My Faults My Own

Any human’s death diminishes me,

because I am involved in humankind.

IN  WHICH Ross Rheingans-Yoo—a sometime economist, artist, trader, expat, poet, EA, and programmer—writes on things of int­erest.

Reading Feed (last update: July 5)

A collection of things that I was glad 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: Don't Worry About the Vase | Spoiler-Free Review: Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (plus a Spoilerific section)

Blog: Popehat | The Fourth of July [rerun]

Blog: Tyler Cowen @ Bloomberg View | The NBA’s Reopening Is a Warning Sign for the U.S. Economy — "If so many NBA players are pondering non-participation, how keen do you think those workers — none of whom are millionaire professional athletes — are about returning to the office?"

Comic: SMBC | Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Holism


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Blog: Market Design | Job market technology is diffusing slowly through the armed forces

Blog: Marginal Revolution | Tales from Trinidad barter

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Is Patriotism A Virtue?

Alasdair MacIntyre, The 1984 Lindley Lecture at the University of Kansas. excerpted to 1787 words.

One of the central tasks of the moral philosopher is to articulate the convictions of the society in which he or she lives so that these convictions may become available for rational scrutiny. This task is all the more urgent when a variety of conflicting and incompatible beliefs are held within one and the same community, either by rival groups who differ on key moral questions or by one and the same set of individuals who find within themselves competing moral allegiances. In either of these types of case the first task of the moral philosopher is to render explicit what is at issue in the various disagreements and it is a task of this kind that I have set myself in this lecture.

For it is quite clear that there are large disagreements about patriotism in our society. And although it would be a mistake to suppose that there are only two clear, simple

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A Verse for the City

From the top of the towers,
    you could see past the narrows,
        past our lady of the harbor,
      to the broad, open sea.
See the curve of the earth
    on the vast, blue horizon
        from the world’s greatest city,
      in the land of the free.

All the brave men and women
    that you never would notice,
        from the precincts and fire halls---
      the first on the scene.
Storming into the buildings
    on the side of the angels,
        they were gone in an instant,
      in the belly of the beast.

We are children of slavery,
   children of immigrants,
      remnants of tribes and their tired refugees.
As they tumbled down,
   we were stronger together—
      stronger than we ever knew we could be—
         as strong as that statue that stands for the promise
of liberty here in this city of dreams.

All the flags on front porches
    and banners of unity
        spanning the bridges
      from the top of the fence—
as we
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A Verse for the Memorial

These kids have learned some history
   and they know what warfare used to be:
tanks and guns and soldiers
   that moved across the land—
with strategies and battlelines
   converging at a place in time;
and lives were lost for reasons
   that the world could understand

On the History Channel, war
   can look exactly like before,
when you were certain it was over
   by the ticker tape parade.
They could come back home to safety;
   they could celebrate the victory;
and the landmines were all buried
   ’cross the ocean far away.

But a different kind of war
   has reached our shore,
and you never see it coming anymore.
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A Verse for the Fourth

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep (where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes), what is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep -- as it fitfully blows -- half conceals, half discloses?

Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam; in full glory reflected now shines in the stream: ’tis the star-spangled banner, O! long may it wave o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.


As a friend reminded me recently, the better-remembered verse is a question, which is almost always left unanswered.

But today, what is our answer to the question "O! say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave?"

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