Category Archives: History and Philosophy

A series of essays on human history, philosophy, theology, and the search for personal knowledge.

Cyberspace, Virtual Reality, AI, and All that Stuff

First, disclaimers: much of the stuff about virtual reality and gaming is gibberish to me. I am not interested, and I don’t play games or engage in virtual reality (at least the sophisticated forms). At the same time, I am … Continue reading

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Democracy

The idea of democracy, like the idea of capitalism, promises much, though the reality always falls short. The promise is of wide participation in government, free and open competition among diverse groups, self-determination. Democracy offers the vision of individuals working … Continue reading

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The Sea Mark: A Poem

I published a book about John Smith several years ago entitled The Sea Mark. Smith himself wrote a poem of that name. Inspired by Smith, here is my version of the Seamark. Seamark I have searched, the pages of history To … Continue reading

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Bucephalus

One of my heroes of the past is Alexander the Great. This is due in part to Plutarch, whose portrait of Alexander, in his Parallel Lives, is arguably one of the reasons I became a historian. Plutarch’s story of the taming … Continue reading

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Grunter’s Plea: The Ancient Philosophy of Vegetarianism

One of the more fascinating tales of Homer in the Odyssey is that of the bewitching of Odysseus’s men by the witch Circe. Odysseus and his men have arrived at an unknown wooded island. Odysseus sends a detachment of men … Continue reading

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Icons

We live in a world of icons: cloth, stone, digital, metal, paper: money, electronic devices, flags, statues, scriptures, media stars, and so on. Icons have been the stuff of human worship for centuries: the Hebrews worshiped the golden calf, early … Continue reading

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Sibyl’s Leaves

One of my favorite authors is Michel de Montaigne, author of Essays. In Montaigne’s final essay, “Of Experience,” he traces his experience with the disease of kidney stones. He wrote about his anxiety and fears, his expectation of death, which became … Continue reading

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