The Gospel of Wealth, (1889) Andrew Carnegie

“Wealth” is an article written by Andrew Carnegie in June of 1889 that describes the responsibility of philanthropy by the new upper class of self-made rich. Carnegie proposed that the best way of dealing with the new phenomenon of wealth inequality was for the wealthy to redistribute their surplus means in a responsible and thoughtful manner. This approach was contrasted with traditional bequest (patrimony), where wealth is handed down to heirs, and … Continue reading The Gospel of Wealth, (1889) Andrew Carnegie

Golden Rules of Moviemaking from Jarmusch, Buscemi, Van Sant, Smith, Payne

Jim Jarmusch Rule #1: There are no rules. There are as many ways to make a film as there are potential filmmakers. It’s an open form. Anyway, I would personally never presume to tell anyone else what to do or how to do anything. To me that’s like telling someone else what their religious beliefs should be. Fuck that. That’s against my personal philosophy—more of … Continue reading Golden Rules of Moviemaking from Jarmusch, Buscemi, Van Sant, Smith, Payne

Important Questions to Ask Yourself before Writing

A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus: What am I trying to say? What words will express it? What image or idiom will make it clearer? Is this image fresh enough to have an effect? And he will probably ask himself two more: Could I put it more shortly? Have I said anything that is … Continue reading Important Questions to Ask Yourself before Writing

Pensees (169) – Blaise Pascal

When I have occasionally set myself to consider the different distractions of men, the pains and perils to which they expose themselves at court or in war, whence arise so many quarrels, passions, bold and often bad ventures, etc., I have discovered that all the unhappiness of men arises from one single fact, that they cannot stay quietly in their own chamber. A man who … Continue reading Pensees (169) – Blaise Pascal

This is Water – David Foster Wallace

  (If anybody feels like perspiring [cough], I’d advise you to go ahead, because I’m sure going to. In fact I’m gonna [mumbles while pulling up his gown and taking out a handkerchief from his pocket].) Greetings [“parents”?] and congratulations to Kenyon’s graduating class of 2005. There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other … Continue reading This is Water – David Foster Wallace

The Fine Art of Baloney Detection, Carl Sagan, 1995

 Sagan reflects on the many types of deception to which we’re susceptible — from psychics to religious zealotry to paid product endorsements by scientists, which he held in especially low regard, noting that they “betray contempt for the intelligence of their customers” and “introduce an insidious corruption of popular attitudes about scientific objectivity.” (Cue in PBS’s Joe Hanson on how to read science news.) But rather … Continue reading The Fine Art of Baloney Detection, Carl Sagan, 1995

A Liberal Decalogue: Bertrand Russell’s 10 Commandments of Teaching

Perhaps the essence of the Liberal outlook could be summed up in a new decalogue, not intended to replace the old one but only to supplement it. The Ten Commandments that, as a teacher, I should wish to promulgate, might be set forth as follows: Do not feel absolutely certain of anything. Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the … Continue reading A Liberal Decalogue: Bertrand Russell’s 10 Commandments of Teaching