The Real World

Should We Reward "Bad People" Who Unexpectedly Do Good Things?

(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?

The Real World

Everything is a Spectrum

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

The Real World

Most Things are Terrible: My Optimism

(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

The Real World

Hypocrisy Arguments Cut Two Ways

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