Simple Answers for Contentious Issues

The news these days often cover issues that, for some reason or another, leave people either angry and hateful toward one another, or furrowing their brows in a vain attempt to understand the situation. Here I will give some simple answers to these thorny issues.

 

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Human Meaning and Original Sin

What is the meaning of life? This question is profound, but has become so cliche that its profundity is often overlooked. The problem, though, is that to produce an answer to the question requires that we hold prerequisite suppositions: what is the nature of humanity? Where does meaning originate? Does meaning itself have some yet other transcendent meaning?

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Anthropomorphized Intangibles

Imagine a terrorist group infiltrated your country. For my hypothetical, I am going to use the U.S. since that is where I live, but this thought experiment could apply anywhere. Imagine it is known by everyone – you, your friends and family, your government – that this terrorist group exists, but nobody knows who is in it. This terrorist group is very secretive and good at keeping theirs and everyone else’s identities a secret.

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Coronavirus aka COVID-19 aka SARS-CoV-2

If you have not yet heard of “the” Coronavirus you must not be paying attention. However, knowing about it does not necessarily mean you are informed about it. There seems to be a lot of misinformation regarding this disease. Perhaps here I can make things a little more clear.

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White Male Privilege: Does it Exist?

I am a white male. I recently went through a job search a few months ago and found something interesting: many of the places I looked into (mostly laboratories and jobs at universities) had diversity in the description of what they were looking for in a job candidate. Perhaps I’m wrong (I did end up getting a job tutoring at a university, after all) but it seems like that is essentially saying white men need not apply. Is this proof that white male privilege is no longer a thing?

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Syria, Kurds, and Trump

I’m not a news site, so hopefully most people reading this aren’t just now learning that U.S. president Donald Trump ordered U.S. troops pulled back from the northern border between Syria and Turkey. This was done at the behest of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Here I would like to set a few things straight and give my opinion on the whole situation.

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My Endorsement for U.S. President: Tulsi Gabbard

I consider myself a classical liberal, which in the U.S. is more strongly aligned with libertarians than with Liberals. I voted for the Libertarian candidate in the last two elections, after voting for Obama in 2008 and John Kerry in 2004 (those elections were before my conversion to being more libertarian leaning). That being said, I am prepared to vote Democratic again in this election as long as Tulsi Gabbard is the Democratic candidate. Here is why.

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Hong Kong Protests and Freedom

Hong Kong SAR (Special Administrative Region) is part of the People’s Republic of China under “One Country, Two Systems” created by the Sino-British Joint Declaration, signed in 1984 and coming into effect in 1997. “One Country, Two Systems” stopped China’s communist system from taking effect in Hong Kong, leaving Hong Kong with political and economic autonomy for 50 years, until 2047. Here in the U.S. the Hong Kong demonstrations have caused issues with certain organizations loyalty being split between ideology and profit.

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Is the Black Metal Band Marduk NSBM (National Socialist Black Metal)?

Marduk is a black metal band that formed in Sweden in 1990, releasing their first album Dark Endless in 1992; their latest album Viktoria is their fourteenth LP to be released. Two years ago, in early 2017, their show in Oakland was cancelled by the venue to prevent a local anti-fascist group from violence after they reportedly threatened the venue staff. This was due to accusations that Marduk promotes racism and fascism. Is this accusation true?

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Trump Impeachment

I don’t have a real hot take on the issue of the Trump impeachment, but I thought it important to lay down some of my thoughts. My opinions follow directly from my political cynicism: 1) it’s more political theater than a sincere desire to save the republic, 2) it’s a bad idea, and 3) it’s not going to work.

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Identity Politics and the Sexual Revolution

Mary Eberstadt has a new book called Primal Screams: How the Sexual Revolution Created Identity Politics where she makes the case that the 1960s sexual revolution is what gave rise to identity politics today. I think, while that may have played a part, the identity politics craze can’t be completely laid at the feet of the sexual revolution.

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Poststructuralist Semiotics and Evolutionary Psychology

Poststructuralism is a theory of semiotics (language and signs) that, broadly speaking, says that meaning is an effect of language, rather than a cause. In other words, what things mean to us is formed by language as opposed to our language having a 1-to-1 correspondence with reality. This theory, of course, takes the blank slate theory axiomatically. But what if we combine it with evolutionary psychology?

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