Category Archives: Ethics

Public shaming as cruel and unusual punishment

Fron Jon Ronson’s So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed: The common assumption is that public punishments died out in the new great metropolises because they’d been judged useless. Everyone was too busy being industrious to bother to trail some transgressor through … Continue reading

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Less toxic ideology, more human-centered design

Yesterday, I opened a can of Johnny Letter on Fast Company, for running what I saw as an uninformed and blatantly bigoted opinion piece, “Design needs more feminism, less toxic masculinity”. Rather than complain about the bigotry, though, I chose … Continue reading

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Reason

Reason is situated midway between bloodless logic and bloody passion.

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Two conversions

Expansive conversions permit us to relate ourselves to more of reality. Intensive conversions permit us to relate more of ourselves to reality. The former are cold; the latter are hot. * This way of categorizing conversion events is helpful when … Continue reading

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Betrayal of liberalism in the name of liberalism

This passage from Richard Rorty’s Achieving Our Country (1997) helps me pinpoint the shift from a predominant liberalism to illiberalism in the popular left: The academic, cultural Left approves — in a rather distant and lofty way — of the activities … Continue reading

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Master of the Golden Rule

Imagine a man sitting down and pondering the Golden Rule. He thinks through what he knows to be true, what he loves and desires, and what practices have served him well in his life. Then he imagines a world where … Continue reading

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Every person should be heard

Just because a person shouldn’t be believed, it doesn’t mean that person shouldn’t be listened to. It is dehumanizing for a person to be judged as not worth listening to, and it is inhumanizing to make oneself the judge of … Continue reading

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Suffering about suffering

When painless pleasurable existence is assumed to be the normal state of life, and pain and displeasure to be abnormal, pain and displeasure are compounded with metapain and metadispleasure — suffering — at the fact of pain and displeasure: something … Continue reading

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“Stop making your feelings everyone else’s problem.”

I said the daddest thing ever on vacation: “Stop making your feelings everyone else’s problem.” You know, I think this is good advice to this moment in history, especially this pervasive feeling of resentment, the least respectable feeling a person … Continue reading

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Density of soul

“When a poet is not in love with reality his muse will consequently not be reality, and she will then bear him hollow-eyed and fragile-limbed children.” — Friedrich Nietzsche * It seems to me that few people agree with me … Continue reading

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Leftist Identitarianism is an identity

(The following is a rant inspired by the recent debate between Sam Harris and Ezra Klein.) Leftist Identitarianism is itself an identity, one with more real-world reality and salience than any of the canonical identities it recognizes and focuses upon. … Continue reading

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Why you should be mad about Lean Startup

Lean Startup externalizes usability costs to users. To combat this practice, if I find a usability issue I call tech support and have them walk me through the interaction. These calls cost a company a significant amount of money and … Continue reading

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George Soros

I’ve been hearing such dark and incredible tales about George Soros’s depravity and deviousness I felt I’d better look into who he is. And what better better place to start than to go directly to the source and read one … Continue reading

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Four sides to every conflict

In conflicts, there are four sides to every story: there is my side, there is your side, there is what I think your side is, and there is what you think my side is. If you want to know a … Continue reading

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Naive moralism

A naive moralist cannot discern the difference between his own moral views and justice, which adjudicates precisely between conflicting moral views, assuming the ultimate validity of none. Justice does not “privilege” any moralism over any other, but this view requires a … Continue reading

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Coalition of opposites

One group of individuals is systematically oppressed by another group of individuals. Two witnesses to the oppression are offended and moved to stop the injustice, but for opposite reasons. The first witness sees the rights of individuals being violated by … Continue reading

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Political Platonism

When one person commits a crime against another, a liberal habitually sees an individual criminal and an individual victim. You can conceptually thematize the parties involved in the crime and the nature of the crime itself in myriad ways, but … Continue reading

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America’s new religion is Antiracism

John McWhorter has observed that America’s new religion is Antiracism: …they have developed a new religion. That religion is antiracism. Of course, most consider antiracism a position, or evidence of morality. However, in 2015, among educated Americans especially, Antiracism—it seriously … Continue reading

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The questions of suffering

Suffering, more than anything else, demands answers. But what kind of question does suffering want us to ask? And what is the answer meant to do? You’ll get very different kind of answers, practical responses and even dispositions toward life itself … Continue reading

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Slurpy, mergy, touchy-feely notions of interpersonal being

Wow, this post really sprawled out. It hits a lot of my enduring interests. I’m not sure it is suitable for reading. It might just be a personal journal entry written to myself. Feel free to eavesdrop if you wish, … Continue reading

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