Kim Kierkegaardashian and the Culture of Nothingness

“Rise & grind! Busy day!! Gym then packing 4 Paris again! This is the despair of finitude, when the self is lost to the temporal, the trivial,” tweeted Kim Kierkegaardashian, a Twitter account that combines Søren Kierkegaard quotes and Kim Kardashian’s tweets. As the New Yorker reports, this feed offers “reflective maxims on life, death, sin, and emptiness, salted with luxury accessories of the Kardashian lifestyle.” The Washington Post explains, “Basically what you have is profound ideas tha … [Read more...]

Ignorance: A Blessing

There are some things that I know with certainty. The sum of two and three is five. All mothers are women. A triangle has three sides. My back hurts. I am currently writing a blog post and trying to think of another example that doesn’t sound too trite. I think most would agree that the degree of certainty which I have about these things is so high that I cannot not know them.On the other hand, there are many things that I cannot know with certainty. Some of these things are fairly i … [Read more...]

Two Sides of Paradise

terrence-malick

If one were to construct a spectrum of contemporary filmmakers, ranging from the minimalist to the fantastic, one would find Baz Luhrmann and Terrence Malick on very opposite ends of the spectrum. Where the former is loud, explosive, and flashy, the other is introspective, discreet, and nuanced to a fault. And yet, the two movies they had in theaters this summer (The Great Gatsby and To the Wonder, respectively) revolve around the same dynamic tension. In some prior reverie, a man and a woman f … [Read more...]

What Do We Do When We Run Out of Empathy?

pesant family

In a recent New Yorker article “The Case Against Empathy,” Paul Bloom warns us against using empathy – the act of putting oneself in another’s shoes – as our primary moral guide. Empathy indeed aids us in our personal relationships and in cases, such as the Newtown shootings, where there is an identifiable victim, but it does not help us to respond to other situations where victims are unidentifiable (e.g. tax evasion), or when temporarily shelving our empathy is necessary (e.g. disciplining chil … [Read more...]


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