Nick Freiling

My blog & portfolio

Nick Freiling

Anxiety, peace, zen: RIP Robert Pirsig.

Robert Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, died yesterday. He was 88. The most formative class I took in college was Civilization and Literature, where I spent half the semester writing a paper on Zen. In it, I described Pirsig via Hamlet: So oft it chances in particular men That for some vicious mole of nature […]

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On wisdom

The state of wisdom is when man has no longer any concern about understanding truths and goods, but about willing and living them; for this is to be wise. — Emanuel Swedenborg He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul: he that keepeth understanding shall find good. — Solomon Knowing yourself is the beginning of […]

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Persistence

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. -Calvin Coolidge

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Daniels on bogus illnesses

Anthony Daniels (a.k.a. Theodore Dalrymple) on “bogus illnesses” and their relationship to tort law. Miracles are usually taken to mean that saints or relics cause miraculous improvements, but the tort law system causes miraculous deterioration in people. According to this law, if a person does you wrong by act, omission or negligence, and you suffer from it, you […]

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Are you as busy as you think?

Instead of saying “I don’t have time” try saying “it’s not a priority,” and see how that feels. Often, that’s a perfectly adequate explanation. I have time to iron my sheets, I just don’t want to. But other things are harder. Try it: “I’m not going to edit your résumé, sweetie, because it’s not a […]

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Paul Kalanithi, When Breath Becomes Air

Death comes for all of us. For us, for our patients: it is our fate as living, breathing, metabolizing organisms. Most lives are lived with passivity toward death — it’s something that happens to you and those around you. But Jeff and I had trained for years to actively engage with death, to grapple with […]

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The convenient “whitelash” thesis

From Mark Lilla in the New York Times: Finally, the whitelash thesis is convenient because it absolves liberals of not recognizing how their own obsession with diversity has encouraged white, rural, religious Americans to think of themselves as a disadvantaged group whose identity is being threatened or ignored. Such people are not actually reacting against […]

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George Mason: Get a grip

In today’s Washington Post, regarding my school and implicit prejudice: To project onto a person a preconceived opinion that is not based on actual experience or personal knowledge is manifestly wrong — so wrong, in fact, that it has a special name: prejudice. Yes, that’s right: To know only that a person is conservative, white, straight, […]

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Trump is the change voters wanted

Virginia Postrel hits the nail on the head at BloombergView: Trump’s coalition certainly includes an element who are tired of being told that they’re worthless and awful — Won’t it be great when stupid white men are put in their place! — and are punching back, sometimes in deplorable ways. For them, voting for Trump is […]

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It is possible to support Donald Trump and not be a bigot

It is possible to support Donald Trump and not be a bigot. The widest political divide in America right now is between those who believe this is true and those who do not. What’s worse – what makes this divide wider – is that those who believe it is true and support Trump and are […]

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