Category Archives: Politics

The “yes, but, so” of pseudoliberalism

What is it about Rorty that makes him so satisfying to disagree with? Rorty’s mistakes and omissions make me like him even more. Maybe it is because his ultimate goals and tacit evaluations correspond to my own, and our disagreements … Continue reading

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Rorty on public and private beliefs

This passage from Rorty’s absolutely brilliant essay “Pragmatism as Romantic Polytheism” made a very deep impression on my politics: I turn now to the other big difference between Nietzsche on the one hand and James and Dewey on the other. … Continue reading

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Emergency and hubris

An inclination to see emergencies — emergencies being states of affairs demanding extraordinary means to address an immediate dire threat of some kind — can often seem more motivated by a strong inclination to use extraordinary means than in the … Continue reading

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Designers develop hybrid systems

Reading Verbeek’s What Things Do, I’m reminded of Latour’s handy term “hybrid”, an entity that is neither purely subjective nor purely objective, but a fusion of both. In Latour’s eye, the distinction between nature and society, or subject and object, … Continue reading

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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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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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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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Power assessments

One of the great privileges of power is to determine the legitimacy or illegitimacy of powers, to judge what is just and unjust, and to define which entities are real and which are only imaginary. To detect where power is … 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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My stance on IDW

A reply to the Medium article “The Intellectual Dark Web Is Dead”: We need to become more nuanced in our expectations of unity. We will think more clearly about IDW figures better if we think of them in private-inner- vs … Continue reading

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American Olympus

One of the ideals I somehow absorbed or derived or instaurated from Nietzsche is the concept of Olympian pluralism. For a passionate practical worldview to be divine — as opposed to titanic — it must maintain loyalty to a deeper … Continue reading

Posted in Fables, myths & parables, Philosophy, Politics | Leave a comment

Agonistic centrism?

What if I cast left versus right in terms of effort required to maintain equality or inequality? The further left one’s ideology leans, the more one believes that equality with others should require no effort. Enforced preexisting equality of all … Continue reading

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A minority majority

It is important that every individual American citizen recognizes that somewhere in their life on some vitally important matter they hold a minority opinion, and that if it weren’t for our collective commitment to individual liberty, they would be vulnerable … 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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Laddering

In marketing there is a research technique known as laddering for getting at a customer’s root motivations. I’ve also heard it called the “seven whys”. When interviewing a customer about her feelings about some aspect of a product, the interviewer … Continue reading

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Liberal symbol

I’ve been marking passages in Inventing the Individual that show the emergence of liberal traits. I’m making a list of these traits in the back of the book, with the goal of distilling a set of liberal family resemblances which, … 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

Posted in Ethics, Judaism, Metaphysics, Philosophy, Politics, Pragmatism | Leave a comment

The victory of the marketing worldview

The training of students to conceptualize themselves in terms of “intersectionality” of identity represents the victory of the marketing worldview over all other philosophical competitors. Those who are truly of our times have internalized their demographics and have no desire … Continue reading

Posted in Brand, Politics | 2 Comments