Photo

Photo

Shorts: Informal Philosophy and Short Fiction

The Rat Race, or Philosophy in a Toilet

What does it mean to live well? That is perhaps philosophy's - and life's - most important question, yet today it goes largely ignored. Emptiness, dissatisfaction, and meaninglessness have replaced the drive to find an answer; distraction now central to our being. How did it come to this? And what should we do about it? In this informal essay I argue that what we are missing are ideas, compelling, purpose-giving ideas, and that it is their absence that really hurts. The article was published on Philosopher on April, 09, 2017, and can be found here.

The Rat Race_Andrew Oberg


On Being Political

Pro-Trump or anti-Trump the world in 2017 is suddenly once more a very political place for the many millions who had become jaded. This is a short article written for the website Philosopher that offers some thoughts on what it may mean to be political now and in the future. It considers not "What is to be done?" but rather "What am I to do?" In that individual focus, are we looking in the wrong directions? The article was published on February 03, 2017 here.

On Being Political_Andrew Oberg


Let's Hear It for Sam

This is a short story about the responses to a broken heart, and about the possible responses (all poor, I think) to the heart-breaking world we find ourselves living in. It was part of the Drugstore Books "By Prescription Only: Themed Writing" showcase on Hollow. The story's page is here.

Let's Hear It for Sam_Andrew Oberg


Getting to Postcapitalism

This is an article for the website Philosopher that continues to explore the idea of transitioning out of a capitalist economic system. It is not linked to but follows along the lines of my earlier "Environmental Economic Agents?" and "Postcapitalism" pieces. It is centered on the idea that alternatives to capitalism are not so far away and are quite possible. The first step in getting to a postcapitalist economy is simply the admission that such a transition is possible. It was published on September 07, 2016 here.

Getting to Postcapitalism_Andrew Oberg


Hear, hear in the here, here: Responding to Lynch’s Unbearable Lightness of Political Democracy

This is a response to Tony Lynch's "The Unbearable Lightness of Political Democracy" on not only the problems with democracy but the very problem of democracy - its falseness and hollowness. Some points are raised in addition to the ones Lynch argues for and replies given to others. That democracy needn't be considered our only option is an idea that we should take seriously. It was published on the website Philosopher on February 29, 2016 here.

Responding to Lynch’s Unbearable Lightness of Political Democracy_Andrew Oberg


On Not Giving to Charity

This is an article/essay for the website Philosopher that explores some of the unexpected issues involved in donating to charity and the effectiveness we can expect from such under current economic models. The piece's central question is this: Can giving to a charity/charities make one a less ethical person? It was published on December 18, 2015 here.

On Not Giving to Charity_Andrew Oberg


Environmental Economic Agents?

This is an article/essay for the website Philosopher that is a partial reply to Tony Lynch's piece "Local Concerns" and a partial continuation of my "Postcapitalism" that focuses more on the individual's role. The central question considered is: What is it to be an environmental economic agent? It was published on September 11, 2015 here.

Environmental Economic Agents?_Andrew Oberg


Postcapitalism

This is an article for the website Philosopher that considers the increasing calls for an economic system that has moved away from the current one and its need for unlimited and unfettered growth, speculating on what such may look like and how our daily lives might be different. It was published on August 01, 2015 here.

Postcapitalism_Andrew Oberg


Drinking Urine and Eating Livers, or “Oh no! What now?”

This is a minimized and rewritten version of a longer essay called "That Which Ought Not to Ought to Have Been (Done). What?: Would’ves, could’ves, and should’ves" which can be found on the website Philosopher. It centers around the second section of the full essay but also includes some of the conclusions. This piece appeared in the Drugstore Books "By Prescription Only: Themed Writing" showcase on Regret, found here.

Drinking Urine and Eating Livers_Andrew Oberg


MSP

This is a short story told from the point of view of a suicide bomber on the way to the target his handlers have chosen for him. It was originally published by Drugstore Books in the "By Prescription Only: Themed Writing" showcase on Faces. The story's page is here.

MSP_Andrew Oberg


The Zombie Apocalypse, Adrift in Space, and the Benefits of Option C

This is an article for the website Philosopher that takes a lighthearted look at our fight-flight response using the films World War Z and Gravity as illustrative examples. It considers the possible benefits of a third option to our natural inclinations when the situation permits a more rational analysis. It was published on February 28, 2014 here.

The Zombie Apocalypse, Adrift in Space, and the Benefits of Option C_Andrew Oberg


Frankenroach - Neuroscience, Values & Cockroaches?

This is an article for the website Philosopher on a product that takes over a cockroach's mind and lets it be directed via a smartphone app. The device is critiqued mainly for the negative values that it would impart to children - its target audience. It was published on November 11, 2013 here.

Frankenroach - Neuroscience, Values & Cockroaches?_Andrew Oberg


Applying One's Self

This is a short story about a bright but odd young man discussing his university application papers with his school counselor. It was originally published by Drugstore Books in the "By Prescription Only: Themed Writing" showcase on Expectation. The story's page is here.

Applying One's Self_Andrew Oberg


Putting Pen to Paper: An Advanced Reader and Writer

This is a combination textbook/workbook that I produced while teaching the advanced English writing course at Kochi Women's University (now co-ed and called the University of Kochi). I have some spare copies lying around if anyone would like to have one. The bibliographic reference is as follows:

Oberg, Andrew, Putting Pen to Paper: An Advanced Reader and Writer (Kochi City, Japan: Kochi Women’s University Press, 2008).