Currently reading: The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald 📚

Highland Advent vibes this morning. 🏡

Exodus 90: spiritual discipline between New Year's & Easter ✝️

Several times in the last five years, I’ve participated in Exodus 90, a 90-day program of spiritual disciplines and practices. This year, Exodus 90 starts right on January 1, and goes through Holy Saturday (March 30). I’m especially excited to participate this year. Although the Exodus 90 organization offers an app and a subscription service (who doesn’t, these days?), I’ve never paid for the service. You can get the full benefit of the program by simply recruiting a group of friends and following these practices together, checking in regularly (at least weekly) to discussion how it’s going.

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Current listening: *The Incomparable Bola Sete 🎶

A new Geri Allen album??

Sure, it’s just a live recording, but I’m here all day for this one. Heck, here all year. 🎶

Finished reading: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel 📚

Great day at the used book store 📚

I’ve been working on an essay on Sam Bankman-Fried and Sam Altman for a couple weeks now. Today seemed like a good day to finish it.

Why are the traits they share—among others, naiveté, narcissism, love for humanity but only in the abstract, reducing complex realities to simple equations—so common?

I like the new Wikipedia app… but it doesn’t always get everything right:

Screenshot of Maurizio Pollini’s entry in Wikipedia. The photo is cropped to show only the top of his bald head.

Finished reading: *The New Leviathans* by John Gray

Finished reading: The New Leviathans by John Gray. A book with no single overarching thesis beyond an examination of how liberal democracy is in crisis in the West, and how the alternatives at the moment, primarily Russia and China, are… unsavory. Gray’s book, just 3 brisk chapters, helpfully resuscitates Hobbes as interested in the wide range of forms Leviathan can take to provide order, peace, and freedom to its citizens. Unfortunately, all of these are more or less totalitarian—which is why Gray finds in Hobbes a helpful thinker for our age, in which the world is converging on forms of surveillance capitalism:

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