(1700 words, ~6 minutes to read) You've been sent to prison, but you haven't committed a crime. You're stuck in your cell, day after day, briefly let out for food and medicine. Of course, this means your plans are cancelled for a while; you already haven't seen your friends in weeks. It's not your fault!… Continue reading The Long Haul
(700 words, 2-3 minutes to read) We live in a confusing time. 1) I often see "news articles" that contain blatant lies, or at least heavily doctored facts, making incendiary claims about this or that political/religious/ethnic group. There's a temptation to share such articles, along with my own comment pointing out the inaccuracies and warning… Continue reading Dark Side of Sharing
(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?
(2,200 words, 7-9 minutes to read) I am a human, born in what is not yet known as the year 10,000 BC in what is not yet known as the Fertile Crescent. My tribe survives by finding and eating food that is naturally occurring and nearby, whether by gathering native grains or fruit, or by… Continue reading Derivatives of Progress
Breaking news: Autism isn't binary (not autistic / autistic), but instead it's a spectrum (not autistic ⇄ autistic). This, per the description in the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the DSM-IV, published in 1994. In the DSM-IV, autism was categorized as a discrete spectrum, with separable levels like "Asperger's… Continue reading Everything is a Spectrum
(Content warning: Deep, all-encompassing pessimism. If you read to the end I promise a deep kernel of optimism as a reward.) I'm often accused of being naively optimistic. Not so! I, too, believe that mostly everything is terrible. More precisely: Almost everything is false; almost everything is suffering; almost everything is bad; almost no-one is… Continue reading Most Things are Terrible: My Optimism
I'm worried about the use of what I'll call hypocrisy arguments, which take the following form: P1) Group A says they believe/support X.P2) But Group A also says they believe/support ~Y (meaning "not Y", or "the opposite of Y").--------------(THEREFORE)----------------------C1) ...what hypocrites Group A must be! This sort of argument is often used by Republicans/Democrats to… Continue reading Hypocrisy Arguments Cut Two Ways