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.
Every so often, a sponsored Forbes post will pop up in my facebook feed, and it’s usually just some crappy clickbait title with some bullshit advice that only someone with a business degree would be tricked into thinking it’s useful.
But the latest one is just amazing. It’s the same old Buzzfeed-bullshit, where you have to click through 10 pages in order to see 10 short sentences (and generate 10-pages-worth of advertisement impressions….), but the author just lets the cat out of the bag on page 1:
“Readers have admonished me for failing to research each profession, but to do that properly, I’d need weeks if not months of reporting. I’d want to talk to at least two dozen people in each of the fields listed and to evaluate many other job titles, and my publishing schedule is such that I simply don’t have the time.” – Susan Adams
This kind of admission is amazing, and I’d like to dig into it a little more.
There’s a deep and profound irony that the people who insist that those who wish merely to be warned prior to being exposed to potentially triggering content are ‘weak’ and ‘need to be challenged’, while that the same time merely pointing out that the argument that they’re presenting is merely echoing factfree, right-wing talking points merits abuse and defriending.
It’s kinda weird* how quickly they object to being mildly challenged on holding ignorant and vapid viewpoints, but insist that other people are the ones that need hardening up. But not them, no no. That they fall apart in the face of mere disagreement is totally acceptable……
*No, not weird at all…..
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It’s currently Vancouver Pride weekend here, and that’s as good a time as any for self-reflection, especially with regards to self-identity and orientation. This article is entirely about me and how I see myself with regards to the LGBTQ labels, and no opinion about how I do (or do not) see other people should be inferred.
Moreover, this article deals with my sex-life, so if that’s not something you’re interested in stop reading here.
An acquaintance of mine sent me a link to a conversation between Dan Dennett and Sam Harris, wherein Dennett attempts to explain the holes in Harris’s puerile arguments against the concept of “free will”.
In any case, this particular post isn’t about Harris, but a particular point he reiterates repeatedly: that we can (and should) change our beliefs “in real-time”.
This view, regardless of who holds it, is incorrect, and here’s why.
Here’s a thing that I attribute to my anxiety, but perhaps other people (not suffering from anxiety) deal with it too.
I’ll get engrossed in reading articles/playing games that time passes and I get hungry. Not “omfg, I’m going to die if I don’t eat”-hungry, but the pangs aren’t minor. Noticing them, bringing them into attention, is uncomfortable.
So I’ll go back to reading articles/playing games “for just a couple more minutes”, moving the hunger back out of awareness such that I don’t feel the pangs anymore. Then I’ll think about getting some food, and the cycle continues.
This can mean that sometimes (on a day off) I don’t eat from the moment I wake up for 10+ hours, until I finally suck up the wherewithal to just go make something to eat. Or if I’ve made the mistake of doing this for several days in a row, such that I keep failing to go for groceries, I end up ordering food (which is, of course, expensive, but I can do it through the computer, so I can avoid thinking about it some more…..).
This is one of the many shitty things that anxiety does, and contributes to me not showing up places (because I’ve put off eating, which requires me to get groceries, and oh look, I’m supposed to be at x in 20 minutes…..), and wiping out my money.
(Posting this as a way of motivating myself to get to the grocery store before in closes in 75min. No suggestions/advice sought)
“Left out in the cold, cobbling our own shoes” or something like that. I don’t remember the exact phrase, but my father’s words to me leading up to the vote on the Maastricht Treaty left an impression on my 14yo self that has not left me, not for one second, even though it was over 20 years ago.
As someone who grew up in the growth and development of the EEC, then the EC, then the EU, it’s been as much a part of my life as anything else in Ireland. Without the EU, it’s clear to me, Ireland would have been locked out, looking in at the well-to-do folk, over near-impassable trade barriers that would have left us in the continual state of poverty that Ireland was ever so slowly dragging itself out of in the 1980s and 1990s.
And the UK just voted for that outcome? In the immortal words of Miley: “Well, holy god……”
Physician assisted Dying (PAD from here on, aka active euthanasia) is currently being legislated in Canada, so it’s being discussed by a number of outlets, with a variety of opinions being put forward. This is a topic that has a storied history within philosophy, and I think it’s important that we have informed conversations on this topic as much as possible, rather than just repeating the “common sense” nonsense that we’ve grown up with all our lives.
Unfortunately, having a degree in philosophy apparently can also mean learning how to really cement the foundations for that nonsense, and can add an air of authority to what should be obviously ridiculous babble. Kreeft’s nonsense has been written up in that bastion of fact-checking, the BC Catholic, and the amount of errors (or intentional falsehoods?) in that article are staggering…..
I feel that doing a general overview/correction would make it seem that I’ve missed some key line here or there, so I’m going to do a point-by-point rebuttal. Which means that this is going to be a long article. Strap in.
I’m going to start with a recent pair of conversations in my life, and use that as a jumping off point to talk about who gets to define what abuse is, and who gets to set boundaries. People in my local community may well recognise the people involved from their behaviour, and while backlash due to that bothers me, it bothers me more that the abusive behaviour is tolerated.