Beliefs Have Consequences

January 30th, 2011 at 7:41 pm

“Beliefs have consequences. In Tanzania, there is a growing criminal trade in the body parts of albino human beings – as it is widely imagined that albino flesh has magical properties.” – Sam Harris in “The Moral Landscape,” page 156


Half Empty by David Rakoff

January 21st, 2011 at 11:40 pm

Half Empty by David Rakoff

I too was deceived into thinking (hoping?) this would be a coherent, cohesive contribution to the canons of pessimism and cynicism.

Instead, it is just another collection of Sedarisian essays. Some humorous. Others only mildly so. Some poignant. Others only mildly so.

I really enjoyed Rakoff’s previous work, “Don’t Get Too Comfortable,” and “Half Empty” is not without its moments.

“Unless someone looks you in the eye and hisses, ‘You fucking asshole, I can’t wait until you die of this,’ people are really trying their best.”


The Moral Landscape, page 13

January 20th, 2011 at 11:23 am

“The temptation to start each day with several glazed donuts and to end it with an extramarital affair might be difficult for some people to resist, for reasons that are easily understood in evolutionary terms, but there are surely better ways to maximize one’s long-term well-being.”

- Sam Harris

I Was Told There’d Be Cake by Sloane Crosley

January 18th, 2011 at 10:41 pm

I Was Told There'd Be Cake by Sloane Crosley

I was told this book would be good.




I wasn’t told I’d get an opportunity to imagine Sloane Crosley leaping around a stage in stirrup pants to Belinda Carlisle’s “Heaven Is a Place on Earth.”

Sloane Crosley

I wasn’t told I would be exposed to half-baked literary puns: “this purloiner of my first job virginity.”

Okay I admit it, there’s something somehow clever about using purloin with a reference to virginity. That, I like.

I guess one day you do turn around and “social studies” has become “Chilean fiefdoms of the fourteenth century.”