We Are Not Alone.

Every night on Earth, we mortals gaze up into the vast universe of stars and planets, full of humility and awe, and ask, “Are we alone?” If there has been any extraterrestrial answer to our question, we do not yet have the means of hearing it. So, we ask again,...

Books as Symbols of Awe and Inadequacy

Walking into any bookstore is enough to fill me with complete pointlessness, with unbridled awe. Pick up a book, any book, and see the results of some individuals’ years of labor. It is apparent, if you choose to make yourself open to the awareness, that a person has spent a...

The Independent’s Dilemma

I work for myself, which means my boss is a real bitch. She makes me work long hours, never likes anything I produce until I’ve revised it a thousand times (and maybe not even then) and, after all that, she’ll hardly ever pay me a compliment or let me relax...

Plot Points: How Reading and Writing Have Ruined Us All

There’s a budding young writer camping out on my couch — broken, and broke — who lives under the popular (mis)impression that all writers of significance have come unto their craft exclusively through some combination of madness and intoxication. The unfortunate result, in the case of this particular gentleperson, is that he is devoting...

White: A Color So Universal it Became Ignorable

In Steven Pinker’s 2003 TED talk “Human nature and the blank slate,” he makes mention of a list of ‘human universals,’ developed by anthropologist Donald Brown, as part of his argument against the tabula rasa theory of mankind. Intending to include all the human behaviors, emotions, and ways of relating...