The Armchair Collective

turning scholarship into wisdom we can use.

About the project



thing one sits in for relaxing and thoughtful activity;


adj., noun

of, or relating to a group of individuals;

Today, the scholastic enterprise is a bit funny. It's about the pursuit of truth, but only for those who can read the articles. Facts for the sake of facts—innumerable glittering fragments—isolating us by their number from understanding. But knowledge is nothing except in relation to the way we use it; embedded in the context of our desires and coordinated in the light of experience. This is wisdom. An architecture of thought that our future selves can use. So let's do that. Let's turn scholarship into wisdom we can use.

The latest


a number of studies indicating that frequent fasting cycles may ... increase side effects and even mortality ... daily fasting/TRF periods of approximately 12 hours appear to be associated with benefits without known negative effects

Excellent review of the effects of intermittent and periodic fasting. It looks like all of these are strategies (including the usual 14 or 16 hour daily fasts) best used regularly, but not ongoing, and the re-feeding period might be just as important as the fast. From the abstract:

[intermittent fasting] lasting from 12 to 48 hours and repeated every 1 to 7 days and [periodic fasting] lasting 2 to 7 days and repeated once per month

And from the conclusion:

the refeeding period that has more recently emerged as an equally important process involved in the regeneration, and possibly rejuvenation, of systems, including organs, cells and organelles.

The deterministic view of free will always seems to cause such furore, forgetting that whether free will exists or not, this world is so intractably complex that for almost all practical purposes, it doesn't matter.

democracy need not be the teleological destiny of all countries. Means of stoking it from outside are often reckless (war) or patchily effective (sanctions). And if the west could not entrench freedom as the global standard when it was ascendant, it is hardly likely to as the balance of world power tilts increasingly eastward.

On the decline of global democracy since the misleading 'boom' following the Cold War.


April 28, 2021

Updates to On Emotion, and added to Curated.

April 21, 2021

A bit of a follow on from Varela's Gestures, that's dense enough to be its own article: insight and the sciences.

April 10, 2021

New article on Varela's Gestures.

Part of a series, I suspect.

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