple pages. So I’ll be updating this PDF alongside the Web version of The Great Secrets.

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Journeys & Destinations

A circular labyrinth with a single path winding around to the center

Over the next few weeks we settle into a simple routine. I bring in books to read—⁠children’s books mostly, which are easy to read aloud and often wiser than their grown-up counterparts. Although Ashoka still can’t summon the details of his forgotten tryst, he stops worrying about it. From time to time we run through…

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Knowledge & Values

Statue of Minerva and a clock bell with owl and bellringers

—⁠Here you are, I say, handing Ashoka his ticket for the express train. —⁠Your pass to Boston. —⁠And why are we going to Boston? —⁠We’re not. —⁠Then what’s the ticket for? —⁠We’re going through Boston. But since we need to transfer stations anyway, and because it’s too long a trip for one day, I got…

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