Uncertain Humanism and the Water of Whiteness

IN 2005, one of today’s most revered American writers, David Foster Wallace (now deceased), delivered a commencement address to graduates of Kenyon College, titled “This Is Water.” The twenty-minute speech is worth a listen or read, freely available on YouTube and in Wallace’s eponymous 2009 collection, This Is Water: Some...

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Features

Up Front

Pathologies of Power

"A tyranny," Plato says in the Republic, "is the wretchedest form of government," and "a tyrant grows worse from having power: he becomes and is of necessity more jealous, more faithless, more unjust, more friendless, more...

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Reviews

Elsewhere in the Humanist:

If Social Media Is Making Us Worse, Can We Make It Better?

SOCIAL MEDIA IS BAD. It takes your worst parts—your vanity, your ignorance, your credulity—and makes them even worse. It weakens your ability to focus. It distracts you while you drive. It makes you hate people you should feel unity with and envy...

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Elsewhere in the Humanist:

The Ending Needs Work: Humanists Can Lead on End-of-Life Decisions

Jennifer Ouellette describes herself as a “recovering” English major who stumbled into science writing by accident and has been “exploring her inner geek ever since.” Ouellette often uses pop culture, fantasy, and science fiction as tools to communicate scientific ideas to mainstream...

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Elsewhere in the Humanist:

Natural Disasters & the Humanist Response

LAST FALL THE UNITED STATES and the Caribbean were battered by three devastating, record-breaking hurricanes—Harvey in Texas and Louisiana, Irma in the Caribbean and Florida, and Maria in Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands. The destructive power of these hurricanes was extreme,...

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Elsewhere in the Humanist:

Five Fierce Humanists: Unapologetically Black Women Beyond Belief

Introduction by Christopher Cameron IT IS A WELL-KNOWN FACT that black women have served as the backbone of the black church since its inception. Black women raised funds for church buildings, evangelized for their churches around the world, and constituted the majority...

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