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I’ve hunkered down to the point of becoming hollowed out. And I pout and shout and then press the bunk for the better part of the day. There to Kindle read the this and that and yes, yet, another; like 23 percent of John Gray on Isaiah Berlin and the latter’s theory of “ negative freedom and positive freedom.”

“Berlin is popularly known for his essay “Two Concepts of Liberty”, delivered in 1958 as his inaugural lecture as Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory at Oxford. The essay, with its analytical approach to the definition of political concepts, reintroduced the methods of analytic philosophy to the study of political philosophy. Spurred by his background in philosophy of language, Berlin argued for a nuanced and subtle understanding of our political terminology, where what was superficially understood as a single concept could mask a plurality of different uses and therefore meanings. Berlin argued that these multiple and differing concepts, otherwise masked by rhetorical conflations, showed the plurality and incompatibility of human values, and the need for us to distinguish and trade off analytically between, rather than conflate, them if we are to avoid disguising underlying value-conflicts. The two concepts are ‘negative freedom’, or freedom from interference, which Berlin derived from the British tradition, and ‘positive freedom’, or freedom as self-mastery, which asks not what we are free from, but what we are free to do. Berlin points out that these two different conceptions of liberty can clash with each other.” Wikipedia

Then switch back to Tim Weiner’s The Folly And The Glory—America, Russia and Political Warfare 1945-2020… currently 48%…and yes, I about to start David Shimer’s “Rigged.”

And then there’s 12% of The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes. And another 12% of The Art Of Cruelty by Maggie Nelson. Then back to 37% of Carlos Lozada’s What Were We Thinking: A Brief Intellectual History of the Trump Era.

I should knock out all by the coming tally day excepting Gray’s take on Berlin. Those guys can be difficult.



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