Excerpts from Jonathan Glover's 'Humanity'

Jonathan Glover’s Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century is one of the best and most important books I have ever read. Excerpts below: — An extimate for the period from 1900 until 1989 is that war killed 86 million people. Eighty-six million is a small proportion of all those alive during the ninety years, and is a small number compared to those who have died from hunger and preventable diseases.

The case for Facebook and social networking

Even though Facebook currently has over 200 million active users, many people continue to doubt the value of social networking in general and Facebook in particular. Critics argue that Facebook and other social networking and Web 2.0 tools - including blogs and Twitter - are symptomatic of the “solipsism” (meaning, in this context, the self-absorption of users) of the contemporary Internet. Indeed, Facebook can be an enormous time-waster and procrastination tool, as can any medium or Internet resource.

Quotes and poems by Goethe, Coleridge, and A. Daniel

I am more and more convinced that poetry is the universal possession of mankind…the epoch of world literature is at hand, and everyone must strive to hasten its approach. –Goethe (quoted in Damrosch, What is World Literature?) White Towels I have been studying the difference between solitude and loneliness, telling the story of my life to the clean white towels taken warm from the dryer. I carry them through the house

A personal update and four quotes

I am excited about the weekend. I’ll be walking straight from work to Union Station tomorrow afternoon, and then the usual, happy routine of a quick trip home: the #370 Pere Marquette accompanied by caffeine and books (and, since it’s summer, a wonderful sunset over the harbor in St. Joseph, MI), a late-night outing to Pints & Quarts and Pablo’s Tacos with Muskegon friends, a Saturday morning trip to eat breakfast and shop for used books in Grand Haven, a few intense games of ping-pong with Tyler, and a run on the beach.