Couple of heavy reads for y’all today.
Over at Cabinet magazine, Justin E. H. Smith takes stock of his soul: “My dad,” he writes, “was a computer guy, my mom was a rural family-law attorney, known to accept chickens and goats from destitute clients in lieu of legal tender; I am a philosopher. And we’ve all spent our lives, with varying degrees of success, chasing after that sweet, sweet cash.”
And Agnes Callard continues her series of columns on public philosophy at The Point with a look at thoughts and prayers: “I refuse to beg God. As I see it, God already knows what I want, and doesn’t need my advice on how to run the universe.”
If that’s a all bit much, you may find Jessica Riskin’s The Defecating Duck, or, the Ambiguous Origins of Artificial Life an amusing read—particularly if you’re familiar with your Voltaire. “Without the shitting duck,” he wrote, tongue planted firmly in cheek, “there would be nothing to remind us of the glory of France.”
And speaking of such things, does anyone—anywhere—need to be told this? Really?
Finally, a new music recommendation: We’re New Again: A Reimagining by Makaya McCraven.