Being Lazy, Making Cool Stuff

Ladies and gentlemen,

I first want to thank you for reading my blog. I do not take your attentions for granted. You may have noticed that I haven’t produced anything recently and for that I apologize. It’s not laziness, or at least not totally laziness. I’m working on some big projects that are sucking up all my cognitive resources and will continue to do so for a while. While they are going to be cutting down my output, I hope they prove to be interesting enough to justify the wait.

I’m working on a series of podcasts about morally “bad” people in history. This will be different from the typical series of this type in that I’m going to attack, hard, the notion that “badness” is the defining, or even contributing, trait driving things like the Holocaust or Stalinist purges.

I’m also on the homestretch on the next novel, “The Potency.” Two very ordinary heroes travel the earth seeking revenge on the epynomous God of Potency and, in doing so, explore the nature of patriotism, the inherently insecure position of moral certainty.

Finally, I’m working on a translation of “The Potency” into Korean.

Hang in there, guys, I’m by no means done.

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2 comments

  1. “I’m going to attack, hard, the notion that “badness” is the defining, or even contributing, trait driving things like the Holocaust or Stalinist purges.”

    Sounds like Hannah Arendt’s concept of the banality of evil. Eichmann was just a boring, stupid bureaucrat lacking any original thought of his own. Fill his head with nonsense and put him in a position of power and evil will inevitably result. Am I close 🙂 ?

    1. Umm, sort of.

      The idea I’m more playing with is that morality is so pliable that normal, good people can and will justify anything.

      The key to using history correctly, then, is not to assign heroes and villains, but to understand why tens of millions of perfectly ordinary Europeans thought Hitler’s moral vision sufficiently compelling that they were willing to die for it.

      In contrast with Arendt, I’m mostly refusing to take the idea of evil people seriously and treating social “evil” as so subjective and fluffy as to be useless.

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