My Faults My Own

…willing to sacrifice something we don't have

for something we won't have, so somebody will someday.

IN WHICH Ross Rheingans-Yoo, a sometimes-poet and erstwhile student of Computer Science and Math, oc­cas­ion­al­ly writes on things of int­erest.

Reading Feed (last update: July 28)

A collection of things that I was happy I read. Views expressed by linked authors are chosen because I think they're interesting, not because I think they're correct, unless indicated otherwise.


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Blog: Marginal Revolution | How well is Germany dealing with the migration crisis? — "Whatever respite Germany may have gained this week is offset, and then some, by the arrival of a new and frightening political dynamic. Mr. Seehofer succeeded by going nuclear; chances are, he won’t be the last. The politics of fear and menace may be here to stay, undermining the foundations of democracy. In sound democracies, policies are the results of compromise between parties representing a majority of the voters. Through the politics of artificial crisis, minorities take the system hostage. They create policies redeeming fictional problems for fictional

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Meaning in the Darkness

This is part 3 of a multi-part sequence on celebrating the middle of winter. [part 1] [part 2]


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For some people, the story of Christmas brings light to the darkness of winter. The reminder of a savior, born in the most humble circumstance -- whose sacrifice would, forty years later, save all mankind from our sins -- is an inspiration to generosity and a source of wonder. For me, it hasn't been that for quite some time.

I don't have any particular problem with other people using the Christ-story to build a holiday which is wonderful for them, but it's not the right thing for me. The innocent child, the prince of peace, lying in a manger has never reduced me to tears -- the story feels a bit, to me, like arbitrary words which translate to "Now it is Christmas; be happy!" And yes, Christmas is a happy time. But I'm not sure I feel it as a meaningful time...

The Secular Solstice was different. It was missing

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A Circle of Light

This is part 2 of a multi-part post on celebrating the middle of winter. [part 1] [part 3]


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Last weekend, I and a few friends traveled to New York to attend a winter solstice celebration. Ray Arnold, who ran the event, did a brief writeup, but I figure I'd put forward (1) my perspective and (2) my thoughts on the event.

What actually happened? Well, it looked a lot like a church service -- some people told some stories and we sang lots of songs together. But the story that pulled us together wasn't "Once upon a time, a virgin gave birth to the son of God in a manger."; ours went something like this: (I'm paraphrasing from Ray's masterful telling at the event itself; alternatively, you can read some of his own words)

Once upon a time, winter was death. The world got cold and harsh, and if your tribe didn't have gigantic stores of food, you starved and died. And no one knew why it was, and

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