Nothing on Mars

In the summer of 2018 Mars’ surface is swept by a planet-encircling, red dust storm. Dust storms on Mars is a seasonal phenomenon. Storms begin every M-year (or two Earth years) when Mars' slightly elliptical orbit brings it in relatively close proximity to the Sun. Once every three M-years on average the storms grow and... Continue Reading →

The Principality of New Utopia

Not far from the Mexican mainland, The Principality of New Utopia has claimed the Misteriosa Bank for its territory. The Misteriosa Bank is a submerged reef an average of 20 meters – in some places less than one meter – below the current sea level. It lies in international waters and is situated on the... Continue Reading →

The Utopian Inventory

I begin with Tomas More’s Utopia, not because it is the first example of what we might call utopian thinking (Plato’s Republic is one earlier example written approximated 360 B.C.), but because it so clearly crystalizes some of the constitutive principles of this particular genre of mental exercise. It establishes ‘the island’ as the ideal... Continue Reading →


In 1515 the British politician Thomas More was dispatched to Flanders by Henry VIII. While there, he wrote the major part of his novel Utopia, published the subsequent year. In this novel More imagined himself out for a stroll in the streets of Bruges when he is introduced to a traveler; Raphael Hythloday. After a... Continue Reading →

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