As has happened so many times before, this is now the old blog. The new blog is here, and you'll probably notice the difference.  » more »

International Relations

Today, from what I gather by listening to the radio, one of our very own rednecks led Utah police on a high-speed chase after she tried to pass an officer on the interstate, speeding and in the median, to the left of the HOV lane. Apparently, she has dutifully filed her "sovereign citizen" paperwork and is thus no longer under the jurisdiction of the state of Utah or the good ol' U.S. of A. On it's own, this is cute, but not blog-worthy. What makes this into a four-star story is the phone call that she made (and which was aired ... » more »

Public Domain

It's not that I have disappeared or that I have stopped caring about writing here or elsewhere; it's just that life makes it more and more difficult to do so. I don't mean as a matter of time constraints, necessarily, though that's certainly a part of the reason. But there is a deeper dimension to the process of becoming mute for some of us—a process that in my case has been ongoing since I first entered my twenties. — § — I've spent a good deal of time over the years engaged with various forms of personality evaluation, self-help and motivational literature, spiritual traditions ... » more »

Via Wikimedia Commons CC-BY-SA 3.0

Somehow, very sharp-tongued people often seem very proud of this fact, as though it's some sort of achievement. Rarely do they seem mortified and embarrassed, often preferring to leave the victims of their tongues to feel these things on their behalves. — § — Patience is a virtue. Self-control is a virtue. Kindness is a virtue. Forgiveness is a virtue. Generosity is a virtue. Love is a virtue. Intimacy is a virtue. Detachment is a virtue. Pursuing virtues is a virtue. — § — Many understand that action is a form of communication. Even amongst specialists, most can't conceive of what it means that communication is a form of action. — § — Very few ... » more »

© 2005 Aron Hsiao

Benjamin's Theses on the Philosophy of History is the single greatest piece of writing in the western canon. The Tao Te Ching by mysterious quasi-figure Lao Tzu is the single greatest in the eastern canon. When considered together, I'm quite sure they come to something. But it will take me a few more years to figure out just what. — § — Some days you drink all day. Some days you send hundreds of text messages. Some days the hours never quite get off the ground, and you go from "wake up" to "wait for it to end" without anything in between. Some days you hear ... » more »

© 1999 Aron Hsiao

When done well, personal writing—fiction or nonfiction—requires death. Its origins lie in finality; in confrontation with those things that ought to remain hidden, that have been painstakingly buried, written out of history. It's not that in writing they mst be resurrected, but rather that in writing they return victorious, sneering, not the undead but the ever-living, the uncanny, malicious others that populate a frightening universe of strangers, foreigners, spies, and assassins. There is one time and one time only when consequences no longer exist; that time is death. Writing comes in all shapes and sizes, but when the most real and important ... » more »

© 2005 Aron Hsiao

Ninety-five percent of what keeps us from fulfilling our potential as a species is each other. We are a crippled, tragically flawed species. It is only our biological capacity for culture that gives us a glimpse of what we could be in the first place, that makes it possible for us to accomplish anything at all. But the very same biological natures that give rise to it ensure that we will use it to continuously and unwittingly sabotage one another and to continuously and unwittingly be sabotaged. Even at those rare moments when you realize what could be, you're powerless to do anything ... » more »

© 2003 Aron Hsiao

As I imagine wisdom, universality is one of its quintessential characteristics. This poses a bit of a problem during those moments when I can't for the life of me think of a single universal anything, in any context whatsoever, and at the same time don't want to concede that I am so completely unwise as to be unable to even conceive of wisdom. — § — Every now and then I wonder about these popular quanitites that are less quantities than they are value orientations and symbols for ethical and moral allegiances. Wisdom. Courage. Discretion. Perserverance. Grace. Hope. That list of words that makes its ... » more »

© 2005 Aron Hsiao

The holiday season arrives every year as a collection of expectations, the promise of rewards whose coming has sustained everyone through the darker, more work-intensive periods of the year. Those expectations are not the same from individual to individual. — § — For me, the release of the holiday season has always come in a particular form of collective down-time. The holidays are, in my deepest imagination, a period during which all rules and all activity end. Family members are drawn together not by "doing things" together so much as by being "down" together, by developing—for once during the year—the particular sort of intimacy ... » more »

© 2002 Aron Hsiao

Life happens always and only in the past. Days come and go, but they are never "life." They are details and rushing; they are tasks and process. Only when today has become yesterday is it (was it) life, after all. — § — I have never believed anyone who said that they have no regrets. Life is nothing without regret. If there is or ever was anyone that lives or has lived without regrets, I pity them. I wish them many regrets in the future, to the extent that they are able still to have them. Many wonderful, terrible, heart-rending regrets. To die without regrets? What sort ... » more »