It begins.

Maradona. ⚽️

This won’t be the best Thanksgiving. Teri and I haven’t seen our son (who lives in Chicago) since January and we don’t know when we’ll see him again.

In which I offer Ten Theses on Monism and Pluralism, Plus a Quotation.

Coming attractions.

In which I announce Gospel of the Trees 2.0.

I was, am, and will be here for Richard Polt’s Analog College.

Yeah, I’ve been doing this a while.

What I like about this is that it shows that I’ve been working primarily in plain text files for 25 years. I had already largely abandoned word processors by 1995.

Theo Epstein: Baseball “is the greatest game in the world, … but there are some threats to it because of the way the game is evolving, and I take some responsibility for that because the executives like me who have spent a lot of time using analytics and other measures to optimize individual and team performance have unwittingly had a negative impact on the aesthetic value of the game and the entertainment value of the game.”

I think Theo is correct, as well I might, because I wrote an essay about this very thing a couple of years ago. After half a century of being a pretty serious baseball fan, I haven’t watched a game since I wrote that essay — and, to my own ongoing surprise and puzzlement, I haven’t missed baseball at all.

Things many people who haven’t published don’t understand: We writers rarely have any control over (1) titles of essays and articles, (2) subtitles of books, (3) cover art for books. And we absolutely never have any say in pricing.

Just discovered that a fairly generous except of my biography of C. S. Lewis is available online — as a PDF — complete with the absolutely hideous cover image that I fruitlessly protested against when it was shown to me.

I think this post by Ilya Somin, especially if you follow up its many useful links, raises the central question of American politics in our era: How can politics best be conducted in an environment in which so many people don’t care whether what they say is actually true?

Santa Subito!!

It’s just wonderful to me that friends of mine (Erin, Amanda, Alexis, Rob), have been doing this amazing work to track Covid cases in America — and it’s deeply depressing to me that they had to.

In recent weeks I’ve expressed my gratitude to my students, who have been so faithfully disciplined in doing what they needed to do to keep us on campus all term. But here’s another factor in our success: we have 1/3 the students of UT Austin but have administered twice as many Covid tests.

Currently reading: A Promised Land by Barack Obama 📚

Currently reading: The Children of Men by P. D. James 📚

Well, I knew this was coming. And let’s be clear: Krebs was fired for telling the truth. (The unforgivable sin in certain circles.)

That’s right, I’m playing Monument Valley 2 on my Mac.

48º, AKA perfect napping weather for a Sheltie.

And speaking of newsletters not on Substack, I have posted an issue this morning.