“Religion was the race’s first (and worst) attempt to make sense of reality.”

Christopher Hitchens: Religion invents a problem where none exists by describing the wicked as also made in the image of god and the sexually nonconformist as existing in a state of incurable mortal sin that can incidentally cause floods and earthquakes. How did such evil nonsense ever come to be so influential? And why are […]

Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief

Lawrence Wright’s epic account on L. Ron Hubbard and the rise of Church of Scientology was so engaging I simply couldn’t put it down. The organization is clearly schizophrenic and paranoid, and this bizarre combination seems to be a reflection of its founder LRH. The evidence portrays a man who has been virtually a pathological […]

“We are reversing the water cycle that has flowed in one direction since the beginning of Earth.”

The upshot is that in the twenty-first century, our species will be subjected to global water torture: alternately raising unaffordable dikes to hold it back, then desperately trying to coax it from any possible source. But like topsoil, there is no practical way to create more fresh water. Removing salt from seawater – the result […]

The Box

A 25-ton container of coffeemakers can leave a factory in Malaysia, be loaded aboard a ship, and cover the 9,000 miles to Los Angeles in 16 days. A day later, the container is on a unit train to Chicago, where it is transferred immediately to a truck headed for Cincinnati. The 11,000-mile trip from the […]

“You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living.”

Anaïs Nin: You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a book… or you take a trip… and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating. The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second symptom (when hibernating becomes dangerous […]

“If Jesus could heal a blind person he happened to meet, then why not heal blindness?”

Christopher Hitchens: If Jesus could heal a blind person he happened to meet, then why not heal blindness? What was so wonderful about his casting out devils, so that the devils would enter a herd of pigs instead? That seemed sinister: more like black magic. With all this continual prayer, why no result? Why did […]