St. Augustine

His folly as a young man, stealing pears from his neighbour's tree, getting involved with Manichaeanism augustine-confessions



And it is simply Confession, not “The Confession” or “A Confession”; as Carson was keen to emphasize, this essay is not some admission of wrongdoing (“confession” in the usual modern sense), but an account of a spiritual journey in the tradition of the Confessions of Augustine or Jean-Jacques Rousseau.



??? TK

Naomi Klein

Her past as mall-besotted, consumerist teen (vs no-logo); her pride in her frequent-flier status (vs this-changes-everything)

Tech people


The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads. That sucks.

Jeff Hammerbacher [(data-best-minds-click-ads)]

Wendy Liu

Author of Abolish Silicon Valley: How to Liberate Technology from Capitalism. She describes her own journey going from bright-eyed startup founder to disillusioned leftist memoir writer, on how she realised that the progressive promises of the tech world were not all they were cracked up to be. Marx: this is not the usual, history of the industry, bash neoliberalism, and where do we go next, it's in the form of a memoir. Liu: I wanted to explain to someone like my younger self how exactly it was that I had come to these conclusions.

Cathy O'Neil

Author of wmd

Also has on the About page of her blog:

She hopes to someday have a better answer to the question, “what can a non-academic mathematician do that makes the world a better place?”

Oil executives

plastic recycling is a sham

Health insurance executives

propagandising against Canada's single-payer healthcare system

POTTER: You know, I was believing my own PR for a long time. I rose up through the ranks. I had a good job. I was leading corporate communications at Cigna when I left. I was able to kind of compartmentalize as well, too, but also keep myself removed from the problems that so many people in this country are facing when it comes to getting care that they need and can afford. But on the other hand, if I hadn't done that, I wouldn't know what I know. And I've been one of the very few people who has some insider information to share with the public and with policymakers. I've testified before Congress many times and written lots of columns and done lots of media work to try to help people understand our system better and how it compares and contrasts to other systems around the world.

Dr. Gabor Maté

hungry-ghosts talking about his addiction to classical music CD's and work

Development aid


"The Development Game" by Leonard Frank, from post-dev-reader

As non-confrontational way of opening minds

I've found confessions a very powerful genre in changing my mind about things I was previously agnostic or ignorant about (just not Augustine & christianity tho). In confessing their own acts and talking frankly about their own realisations and struggles, these authors create the "safe space" needed for us to examine our own lives and similarities in a highly compassionate manner, without the often counter-productive lectures or blame games that op-eds or think pieces tend to devolve into. (Is this an AA tactic? TK)


augustine-confessions Augustine, Saint. Confessions. ↩︎ 1

tolstoy-confession Tolstoy, Leo. “Confession”. ↩︎ 1

Klein, Naomi. No Logo. ↩︎ 1

this-changes-everything Klein, Naomi. This Changes Everything: Capitalism Vs. The Climate. ↩︎ 1

never-get-high-on-your-own-supply Hern, Alex. 2018. “`never Get High on Your Own Supply': Why Social Media Bosses Don't Use Social Media”. The Guardian. [link] ↩︎ 1

wmd O'Neil, Cathy. Weapons of Math Destruction. ↩︎ 1

hungry-ghosts Maté, Gabor. In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction. ↩︎ 1

post-dev-reader Rahnema, Majid, and Victoria Bawtree. 1997. The Post-development Reader. Zed Books. ↩︎ 1

death-and-confession Tolstoy, Leo. The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Confession. Translated by Peter Carson. Liveright. ↩︎ 1