The Right Questions ?>

The Right Questions

Yesterday my mom called to tell me that she’s been upset with someone in her life lately because she feels like he hasn’t been treating her very well. She thinks he doesn’t care about her very much and sees her as an inconvenient obligation. I asked her what she expected from him, and why she didn’t think he was treating her well, and how she could be sure that was his intent; maybe what he considered acceptable, she considered unacceptable. She…

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Pikachu vs. Disc Golf ?>

Pikachu vs. Disc Golf

Lately there have been a lot of Pokemon Go players on the disc golf course, and they’ve really been annoying me. I identified two reasons: I think playing Pokemon is “less worthwhile” than disc golf, but more importantly, that they should not play it on the disc golf course because they hold up my game when they stand in the middle of fairways and the like. But why is disc golf better than Pokemon? Both games have us walking through…

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Curb My Enthusiasm ?>

Curb My Enthusiasm

“Curb Your Enthusiasm” is one of my favorite shows. Larry David’s character is such a buffoon, and I often feel like I am too smart to fall into situations he does. For example, in one episode Larry has the TIVO guy at his house to set up his service. During the visit, his wife Cheryl is going through a scary moment on an airplane and calls Larry to tell him she loves him. See for yourself: Larry notes that it’s…

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Pretty Fly For a White Guy ?>

Pretty Fly For a White Guy

There’s this song by the Offspring called “Pretty Fly for a White Guy.” Have a listen. Phra Anan played it for me and asked me to think about it, which I did for a little while. Here’s what I’ve got. The other day, I was sitting with some people and some of them pulled out cigarettes. One guy offered me one, and I said “Nah, I don’t smoke; I enjoy running and playing soccer too much to do that.” I…

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The Head Turn ?>

The Head Turn

I was at the San Francisco Symphony on Friday night with a friend attending a performance of Beethoven’s 9th. Between each movement, there was a few-minute-long pause. My friend and I were talking quietly in between two of the movements. Right before the orchestra began to play again, we piped down, but the guy in front of us gave us “the head turn” as if to say “hey, shut up.” I knew it was time to be quiet. I was…

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I swear I’m not a hippie! ?>

I swear I’m not a hippie!

Since middle school, I’ve been a long-hair guy. That means that, except for a few brief periods such as when I cut off my dreadlocks, I’ve had longer-than-average hair for a man for the last twenty years, often much longer than average. Last month, I was visiting my parents in Monterey and I asked my mom to trim my hair a little bit. She’s done this many times before and usually does a fine job. I asked her to trim…

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How I Learned My Most Important Lesson – From My Student. ?>

How I Learned My Most Important Lesson – From My Student.

I grew up in a family that deeply values knowledge and intellectual development. My parents are European and I am American. As such, I am a product of the Western intellectual tradition, perhaps epitomized best by Descartes’ famous axiom that “I think, therefore I am.” It’s a powerful statement, and by following the tradition it exemplifies, it has always been my assumption that I can truly understand anything, including myself, simply by learning all I could about it, and piecing together…

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