Koukl’s Anti-Abortion Nonsense

civil rights, politics Leave a reply

I recently made the tactical error of engaging with some anti-choice folk on their Kelowna Right to Life facebook page. As this particular group seemed to laud themselves on their intellectual and academic rigor, while disparaging that of the pro-choice folk, I thought I’d see how they responded to Judith Jarvis Thompson’s seminal work, A Defense of Abortion.

The short answer to that is “poorly”. In addition to clearly either not reading or understanding the paper, they kept referring to this awful article by Greg Koukl. This article will be a dissection of Unstringing the Violinist. (If nothing else, the anti-choice people come up with some decent article titles)

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Shower Thoughts

health, Mental Health, personal Leave a reply

love showers. Hot showers. Just one tiny turn off from pain, so it’s just hitting the edge. Because when the shower hits that point, my brain has to focus on the most prominent pain, and turns off the rest, so it’s only in the shower that my body stops hurting. It’s glorious.

It also lets me get a sense of what else is going on in my body, like the near-constant flutter of butterflies-in-my-stomach. And my mind jumps back 25 years……

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Being an Effective Devil’s Advocate

Education, philosophy Leave a reply

Scene: a coffee shop where two people are in a heated discussion over a complex topic.

Galina: “So you can see that, generally speaking, this is predominantly the case!”
Bob: “No! What about this one time, that thing happened! That shows that you’re completely wrong!”
Galina, confused: “I don’t understand what that has to do with this?”
Bob: “Hey, this isn’t my area of expertise. I’m just being a Devil’s Advocate….”

This scene is all too common, and it’s immensely frustrating for people who have spent time and energy learning about a topic to be “refuted” by someone who knows very little. “Refuted”, though, is not the same as refuted, because Bob hasn’t actually offered a useful counterargument. No, Bob is just being a contrarian jerk. And contrarian jerks love to claim that they’re “just being a Devil’s Advocate”.

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Anxiety, an Internal Struggle

Mental Health, personal Leave a reply

I wish I understood the mechanisms of anxiety, at least within myself. I believe, perhaps mistakenly, that understanding these mechanisms would make it easier to resolve them, to overcome them. So that they’d stop ruling my life.

I had intended to leave my apartment about 5 hours ago to go get a haircut. It still hasn’t happened. Or, more accurately, I still haven’t gotten up and left.

It’s a bizarre feeling. It’s like that if I “decide” to do something, that decision gets consciously processed in the usual way and then….. nothing happens. I don’t rise out of my chair. My legs don’t move into position to lift me up. But if my legs are uncomfortable in their current position, I can move them just fine.

I can decide to type, or not to type, or to think about pretty much anything, but once I start thinking about “going outside”, suddenly there’s a *crowd* of other thoughts that urgently need my attention. Like I should take a shower. Or I should check my email. Or read an article. Or just play 15min of a game.

Looking at the door doesn’t cause me any consternation or fear. I’ve opened the door several times today to step out to get some air. That’s a non-issue. But once I decide that this move is to leave? Nope, nothing happens. Or, more accurately, something that *isn’t* me getting up to leave happens. E.g. this article.

There’s no obvious cause in my consciousness for this, no “nope, let’s do something else”-thought, I’m just suddenly flipping through twitter, or facebook, or doing a random search for details on my insurance, or….. So there’s nothing to discuss or argue against, to make my case in favour of a months-overdue haircut. The haircut is cheap, so the cost isn’t an issue.

And I am on edge, anxious. And I know that the moment I decide “ok, fine, not today”, I’ll feel my entire body relax, as if it were bracing for a massive burst of muscle-energy that is now no longer needed.

And it’ll be another day without a haircut. And if I can’t handle going outside, 100m from my home, for that, what fucking hope does the rest of my life have?

Maximize Charitible Giving on Humble Bundle (A Guide)

Charity, civil rights, Gaming Leave a reply

There’s been a crisis in the US for a number of years, and Trump’s administration is expanding and worsening it. As we’ve seen over the last few days, the response of the American people (and around the world) has been a large rejection of his policies, largely through donations to charitable organisations working for human rights (e.g. the ACLU raised 6 years worth of donations over a single weekend).

But let’s say you’re kinda, sorta interested in donating, but worried about whether your money will be well spent. Perhaps you’re just a bit skeptical of charity work in general, your budget is a bit tight and you want to make sure every penny counts, or you’d like to see something tangible in exchange for your donation? These are not unreasonable positions, and this post is for you.

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Retraction of “The Irrelevance of the American Presidential Race”

Uncategorized Leave a reply

Given what’s happening in the USA, I’m retracting the article I titled “The Irrelevance of the American Presidential Race“. I was completely wrong on this point, and am leaving the article online (though completely struckthrough) as a reminder.

While only time will tell whether these orders will be completely overturned, and I’m completely shocked that the various departments would just robotically enforce the executive orders, the thrust of my previous argument was that the President simply didn’t have the power to do what Trump is currently doing. Again: I’m completely wrong.

The Dangerous Seductiveness of Rage

Mental Health, personal, psychology Leave a reply

I’ve spent most of my life dealing with ‘rage’ issues. I’ve never been physically violent, but verbal vitriol, especially online, has been an issue in the past (and something that I continue to work on, of course). So I know of what I speak when I talk about the seductiveness of rage, and the appeal of anger, and the problems that can accompany them.

For the skimmers: if you conclude from this article that I believe that one should never feel or act on anger, then you have not read this article correctly.

In retrospect, I spent much of my teenage years and early twenties in a mild depression. The why of that is not pertinent to this article, but it’s important to understand that depression doesn’t simply mean ‘feeling sad’. Oftentimes there’s no feeling at all: feeling sad would be a positive change of affairs, because then I would have actually felt *something*.

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Trump DOES Represent American Values

culture, History, personal, politics Leave a reply

This video is intended for Americans (and only Americans) expressing the sentiment that ‘this is not the America I know’ or that ‘Trump does not represent American values’. To the Americans expressing these sentiments: where have you been all your life?

Why only Americans? Because they should be familiar with the history of their country, far more than those of us outside of it.

 

Voting Third Party is Letting the USA Burn

culture, Rhetoric Leave a reply

On November 8th, the American people are going to cast a relatively unimportant vote that nevertheless will tell us 1) how bigoted they are, generally, and 2) whether they understand ‘logic’ and ‘opportunity cost’. While the former should be fairly self-evident, I’d like to talk about the latter a little here.

If you read around on the internet, you’ll find many articles claiming that a vote for a 3rd party candidate is a waste of a vote, or a vote for ‘the other candidate’, and people defending that choice disagree.

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