You’re supposed to have a theme for these things, I’m told.

Pick a niche, drill down into a painful, expensive problem for a super-targeted audience, and solve it. That’s the key to building an audience with your writing, skyrocketing to wealth, fame, and glory.

In lieu of all that, here’s a picture of a lovely beach not far from my home:

A beach in New Zealand
A beach somewhere in New Zealand.

The Five Ws

Name’s Matt. Pleasure to meet you, I hope.

Meaningful Particulars is my newsletter presence on Substack. There’s too much inertia, energy, and active network effects to avoid the platform, so here I’m is.

I will level with you. I don’t have a tight theme or a specific audience in mind. I write about topics ranging from human behavior to AI to social theory and moral philosophy. There’s not much of a theme holding it together besides whatever interests me.

When you join, I’ll send you one (1) modest-sized newsletter each week. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like settling down to read long-form articles in the email inbox. Expect a little story, a tip or insight to make your day a little better, and whatever Q&A and article/book roundup stuff as it washes ashore.

OK, yes, there will be occasional 2500 word articles in multi-part series, too.

Here’s a shameless plug for you to subscribe:

Why join?

You might enjoy these weekly excursions if:

  • You’re into lifting weights.

  • You often wonder about the Big Questions about life, existence, meaning, etc

  • You’re into Lovecraft-style horror stories and John Carpenter movies

  • Or great 80s movies starring Arnold, Stallone, and Bruce Willis

  • You’re fascinated and disgusted by the darker side of human nature, but compelled by the belief that there is good in us

  • The thoughtless technology worming its tentacles into our lives frustrates and confuses you, leaving you to wonder about the prospects for a human future

If that’s up your alley, you should maybe subscribe.

Why care what I think?

I’m supposed to brag on myself here.

Truth is, there’s not much to brag on. I’m an American living the expat life down here on a small island in the south Pacific. That’s as adventurous as my life gets. No cool stories about securing VC funding for a startup, touring the finest snob-attractions in Europe, a prestigious job as a university professor, TED talks, or best-selling books.

I’ve got a track record as a strength coach going way back, though I don’t write to the health and fitness crowd anymore. If I do talk about exercise, it’s in connection with The Good Life, what Aristotle called the eudaimon life.

A crude translation of that word into English would be “good demon”. That’s got certain ugly meanings for us, which are not at all what Aristotle or his countrymen had in mind. It’s better read as flourishing, doing well, living with excellence, or even that oversimplification “happiness”.

The topic of living well is important to me and central to my thinking about everything. I even wrote my doctoral dissertation on two neo-Aristotelian philosophers.

Here’s a picture that sums it all up:

Still here? If you made it this far down the page, why haven’t you subscribed yet?

Thanks for reading.


P.S. If you’re looking for more content-specific stuff, I suggest that you read the pinned introduction post:

Meaningful Particulars
The First One
It’s called “meaningful particulars” for two reasons. Reason One: Our culture is a cult of abstractions. Mathematics and theories and all those wonderful things we build out of words are understood as a more-real glimpse of reality than the world you experience in front of your face and beneath your feet…
Read more

Subscribe to Meaningful Particulars

"What is the author on and where can I get some?" — Hacker News



Schopenhauer fan account. Philosophy PhD disgruntled with academia and the professional manager class. Enjoys time spent under heavy barbells.