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


Washington’s policy community has become, if not more friendly to, then at least more cognizant of the arguments for restraint in U.S. foreign policy. But it has not yet started to grapple effectively with the America First criticism of liberal internationalism ... McMaster’s dark vision of a world where “competition” and threat are endless could well open the door for an increasingly illiberal, unilateral, and militaristic U.S. foreign policy

On McMaster's new memoir. Obscured by Trump's less coherent public positions, it looks like the conservative 'isolationist' bent is taking on an increasingly hawkish character. Possibly a concern, given Biden's position as an 'orthodox' Democrat, heir to the so-called Clinton Doctrine.

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.

at once an ethical retreat and an opportunity to recalibrate the economy ... ethics and exchange were logically linked, though the governing principle was reciprocity, not accumulation

Anthropological case study for the lockdown as a 'spiritual and economic reset' from an Indonesian community who would voluntarily retreat every couple of years. Similar ideas to this more modern-focused take


April 4, 2021

Grouse new font and colour palette. Reorganised collections around the actual collections.

March 28, 2021

Published project petrichor as an article. Time to start arranging this site around what it's arranged around.

March 22, 2021

New article on the myth of the millennium.


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