Reading Freely is the combination of two past efforts of mine to make sense of the world; one literary, the other philosophical. The mission: to discover what it means to live a flourishing life in a humane world — and to put that into practice. What does it mean to read freely? For me, it is to search the entire world for truth, not merely my little corner of it; it means to investigate every discipline, poke my head into every cranny. It means to consider the opinions of others regardless of their reputation in society. Above all, it means to think for myself, to admit no master over my head whether they be a king or an ideological mob.
Posts will have a mix of book reviews, reflections, and quotations. Common themes include mindfulness, sustainability, local culture, and critical analyses of modernity, consumerism, and the state. Recurring reading challenges include Space Camp, Read of England, the Science Survey, and the Classics Club.
The page background is the Stoa of Attalos; the page banner is the School of Athens; and the avatar I use here is a depiction of Epictetus, who along with Marcus Aurelius introduced me to Stoicism and a life inclined towards wisdom. The illustration had the virtue of depicting him writing, but I was amused by his thoughtful, almost exasperated expression.