Author Archives: hessd

About hessd

Here is all you need to know to follow this blog. I am an old man and I love to think about why we say the things we do. I've taught at the elementary, secondary, collegiate, and doctoral levels. I don't think one is easier than another. They are hard in different ways. I have taught political science for a long time and have practiced politics in and around the Oregon Legislature. I don't think one is easier than another. They are hard in different ways. You'll be seeing a lot about my favorite topics here. There will be religious reflections (I'm a Christian) and political reflections (I'm a Democrat) and a good deal of whimsy. I'm a dilettante.

Bo Knows Politics?

There comes a time when, as the logic of a movement plays out, it just goes too far.  In this essay I want to say that I have reached that point myself, so far as the self-righteous political left is … Continue reading

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And forgive us our maladjustments

I had a friend once who had learned to apologize for his lateness and to minimize his error at the same time.  I was fascinated.  I had no idea you could do that.  He would say, “Hi guys.  I’m so … Continue reading

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A Skeptic has a Mystical Experience. Who would have thought it?

A few weeks ago, I had a mystical experience.  I mention it because I am not at all sure what a mystical experience is and because I am not somebody who has mystical experiences.  Still…this time I did. So what’s … Continue reading

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C’est Monyafeek

This is (yet another) celebration of the way Neal Stephenson uses language and the illustration is taken (yet again) from his Anathem. You need to know a little bit about the story or you won’t be able to share the … Continue reading

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The -ize has it

Now I think that’s just fun.  It sounds wrong, of course, but it probably isn’t.  It sounds like “eyes,” which would require a plural verb, “have.”  But -ize is not a noun, like “eyes;” it is a “word-forming element” used … Continue reading

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The Banner of Republicanism

I’ve been teaching a course about parables.  I want to offer that as an excuse.  One of the easiest things to do with a parable is to turn it into an allegory, in which each element of the story represents … Continue reading

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Just Enough Evidence for Now

I have one model of persuasion I would like to explore today and one I would like to reject.  I am sure these models have names that are known to people who study persuasion, but I don’t know what they … Continue reading

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Government by “Stand-up Guys.”

President Trump has referred to people who lie on his behalf and who are willing to be convicted for their service to him, as “stand-up guys.”  That could sound unobjectionable.  Who would not want to be served by people who … Continue reading

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Identity and Agency

Sounds heavy doesn’t it?  You wouldn’t know, just by looking at the title, that this is going to be a critique of hyperindividualism. [1] Let’s start with this exchange. Empathetic Elder: (EE) Thank you for sharing that account with me.  … Continue reading

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Victory Lapse

I am hoping that title will arouse your curiosity.  I know it will only make my kids roll their eyes.  “Oh no.” they will say, internally, and then to each other, “Dad’s at it again.” For everyone else, let me … Continue reading

Posted in Getting Old, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment