It’s almost proverbial that it is difficult to win an argument. That is, if we take successfully changing the opponent’s mind as the condition for victory. Most arguments end up with all parties involved becoming frustrated that their opponent is incapable of agreeing with them. Worse, both parties are often just as likely to become even more convinced of the beliefs they held when the argument began.
When it comes to changing our minds about some issue, the is/ought dichotomy once again comes into play. The former is the question: what conditions actually obtain when a given person changes their mind? The latter is the question: what conditions ought to obtain for a given person to change their mind?
Recently, the evolutionary biologist and outspoken atheist Richard Dawkins stirred up controversy with a tweet wondering about the differences between transgender identity and so-called trans-racial identity a la Rachel Dolezal. This upset people for many reasons, but one of them is his word choice: saying that transgender people “choose” to identify as the gender opposite to the sex they were born with. The backlash resulted in Dawkins having his 1996 Humanist of the Year award revoked by the American Humanist Association, which caused its own controversy.
When an artist does something heinous (or, at least, is accused of something heinous), can we separate the artist from their art? This conundrum has become more salient in the Me Too era, where many people in film, TV, music, comedy, influencer, and other forms of entertainment and content creation are called out for their bad behavior. There doesn’t seem to be any readily available answers, but that doesn’t mean these aren’t important questions to ask.
The article written by Michael Lind titled “The Five Crises of the American Regime” attempts to diagnose the underlying causes of the United States’ current situation – that of increasingly polarized politics and the anger and grievances of the polity. It is a great article, and I recommend reading the whole thing. Here, though, I want to discuss five other crises that are contributing to the decline and fall of the American Empire.
Something tells me the storming of the capitol building wasn’t so much a putsch attempt as just a release of pent-up anger – more Storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789 and less the takeover of the Winter Palace on October 25, 1917. However, we all know what the Storming of the Bastille eventually led to.
Schizoid Personality Disorder isn’t a well-known personality disorder. This is likely because most people who have it, true to the nature of the personality disorder, are not ones to be very public about it, and often don’t even really view it as negatively impacting their lives (so long as people just leave them alone). I’ve been diagnosed with Schizoid Personality Disorder. It negatively impacts me insofar as, in (attempting to) be an author, I’m extremely bad at marketing myself. Here I’m going to just sort of stream-of-consciousness write about Schizoid Personality Disorder – or, at least, my experience with it.
A series of videos explaining quantum mechanics, using math but with more emphasis on intuition than you will find in most textbooks. If you think you’re an idiot when it comes to learning these tough subjects, you might benefit by learning from me, a fellow idiot.
This series of videos goes in-depth into the biochemistry and physiology of nutrition and metabolism. Starting with a quick primer on the general chemistry concepts needed to understand the basics of biochemistry and metabolism, I then go on to introduce all the key players involved – the macronutrients (carbohydrates, lipids and fats, amino acids and protein, and then nucleic acids and DNA) and micronutrients. After going through the biosynthesis of all the vitamins, as well as chemical properties of the minerals, I will then go into digestion, absorption, and metabolism, following the various molecules and metabolites throughout the body.
In recent decades, the idea in modal logic and metaphysics of possible worlds has become a widely used tool in philosophy. But are the hypotheticals discussed using possible worlds even, well, possible? To test this idea, I am going to try to construct an idea of possible worlds by way of mathematical models for making adjustments to the world as understood in both a metaphysically materialist/physicalist sense as well as what assumptions must be present for immaterialist/spiritualist claims to be true.