Texas Liberal

All People Matter

The Mobility Of Ideas


I’ve begun reading Wanderlust—A History of Walking by Rebecca Solnit. I walk often—Even here in pedestrian-hostile Houston. 

Here is an excerpt from the book I think has some value. Ms. Solnit is speaking of the Ancient Greek Sophists and it leads to these thoughts—

“….they were often mobile, as are many of those whose first loyalty is to ideas. It may be that loyalty to something as immaterial as ideas sets thinkers apart from those whose loyalty is tied to people and locale, for the loyalty that ties down the latter will often drive the former from place to place. It is an attachment that requires detachment…..ideas are not as reliable or popular a crop as, say, corn, and those who cultivate them often must keep moving in pursuit of support as well as truth. Many professions in many cultures, from musicians to medics, have been nomadic, possessed of a kind of diplomatic immunity to the strife between communities that keeps others local.”

I can relate to this to some degree and I imagine many others can as well

October 10, 2007 - Posted by | Books, Uncategorized | , ,


  1. The Jewish people often refer to our diaspora, which means “scattered.” It refers to both the historic expulsion of the Jews from their land and the migration of Jews to various parts of the world. Despite the scattering of Jews throughout the world, Jews often talk about and pray for a return to Israel. So perhaps there can be both — loyalty to ideas, including culture and religion, and loyalty to a place, however fragile its existence.

    Comment by Barb | October 15, 2007

  2. Excellent comment. Israel was long an idea that became a place in the last century. There is an example of an idea taking solid form.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | October 18, 2007

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