Delighted to be 40. Travel at your own speed.

Tucker Lieberman standing by a small waterfall at Quebrada la Vieja in Bogotá, Colombia. 5 December 2020
Tucker Lieberman standing by a small waterfall at Quebrada la Vieja in Bogotá, Colombia. 5 December 2020
Tucker Lieberman at Quebrada La Vieja in Bogotá, Colombia, on 5 December 2020.

Pleased to meet you!

I was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and I lived in the Boston area until my late 30s. Stuff I have done:


Where does it come from? How do we know it exists? Observations.

Two hands (red and blue) are clasped in a handshake. They are purple where they meet in the center. Words like “cooperate” and “connect” are written on the hands.
Two hands (red and blue) are clasped in a handshake. They are purple where they meet in the center. Words like “cooperate” and “connect” are written on the hands.
Image by John Hain from Pixabay

An Opening Question

Tom Beaudoin in Consuming Faith: Integrating Who We Are with What We Buy (2003):

…‘human dignity’ and ‘mystery’ can easily ossify into buzzwords. We continually have to find evocative ways of describing dignity and mystery. I propose that we ask ourselves what is that undomesticatable region of ourselves that cannot be bought, cannot be branded? What about us cannot be traded away, drugged up, or dieted off? What about ourselves cannot be sold, sweated away, or co-opted by an advertiser? …


An Ethiopian princess proposes a daring escape in this novel by Waltenegus Dargie

Cover image for Princess Mersabel by Waltenegus Dargie
Cover image for Princess Mersabel by Waltenegus Dargie
Princess Mersabel by Waltenegus Dargie

Princess Mersabel is Waltenegus Dargie’s 2021 revision of his novel The Eunuch and the King’s Daughter (2005). The names of some characters and places are changed, but the basic premise is the same. It’s a story of an unhappy princess who feels oppressed by family expectations.


Lessons From ‘The Portrayal and Punishment of Terrorists in Western Media

In her 2019 book The Portrayal and Punishment of Terrorists in Western Media: Playing the Villain, Christiana Spens studies how terrorists after 9/11 have been portrayed in the mainstream media. She examines “what a terrorist represents“ and “the cultural world from which this figure emerges,” both in modern times and farther back in history, considering “iconic images and figures of the past who linger in the Western imagination.”

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Osama bin Laden. Image detail from the cover of ‘The Portrayal and Punishment of Terrorists in Western Media.’

She discusses how this very portrayal implies their eventual execution or exile. The portrayal of terrorists communicates “neo-Orientalist ideas” of “‘evil ’, ‘barbarism ’ and ‘impurity’” and “perpetuates colonialist attitudes.” There are…


You may have seen the movie…but have you read the book?

Three test tubes filled with blood. An index card says “R. Woodhouse.”
Three test tubes filled with blood. An index card says “R. Woodhouse.”
A sketch by Tucker Lieberman.

Rosemary’s Baby is a classic 1967 psychological horror novel by the American author Ira Levin. The story draws on the fear of demons and witches, and the basic premise, by now, is famous.

In the opening scene, a newlywed couple, Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse, are apartment-hunting in Manhattan in 1965. Rosemary adores a large apartment in an upscale, historic building. The previous tenant had died.

A friend warns them against that particular building, so the reader is led to suspect that this might be a haunted house tale. However, the story proves to be something different.

Introducing: Rosemary

Rosemary wants to have…


You simply cannot guess the topic.

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Detail from a tapestry at the Smithsonian Museum. Wikimedia Commons.

In the late 2000s and early 2010s, I wrote a couple hundred articles for a site that was popular at the time. The website was bought out by a competitor which quickly shut it down. When I heard in 2014 that there were plans to delete all the content, I knew I had to rescue the articles I’d worked so hard on, and I decided I would start a Google blog just to have somewhere to repost the articles. I called my blog Disruptive Dissertation.

I didn’t have any immediate plans to “brand” or “monetize” the blog, nor did I…


On ‘Judaism Beyond God’ by Sherwin T. Wine

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Image by Gabriele Picello from Pixabay

Rabbi Sherwin T. Wine founded the Society for Humanistic Judaism in 1969. In 1985, he published Judaism Beyond God. It was revised in 1995. This book is “for those Jews who are not traditional, [and] who want to integrate their Jewish identity with their personal convictions.”

Who is a Jew?: On Jewish Identity

“Jewish identity is a kinship identity,” he writes. “Race, nation, and religion” don’t quite fit the bill on their own, but it’s something like that.

Jews worry over and drag out the question of “Who is a Jew?” mostly to avoid settling on an uncomfortable answer that would demand that they change their ways…


What spirituality is available to those who question God?

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Image by Waltteri Paulaharju from Pixabay

Some atheists find use for the word “spirituality” while others don’t. Atheism is a reasonable philosophical position, the appeal of the word “spirituality” is common, and atheists can justify their opinions on “spirituality” either way. Those who want to explore non-theistic spirituality will find it is a deep subject.

Here’s a couple perspectives on what atheist spirituality might look like. The first author is Christian and is discussing the capacity of each human to experience at least brief periods of unbelief. The second author is happily atheist.

Richard Kearney’s 2010 book Anatheism: Returning to God After God supports religious faith…


No, it’s not the rapture! It’s a time-travel paradox in ‘Lock & Key’ by Gordon Bonnet!

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Gordon Bonnet’s Lock & Key

Gordon Bonnet’s 2015 novel Lock & Key plays with problems of time travel.

What Happens

When Lee — suddenly, and for no obvious reason — shoots his friend Darren, it causes “some sort of temporal paradox.” So speculates Archibald Fischer, head of the Library of Timelines. What makes Fischer suspect a paradox? It’s just that the entire human population vaporized when the bullet entered Darren’s head.

This event, clearly, is something that ought to be unpacked and, if possible, undone. As part of that mulligan, it seems to be important, as one character put it, “to find out why Lee wanted to…


In 1954, it was a novel. Now it’s a handful of films. Still scary?

Jack Finney was an American novelist, and his famous story, The Body Snatchers, is archetypally American. In a culture that so heavily promotes individualism, the ultimate terror is losing one’s own personality.

The Book

Detail from the first edition book cover of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS. Author: Jack Finney.
Detail from the first edition book cover of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS. Author: Jack Finney.
Detail from the first edition of “Body Snatchers.”

In Finney’s 1954 novel The Body Snatchers, alien seed pods fall to earth and sprout plants that quickly mature. While a human is asleep, the plant produces an emotionless clone of the human body and then destroys the original body. It is impossible to distinguish a clone from the original, except that something is behaviorally amiss: a clone shows no facial expressions and takes no interest in anything…

Tucker Lieberman

Writing on dignity, democracy, and the pursuit of truth. Author: ‘Ten Past Noon: Focus and Fate at Forty’ https://tuckerlieberman.com/ten-past-noon

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