Give up your inquiries which are completely useless, and consider these words a second warning.

The Karl Marx of the Hardwood — For seventy-five minutes, I talked to Steve Nash outside a restaurant in Lower Manhattan. Neither one of us ate anything; we mostly just watched it rain. I asked him a lot of questions; he politely answered all of them without saying anything remotely incendiary.

Why Tell Koko About Robin Williams’s Death? — According to press reports, Koko, the gorilla adept at sign language, seemed saddened to hear the news of the death of Robin Williams, whom the gorilla met once in 2001 (and bonded with immediately). I cannot fathom the ethical reasoning behind telling Koko about Williams's death.

Tourist Retractions — I recently spent several days at a relatively expensive hotel. The place was deplorable and unsanitary, with an unresponsive front desk. I gave it a poor write-up on, the travel website, titling my review "An Overpriced Dung Heap."

A Quick-Change Artist — My next-door neighbor, who recently quit her job to pursue painting, asked if she could practice by making a portrait of my child. She said she would charge me the cost of supplies since it was for practice, and I agreed.

Is It Wrong to Watch Football? — I've recently begun to question my support for the N.F.L. I suspect that the recent discoveries about concussions and the prevalence of early-onset dementia among players are just the tip of the iceberg. Is it unethical to support a league that seems to know it is detrimental to the health of its participants?

The Accidental Phone Tap — My sisters called me on a conference line, hoping to connect the three of us for an important discussion. I wasn't home, so one sister left a voice mail message and then disconnected - or at least she thought she did. But my voice mail kept recording as she and my other sister continued their conversation.

My Parents Paid for My Education - Does That Mean I Need to Take a Soul-Crushing Job? — Thanks to the full financial support of my parents, I recently graduated from an expensive private college in the Northeast with no student debt. After graduation I secured a salaried job with benefits at a large publishing house.

Compassionate Capital Punishment — A physician friend oversees the lethal-injection program in another state. I say this is unethical. He says just the opposite. Before him, he says, executions were often prolonged and painful. Now they are fast and painless. Because the state will continue the program with or without him, he feels that his work is humanitarian in nature.

Sketched Out on the Subway — I was sitting next to someone on the subway who was surreptitiously sketching portraits of fellow commuters. I once spotted someone opposite me doing this, and actually changed cars when I suspected he was eyeing me as a subject.

Why "Seinfeld" Is The Most Villainous Sitcom In Human History — There's a passage in the documentary The Pervert's Guide to Ideology where dialectic Marxist superstar Slavoj Žižek goes on a tangent about how to properly satirize institutional power. His point, in essence, is that you can't successfully erode an institution by attacking the person in charge.
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Oct 21, 2014

@hodgman Where are you tonight, rocker? I thought you were attacking Akron this evening.

Oct 18, 2014

RT @theethicist: This week: Is it immoral to inform a clever gorilla that Robin Williams has killed himself?

Oct 16, 2014

"Ladies and gentlemen, we have an extremely peculiar situation right now":

Oct 16, 2014

Citizens of Chicago -- I will be speaking in your city on Tuesday. Here are the various details:

Oct 15, 2014

RT @laureneoneal: Why doesn't anyone invite copyeditors to parties when we're such cool people out with whom to hang?

Oct 14, 2014

The hype is real: this @serial podcast is authentically compelling. It's almost like an auditory version of "The Staircase."

Oct 07, 2014

RT @MakingNews: Having a fun day today -- after all his tests were finished. Probably get to go home tomorrow. @amynin @AOBabyMartin

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