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Signs of Life, May 2021: Truth is a Schelling Point

3 min

Hey folks! A few thoughts, links, and upcoming events for you. I’m glad I retired the weekly curatorial newsletter. Now when you receive one, you’ll know it’s because I actually have some stuff I want to share, not because I’m trying to hit a weekly quota.

The Story of "A Thousand Miles" by Vanessa Carlton. Surprisingly enjoyable I found this follow-up on the life of Vanessa Carlton. She enjoyed one international megahit as a teenager about 20 years ago (2002), before disappearing from the limelight. Though Carlton is a quintessential "one hit wonder," she never stopped working as musician. We meet here the demeanor of a true artist, neither proud nor apologetic, neither giddy nor resentful. She made a fortune on her one hit song, but it didn't really help—or hurt—her destiny. Though she owns a loft in New York, this video shows her living with her parents in tranquil detachment. Not your typical VH1 Behind the Music story, Carlton appears to be a genuine, humble, persistently independent artist who cashed out once, but to the greater glory of her quiet searching. You love to see it.

All-In Podcast E31. The United States could produce all the synthetic animal protein for the world by spending ~$400B USD on fermentation tanks on 40 square-mile tract of land.

How To Teach Yourself Piano: IndieThinker's Workshop. May 12 at 12pm Central. Workshop on teaching yourself the piano with simple patterns, hosted by Daniel L. Garner. Daniel is an experienced piano teacher, musician, and the creator of the pattern method.

“In the absence of distinguished salient intermediate points along the uniformly continuous trade-off between maximally accurate world-models and sucking up to the Emperor, the only Schelling points are x = ∞ (tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth) and x = 0 (do everything short of outright lying to win grants).” —Speaking Truth to Power Is a Schelling Point

Going Viral on TikTok’s For You Page Seems Like Serendipity. It’s Not. "A group of American social media influencers sued the Trump administration, charging that the ban would violate their constitutional right to free speech. It appeared to be a grassroots effort, led by a fashion designer, a comedian, and a musician who had about 8 million TikTok followers among them... In fact the lawsuit was orchestrated by TikTok and ByteDance... The company recruited the creators, connected them with a well-known First Amendment lawyer, and helped craft the legal tactics."

The Romantic Reaction: IndieThinker's Workshop. May 19 at 4pm Central. Workshop on the concept and influence of the Romantic reaction, hosted by Timothy Wilcox. Timothy has a Ph.D. in English and draws connections through our literary past, present, and future on his blog PreCursor Poets.

Thoughts on Marriage. What secular Western people struggle to fathom is that it doesn't matter too much who you marry. What matters is the decision to love, and never leave. Any 2 people capable of this will eventually love each other and be happy.

Marriage is like praying. As Pascal put it, you don't have to believe in order to pray. It's sufficient to just start praying—eventually you will believe. You don't have to love before marriage. It's sufficient to tie the knot—eventually you'll love them, it's your only choice.

Something people don't understand about marriage is that, for it to work, divorce must be unthinkable. If it's thinkable, it's inevitable. If it's unthinkable, deepening your love is the only survival strategy. This is the trick, the sacrament, the only way it works.

The Hour of Nihilism. "Political nihilism—the negation of the regime as an end in itself—has become a driving force of contemporary culture. Can liberal democracy rise to the challenge?" Thoughtful first essay from a new blog/newsletter called Think the Limit, about philosophy, futurism, and political theory. Another promising project coming out of the membership. On Leo Strauss, Martin Gurri, the Dirtbag Left, and more.


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