In the age of social media, digital literacy, and ubiquitous video, the essay remains the best method for testing the quality of an idea. There’s no subject the essay can’t enlighten, no experience it can’t convey, no problem it can’t clarify. Dive in and come away with a sense of the peculiar, and a taste for the particular.


Human Science

Anthropology, sociology, biology, economics, psychology, epistemology, ethics, and aesthetics, there have never been more or better tools at our disposal to help us understand our own natures.


Without an understanding of our deep history, we cannot fathom our complicated present. Human beings have been roaming the earth for tens of thousands of years. We have to keep our past in mind if there’s any hope for the future.


Unique perspectives on diverse topics—informed, honest, provocative, and unbounded. 

Drunk in America

Transcendence doesn’t belong to the monks. Inner peace doesn’t belong to the yoginis. God doesn’t belong to the churches, mosques, or synagogues. The secular carnival of ideas and desires offers its own opportunities for ecstasy.


A pugnacious but respectful engagement with the movies, TV shows, books, podcasts, plays, webisodes, social media feeds, music, fashions, and art works that are shaping American public discourse.

Other Sections

Poetry & Stories

Before writing there was story, shaping our communities, structuring our experiences. Poems too have been at the center of being human from the beginning, sung around fires and committed to memory. Writing has contained these elemental impulses, but it hasn’t tamed them. The prim and the primal arise side by side. Explore that with us here. 

Reading the News

Bi-weekly – Objectivity isn’t a Western delusion, or a rhetorical sleight-of-hand that conceals our ubiquitous self-interest. It’s the hard fought ground won in the contest between equals. A pugnacious but respectful engagement with the news stories and talking-heads who are shaping American public discourse.

Medium is the Message

Memes aren’t new, and they’re not always frivolous. Much like Tibetan prayer flags, the contemporary (digital) meme is a complex sign that exists in the world and points beyond it. Extending Marshall McLuhanwe understand the meme to be a medium whose germinal content is the human gesture. Take a look around: you’ll find us furiously signaling at that something that is both between and beyond us.

Existential Party Music

Music doesn’t always bring people together, but this list does. A compilation of music from every genre with one common theme: time is like wine if you stomp its fruit with all your might.

The Moral Imagination

Our moral judgements are often reflexive and feel to us as familiar and intimate as our sense of taste and smell. But to share a moral vision with millions of other people is a tremendous work of the imagination. The Moral Imagination is an exploration of the ideas and events that shape this collective sense of right and wrong. 

The Open Education Project

Education is culture, codified and staged for complex societies. No poem, rousing play, church, or scientific discovery has been made except on the foundational belief that education is a good unto itself. We believe in that good. The Open Education Project uses the “collective impact” approach to give young people the tools to make their way in the world. School and community resources are coordinated to provide free tutoring, and volunteer opportunities for high achieving students.


What if your favorite college professors were willing to talk about everything from philosophy and politics to pop culture and love with the same kind of consideration and enthusiasm? Each week C. Travis Webb, Seph Rodney, and Steven Fullwood discuss life, culture, and art, and challenge their listeners to take fewer things for granted and all things more seriously.

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