Interview with a Sociopath

venkat stands tall, wondering over an oblique earth

Venkatesh Rao writes at Ribbonfarm, and is the author of the book Tempo. He recently went on tour, and did me the honor of visiting me and my friends for an evening. He has a brilliant analysis of the hit TV show The Office, and despite classifying himself as a "sociopath", he's an excellent guest and conversationalist.


The Moment in light of the Future

photo by seanmcgrath

Life is a series of moments, where we have the opportunity to look around us and take it in, and absorb and enjoy everything about it. And if we don't do that, there's nothing more for us - if we can't enjoy the experience of life, what else could there be?

But if we do enjoy it, if we take it in, then we have reason to reach for more, we have reason for ambition and dreams and working towards grand schemes and plans, for creating things and improving ourselves and the world, and for sculpting the future of our bold imaginations.

Short Thoughts

How I use Twitter (plus Hinduism and Judaism explained)

micah becomes a divergent twitter-entity precipitating the singularity

If you follow me, you may notice that I use a multiplicity of Twitter accounts. Let me explain why I do this.

In the beginning...


The Anti-Movement Manifesto

a lone movement-maker, leading his men and his dog into battle

When I was a kid, I wanted to change the world by starting movements. I imagined leading hordes of people in marches, or maybe even into battle, screaming a bloody war-cry, looking like Mad Max. I was most enamored with people who could stir up movements across society like they were spontaneously bursting out from a pressure valve, like they had been waiting all along.

Not anymore.


The Operating System of the mind

the os of the origin of consciousness - the operating system of the mind

I just finished reading this piece by Mark Robertson, in which he refers to "malware theology". I like the term, and I think it's a good jumping off point to explain the purpose of a lot of my writing.


Harold Camping, Arrogance, and The End of The World

Judgment Day came and went, and all I got was this stupid tshirt

When Harold Camping's May 21st rapture failed to materialize, I imagined he'd be devastated. I thought he'd fall into a deep depression, probably disappear from public life, and (I was afraid) might possibly commit suicide. I pictured him crying out to God, with a gut-wrenching "Why?!!!"

I guessed that his faith in God and the bible would remain, but that he'd be unable to bring himself to preach publicly. I thought he was like billions of other people with a faith in God, just with an additional layer of quirky beliefs.

Short Thoughts

The Downfall of Katy Perry

katy perry vs. katy hudson

Friends of mine know I have a weird fascination with Katy Perry. It's partly just because she's a weird girl, but part of it is how she keeps being surprising. She plays the public attention game very well, but instead of devolving into one constant media blitz, she seems to go for depth in strange places.

Short Thoughts

City Limits on the Vast Expanse

We never realize just how vast is the expanse of humanity, and of the world we've created. Our history books tell us stories of small men and small deeds, and make us think and feel that those events are the significant moments of history, the turning points and hinges of our lives.


Not about Bin Laden: Revenge is the World-Killer

the crusty desert is occluded by the incoming light of the sun

I wrote this the morning before Osama Bin Laden's death was announced. It was therefore, obviously not written about him, or the political environment surrounding his death.

Revenge, I think, is the ugliest of all motivations. It descends beneath the "savage beast", who acts simply to achieve it's own ends, to a demonic impulse, which seeks to actively destroy that which is beautiful and good in the world.

Short Thoughts

There's something

the vanish of light, the streaming of the dark, dark wilderness

there's something about being somewhere far from home, maybe in the middle of the American midwest, with the horizon clearly in view, and the lights of cities strangely absent from the sky, or maybe in the kingdom of Kyrgyzstan, on a military base, at 2am, underneath a wooden and steel stage, fumbling around in the dark, trying to stretch your arm around one large metal object, stretching with all your strength, your other hand holding a weakening flash-light, almost powerless against the vast, convoluted darkness underneath this stage

Short Thoughtspoempoetry


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