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Past Letters

Want to see someone learn in public? Read economics, history, psychology & philosophy interwoven with stories from Martyn’s life.

No. 35 – Windshield Thoughts and the Tripartite Life

A couple friends and I have recent re-read Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian, a disturbingly graphic Western novel about a kid on the Texas – Mexico border in the 1850s. The characters are incredibly violent. In fact, Judge Holden is so violent and callous that he appears to be the very incarnation of evil itself. Like I said, it’s disturbing.

One friend said, “The entire book is violent and gory, but there’s no closure at the end. It was probably the most violent book I’ve read…. (And then of McCarthy) [I’m not] motivated to read his other books.”

Interestingly, my friend and I share the same assessment of Blood Meridian. He was repulsed by the violence. I thought it was so disturbing that it’s useful, albeit via negativa.

See, the book profoundly depicts small men.

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No. 32 – Hope, Infinite Games and Politics

Like “moths ambushed by the light,” we are drawn into the political fray. We cannot help ourselves. We see things that are wrong in the world. We want a better outcome for ourselves, our loved ones and our community. So, our sense of hope impels us to a voting booth.

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No. 31 – Finding Nemo, Taking and Receiving

In our world, we are often pulled between giving and taking. We’re encouraged to give, especially if you’re of an Abrahamic faith tradition. On the other hand, modern capitalism encourages us to gain as much as possible. It is all about “the hustle” with this as our default refrain. Give and take. Give and take. It’s all around us.

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