Entries by Think Again

The Strangest Man

The Strangest Man, by Graham Farmelo This biography of Paul Dirac, the Nobel winning British physicist who pioneered quantum mechanics, is foremost a mental biography. It is the story of an intuitive, mathematical mind that, using abstract thinking alone, correctly predicted the existence of anti-matter. He did no experiments. The author chronicles Dirac’s social behavior, […]

What is Information?

“In the beginning was the Word”, The Gospel according to John  1.1 Energy has been our most powerful explanatory concept, explaining events in the physical world more comprehensively than any other entity . . . so far.  Leave aside what energy actually is, it is a derived concept, known only by its effects.  No one has […]

Leonardo from Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci, The flights of the Mind, Charles Nicholl, Penguin Books, 2005. During his lifetime, Leonardo da Vinci was not considered the greatest visual artist of all time.  No, his personal lot was difficult, and endlessly trying.   He was an illegitimate son, a homosexual, a genius without peer, and always dependent for financial […]

Hayek’s Information

The economy has number. The term “economy” is singular, but its properties emerge from a collection of things which are numerous and diverse.  And it is important that the definition is always tied to its disparate components. When we create statistical aggregates to describe the economy, we lose information, we change the concept into something […]


“His was a low-slung, smallish figure, neither markedly stout nor thin, inclining, if anything, to the latter. The square-cut tunic seemed always a bit too large for him: one sensed an effort to compensate for the slightness of stature. Yet there was also a composed, collected strength, and a certain rough handsomeness, in his features. […]

Tambourine Man

March 1966 Playboy:  “you’ve said you think message songs are vulgar.  Why?“ Dylan:  “Well, first of all, anybody that’s got a message is going to learn from experience that they can’t put it into a song.  I mean it’s just not going to come out the same message.  . . .you’ve got to respect other […]

The Girl with Tattoo and Fire

It may be significant that a young Swedish author’s books are about evil, revenge, and justice.  The Sweden we all know is egalitarian, humane, rational, and kind.  The people are understanding and generous, and they abhor violence.  They were neutral in World War II.  Life in Sweden is neat, careful, sensible, and compassionate.  Emotions are […]

J.R.R. Tolkien

J. R. R. Tolkien, Author of the Century, by Tom Shippey, Houghton Mifflin Company 2000. “The oldest and deepest desire satisfied by fairy tales is to tell tales of the great escape: the escape from Death.” There is a sublime sadness in the eyes of the hero, Aragorn, within the triumph of resilience that is […]

Revolution Misremembered

Oh posterity, you will never know how much it cost us to preserve your freedom.  I hope that you will make a good use of it.  It you do not, I will repent in heaven that I took half the pains to preserve it. So speaks John Adams in the last line of the HBO […]

Beltway Nationalism

“Lobbyists need something to buy, and legislators need something to sell.” Milton Friedman Lobbyists have clients who pay them to purchase advantage from legislators who are writing laws that affect them.  Legislators have lobbyists who pay them – in campaign contributions – to create laws that favor specific individuals and businesses that are represented by […]