Author Archives: JohnR

Queer by Nature

By JohnR |

“Love” is not single act, such as gazing fondly at another, but is a total way of living in relation to another person that is enacted through myriad activities each of which on its own is neither a necessary condition for love nor a sufficient condition for love. Saying “I love you,” for example, does […]

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Protecting Identity

By JohnR |

We don’t just live in our minds.  We also don’t just live in a world with other people.  We live with the need to have the world in our mind fit with the world of other people, and the shape our life takes is determined by how these two mesh. At one level, this need […]

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The Stories of 2012

By JohnR |

Since the return of Story and Song Night last May, we’ve had  a lot of great nights of gathering ’round the fire (so to speak) to listen to stirring tales and enchanting music.  John Russon retold the story of the The Quest for the Holy Grail, Greg Recco from St. John’s College in Annapolis MD […]

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Agencies of Scale

By JohnR |

When Augustine came to Rome from his home in North Africa just before 400 A.D., he was coming to the cultural centre of that part of the world, rather as one trying to “make it” might travel now from a small mid-western town to New York City. But whereas New York has been a major […]

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Economies of Freedom and Necessity

By JohnR |

I overheard two depressing conversations recently.  One was on the streetcar, where a man was introducing his companion to another friend.  The companion asked the friend, “what do you do?” and she replied, “I’m in development.  I work for a company marketing solar panels.”  The other conversation was in a coffee-shop, and one fellow was […]

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A Lesson in a Paper Bag

By JohnR |

I awoke after last night’s party to an apartment quite, uh, messy.  You can predict what I saw: a lot of empty bottles, unfinished drinks, food scraps on plates and on the floor, a guest’s forgotten scarf, etc.  The kitchen counter was particularly intense in its clutter, and it took a moment of gathering psychological […]

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We Need to Talk.

By JohnR |

There are different forms that talking can take.  We reveal that we are familiar with this when we rely on the common distinction between “small talk” and a “deep” conversation.  Sometimes, someone says “we need to have a talk,” and you know it’s serious, and other times we mockingly refer to ourselves or others as […]

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Memories of Immortality

By JohnR |

Miles Davis’s tune “So What,” on his 1959 recording, Kind of Blue, has clearly won the designation as a jazz “classic.”  Indeed, I could easily have written, “his classic 1959 recording, Kind of Blue,” and virtually anyone at all familiar with jazz music would unhesitatingly recognize the truth of this. The fact that this tune […]

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Learning for a Change

By JohnR |

Our everyday perceptual life is a back and forth exchange with the environment that is characterized by, among other things, a constant novelty in our awareness—I find out, through perception, that a man is arguing with his daughter in that house, but I didn’t know that until I came upon the scene and heard them […]

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Perceptual Storytelling

By JohnR |

Our perception does not happen in a moment, but unfolds over time in concert with our actions. I notice the car pulling out of the parking lot, because, in the context of my cycling down the street, it draws my attention to it by the threat its emergence poses to me.  Its appearance wells up […]

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