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Do you have to be an anth... The question often comes up, do you have to be an anthroposophist to be a...

Fountain Pens

I am going to be reviewing a number of fountain pens in some upcoming posts. I have a sentimental reason for liking fountain pens. Back when I was a wee lad in elementary school I originally learn to write with block crayons. And then stick crayons. And then, sometime around third grade, we graduated to fountain pens. I believe they were basic Schaefer 1980s school pens. Nothing fancy. Steel nib with ink cartridges. And so...

Are polls lies?

The recent recent election has prompted a lot of comments like, “all polls are lies”. I disagree. Polls are a very fuzzy take on a moment in time. A poll two weeks before election day can’t tell you how the election will turn out, only how people feel about it two weeks before the event. And even for its moment in time it is fuzzy – sample size, etc. Most have a 5% margin of error. The polls, at least...

Conspiracy Theories

I don’t have much use for conspiracy theories. Most of what happens in the world can be explained with basic sociology and economic analysis. Positing that some secret group is pulling the strings and always getting exactly what they want is a kind of intellectual short-cut that serves to make sense of the world without doing all the work of mastering the detail of how things actually function. This is not to say that...

Polemic and History

Polemic and History A number of critics of Anthroposophy have acknowledged that they are writing polemical history when they attack Rudolf Steiner. Some even seem puzzled as to why that is considered a ‘bad’ thing. And certainly, from one point of view there is nothing ‘bad’ about polemic; it is what it is, after all. I have further argued that polemic history has important differences from standard,...

Dogmatism and the “Waldorf Critics”

I’ve been tuning in and out to the chatter of the Waldorf Critics for years now. Frankly, I find most of it tedious. But I do often ponder the significance of the Waldorf Critics as a phenomenon. One thing that I’ve been thinking a lot about recently is the nature of dogmatism. A frequent criticism levied against the whole Waldorf movement on the WC list is that everyone in it is a dogmatic Steiner devotee. What...

Random notes

I was talking to my friend Stephen Usher today about the website we designed for the Austin Branch of the Anthroposophical Society. We are still trying to decide if we like the color of the background. It is nice to have a soft watercolor – it gives a bit of an ethereal feel – but it could be distracting. I brought this up after talking to Caron of Sontec Instruments, who is looking to put a website together for...

Steiner and Treitschke

Last week someone e-mailed me a post that Peter Staudenmaier wrote to the Waldorf Critics list nearly a year ago about a page I put up on my Defending Steiner site. It took me a little while to get around to investigating it, but upon careful examination of the claims that Peter Staudenmaier has made, I find it appropriate to write the following response. I made mistakes. Flipping the “e” and the “i"...

Eric P. Wijnants: serial plagiarist

Once upon a time I came across a site that annoyed me. It had a wealth of material on esoteric subjects, details that were available nowhere else on the web, and in some cases nowhere else at all. The only problem was that not one piece of it had any citations, and that made it essentially useless for my purposes. It is standard scholarly practice if you are talking about something that happened 300 years ago to describe the...