David Brooks and How to Be a Better Person

David Brooks, in “The Sydney Awards: Part I” (New York Times, Dec. 19, 2011), selects the “best magazine essays of the year.” Like the recent Rolling Stone article, “The 101 Greatest Guitarists of All Time,” Brooks’s piece is another list; it has become a journalistic genre, the creation of year-end lists. And, as we said…

David Brooks and The Plaque of Alienation; or, the Consciousness Bubble

Are we making progress? And is the progress good? Have humans improved over time? Are we better than our ancestors? What makes us human, and whatever that is, have we been improving upon it? The universe may be expanding; our consciousness is not. Something seems to be blocking our arteries: the plaque of alienation. Yet…