People act fake sometimes. They smile when they don't feel happy. They say things they know you'll like to hear. They give when they feel no compassion. I used to think this was always bad, like the ulterior motive was uniformly to lie and sell me something I'd regret later. Some fakers really are like that,… Continue reading You Can Be Fake
(1400 words, 5 minutes to read) Almost every introductory philosophy class reads a few of the Socratic Dialogues, written by Plato. These stories usually explore some deep philosophical concept like Love, Honor, or Morality, through a discussion between Socrates (the philosopher protagonist of the stories, and usually the winner of the argument) and some other… Continue reading The True Story of Socrates
(1100 words, 3 minutes to read) Big news this week: in Trump's impeachment trial in the Senate, Mitt Romney voted to remove him from office. This is big news precisely because we live in such a tribal world, where everyone's well-justified expectation is for every Democrat to vote to remove, and every Republican to vote… Continue reading Should We Reward "Bad People" Who Unexpectedly Do Good Things?
As I mentioned a few months ago, I think it’s valuable to consciously mark time as a way to make gradual changes to one’s behavior. I'm trying out the idea of New Month Resolutions; the basic principle is to choose some habit or activity each month to commit to, one that is (a) big enough that… Continue reading New Month Resolution #4
If we start accepting 'slippery slope' arguments, then who knows what other bad arguments we might be forced to accept in the future! 'Ad hominem'? People who make those arguments are jerks.If 'affirming the consequent' is a bad argument type, then it will have a conclusion. So since it has a conclusion, clearly it's a… Continue reading Bad Reasons to reject Bad Arguments
(1000 words, 3 minute read) I expect that we all know a person whose life is just a mess. These disasters can come in many forms: maybe they can't hold a job, or else they don't want to, choosing laziness at the expense of their future; maybe they get in and out of relationships for… Continue reading An Ergodic Life
As I mentioned a few months ago, I think it’s valuable to consciously mark time as a way to make gradual changes to one’s behavior. The usual case is the New Year’s Resolution, but it comes only once per year and almost nobody sticks with it for that long. As a substitute, I proposed the idea… Continue reading New Month Resolution #3