For what it’s worth, I’m with Socrates: the unexamined life is not worth living. These thoughts and rumina­tions are my ongoing attempt to make some sense of it all—and have a little fun along the way.

Sartre famously wrote that “l’enfer, c’est les autres”: hell is other people. But I’d rather suggest that “other people” are both hell and heaven. Strung between community and individ­u­ality, the umbilical cord of identity is a tenuous one.

It’s an attractive propo­sition to believe that humans are in essence inclined to do good. But there is also a case to be made for the opposite: that humans’ true nature is driven by base and amoral appetites. These two views of human nature seem to be irreconcilable—but are they?