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Writing. Literature. Philosophy. Culture. Ph.D. University of Arizona. Author of The Kingdom of Absurdities and other novels. BTC/ETH/ADA: bgatenby.crypto

Why oh why do we keep going back?

I moved to Rome in August 2004. I had been offered a two-year teaching position in the MBA program at the University of Strasbourg in France, after spending three years in Germany. I hadn’t had a full-time job in five years and yet I’d somehow managed to live in the Swiss Alps, Paris, Venice, and a small country house in the Colli Euganei, the Euganean Hills near Padua, by simply taking risks and not considering or caring about the consequences.

Instead of a lifetime focused on stability, I was as unstable as…

On random accidents and death

In The Maltese Falcon, Sam Spade tells a story about a man named Stan Flitcraft, who “owned a house in a Tacoma suburb, a new Packard, and the rest of the appurtenances of successful American living.” One day, he left his real estate office for lunch and never returned. A few years later, his wife hires Spade to find out what happened to him.

Here’s what happened: walking past a building construction site, a beam fell from eight or ten stories above and just missed him. “He felt like someone had taken the lid off…

A science based on convictions is not science. Science based on opinions or ideology is not science. Consider Trofim Lysenko, Soviet scientist, whose anti-Mendelian genetics were the basis of an agricultural policy that resulted in millions dying of famine. Lysenko believed in the idea of Lamarckian inheritance, which proved deadly wrong in practice. Any scientific dissent from Lysenko’s conviction was made illegal in the Soviet Union in 1948 and hundreds of scientists were literally “cancelled” for their dissent from Lysenko’s obviously wrong conviction.

Nietzsche points out that convictions in science should be considered hypotheses: “it is only when they are…

The greater the obstacles, the more freedom from oppression

We act as if Twitter has created a shit-show of opinions, that there was once some golden age of unity and mutual respect in argument before social media became the popular go-to place for moronic opinions and mob idiocy.

Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. Social media has the power to amplify on a global scale what is essentially a common human impulse: to disagree, to find others who agree with our disagreement, and then form into factions of mutual animosity both great and small, disposed as James…

The mysterious willingness of the technologically educated masses to fall for despotism.

We have achieved the administered state.

This is not a good thing.

This is the reason Woke has been embraced by corporations, governments, media outlets, and educational institutions. Their only interest is controlling and expanding the reach of the administered state, i.e. themselves.

The administered state relies on political delusion. Woke is the latest political delusion, an ideology that has abandoned any form of critical introspection.

Political delusions rely on censorship to deprive people of any information that promotes resistance to political delusion.

All in the name of…

On the tyrannomania of the new cultural “elite.”

One of the major benefits of leaving academia is being able to enjoy literature again. Instead of “interrogating” texts for crimes against [fill in your bias blank] in the name of social justice or critical race theory, I can once again just read books for enjoyment and occasional enlightenment.

I don’t think most people outside the academic bubble have a clue as to the resentment toward literature and art that literature teachers teach their students.

A recent article in Aero online highlights the #DisruptTexts movement in education: “#DisruptTexts encourages teachers to “Ask…

“Far behind the eye the quest begins.” — Samuel Beckett, “Ill Seen Ill Said”

It’s the ones who suffer who sit in their rooms alone and write, suffering, alone, feeling the need to share their suffering and loneliness with others who may or may not sit in their rooms, suffering, alone, whether or not they feel the need to write or just sit in their rooms, suffering, alone, it’s this lack of others who understand suffering and loneliness that the sufferers and the lonely want most to bring an end to, writing about their suffering, their loneliness, to connect with…

The pendulum swings back toward the herd

In The Joyous Science, Nietzsche points out that for most of human history it was not a pleasure but a punishment to be alone, to signify being an individual. “Free thinking was regarded as inherently disquieting.” To act independently, to go against the herd was immoral; the more a person went along with the herd, the less they harmed the herd, the less of an individual they were, the more moral they were considered.

Morality is the standards we use for the preservation of our communities. These are often based in error and…

The absence of hardship is the hardship.

As 2020 slouches toward 2021, we’ll soon be inundated by pundits and journalists with tens of thousands of wasted words on worst year ever! and the meaning of it all, words typed by the very same pundits and journalists who’ve spent most of 2020 pumping up the fear, pushing the fear, addicting people to the fear, all in the mighty quest for clickbait advertising dollars so they can keep their jobs while the rest of us lose ours to the fear. That’s the meaning of it all.

Fear is not just the mind killer, it’s the medium of media control

The media is a fear generation machine.

It demands that you respond with anxiety and submission to the fear.

It’s nonstop 24/7 manipulation control via narratives of fear.

From a rhetorical point of view, the media employs three tactics to build narratives: anecdotal evidence, expert opinion, and academic studies.

Typical New York Times story: This happened to Person X, so it will happen to you. Studies show that it will happen. Professor Z of Elite University says, “yes, this will happen to you.” A survey shows that…

Bruce Gatenby

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