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 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:

  • got degrees in philosophy and journalism
  • worked for an investment company for a decade
  • trained as a life coach with (and for) gay men
  • co-organized a transgender-inclusive open mic series
  • volunteered for a peace organization, traveling to Washington, D.C. a half-dozen times for conferences, training, and lobbying
  • spent a summer on a canoe expedition and another summer working for the U.S. Army ROTC
  • traveled to the bordering countries in North America (Canada and Mexico); South America (Paraguay); Europe (Italy…

A new book by Ben Rhodes: ‘After the Fall: Being American in the World We’ve Made’

Book cover: After the Fall by Ben Rhodes
After the Fall by Ben Rhodes

“To be born American in the late twentieth century,” Ben Rhodes writes in his 2021 book After the Fall: Being American in the World We’ve Made,was to take the fact of a particular kind of American exceptionalism as granted — a state of nature arrived at after all else had failed.”

However, as Americans began to forget World War II and as the Cold War also ended, “the American-led international order…lost its organizing principle” and replaced it with “hypercapitalist globalization that expanded until it was felled by its own excesses in 2008.” Only a few years after the September…

Toward a new epistemology that recognizes sex and gender diversity

Book cover: Yo soy el monstruo que os habla, by Paul B. Preciado

In 2019, the Spanish philosopher Paul B. Preciado prepared a talk for l’École de la Cause Freudienne, a French member organization of the World Association of Psychoanalysis. At the event, standing before 3,500 psychoanalysts, he asked if anyone else was gay, trans, or nonbinary, and no one raised their hands. The audience laughed and booed, and he was only able to deliver a fraction of his talk. He subsequently published his intended remarks as a small book, first in French, and then in Spanish in 2020. …

‘Under The Sky We Make’ by Kimberly Nicholas

Image from Bookshop

Under the Sky We Make: How to Be Human in a Warming World is a new book about coping psychologically with the reality of climate change. Global sustainability scientist Kimberly Nicholas puts big scientific concepts into manageable language, balancing realism and hope. This is for people who may not be scientists or policymakers but who already care about ecological sustainability and who are seeking a manageable framework to balance grief and constructive action.

What’s Causing Climate Change

Based on natural cycles, the planet would have been expected to be in a slight cooling phase right now. However, today, due mostly to humanity’s use of…

An American perspective in the 2003 book ‘Evil: An Investigation’

Book cover for “Evil: An Investigation” by Lance Morrow
Evil by Lance Morrow. Image source: PW

In Evil: An Investigation, Lance Morrow is looking for a rough definition of evil, or at least a way to approach the concept of that which cannot be defined. He especially considers the phenomenon of senseless murder in modern times, whether of a single individual or the genocide of a people. He believes this kind of evil is impossible to understand.

English doesn’t have many words for evil, so the word often conjures something less dangerous: “an atavism, a hallucination, a superstition”; “an ironic illusion or a remnant medieval misdirection, or a blunt instrument in the hands of primitive fundamentalists.”…

Returning to an environmental classic: ‘The Ages of Gaia’ by James Lovelock

The Gaia hypothesis was developed by scientist James Lovelock and microbiologist Lynn Margulis in the 1970s. It proposes that living organisms and the nonliving features of their environment are in constant interaction, by which a consistent environment that can support life is attained. Lovelock developed the idea in his book The Ages of Gaia: A Biography of Our Living Earth. First published in 1988, it was updated and revised in 1995. “Gaia” is his mythologically inspired name for Planet Earth.

People who understand evolution know that, over generations, plant and animal species adapt to their environment. …

Even if you can see through it, it wastes your time.

Regnery, a publisher that describes itself as “a major force within the conservative movement,” last year published Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters. (That was the U.S. publication; it was released last month in the UK.) With a title like that, I figure many people are anxious to know what it says but do not want to go through the painful experience of reading misinformation and smears about themselves, so I am volunteering for this disagreeable task.

The author is Abigail Shrier, who previously wrote “The Transgender Language War” for the Wall Street Journal in August 2018, the…

Two and a half millennia ago, Aristophanes argued for peace

Book cover: Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, illustrated by Aubrey Beardsley
Book cover image of ‘Lysistrata’ from Bookshop.

Performed as entertainment at Athenian festivals in 411 BCE during the Peloponnesian War, Aristophanes’ comedy Lysistrata argued for peace. At that time, Sparta and its allies were winning the war against Athens, and Athens was internally torn by the debate over whether democracy or oligarchy was the best form of government. Lysistrata detailed an implausible scheme in which upper-class women allied to end the war. These characters present their views about the oikos (household), polis (city-state), and Hellas (Greece) as a whole. The playwright simultaneously critiques local Athenian problems and warns that such self-destructive behavior will lead to collapse or…

Jane Alison’s examination of narrative forms

Book cover for MEANDER, SPIRAL, EXPLODE by Jane Alison
Meander, Spiral, Explode by Jane Alison

How many ways are there to tell a story? Many students of literature are taught that there is an “arc” or that the best stories follow the Hero’s Journey. A story must have, at least, a beginning, a middle, and an end — right?

Or are there other story forms?

Meander, Spiral, Explode

Jane Alison’s book is titled after different kinds of narratives.

A story can meander like a river’s path, implying “deliberate slowness, a delight in curving this way or that, luxuriating in diversions, carving slow labyrinths of time.” Or, the story can be more tightly focused, never losing sight of its…

Introduction to the book ‘Ten Past Noon’ by Tucker Lieberman

Ten Past Noon: Focus and Fate at Forty, published in 2020, is a hybrid nonfiction work about “war, racism, gender, time, mortality, free will, money, argument, information architecture, and why a writer might not finish a book.” The book description further explains:

In the Roaring Twenties, Edward Cumming might have become a railroad businessman, but he was more interested in literature. During the Depression, he tried to write a book about historical castrations. At thirty-nine, he died by suicide. What went wrong for him? A lack of focus? A problem of fate? The number forty? Or was his book haunted…

Tucker Lieberman

Writing on dignity, democracy, and truth. Author: ‘Ten Past Noon: Focus and Fate at Forty’

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