The rationalist fall of man

To be truly happy, you must understand that the world is terrible. The small scale is sometimes not depressing; that is why so many remain there. Personal lives may be joyous or melancholy, personal relationships may be fulfilling or abusive,

Why international law?

When debating a matter of international law with people (say, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict) they will often say “Well, international law is illegitamate / doesn’t matter / no one follows it / US law supersedes it / etc. so your appeals

On militarism

During the US wars in Indochina, a tumult of protest and activism at Stanford brought many momentous changes to the university. Among these was the banishment of the ROTC from campus. But recently, the suggestion has been made in the

Jules Verne

Today I went to the Jules Verne museum. Nantes being his home town, the local government has established a museum in his honour. There is also an enormous mechanical elephant, in Verne-ian style. Since the temperature here has finally climbed

Reflections on history

Given that today is the 20th anniversary of a pivotal event in history, perhaps some reflections on history are in order. But “optimism” is not the right word for it; neither is “pessimism”. Certainly, if we emphasise the world wars,

An appropriate orientation

“implacable to the whole system of official values: the ignobility of fashionable life; the infamies of empire; the spuriousness of the church, the vain conceit of the professions; the meannesses and cruelties that go with great success; and every other