After a long retreat, a deep ebb tide of silence, the Pacific blog returns to regular publication for this momentous political year. The Pacific will remain “a still small voice” in the vast ocean of digital detritus, providing discriminating readers with shorter prose pieces on politics, literature and ocean conservation, as well as the occasional original poem, satirical or sincere. While the political commentary will lean “liberal” in defense of liberal democracy and smart, compassionate public policy in general (thus staunchly opposed to the Trump administration), readers will be refreshed to know that my thoughts here will not be shallowly “progressive” or mindlessly “conservative.” Not all traditions deserve to be maintained, but some do.
Western Civilization has many humane benefits and pleasures–for example, the principle of human rights and a glass of whiskey– as well as many faults (such as a prevailing misogyny and other bigotries) that require criticism and correction. The industrial revolution has been both boon and bane, as has the more recent computer revolution. Western science has brought us great knowledge and longer lives but also anxiety, pollution and terrible weapons; we now celebrate science (when not ignoring its conclusions) by generally denigrating and dismissing the humanities and religion, without which the human mind and soul are left unbalanced and morally unmoored.
So the mission of The Pacific is to be an independently intellectual source of humane truth and principled pleasure. Something edifying to do with a computer.