Hallow (verb; noun), to make holy, to sanctify; a holy person, a saint. From old English haliga, halga — Middle English halwe, related to hælþ (being whole) — the origin of the modern English “health”. Obsolete word except in two important instances: Halloween (All-Hallows-eve), and in the Lord’s Prayer:  9 After this manner therefore pray […]


Fungible (adj); capable of being replaced, exchangeable, interchangeable. From Medieval Latin fungibilis, from Latin fungi “to perform” (e.g., fungor “I perform”) + ible “able to”. In other words, able to be performed, substituting one thing for another. In finance, money is fungible (e.g., a $20 bill is exchangeable for twenty $1 bills, and both are […]


Vagaries (n); uncertain and unexpected events, mental wandering. From the Latin vagari (to wander) from vagus (roving, wandering). In other words, to travel or wander in an eccentric and unexpected way. Also see, Peregrination.

Reading List

I love to read, and I’ve often struggled with multiple “to read” lists: handwritten in a journal, or on social media (back when I used social media), or books lying around waiting to be read. I’ve realized there are more books I want to read than I’ll ever have time for. This page is to […]

Prisoner’s Dilemma

The Prisoner’s Dilemma, from game theory, originally stated as: Two members of a criminal gang are arrested and imprisoned. Each prisoner is in solitary confinement with no means of communicating with the other. The prosecutors lack sufficient evidence to convict the pair on the principal charge, but they have enough to convict both on a […]

The Fool

From Medieval Latin follus, from Vulgar Latin follis (foolish) meaning “windbag, empty-headed person.” The Fool is an archetypal character common in art and storytelling, often with religions connotations (be it Christian, Buddhist, or Islamic). In the esoteric interpretations of Tarot, the fool is a naive protagonist traversing the mysteries of life. The “Fool’s Journey” is […]


Peregrination (v: peregrinate); a journey or pilgrimage with mystic connotations, e.g., travel for the love of God; voluntarily explore beyond the known, beyond known danger and into the infinite unknown. As Carl Jung described it, the aim of the mystical peregrination is to understand all parts of the world, to achieve the greatest possible extension […]


改善 [or Kaizen (Japanese), or Gǎishàn (Mandarin)]; improvement or change for the better, commonly referring to a continuous improvement philosophy that originated in Japan. A Kaizen approach is one that makes continuous incremental improvements to any system or process (e.g., writing a book, building a car, learning a foreign language). This philosophy is universally applicable, […]