The Notebooks (2010-20)

For ten years I’ve kept track of my random thoughts and reflections in two slim Moleskine notebooks.

Next year, I’ll be releasing a short book containing the best bits.

I’m posting an example of what you can expect, a snippet penned on my back deck a few days ago.

I’m not a big fan of the so-called “cancel culture” and reject any attempt to limit free speech or stifle debate. And so:

“Dialectics taught me that societies emerge out of a clash of ideas. By ignoring or suppressing dissenting views we rob ourselves of that special friction and, thus, are consigned to echo chambers that endlessly reproduce our tiresome certainty.”


  1. Kendi

    I have found myself distressed by the cancel culture which is far more mob-like shouting and public shaming which allows no room for discourse, education or change. For me you hit the nail on the head. All the hot button topics, gender identify, black lives matter, feminism, “me too”, white privilege, etc I am of course FAR left of center but struggle to find a way to speak to the need for discourse, for understanding, as the response is too ugly, I find it all disturbing and slightly scary. On both sides.

  2. Cliff Burns

    Both Left and Right like to claim the moral high ground but each is guilty of arrogance and self-righteousness. Once again, I lay a good deal of the blame with social media; we can construct little silos where only the opinions we agree with can be heard, blocking out anything that might run counter to our thinking. And many employ the various media platforms to bully and torment their perceived enemies, screaming and frothing at the mouth when they could be reaching out, establishing contact, seeking to communicate. There’s nothing wrong with an impassioned argument as long as both sides display civility and a willingness to listen. Otherwise, it’s Bedlam, the lunatics in charge of the asylum.

  3. Cliff Burns

    Well, you recall that old saying: “Even a blind pig can find an acorn every so often”. Whether of not people will be willing to read or buy a collection of my weird ramblings and reflections is the big question. Then again, marketability has never factored into my publishing decisions in the past, why should it have any precedence now?

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